There is a great article written soon after the 2008 economic crash as Obama and Congress were working with Wall Street and the FED to make sure the tens of trillions of dollars of fraud taken last decade remained with the rich ----THE NEW DEAL WE DIDN'T KNOW ---a book review in the New York Review of Books Sept 26th, 2013. This date is significant because it was in 2010 that those listed above joined to create an economic strategy with goals of sending the US into a great recession/depression with the US Treasury and municipal bond fraud unfolding today. What this author knew as did all academic economic public policy researchers was Bernanke was taking the US to the same economic space that existed during the roaring 20s bringing that GREAT DEPRESSION. For this discussion----THE NATION'S RELIGIOUS LEADERS KNOW THIS TOO. This is why I shout against that 5% of the 1% religious citizens working to bring this extreme wealth and power while tying our religious institutions to these criminal acts.
The point of this article was this: the 1% bringing the last great Wall Street fraud and economic crash taking the nation to economic peril were a small force then but are those in political office today controlling how the nation is taken after this coming economic crash and great depression. The article explains what these wealth and power people wanted America to become in answer to that great economic distress----and it was the opposite of FDR and the NEW DEAL. Reading this article gives citizens an idea of where these CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA 1% FAR-RIGHT NEO-LIBERAL/NEO-CONS get their political ideology in this walk to ONE WORLD NEW WORLD ORDER. This is why we have social Democratic FEELING THE BERN posers across the US working hard to make sure the US goes with the global rich authoritarian militaristic PRAGMATIC NILISM and not the FDR/Bernie Sanders left-leaning social Democratic solution.
The 1% back in the days of FDR and the Great Depression wanted to take the US to a political structure of AUTHORITARIANISM thinking Stalin or Mussolini was a good model. Of course that was before MAO became that model in China for global economic neo-liberalism. As usual, these far-right 1% stated the people really liked those authoritarian models. All of this has to do with religious schools in knowing the goals of today's leaders being towards Libertarian Marxism having no religion in mind----while playing on religious schools in breaking down our American democratic public education system. It is simply yet another POSING ---this time POSING RELIGIOUS BENEFACTOR by people having no morals, ethics, Rule of Law or natural law tied to religious thought.
AGAIN, THE REASON THIS BOOK AND ARTICLE CAME OUT IN 2013 WAS THIS BEING THE TIME POLICY BECAME CLEAR NATIONAL LEADERS WERE MOVING TOWARDS THAT AUTHORITARIAN OPTION FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND NOT THE NEW DEAL.
The New Deal We Didn’t Know
September 26, 2013 Issue
Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time
by Ira Katznelson
Liveright, 706 pp., $29.95
An African-American entering a movie theater through the segregated back entrance, Mississippi, October 1939; photograph by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration
The New Deal, the apogee of liberal political power in American history and a story with a relatively happy ending—the Great Depression vanquished, World War II won—has usually had its history presented, except by conservatives who disapprove of the expansion of central government and taxation in the 1930s and 1940s, as an uplifting, inspiring one. That is not how Ira Katznelson presents it. There is only one very brief personal note in his long, scholarly book—a snip of memory about having to wear military-style dogtags and practice responses to a nuclear attack as a schoolchild in the early 1950s—but all of Fear Itself is suffused with the same sense of pure terror during the Roosevelt and Truman years as, say, Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America. It’s easy to forget not just how dangerous the situation was, at home and abroad, during the New Deal, but how palpable were outcomes far worse than what we got.
Another difference between Fear Itself and most of the familiar histories of the New Deal is that Katznelson thinks like a political scientist. That means that, although he defines the period presidentially, as the twenty years when Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman were in the White House, Roosevelt and Truman themselves are spectral presences. They are not the primary determiners of the course of government, and Katznelson has no interest in their personal qualities or their methods of leadership. Instead his focus is on Congress and government agencies, and more broadly on political systems, voting, and interest groups. This gives Fear Itself the feeling of a fresh look at a familiar story; what Katznelson loses in ignoring the inherent force of the hero narrative, he gains in being able to make an argument that largely ignores the presidency.
The argument bears laying out in some detail. Katznelson begins, usefully, by placing the New Deal in a global setting: the severity of the Great Depression presented an existential threat to liberal democracy everywhere, both as an ideal and as a reality. In response to the same economic crisis that confronted the United States, Germany turned to National Socialism, Italy to Fascism, and the Soviet Union already had a form of communism that no liberals except willfully blind ones could believe in. During Roosevelt’s first term, these alternate systems were on the verge of imposing themselves by force on many other countries.
It was not at all clear that democracy would survive here. George Kennan privately came to believe that the United States should become an “authoritarian state.” Walter Lippmann, on a visit to Roosevelt a month before his inauguration as president, advised him that “you may have no alternative but to assume dictatorial powers.” Even in public, all sorts of prominent people praised the undemocratic alternative political systems that were emerging in Europe, especially Italian Fascism. One prominent New Deal official hung a portrait of Benito Mussolini in his office. Nicholas Murray Butler told the Columbia freshman class that the dictatorships were now producing a better class of leaders than the democracies.
When Italo Balbo, Italy’s minister of aviation, barnstormed across the United States in 1933, he was greeted as a hero. At a grand welcoming dinner at a Chicago hotel, Katznelson tells us, “many rose to offer a Fascist salute when Balbo and his squadron entered the ballroom.” Even after the war, it wasn’t considered disqualifying that Iola Nikitchenko, the Soviet judge at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, had presided over Stalin’s worst legal depredations, like the 1937 Moscow show trials, just a few years earlier.
Katznelson wants us to understand how far from assured the final result of the New Deal was. And—since there was no real space separating the Depression from World War II, or the war from the threat of nuclear destruction--he maintains that the national fear that attended Roosevelt’s coming to the presidency did not abate much over the next twenty years. The New Deal took place, he writes, in “an atmosphere of unremitting uncertainty about liberal democracy’s capacity and fate.” This is a very dark picture of the period that also manages to convey how profoundly grateful we should be that things didn’t turn out worse, as they easily could have.
For Katznelson, the central institution in a democracy is the national legislature, so the test of a democracy’s strength is whether the executive takes the legislature’s authority away. What the Italian, German, and Soviet systems had in common was the complete abolition of legislative authority—without, at first, any real public objection. Roosevelt and Truman consistently tried to shift authority from the legislative branch to the executive, but the United States never wound up venturing anywhere near a permanent diminution in Congress’s role. This was, Katznelson says, “a notable, even extraordinary, attainment.”
REMEMBER-----THE ECONOMIC CRASH AND SUBSEQUENT GREAT DEPRESSION WAS CAUSED BY THE SAME WALL STREET SYSTEMIC AND MASSIVE FRAUDS WE HAVE HAD THESE FEW DECADES WITH THE COMING US TREASURY AND MUNICIPAL BOND MARKET FRAUD MEANT TO BRING THE US ECONOMY DOWN JUST AS IN THE FDR DAYS. NONE OF THIS IS DISCUSSED AS THEY DESCRIBE THE NEED FOR AUTHORITARIANISM BY THE SAME 1% COMMITTING THESE FRAUDS.
Concentrating far more intensely on Congress than New Deal histories aimed at a nonacademic audience have usually done naturally leads Katznelson to a concomitant focus on the essential role that the South played in the shaping of the New Deal. Anyone who ever took an American history course is aware that the South was an essential part of the Democratic Party coalition during the New Deal, and that during that period it maintained the Jim Crow system of legal racial segregation. By making this a major theme of Fear Itself and examining it in great detail, Katznelson removes the South’s place in the story from its usual duly noted blandness to an arresting, almost obsessive centrality. The New Deal made two great Faustian bargains with allies Katznelson would not hesitate to call evil, and they frame his idea of the New Deal: the one with Stalin and the one with the Jim Crow South. And it wasn’t just that the New Deal looked away from these systems’ horrors and proceeded on its way; it’s that the new political system the United States devised during the period was profoundly shaped by these unsavory alliances.
The South was of course Democratic because of the Civil War and Reconstruction. In the political bargain that ended Reconstruction, in 1877, the Republicans got the White House (for Rutherford B. Hayes) and the Democrats got the withdrawal of federal troops from the South—which meant that the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution (guaranteeing African-Americans civil rights and voting rights) would no longer be enforced there, since they had been enforceable during Reconstruction only at gunpoint. The South was so profoundly grateful for this that it remained substantially loyal to the Democratic Party until the Democrats strongly reversed their previous position and endorsed the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. Conversely, at the beginning of the New Deal, and for the same reasons, most black voters (who were necessarily outside the South) were still loyally voting Republican.
Katznelson reminds us that for large sections of the period he covers, including at the outset, the Democratic Party was not capable of winning a presidential election without the South (as is true of the Republican Party today). In the 1932 elections, Democratic congressional candidates outside the South, taken together, got only 40 percent of the vote, but 86 percent in the South. When Roosevelt took office, more than half the committee chairs in Congress were southerners.
Katznelson also reminds us that whites as well as blacks were substantially disenfranchised in the South, because of poll taxes. Voter turnout was shockingly low in the South—below 20 percent of eligible (meaning mainly white) voters, for example, in Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina in the crucial presidential election of 1940. In the 1938 midterm elections, Mississippi, with a population of more than two million, had only 35,000 voters. A tight-knit group of very secure and long-serving southern politicians, for whom the maintenance of Jim Crow was an absolute necessity, used the congressional seniority system to maintain a working veto power over all New Deal policies.
In the narrow sense, the South used its power to create de facto regional exceptions to many New Deal policies, either by exempting domestic and agricultural workers (meaning blacks) from them, or by placing administrative and policy control of them in the hands of state governments. To use the most obvious example, the 1935 law that created the Social Security system had both of these features. In the larger sense, Katznelson argues, it was specifically the South that blocked off the possibility of the New Deal’s moving further left in its policies. The New Deal wound up largely achieving one set of goals—an American welfare state, including retirement security and an empowered labor movement—but stopped far short of another, which would have involved creating, through democratic procedures, a more centrally planned economy, like those of this country’s undemocratic, and evidently successful, competitors during the 1930s and 1940s.
This was not, Katznelson insists, a matter of Roosevelt’s changing his mind, or reacting to the setback of the Supreme Court’s undoing in 1935 of his first major foray into planning, the creation of the National Recovery Administration. Nor was there a national consensus on central planning. The period was too chaotic for any of that to be the case. It was Congress that blocked national planning, for reasons having to do with the southern bloc’s overriding concern with maintaining the regional racial order. The South, in Katznelson’s view, was willing to move left on economic issues as long as that didn’t threaten segregation. When economic policy and race began to seem intertwined, the South opted out on economic policy, and that defined the leftward boundary of the New Deal.
The turning point, Katznelson says, was the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, the law that established the federal minimum wage and “the last lawmaking victory of the New Deal’s radical moment.” Although the author of the earliest version of the law was Senator (later Justice) Hugo Black of Alabama, by 1937 the South’s support for federal legislation affecting working conditions had begun to crumble, because southern members of Congress no longer felt quite so confident that they could amend any law so that their system would be excluded. The national political power of organized labor, which was interested in enlisting blacks as well as whites, was rising rapidly, and there was now a distinct, though small, black voting bloc within the Democratic Party, located in the northern cities. With the South suddenly (though, it turned out, enduringly) in doubt, the FLSA barely passed, and only after a very long legislative struggle.
As the South was turning away from solidarity with Roosevelt on domestic issues, Roosevelt’s own attention was turning to the coming of World War II—and there, in Katznelson’s telling, the South was completely supportive, far more so than the rest of the country. The dominant strain in the Republican Party in those days was isolationist, and, as Katznelson reminds us, the northern, urban wing of the Democratic Party included many Italian-Americans, German-Americans, and Irish-Americans who were skeptical about the war.
A poster for an all-black production of Macbeth, directed by John Houseman and Orson Welles, for the Works Progress Administration, 1936The South has always had a more martial culture than the country as a whole. Still, it isn’t entirely clear why the South was so militantly anti-Nazi—Adolf Hitler was a big fan of Gone With the Wind, and many prominent Nazis assumed that many in the South would find their racial views sympathetic, but they didn’t. The crucial steps before the Pearl Harbor attack that made the United States as prepared for the war as it was—including large increases in military spending, military aid to Great Britain, and the establishment of a draft—would all have been impossible without the enthusiastic backing of southerners in Congress. In return, the South got some assurances that the militarization of the United States would proceed in ways that did not threaten Jim Crow, such as the maintenance of segregated army units.
As with all the positive outcomes in Fear Itself, the United States’ turn away from isolationism came at a price: the embrace, once again determined by the South, of a national security state that operated in secrecy outside the ordinary boundaries of democratic politics. Roosevelt declared a national state of emergency, giving him extraordinary power, six months in advance of the attack on Pearl Harbor. From this followed loyalty oaths for federal employees, the Japanese internment program, and a vast, overaggressive FBI program of surveillance of people who hadn’t been accused of anything (including African-Americans solely on the basis of their race). The program entailed the establishment of a network of 70,000 civilian informants.
The House Un-American Activities Committee was created by John Nance Garner, of Texas, and chaired by Martin Dies, also of Texas. The Alien Registration Act, which wound up registering five million people and designating nearly a million of them as “enemy aliens” with restricted rights, was the work of Howard Smith, of Virginia. This turn by the federal government would come up as a regularly recurring aspect of Washington’s role in the life of the country. It is recurring now in the PRISM program and similar activities launched by George W. Bush and continued by Barack Obama.
Because of the war, the turn toward central economic planning that the country declined to take in the 1930s happened almost overnight in the 1940s, through executive action rather than legislation. The federal government grew tenfold, established control over wages and prices, and was deeply involved in planning the activities of most American industries. As Katznelson puts it, “the country learned to act as if it were one great unified corporation.” World War II proved that the United States could compete successfully with nondemocratic countries, but at the price of becoming significantly less democratic itself.
Like the Great Depression and the ascension of Roosevelt, the end of the war provided an opportunity to remake the American political order. Katznelson places the South at the center of this process. Its influence in Congress had grown because Republican gains in the 1942 and 1946 elections had increased the southern share of Democratic seats. The larger setting for policymaking was fear, as it is throughout Katznelson’s account of the New Deal. The war may have ended, but the fear did not abate.
Roosevelt and Truman, through their choices about how to conduct the war, made the quick onset of the cold war almost inevitable. Roosevelt formed an alliance with a totalitarian state and then allowed it to bear most of the human cost of the war: the Soviet Union’s military death toll during the war was over twenty times that of the United States. This meant that when the war ended, the Soviets were in control of Eastern Europe and had no inclination to give that up. Truman’s decision to deploy two atomic bombs in Japan ensured that a gripping terror would pervade international relations for decades, if not forever. It turned out to be impossible for the United States to contemplate its postwar competition with the Soviets calmly.
Anything pertaining to the cold war wound up as a permanently large part of government, likely to be protected from the ordinary legislative processes of a democracy. The reason Susan Rice just became national security adviser rather than secretary of state is that the National Security Council was created after the war outside the sphere of congressional oversight, so her position doesn’t require a confirmation hearing.
The CIA dates from the same period. So does the Department of Defense and its headquarters building, the Pentagon. So does the Air Force and its aggressive branch devoted to planning nuclear war, the Strategic Air Command. Defense spending and the size of the standing military dropped precipitously with the end of the war, but soon soared again, and has ever since. The kind of planning process in which government collaborated with business—which Katznelson calls “corporatist”—became the rule, again permanently, in military and defense matters. The military became the dominant funder of scientific research, including inside private universities. All these changes amounted to the United States’s becoming what Katznelson calls “a crusading state” with “a permanent war economy.” And they were all enthusiastically endorsed, often without recorded votes, by a Congress (especially the committees that oversee military matters) dominated by the South.
Domestically, the process was the opposite: the United States, which might have created a social democratic system like Western Europe’s, instead scaled back. The two pieces of legislation that encapsulate the change from the height of the New Deal to the postwar order are the Wagner Act of 1935, empowering organized labor, and the antilabor Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. Both had the South’s crucial support, and Katznelson attributes the change from one to the other to the South’s growing nervousness about its ability to maintain its racial order. “For southern legislators, labor had become race,” he writes, and Taft-Hartley was, to its southern supporters, a “triumph for the security of Jim Crow.”
Just as important as the shift in labor policy, Katznelson argues, was the idea that the government’s management of the economy should focus on taxation and spending, rather than on economic planning. In 1939, Congress established the National Resources Planning Board and the Bureau of the Budget; after the war, the former died and the latter became an important agency, now called the Office of Management and Budget. Agencies that could have established a larger central government part in the economy were prevented from doing so, for racial reasons, by the South. The United States Employment Service, quite a substantial operation, was taken out of the Department of Labor and put under the sort of local control that the South always favored. Southern offices routinely listed jobs as being for whites or blacks only.
The Fair Employment Practices Commission, created by Roosevelt in 1941 as a small wartime harbinger of the federal government’s commitment to civil rights, was abolished by Congress, against Truman’s wishes, after the war, because the South so deeply disliked it. Katznelson reminds us that the South’s role in the Democratic Party remained so crucial that both of Adlai Stevenson’s running mates in the presidential campaigns of 1952 and 1956 were southern senators, the first staunchly segregationist, the second less so.
Political scientists use the term “pluralist” to describe a system in which interest groups compete incessantly for advantage, and there is no overarching, determinative notion of the public interest. The side that wins gets to define the public interest, and the system’s moral commitment is to the procedure, not the outcomes. The final product of the New Deal, Katznelson argues, was a pluralist, “procedural” state in domestic affairs, and a far more expansive and less democratic state—corporatist, committed to planning in the “national interest”—in military affairs. This amounts to a liberal nightmare (and also demonstrates that one should not be confident that reducing interest-group influence in politics would necessarily produce pleasing results): the aspect of government liberals focus on was constrained, the aspect conservatives focus on was unbridled. And it was the South’s doing.
Ira Katznelson, who is a Columbia colleague of mine, has done something remarkable in Fear Itself in creating a large-scale, densely detailed tableau of the New Deal that feels fresh and unfamiliar. The book’s success comes partly from its insistent focus on material that lies outside the standard confines of the New Deal narrative, and partly from its powerfully tragic consciousness. Rather than seeing the New Deal as entailing a series of compromises, as with all politics, Katznelson presents us with a grand achievement, the preservation of American democracy, attained only through deeply corrupting alliances with Stalin’s Soviet Union and the pre–civil rights American South.
In Roth’s The Plot Against America, a relentlessly escalating series of horrors culminates in the Roth family of Newark being ordered to relocate to Kentucky (merely a border state!), where, we are made to understand, at any moment one of them could simply disappear. A similar feeling of utter horror about the South suffuses Fear Itself. The irony of Katznelson’s accomplishment here is that it has come, in part, through a Faustian bargain of his own: he has made the New Deal much more complex and interesting by oversimplifying one of its major actors.
Katznelson’s South has no black organizations of political consequence, no white racial liberals, no native union movement—indeed, very little internal variation on any issue, even though it’s a large region, because its focus on maintaining the Jim Crow system is so overwhelming. Although his account makes one appreciate how long the odds against the success of the civil rights movement were, it’s hard to imagine how, just a couple of years after Fear Itself ends, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference could have mounted its successful boycott of the municipal bus system in Montgomery; the elements underlying a nonquixotic act of resistance of that kind don’t seem to be in place.
More specifically, Katznelson’s treatment of race as the trump card in southern politics, though generally justified, leads him to treat the South’s views on economic issues as having been far less internally contentious and farther to the left than they actually were. Race could have been overwhelmingly important to the South and there could still have been—and was—room for differences on economic and other issues that had lasting regional and national effects.
On March 25, 1965, when Martin Luther King spoke from the steps of the Alabama state capitol building at the conclusion of the Selma-to-Montgomery march—a more dramatic civil rights moment, and a better speech, than “I Have a Dream” during the 1963 March on Washington—he devoted a significant part of his time at the podium to summarizing the work of historian C. Vann Woodward on economic strategies. It was an important intellectual event when the South began to produce prominent scholars—like Woodward (born in Vanndale, Arkansas, in 1908) and the political scientist V.O. Key (born in Austin, Texas, the same year)—who were not inclined to celebrate the Jim Crow system, as their predecessors going back to Woodrow Wilson had been.
Woodward and Key were pro–New Deal economic populists who spun out an alternate history of the South in which racism, rather than being the inevitable controlling factor in southern politics, had been put front and center by prosperous white conservatives so as to distract the poor majority from making common cause across racial lines and demanding economic justice. Here is King’s version, as delivered in Montgomery:
Racial segregation as a way of life did not come about as a natural result of hatred between the races immediately after the Civil War. There were no laws segregating the races then. And as the noted historian, C. Vann Woodward, in his book, The Strange Career of Jim Crow, clearly points out, the segregation of the races was really a political stratagem employed by the emerging Bourbon interests in the South to keep the southern masses divided and southern labor the cheapest in the land.
You see, it was a simple thing to keep the poor white masses working for near-starvation wages in the years that followed the Civil War. Why, if the poor white plantation or mill worker became dissatisfied with his low wages, the plantation or mill owner would merely threaten to fire him and hire former Negro slaves and pay him even less. Thus, the southern wage level was kept almost unbearably low.
It’s hard to think of academic work with more direct and immediate political consequences than Woodward’s mid-twentieth century conjuring up of a version of southern history in which Jim Crow had been avoidable in the first instance, and therefore was reversible in the present. Only a few months after King’s speech, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act (which the Supreme Court has just substantially negated) and liberal democracy in a recognizable if imperfect form came to the South.
Today Woodward’s view of southern history seems overoptimistic. The economically populist strain that he believed could have become dominant after Reconstruction seems retrospectively faint in comparison to white racism at the time. (Many more blacks were murdered in the late 1860s and early 1870s by white terrorists who were trying to overturn Reconstruction than were ever lynched.)
Even if Katznelson is essentially right, though, it’s a real stretch for him to present southern Bourbons like Harry Byrd of Virginia or James Eastland of Mississippi and bank-hating populists like Wright Patman of Texas or Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi as not having been meaningfully different politically. “Most of the region’s political leaders almost giddily propelled the New Deal’s radical economic policies,” Katznelson writes; these policies, he says elsewhere, “simply would have been impossible without the willing audacity of the segregated South.” But this is too dismissive of the importance of business-oriented “New South” conservatives who were active throughout the New Deal and became dominant afterward, and who were inclined to become a little less extreme on race, especially when they felt that doing so would bring economic rewards, and were anything but radical on nonracial domestic issues.
The people who created the South’s garment- and furniture-making industries, for example, had reasons to be anti-union that were more direct and immediate than the fear that unionization would undermine the racial order. They wanted to pay lower wages than their northern competitors. When Katznelson writes, by way of explaining southern opposition to pro-labor legislation in the late 1940s, that “a truly national labor system threatened to erode the ability of plantations to hold on to low-paid field-workers,” he is missing the South’s fundamental shift, already well underway, from Cotton Belt to Sunbelt (to borrow the title of an excellent 1994 book by Bruce Schulman).
The same political logic applies to the South’s oil, chemical, banking, and military-contracting industries, which were quite powerful by the end of the period Katznelson covers. They did not want their congressional representatives to push for radical economic policies. But neither did they want them to be focused on the maintenance of segregation to the exclusion of attending to their business interests. Whether or not Woodward (and King) were right that southern Bourbons had consciously used racism as a kind of ruse to get what they wanted economically, one can also make a reverse argument: southern business has tended to play down race if that seemed to serve economic development, for example in wooing northern companies to relocate to the South. And southern business has for many years reflexively turned to government for help, without having any populist inclinations. It practices what Katznelson calls “corporatism,” but as a matter just between government and business, without a substantial role for unions.
This isn’t a small matter. Katznelson argues persuasively that the basic political order of the United States was remade during the New Deal: government’s role expanded, but only up to a point, domestically, and expanded almost without limit militarily. But the variations within the South on nonracial issues also became nationally consequential.
Beginning with Strom Thurmond’s Dixiecrat defection from the Democratic Party in 1948, the South became less solidly Democratic—rapidly so after the height of the civil rights era. That was about race. Also, beginning with Jimmy Carter in 1976, the South began to demonstrate that it could produce successful presidential candidates (I’m not counting Lyndon Johnson because he was elevated from the vice-presidency), something that had not been possible during most of the Jim Crow era, when congressional leadership positions were the most that even the most talented southern politicians could aspire to. Carter, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush all became major-party nominees, and although they did not all come from the same party, they all ran as more or less moderate, pro-business politicians who were sensitive to middle-class voters’ needs and did not openly appeal to white racial prejudice. This set of views, which dominated presidential politics for years, emerged from a tradition of business-oriented politics in the South—going back at least to the 1880s, when Henry Grady of The Atlanta Constitution began using the phrase “The New South” to express the hope of a move beyond dependence on agriculture—which Katznelson doesn’t mention.
That period of high southern influence on national politics may now be over. Hillary Clinton lost to Barack Obama in 2008 in part because she attended too closely during the Democratic primary season to the lessons she had learned in becoming a southern moderate during her years in Arkansas. The Democratic Leadership Council, the moderate-to-conservative group that both Clinton and Gore chaired, has gone out of business. The Democrats have found a way to win presidential elections that largely bypasses the South (but not Florida), and the Republicans are dominated by a libertarian strain in the party that doesn’t have much room for blacks but also doesn’t have roots in traditional southern politics.
Still, even in the Obama administration, a moderate, pro-market, anti-regulation, less than wholeheartedly pro-union politics dominates. So does the idea that military and “security” affairs can be legitimately conducted in secret by the executive branch. This is partly a legacy of a long-standing congeries of southern views that can’t be completely understood in racial terms. Conversely, one lesson of the Obama presidency thus far is that even the immense effort the president obviously makes to take overt considerations of race out of politics—the passion and eloquence of his brief remarks about the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case gave some sense of how much he is usually suppressing—does not produce the benefits in other areas that liberals have dreamed of for many years. It has not led to the undoing of the frustrating aspects of the legacy of the New Deal, as Katznelson persuasively sets them forth.
Again, if we have the 1% in the US at the time of the Great Depression calculating a national political structure resembling Stalin or Mussolini you can assume it has nothing to do with left-leaning Marxism----it is simply a political tool for the 1% to reign authoritarian and militaristic power while keeping everyone else impoverished and living in fear. As well, it takes religion with morals and ethics out of the picture as the 1% expand empire. That is who Mussolini was----he joined Hitler because they shared that same nationalistic empire-building capturing nation's economies and industries to a corporate state. Left-leaning Marxism does not want those kinds of hierarchical structures-----only far-right 1% wants dictators and fascism to advance empire-building.
We know those small percentage back in FDR's days wanting a fascist model for the US are indeed the 1% having captured our political system today and it does not bode well for religious institutions.
When Obama, Gov of Maryland Larry Hogan, Mayor of Baltimore Rawlings-Blake all marching to 1% Wall Street push all this deregulation of public schools with defunding of public schools and moving of those funds to private and religious schools all the while having that goal of global corporate neo-liberal profit-driven education -----THEY ARE ALL POSING RELIGIOUS. National religious leaders who appoint state and local religious leaders to every kind of religious sector align themselves with that 1% power----empire-building as the CRUSADES perhaps moves religions into this militaristic mode. Whatever the motivation of national or global world religious leaders at these times -----they all know global corporate and wealth fascism is not what GOD WOULD WANT FOR PEOPLE. These global/national religious leaders KNOW that to partner with these 1% Wall Street global pols is to partner with a criminal, unjust class of people. This is the conditions existing today in the US at national, state, and local level and it is why all this extreme wealth and corporate power CORRUPTS OUR RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS.
It's the Corporate State, Stupid
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.
“Kirchnerismo” is the legacy of the 12 years that Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her late husband, Néstor, have run this country, a spin on the “Peronismo” of Juan and Evita Perón. And like the 1950s-era edition, it is less an ideology than a ruling style, defined by the concentration of power, populist social welfare programs and a steady diet of Argentine nationalism.
'since the end of World War II, Argentina swings endlessly between expansionist/populist and neoliberal regimes'.
Everyone knows that Latin American nations captured by neo-liberalism----like Chile and Argentina and now Brazil have these rotating cycles of wild unfettered neo-liberalism where the rich simply take the national wealth and send everyone to poverty followed by a 'socialism' that takes a militaristic, authoritarian look of fascism as we see here with the Kirchner's and their FASCIST KIRCHNERISMO. Then after the nation is taken from economic ruin while sending the poor free stuff-----back comes the neo-liberal leader taking the nation again for all its assets. This pattern has existed through modern history and this is why today's American leadership in Congress/Obama/Wall Street/FED are moving towards the MAO corporate fascism model. The difference between this Latin American neo-liberal model and the MAO fake communist model is the removal of religion through a period of extreme militarism and government brutality. Where was religious institutions during the STALIN/MAO/HITLER/MUSSOLINI/KIRCHNER fascist cycle of extreme wealth and corporate power expansion?
Our religious institutions are very powerful and although we do not want them leading a nation into revolution in fighting against authoritarianism and brutal impoverishment of people under a small group calling people HUMAN CAPITAL AND TOOLS FOR PROFIT----we would not expect these religious leaders to partner with the 1% in patronage.
THIS PERIOD OF SENDING THE US INTO A MARXIST STAGE IS WHAT THE 1% CALLS THE HIDDEN STAGE OF NEO-LIBERALISM----THEY INTEND TO MOVE FORWARD WITH NEO-LIBERALISM BUT DRESS IT DIFFERENTLY.
Argentina under the Kirchners
Socialism for foes, capitalism for friends
While some private businesses in Argentina have faced harassment or even nationalisation, others have flourished thanks to political contacts
Feb 25th 2010 | BUENOS AIRES | THE ECONOMIST
April 12, 2016
Macri-nomics: Argentina’s Fast and Furious Return to Neoliberalism
by Alan B. Cibles
When on October 25, 2015, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s (CFK) designated presidential candidate, Daniel Scioli, won the first round of elections by a 3% margin, many viewed it as a defeat. There are good reasons for this.
Most polls had predicted Scioli would obtain at least an 8% lead over Mauricio Macri, the pro-business, pro-US neoliberal candidate. Some had even predicted a wider lead, fueling hopes that a runoff election could be avoided.
Also, few considered Macri would ever get enough votes to become president and yet, there he was, very well positioned for the runoff election a month later.
Finally, many of CFK’s supporters remembered her 54% victory in the 2011 presidential elections and believed that a similar outcome was possible for her candidate in 2015.
The Nov. 22 runoff election between Daniel Scioli and Mauricio Macri took place resulted in a Macri victory by 2.68%. This result marked two important landmarks in Argentine political history. First, it was the first electoral defeat of a Peronist presidential candidate ever. Peronist candidates also lost key electoral districts, such as the province of Buenos Aires and several historically Peronist working class municipalities in the greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area. Second, Macri’s victory is the first time that a member of Argentina’s economic elite became president through elections and not through a military coup.
On December 10, 2015 Macri took office as President of Argentina. Exactly fourteen years before, in December 2001, Argentina was in political and economic chaos, the product of a decade of profound neoliberal transformations. Massive protests took place daily against banks, the IMF, neoliberal policies and corrupt politicians. “¡Que se vayan todos!” (Out with all of them!) was the rallying cry of the protestors. Why then was an explicitly neoliberal president elected fourteen years after the crisis? What can we expect to happen based on Macri’s first 100 days in office? What are the implications for regional cooperation?
Twelve Years of Kirchnerismo
Néstor Kirchner took office on May 25, 2003 as the massive 2001-2002 political and economic crisis was beginning to wind down. The country was still in significant political and economic turmoil, the product of more than a decade of neoliberal economic policies, which resulted in deindustrialization, substantial increases in inequality, unemployment, poverty and hunger, financial speculation and unsustainable public debt growth. Popular discontent and mobilization were high, with strong anti-IMF and anti-neoliberalism sentiment widely expressed. A wide anti-politician sentiment prevailed, with most politicians perceived as corrupt and inefficient.
Kirchner, and his wife Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, were shrewd politicians, although relatively unknown outside their southern province of Santa Cruz. While as provincial governor Néstor and his wife had supported the neoliberal policies and privatizations of the 1990s, they accurately read the new political situation and tuned their campaign discourse and later government policies to cater to the profound popular discontent. Néstor served one four-year term (2003-2007) and Cristina two consecutive terms (2007-2011 and 2011-2015). The successes and failures of Kirchnerism are central to deciphering the 2015 election results.
The Kirchners helped set in motion a series of trials for human rights abuses committed during the 1976-83 military dictatorship. This resulted in support from human rights groups and broad segments of society.
Néstor Kirchner also promoted the renewal of the highly discredited Menem-era Supreme Court, establishing a more participatory and transparent nomination process to fill vacancies. The Kirchners also promoted the expansion of social and civil rights, passing a national gay marriage law, a “universal” subsidy for children, social security benefits for retired housewives, and other social programs.
Both Kirchners revitalized the role of the State as a fundamental institution for economic development, and to keep powerful actors in check. Economic performance between 2003 and 2009 was very good, with high growth rates, employment creation, and overall improvement in social indicators. These factors and a combative, generally progressive rhetoric gained them support from broad sectors of the population.
However, there were aspects of the Kirchner administrations, especially CFK’s, which impacted negatively on public opinion. When inflation began to increase in 2006, rather than trying to diagnose it and effectively deal with it, the Kirchners chose to gut the national statistics agency, producing data to their liking but quite unrelated to reality. As a result, Argentina was left without credible official data on the economy, employment, poverty, etc., and an annual inflation rate above 20% between 2007 and 2015. High inflation, an inconsistent exchange rate policy, and a decreasing trade surplus led to increasing capital flight and eventually the imposition of exchange controls (people were not allowed to freely purchase foreign currency), leaving people few legal options to safeguard any savings from inflation. These factors, together with a slowing economy since 2011, resulted in an increasing erosion of support for CFK. Her combative rhetoric, considered divisive by many, and multiple weekly national addresses drove many voters to vote for a “change”.
Macri’s Campaign–Promises of Change
Like the Kirchners, Macri too is a product of the massive Argentine 2001-2002 crisis. However, rather than adopting an explicitly ideological political rhetoric, he adopted the “anti-politics” or “outsider” approach. As a two term mayor of the City of Buenos Aires (2007-2011 and 2011-2015), Macri always campaigned as the political outsider, with a private sector background, whose only interest was to improve people’s quality of life. The way to do this was solving problems with technical efficiently, avoiding unnecessary and inefficient political discussions. (Whether after eight years in office as mayor of the City of Buenos Aires he really qualifies as an outsider is subject to debate, however, that continues to be a part of his strategy which people, apparently, buy.)
For many, this non-confrontational, technocratic style was a breath of fresh air compared to CFK’s combative and ideological discourse. Macri’s presidential campaign centered on a few relatively empty slogans about uniting Argentines, “returning to the world” (i.e. financial markets), ending exchange restrictions, fighting inflation and, surprisingly for a right wing candidate, ending poverty (pobreza cero). Macri also cleverly stated that his intention was to continue the good things of the Kirchner governments and review those that needed improvement—in other words, one should expect a fair amount of continuity.
Macri’s economic team was instructed to curtail public statements during the campaign, since their policy proposals would likely scare voters away. Still, from what little they did say it was clear that there would be an orthodox, pro-austerity turn. Macri’s economists promised inflation targeting, a floating exchange rate, and an independent central bank—all standard IMF-promoted policies around the world. In addition, they spoke in favor of free trade agreements, re-aligning Argentina’s foreign policy with that of the US (and away from other center-left Latin American countries). In other words, they clearly favored a return to free-market policies, to international financial markets, debt accumulation, etc.
The First 100 Days–Wall Street In Charge (Again)
Macri took office on December 10, 2015 and very quickly went to work on his version of “change.” He took a number of bold steps during his first 100 days in power, steps that in clearly differentiate his administration from those of the last 12 years. Macri’s economics team is made up of ultra-neoliberal economists, former international bank execs, and former transnational corporation CEOs. Such is the corporate bias in Macri’s economics cabinet, that some in the press have dubbed his government a CEOcracy, the government of the CEOs. Blumberg.com went even further—a March 8, 2016 article proclaimed: “Wall Street is in charge in Argentina (again)”.
The policies so far implemented tend to confirm this:
Very early on Macri’s economics team eliminated the exchange restrictions, liberating the foreign exchange market from the controls it had had for the last four years. Liberating the exchange market, however, resulted in a 40% currency devaluation and, consequently, a spike in inflation. During Macri’s first 100 days in office inflation was approximately 12%. Inflation is problematic because it erodes purchasing power of workers on fixed income providing windfall profits to exporters.
Export tax elimination.
Another policy implemented by Macri shortly after taking office was the elimination of export taxes on all agricultural exports except soya, and some minerals (such as gold). Export taxes were implemented in the aftermath of the 2001-2002 crisis after a major currency devaluation. Export taxes are important in a country like Argentina that exports primary products, many of which are locally consumed. First, it de-links domestic prices from world prices, reducing the impact of a devaluation on local prices and product availability. Second, it puts a cap on export sector profits, transferring a part to the state (which in turn can use those funds for public programs). The elimination of these subsidies fed into the inflation caused by the devaluation and provided an additional boost to export-sector profits.
The removal of exchange controls was the first move in the implementation of an inflation targeting monetary policy and, eventually, a freely floating exchange rate. This is the policy framework promoted by the IMF and the US Treasury, which focuses exclusively on keeping inflation as low as possible, ignoring other policy objectives such as high levels of employment, economic development and income distribution. So far, the result has been very high interest rates (38% in pesos and 20% in US dollars), providing windfall profits for the banking sector, a deepening of the economic slowdown and no effect on inflation.
Massive public sector layoffs.
During his presidential campaign, Macri repeatedly promised that no state worker who was actually working needed to worry about losing their job. However, his actions from his first day in office show that his campaign promises were empty words. Spearheaded by the newly created State Modernization Ministry, many thousands of state workers have been fired. According to one organization that tracks layoffs, by March 18, 2016 almost 32,000 public-sector workers had lost their jobs at all levels of government. It is expected that many more layoffs will come as contracts come up for renewal throughout the year. Despite a resounding lack of historical evidence that a minimalist State ever led to economic development, Macri and his team of CEOs believe that the State should be as small as possible and not intervene in the economy, since the “market knows best.” In this way, Macri has begun to dismantle key State productive enterprises revitalized during the Kirchner years.
Surrender to vulture funds (and Wall Street). In 2012, when Judge Griesa of the New York District Court issued an outrageous ruling in favor of the vulture funds—a ruling that was upheld by the appeals court and the US Supreme Court—Macri, then mayor of the City of Buenos Aires, said that he believed one had to comply and pay up. In this way, he took distance from CFK’s more combative, non-compliance stance. As president, Macri rapidly set in motion negotiations to pay off the vulture funds and remaining defaulted bond-holders (known as hold-outs). An agreement was met, which looks a lot more like a capitulation, which will require issuing bonds for $12 billion, a 10% increase in the stock of Argentina’s dollar-denominated public debt. However, to be able to pay off the vultures the Argentine Congress needs to repeal two laws that currently prohibit such payments. In order to get the needed congressional votes, Macri used scare tactics saying that if Congress didn’t repeal the laws, the country would fall into hyperinflation. In other words: “vultures or hyperinflation,” a dramatic discourse change from CFK’s “homeland or vultures.”
Free trade and unilateral alignment with US. Macri explicitly campaigned on what he called “returning to the world” (volver al mundo), which essentially means returning to neoliberalism, free trade and an explicit alignment with US economic and foreign policy interests. Macri’s economic policy initiatives, vulture fund capitulation, and returning to IMF tutelage are indicators of what “returning to the world” means. However, the clearest example of Argentina’s new stance in the world was the visit by US President Barak Obama on March 23-24. President Obama praised Marci’s economic policies and set him as an example for Latin America. The agreements signed between the two presidents cater to a broad range of US interests, including security, the war on drugs, intellectual property rights, and free trade.
Argentina’s shift to neoliberalism and unconditional alignment with the US are viewed with concern by those who remember the country’s experience during the 1990s and the massive 2001-2002 crisis. Macri’s policies so far (especially the devaluation and export-tax elimination) have resulted in the greatest transfer of income from working people to banks and exporters in decades. Furthermore, public sector layoffs, when added to substantial private sector layoffs and a recessionary macroeconomic policy framework are resulting in a deepening economic slowdown.
Macri’s alignment with the US is also a clear break with the Kirchner’s policies of strengthening regional political and commercial ties. The Kirchner’s were clearly aligned with Venezuela (Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro), Ecuador (Rafael Correa), Bolivia (Evo Morales) and Brazil (Lula da Silva and Dilma Rouseff) and against the US security and free trade agenda. Those days are over, at least while Macri is in office. It is unclear what direction MERCOSUR (the Southern Cone regional trade block) will take, but Chávez’s and Lula’s regional political initiatives, ALBA and UNASUR, are no longer priorities for Argentina under Macri.
Argentina continues to be caught in what the late economist Aldo Ferrer, and Marcelo Diamand before him, called the Argentine pendulum: since the end of World War II, Argentina swings endlessly between expansionist/populist and neoliberal regimes. Each phase has its period of expansion and crisis, leading to the next. After twelve years of expansionist/populist Kirchnerismo, Argentina is now headed to neoliberalism once again. If the pendulum continues its trajectory, and if past neoliberal cycles are an indication, the future is not a bright one.
If there is a sign of hope, it is that workers and the poor have a substantial degree of organization after twelve years of kirchnerismo. On February 24th public sector workers went on strike and there was huge mobilization to Plaza de Mayo, the historic site of many protests across from the Pink House (the seat of the executive branch of government). On March 24th, the 40th anniversary of the military coup, a massive demonstration filled Plaza de Mayo and the streets around for many blocks. Unions, political and social organizations flocked massively to the Plaza in remembrance, but also to protest Obama’s presence and Macri’s neoliberal policies. Time will tell if Macri’s opposition is able organize an electoral alternative before the next crisis hits.
It was the revolutions of 1700s in Europe and US and with that social Democracy taking people from this extreme wealth and extreme poverty with religion simply tied to the 1% to that of religious freedoms and people as those having power within their individual religious institutions. Even the Catholic Church with those strongest ties to the 1% became more liberal in seeing people as citizens with rights and not subjects to the rich. The public sector and separation of church and state allowed citizens that space to have that power as citizen---with the church mission tied more closely to those citizen members.
No one knows better than our religious leadership how American democratic and US Constitutional rights as citizens protect and empower people from the injustice of those few seeking extreme wealth and power-----and they know today's CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA march to ONE WORLD GLOBAL CORPORATE TRIBUNAL RULE has brutality and injustice as a goal.
WHY WOULD RELIGIOUS LEADERS PARTNER IN BREAKING DOWN PUBLIC EDUCATION AND SCHOOLS KNOWING THIS AUTHORITARIAN 1% GOAL?
I turn to Dante not because the Catholic Church has dibs on far-right repressive orders that tie with the 1% because all religions do---I reach for Dante because he is known worldwide as a writer having best identified and described this problem for REAL religious citizens.
Just looking at the titles ascribed to Dante's level just for what we have today in the US------allows anyone to see what Dante had back then is what we have today and this Circle 8 deals with Dante's religious and political leaders he knew were all corrupt for their own personal gain----THE PRAGMATIC NILISTS of the DARK AGES. I like that Dante placed these SINNERS at the bottom of the levels of Hades-----
Circle 8, subcircles 1-6, cantos 18-23
Fraud: Pimping and Seducing (18), Flattery (18), Simony (19), Sorcery (20), Political Corruption (21-2), Hypocrisy (23)
Jason (18), Pope Nicholas III (19), Malebranche (21-2), Ciampolo (22), Caiaphas (23)
Malebolge (18), Simon Magus (19), Pope Boniface VIII (19), Pope Clement V (19), Donation of Constantine (19), Mantua (20), Harrowing of Hell (21)
Fraud: Pimping and Seducing (18), Flattery (18), Simony (19), Sorcery (20), Political Corruption (21-2), Hypocrisy (23)
The offenses of circles 8 and 9--the lowest two circles of hell--all fall under the rubric of fraud, a form of malice--as Virgil explains in Inferno 11.22-7--unique to human beings and therefore more displeasing to God than sins of concupiscence and violence. While all versions of fraud involve the malicious use of reason, circles 8 and 9 are distinguished from one another according to the offender's relationship to his or her victim: those who victimize someone with whom they share a special bond of trust (relatives, political / civic comrades, guests, benefactors) are punished in the lowest circle; if there exists no bond besides the "natural" one common to all humanity, the guilty soul suffers in one of the ten concentric ditches that constitute circle 8.
Physically connected by bridges, the ditches of circle 8 contain fraudulent shades whose particular vices and actions similarly serve to interconnect the cantos and their themes in this part of the poem. Thus the pimps and seducers, whipped by horned demons in the first ditch, relate to the flatterers--disgustingly dipped in the excrement of the second ditch--through the sexualized figure of Thais, a prostitute from the classical tradition who falsely praises her "lover" (Inf. 18.127-35). These first two ditches are presented in a single canto (18). Images of degraded sexuality are even more prominent in the next canto (19). Here Dante presents simony--the abuse of power within the church--as a form of spiritual prostitution, fornication, and rape (Inf. 19.1-4; 55-7; 106-11), a perversion of the holy matrimony conventionally posited between Christ (groom) and the church (bride). Simon Magus, the man for whom simony is named (Inf. 19.1), was himself a magician or sorcerer, the profession of those punished in the fourth ditch (canto 20). Simony and Sorcery are further linked through biographical declarations--by Dante and Virgil, respectively--aimed at separating truth from falsehood: Dante sets the record straight when he announces that he shattered a marble baptismal basin to prevent someone from drowning in it (Inf. 19.19-21); and Virgil is equally emphatic that his native city, Mantua, was named after the prophetess Manto with no recourse to such dubious rituals as casting lots or interpreting signs (Inf. 20.91-3; 97-9). Political corruption (fifth ditch), the crime for which Dante himself was falsely charged when he was forced into exile, links back to similar abuses within the church (simony) and points ahead to the sin of hypocrisy. The longest single episode of the Inferno, launched when Virgil confidently believes the promise of the devils guarding the fifth ditch, concludes when the travelers make a narrow escape into the sixth ditch and Virgil learns from a hypocrite that he has been duped (Inf. 23.133-48). Dante adorns the hypocrites in religious garb--hooded cloaks similar to the elegant ones worn by the Benedictine monks at Cluny (in France)--in accordance with the biblical condemnation of false piety: just as Jesus compares hypocritical scribes and Pharisees to tombs that appear clean and beautiful on the outside while containing bones of the dead (Matthew 23:27), so the bright golden cloaks of Dante's hypocrites conceal heavy lead on the inside (Inf. 23.64-6).
Pope Nicholas III (19)
Nicholas is the simonist pope who, because he is upside down in a hole, mistakenly believes Dante to be Pope Boniface VIII, somehow present in the third pit several years before his time (Inf. 19.52-7). When the confusion is cleared up, Nicholas informs Dante that he foresees the damnation (for simony) of not only Boniface VIII but Pope Clement V as well. Born into the powerful Orsini family of Rome, Giovanni Gaetano was appointed head of the Inquisition (1262) before being elected pope--taking the name Nicholas--in 1277. Nicholas expanded papal political control by adding parts of Romagna, as far north as Bologna and Ferrara, and he forged a compromise in the Franciscan movement between the moderates and the radical spiritualists. He was known, on the one hand, for his high moral standards and care for the poor, and on the other for his shameless nepotism (derived from the Italian word--nipote--for nephew, niece, and grandchild): Nicholas himself states that he was guilty of favoring the "cubs" in his family (Orsini, the family name, translates to "little bears"; Inf. 19.70-2)--he in fact filled positions for three new cardinals with relatives and appointed other relatives to high posts in the papal state. Nicholas died in 1280 and was buried in St. Peter's in Rome.
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Dante invents this name--"Evil Claws"--for the devils of the fifth ditch who bring to hell and torment the shades of corrupt political officials and employees (Inf. 21.29-42). Like the velociraptors of Jurassic Park, these demonic creatures are agile, smart, and fierce. Armed with long hooks, the Malebranche keep the shades under the surface of the black pitch, similar to how cooks use sharp implements to push chunks of meat down into cauldrons (21.55-7). Consistent with the political theme of the episode, it is likely that Dante mischievously combines history and fantasy in coining names for individual demons-- "Bad Dog", "Sneering Dragon", "Curly Beard", and so on--based on actual family names of civic leaders in Florence and surrounding towns. As the narrator says, "with saints in church, with guzzlers in the tavern!" (Inf. 22.14-15).
Malacoda, the leader of the demons, may not be based on any particular person but his name--"Evil Tail"--strongly suggests that it is he (and not Barbariccia, as the Mandelbaum translation supposes) who sends off his troops by making "a bugle of his ass" (21.139).
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Ciampolo (an Italianized version of Jean-Paul), according to the early commentators, is the name of the Navarrese who is tortured by the Malebranche in the fifth pit (political corruption) before a clever escape: he promises to summon his peers to the surface but then jumps back into the black pitch as soon as the Malebranche back off (Inf. 22.31-123). Nothing else is known of this character beyond what Dante provides in the poem. Navarre was a small kingdom in the south of France (in the Pyrenees), and the "good King Thibault" in whose service Ciampolo took bribes (Inf. 22.52-4) was probably Thibault II (King of Navarre from 1255-70).
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Caiaphas is the high priest of Jerusalem who, according to Christian scripture, advises a council of chief priests and Pharisees that it is expedient that "one man should die for the people" so that "the whole nation perish not" (John 11:50). Considering this proclaimed interest in the welfare of his people to be false and self-serving, Dante places Caiaphas among the hypocrites in the sixth pit, with an added contrapasso: because Caiaphas and other members of the council (including Caiaphas' father-in-law, Annas) supposedly called on the Romans to crucify Jesus (John 18:12-40; 19:1-18), they are now themselves crucified to the floor of the pit (Inf. 23.109-20). Here Dante endorses the repugnant view of Jesus' crucifixion as justification for the persecution of Jews (Inf. 23.121-3).
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This is the name Dante gives to circle 8, which consists of ten concentric ravines or ditches: male means "evil" and bolgia is a Tuscan dialect word for "purse" or "pouch." Malebolge therefore translates to "Evil Pouches." Dante describes the overall structure of circle 8--similar to moats (with connecting bridges) around a castle--in Inferno 18.1-18, even before the travelers pass through the region. Dante likely saw the layout of the entire Malebolge when he descended aboard Geryon from circle 7 to circle 8 (Inf. 17.115-26).
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Simon Magus (19)
Simon Magus, the original simonist (Inf. 19.1), is described in the Bible as a man from Samaria famous for his magical powers (magus means wizard or magician). Recently converted and baptized, Simon is so impressed with the ability of the apostles Peter and John to confer the Holy Spirit (through the laying on of hands) that he offers them money to obtain and practice this power himself; Peter angrily denounces Simon for even thinking this gift could be bought (Acts 8:9-24). An apocryphal book, Acts of Peter, tells of a magic contest between the apostle and Simon, now the magician of the emperor Nero in Rome. When Simon--with the aid of a demon--proceeds to fly, Peter crosses himself and Simon crashes to the ground.
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Pope Boniface VIII
Boniface, for Dante, is personal and public enemy number one. Benedetto Caetani, a talented and ambitious scholar of canon law, rose quickly through the ranks of the church and was elected pope, as Boniface VIII, soon after the abdication of Pope Celestine V in 1294. (There were rumors that Boniface had intimidated Celestine into abdicating so he could become pope himself.) Boniface's pontificate was marked by a consolidation and expansion of church power, based on the view--expressed in a papal bull (Unam sanctam)--that the pope was not only the spiritual head of Christendom but also superior to the emperor in the secular, temporal realm. Dante, by contrast, firmly held that the pope and emperor should be co-equals with a balance of power between the pope's spiritual authority and the emperor's secular authority. Boniface's political ambitions directly affected Dante when the pope--under the false pretense of peace-making--sent Charles of Valois, a French prince, to Florence; Charles' intervention allowed the black guelphs to overthrow the ruling white guelphs, whose leaders--including Dante, in Rome at the time to argue Florence's case before Boniface--were sentenced to exile. Dante now settles his score with Boniface in the Divine Comedy by damning the pope even before his death in 1303 (the journey takes place in 1300): in the pit of the simonists, Pope Nicholas III, who can see the future (like all the damned), mistakenly assumes that Dante is Boniface come before his time (Inf. 19.49-63).
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Pope Clement V (19)
Pope Nicholas III, the simonist pope who mistakes Dante for Pope Boniface VIII, foresees the arrival of another simonist--even "uglier in deeds" (Inf. 19.82)--who will stuff Nicholas and Boniface farther down in the hole when he takes his place upside down with his legs and feet in view. This "lawless shepherd from the west" (83) is Bertrand de Got, a French archbishop who owed his election to the papacy in 1305, as Pope Clement V, to King Philip IV of France, similar to how Jason--a figure in the Bible (2 Maccabees 4:7-26)--became High Priest by bribing King Antiochus (85-7). In return for this support, Clement moved the Papal See from Rome to Avignon (in southern France) in 1309, an action so abhorrent to many (Dante for sure) that it came to be known as the "Babylonian Captivity." This situation lasted until 1377, after which there were sometimes two popes (or pope and anti-pope, according to one's perspective), one each in Rome and France. The "Great Schism" ended in 1417 with the definitive return of the papacy to Rome.
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Donation of Constantine (19)
It was believed in the late Middle Ages that Constantine, the first Christian emperor (288-337 C.E.), transferred political control of Italy (and other parts of the West) to the church when he moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Byzantium--hence "Constantinople"--in the East. Legend held that Constantine gave this gift to Pope Sylvester I, whose baptism of the emperor had cured him of leprosy. Dante, who thought the world better served with political power in the hands of the emperor, bitterly blamed this event for the dire consequences of a wealthy papacy (Inf. 19.115-7). The document that authorized this transfer of power--popularly called the "Donation of Constantine"--was proved by Lorenzo Valla in the fifteenth century to be a fake, probably written in the papal court or in France several centuries after Constantine's death.
What does all this have to do with Baltimore's public school system disappearing in the midst of total privatization to a corporate charter structure tied to global corporate campuses and global factories we know will enslave and bring third world brutal living conditions to a stable, democratic, freedom-loving America?
This battle in the US over public financing of private schools including religious schools have as I said been ongoing. All citizens pay taxes and public schools receive tax funding so the argument has been it should go to all kinds of schools. Our Federal tax revenue has always gone to public schools because spending Federal tax revenue comes with equity and opportunity. Citizens advocating for privatizing our public schools and with that public funding see as their right to SCHOOL CHOICE will not end that way. The citizens paying the most in taxes will be those 90% in the worst of education conditions. Besides that inequity------a thousand years of history has shown when government funds religion it almost always leads to AN END TO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM because---as Maryland Governor Hogan states with his decision to create funds for private school funding has done---CREATING A COMMITTEE WHO DECIDES HOW THOSE FUNDS ARE DISTRIBUTED. There goes equity and opportunity and here comes the same cronyism that fills Maryland and Baltimore. We already know there will be winners and losers----and folks should be able to look beyond today to see the abuses such policies will bring. As likely, setting aside special funds for private schooling will ultimately END as soon as the DEREGULATION OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOL STRUCTURE -----WHICH IS THE GOAL-----and these religious leaders lining up for public funds already know this.
BELOW YOU SEE ONE CASE OF HOW THIS BECOMES A SLIPPERY SLOPE AND VOILA------ONE OR NO RELIGION BECOMES THE END PRODUCT.
One can just see the writing on the wall----OH WELL---we will just privatize K-12 to solve this problem of religious discrimination. It would not take long to occur. That would end both public schools and religious schools and send all to global corporate campus schools being the goal of 1% Wall Street.
Israeli Christian schools strike to protest cuts in public funding
By Michele Chabin | September 8, 2015
Christian Scouts lead the rallying cry for equality during a demonstration demanding higher government funding for Israel's Christian schools on September 6, 2015.
Religion News Service photo by Michele Chabin
An ongoing strike over reduced government funding to Israel’s 47 Christian schools has kept 33,000 Christian and Muslim students home for a week. Teachers, students and parents held a rally outside the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem on September 6, 2015. Religion News Service photo by Michele Chabin
JERUSALEM (RNS) Israel’s 47 Christian schools are entering the second week of an open-ended strike to protest ongoing cuts in government allocations, which they attribute to government discrimination against minority religious groups.
The schools, 40 of them Catholic, teach 33,000 Christian and Muslim Arab students in central and northern Israel.
Officials from various Christian denominations called the strike on Aug. 31, after nearly two years of negotiations with the Ministry of Education failed to convince the government to reinstate the funding it has withdrawn from the country’s semi-private schools during the past six years.
That funding once covered up to 75 percent of the schools’ operating costs. Today that number has dropped to 29 percent, according to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Christian Scouts lead the rallying cry for equality during a demonstration demanding higher government funding for Israel’s Christian schools on September 6, 2015. Religion News Service photo by Michele Chabin
On Sunday (Sept. 6) thousands of parents, students and teachers demonstrated opposite the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem to demand the same level of funding the government provides to two ultra-Orthodox Jewish school networks that, like the Christian schools, are not part of the public school system.
On Monday, 450,000 Arab students in non-Christian public schools held a one-day solidarity strike.
Israel’s Jewish schools are backed by ultra-Orthodox political parties in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sliver-thin coalition government. Without the parties’ support, the government would fall, resulting in new elections.
Our children are Israeli and should have the same rights,” said the Rev. Abdel Masih, general director of Catholic Schools in Israel.
Wadie Abunassar, an adviser to the Catholic Church, said the Christian school budgeting crisis is part of the Israeli government’s “systematic discrimination” toward the country’s minorities. Christians comprise just 2 percent of the Israeli population while Muslims comprise roughly 20 percent.
“This is not acceptable in a country which claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East,” Abunassar said.
The Ministry of Education said in a statement that Christian schools “are supported equally, the way other unofficial but recognized institutions are supported” and that it is holding “ongoing meetings with representatives of the Christian educational institutions.”
During the past six years government budget cuts have hurt semi-private schools, known as “unofficial but recognized schools,” by greatly decreasing funding for their operating expenses. The Education Ministry also capped tuition fees.
During negotiations the Christian schools rejected the ministry’s suggestion to become “special schools” — a status that would permit them to charge higher tuition but not receive additional government funding — “because this will put a heavy load on the parents,” the Office of Catholic schools said in an Aug. 31 statement. Becoming public schools would mean a loss of autonomy, the officials said.
Not only the threat of discriminatory competition BETWEEN RELIGIOUS institutions but then all that civil rights and civil liberties we all know will arise and for which SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE became a founding father precedent. At a time when no Federal enforcement of law-----no oversight and accountability exists at Federal or state level-----the abuses will flare. What choices does a citizen in a community with no public school have if the only K-12 is Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist? This policy sold under creating CHOICE will have parents moving their children all over the place seeking the school to which they relate.
The immediate goal of these privatization plans is to segregate according to religion community schools and by placing a particular religious school in a particular area of a city like Baltimore we have new citizens moving to those communities. This is the immediate goal. The very near future will have those populations moving to a community then seeing those religious schools closing and global corporate campuses being the only source of schooling.
All of this will happen very quickly as this coming decade sees the installation of US International Economic Zone structures like global corporate campuses, corporate campus worker housing, all becoming that non-profit WRAP-AROUND service about which Wall Street global pols are always POSING PROGRESSIVE.
Most people can see this progression and we must think what is more important? Segregating because of race and class issues today or ONE WORLD GLOBAL CORPORATE RULE WITH NO RIGHTS AS CITIZENS, NO FREEDOM OR LIBERTY, AND NO RELIGIOUS TIME BECAUSE YOU ARE WORKING 15-18 HOURS A DAY 6 DAYS A WEEK.
Using Religion to Discriminate
With increasing frequency, we are seeing individuals and institutions claiming a right to discriminate – by refusing to provide services to women and LGBT people – based on religious objections. The discrimination takes many forms, including:
- Religiously affiliated schools firing women because they became pregnant while not married;
- Business owners refusing to provide insurance coverage for contraception for their employees;
- Graduate students, training to be social workers, refusing to counsel gay people;
- Pharmacies turning away women seeking to fill birth control prescriptions;
- Bridal salons, photo studios, and reception halls closing their doors to same-sex couples planning their weddings.
Instances of institutions and individuals claiming a right to discriminate in the name of religion aren’t new. In the 1960s, we saw institutions object to laws requiring integration in restaurants because of sincerely held beliefs that God wanted the races to be separate. We saw religiously affiliated universities refuse to admit students who engaged in interracial dating. In those cases, we recognized that requiring integration was not about violating religious liberty; it was about ensuring fairness. It is no different today.
Religious freedom in America means that we all have a right to our religious beliefs, but this does not give us the right to use our religion to discriminate against and impose those beliefs on others who do not share them.
Through litigation, advocacy and public education, the ACLU works to defend religious liberty and to ensure that no one is either discriminated against nor denied services because of someone else’s religious beliefs.
Using Religion to Discriminate Against Women
In medical care
Across the country, we are seeing hospitals, insurance companies, pharmacies, and other health care entities discriminate against women by denying basic care – like birth control, emergency contraception, and abortion – in the name of religion. Many of these institutions receive taxpayer funding. The ACLU works to ensure that women are not denied information and the health care they need because of the religious views of their health care providers.
- Challenges to the Federal Contraceptive Coverage Rule
- Promoting Equality: An Analysis of the Federal Contraceptive Coverage Rule
- Birth control court cases (blog)
- Morr-Fitz v. Blagojevich
- ACLU of Massachusetts v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al.
We have seen a recent spate of cases in which religiously affiliated schools have fired women for getting pregnant while single or for using IVF. These cases are suggestive of a past when women were routinely pushed out of the workplace because of pregnancy. Such discrimination is now illegal, even if religiously motivated.
- Fired for My Family (blog)
- Religion isn't a Free Pass to Discriminate Against Employees (blog)
- Inside Out and Pregnancy Discrimination
In many states, businesses are barred by law from discriminating against customers based on their sexual orientation, as well as based on race, religion, or other legally protected categories. Increasingly, we see business owners claiming that they do not have to follow these laws but can instead refuse to provide services – including lodging, wedding dresses, and photography services – because the owners object to same-sex relationships. In addition, we see social service organizations that receive government funding deny services to same-sex couples. Everyone is entitled to their own religious beliefs, but when you operate a business or run a publicly funded social service agency open to the public, those beliefs do not give you a right to discriminate.
- Craig and Mullins v. Masterpiece Cakeshop
- Ingersoll v. Alrene's Flowers
- Will We Sanction Discrimination?: Can 'Heterosexuals Only' Be Among the Signs of Today? (UCLA Law Review Essay)
- Elane Photography, LLC v. Vanessa Willock
- Baker and Linsley v. Wildflower Inn
- Wathen v. Beall Mansion Bed and Breakfast
- Catholic Charities v. DCFS
- Masterpiece Cakeshop
- Marriage Licenses
In medical care
The ACLU has seen instances of students training to become mental health professionals and medical practices that have refused to treat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. While we’re all entitled to our own religious beliefs, licensed medical providers should adhere to professional standards and not use their religion to discriminate against clients who come to them for help.
It is very disturbing when a national corporate non-profit then says a school must partner with a religious institution in order to receive funding. This coming economic crash will see conditions of Federal, state, and local governments tied to systemic BOND MARKET FRAUD-----say they can no longer fund public schools and this will be the model for all public schools----tying these buildings to first that corporate donor and then that religious donor. It will take no time to eliminate that religious donor as global corporate campuses do not like MORALITY, ETHICS, OR RULE OF LAW------WHAT RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION PARTNERS WITH THOSE BELIEFS?
'The United Way of Greater Cleveland President Bill Kitson said if any school district expects taxpayer dollars for their program, “You must include a faith-based partner.”
'It is that government fear of theocrats that empowered Ohio Governor Kasich to force public schools to “partner with” churches to qualify for taxpayer dollars for public schools; or in Ohio’s case, corporate Christian madrassas'.
Republican Kasich Forces Public Schools To Partner with Religion Or Lose Taxpayer Funding
By Rmuse on Tue, Dec 16th, 2014 at 8:51 pm
American children, and their parents for that matter, should be thankful they live in a nation that prohibits religious indoctrination in the public school system. In many Islamic countries, the government forces religious instruction on every student using taxpayer money that is just the price those poor people pay for living in a harsh theocracy controlled by religious extremists.
Of course, the religious leaders in countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and many others assert that “faith plays an important role in shaping the lives of young people,” and their justification for forcing religion on students is because “god has a purpose for each and every one of them (students) and we’re helping them find it.” That is the case in wide swathes of Syria and Iraq where the Islamic State (ISIS) closed down “infidel schools” and forced teachers to undergo religious instruction training or lose funding, and likely their lives, unless they learn to teach religious extremism. Many Americans are likely thinking, “thank dog we live in America where that kind of religious edict is illegal and un-constitutional,” but they would be wrong in thinking America is not on pace to become a harsh religious theocracy.
Obviously, there are Christian extremists in America who believe, like the Islamic State extremists, that it is the government’s duty to force religious instruction on public schools, and this week, Ohio Governor John Kasich made that “religious extremist duty” mandatory in Ohio. Kasich issued a statement through a spokesman informing Ohio schools that if they fail to align with Christian organizations, they will lose funding. It should disabuse any American of the idea that this sad country is exceptional; unless they consider theocracy a la ISIS exceptional.
A new mentoring program funded with taxpayer dollars requires ALL Ohio school districts to become partners with a faith-based organization (church) and a corporation in order to have access to the public school money. The initiative is the brain-child of religious Republican Governor John Kasich and provides funding to mentor at-risk students, but only if the schools allow a church and corporation to control the program. According to the initiative, “failure to incorporate a faith-based non-profit (Christian church) will eliminate a school district’s eligibility for the taxpayer funding.”
When asked why Kasich is forcing public schools to spend taxpayer money for incorporating religion in schools, his spokesman said, “The governor believes faith-based organizations play an important role in the lives of young people. The Good Lord has a purpose for each and every one of them and we’re helping them to find it.” And, any Ohio district that thinks for a second that using taxpayer dollars to insert religion in public schools is wrong will not get funding. ISIS leaders would be proud of Kasich because there are no exceptions according to one of Kasich’s theocratic advisors. The United Way of Greater Cleveland President Bill Kitson said if any school district expects taxpayer dollars for their program, “You must include a faith-based partner.”
Another one of Kasich’s theocratic underlings, and senior policy analyst for the Ohio Department of Education, Buddy Harris, broke the good news to a gathering of church representatives that they are now firmly entrenched in, and will soon control, public education. He said that any school district’s application for taxpayer money must include a corporation and place of worship in its partnership. According to Harris, any “partnership” that dares exclude a faith-based group (church) will not qualify for public school tax dollars because “faith is clearly at the heart of the vision of the governor.” Translation; religion runs the program with corporations, and schools are subject to oversight of the “senior partners.”
Kasich’s theocratic initiative is part and parcel of the religious right fundamentalists’ “Onward Christian Soldier” campaign to eradicate “deviant schools and replace them with institutions that will propagate Christian family values by issuing government edicts that all education will be handed over to the church,” and funded with taxpayer dollars. It is now the law in Ohio that joins several other religious Republican states using taxpayer dollars for public schools for Christian religious instruction in private, charter, and public schools.
Sadly, since the Vatican-5 on the Supreme Court deconstructed and demolished the Establishment, Separation, and Free Exercise clauses in the First Amendment, there is little redress for any American opposed to their child suffering religious indoctrination against their will. Despite the, soon to be abolished, provision that public school dollars could not be used to pay churches to control curriculum and indoctrinate students, Republican governors and legislatures across the nation are violating the provision with impunity. Like the Internal Revenue Service’s abject fear of challenging evangelical clergy violating their 501 c tax-exempt status by campaigning from the pulpit, the Department of Justice, state and federal, are terrified of enforcing the law because of the unwritten mortal sin prohibiting challenging evangelical Christians.
In states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, to name but a few, Republicans are blatantly funneling public school money into religious instruction with impunity. In Louisiana, for example, the State Supreme Court ruled that religious Governor Bobby Jindal’s scheme of diverting public school funding to private religious schools is “unconstitutional and violates the Louisiana Constitution.” However, since Jindal refuses to acknowledge that the state, or federal, Constitution has supremacy over theocratic edicts, the taxpayer dollars continue flowing freely for religious instruction.
In fact, across America, taxpayers are spending over $1 billion on religious instruction in public charter schools alone with no government accountability due to the official terror of violating that despicable “unwritten mortal sin.” It is that government fear of theocrats that empowered Ohio Governor Kasich to force public schools to “partner with” churches to qualify for taxpayer dollars for public schools; or in Ohio’s case, corporate Christian madrassas.
If any American believed this nation is not rushing toward an ISIS-like theocracy, with apparent government support, they have been in a coma. Kasich’s move is the most blatant sign to date that the U.S. Constitution, or Founders’ intent, prohibiting religious control of the government or public education was a nice idea that will likely be as extinct as secular schools are in Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan.
Below you see exactly how these 1% Wall Street authoritarians think-----if they do assign a major religion as their partner-----it always ties that church leader to working for the benefit of that authoritarian regime. As this article tells most movement towards a MAOIST-style militaristic authoritarianism starts with keeping religion out as people are RE-EDUCATED and societal structures changed----with later considerations of bringing back religion afterwards......the ANTI-FORMALISM of religion.
Since these are historical patterns known to our national religious leaders it would be their mission to disengage with the 1% global corporate crew.
'And so from that regard, rulers are very interested:
“Okay, if we can co-opt the power of this religious organization we’ll go ahead and do it. We’ll keep out your competitors. We’ll keep funding you. If you need funding, that’s great. Just give us ideological legitimation and/or you keep your people from organizing and rebelling against us.”
Why authoritarian regimes support religion
By Tobin Grant | January 6, 2014
Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro. Source: Jean-Baptiste Dodane. Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/27998473@N02/9629973934
Depending on how you measure it, the largest Catholic church building in the world isn’t St. Peters in Rome. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest church is Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire (video below). The impressive structure was built and paid for in the 1980s by the country’s authoritarian president Félix Houphouët-Boigny.
The structure features the the largest stained glass window in the world. To placate other religions, Houphouët-Boigny also built the Grand Mosque and the Protestant Temple in his capital.
Why do authoritarian regimes bother to fund and support religion?
[/tweetable] This is one of the many questions University of Washington political economist Tony Gill in an EconTalk podcast released today. The podcast is a great primer on how economists view religion and religious liberty.
During the interview, EconTalk host Russ Roberts asked Gill why authoritarian states would tolerate churches and other religious groups whose moral authority could compete against the regime’s claim to legitimacy. Gill’s response in a nutshell:
[tweetable]Authoritarian regimes fund religion because it’s cheaper to pay off religion than to squash it.[/tweetable]
Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro. Source: Jean-Baptiste Dodane. Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/27998473@N02/9629973934
Here’s a snippet from the full interview (it’s worth listening to the full hour podcast here).
Gill: …[churches and other religious movements] are able to mobilize people, to get people to act upon their beliefs. And this becomes a big threat to political rulers. So, [religion] is another source of authority; they have a set of rules and behavioral norms that they adhere to.
“And if this is used against us,” [the rulers might say] “well that could threaten our number one priority which is to get up tomorrow morning and make sure that we’re still in office.”
And so from that regard, rulers are very interested:
“Okay, if we can co-opt the power of this religious organization we’ll go ahead and do it. We’ll keep out your competitors. We’ll keep funding you. If you need funding, that’s great. Just give us ideological legitimation and/or you keep your people from organizing and rebelling against us.”
Russ: That’s a great point. It really is–if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. And joining ’em can be cheaper than beating ’em. That’s a great way to think about it.
Gill: Exactly…if there’s ever a change in leadership it would seem that the rational strategy would just be: go to the Church and renegotiate the deal, saying, “Here it is: the old rulers–we put them in prison or hung them, and we’re the new ones in charge, so we’ll keep away your competitors and keep funding you.”
The question though is: to what extent the church can offer a credible commitment in supporting that regime?
And in the case of the Soviet Union, the Russian Orthodox Church was so tied to the Czars that folks like Lenin (with a very rapid change in leadership) would say, “well, I don’t know if we trust you folks.
And so it was just easier to crush them.”
What is interesting though is that Stalin…falls into this trap, too, of supporting this church-state bargain, because as WWII starts to roll around and he’s saying, “I’m worried about the Germans off there to our west, and we need to rally the Russians for nationalism.” He turned to the Russian Orthodox Church, “Listen, guys, sorry about all the killing of your clergy, but we need to support you now; we’ll pay you for your clergy,” And they basically set up a modus vivendi (a political agreement to accommodate each other).
[This worked] with the Chinese government as well. The rapid revolutionary change: anything from the ancient regime we have to get rid of rapidly and so we crush all possible forms of dissent. But over time you say, well, I guess we couldn’t really crush this religion, so let’s start to try to deal with this. And you see this in the late 1970s or early 1980s; Deng Xiaoping says, “You want to have religion, we’ll give you an official religion.”…they have some consortium of Christian churches which is officially recognized, and it’s a pretty tame church, and they let that exist. There are also these other groups that are unofficial that they tolerate so long as they don’t pose a threat to the survival of the regime.
Here in Baltimore one can watch free TV and see the ads from religious END OF TIMES folks seeing the coming of NEW WORLD ORDER as the Revelations ending religion. The time for a second-coming of Christ for example. I still hear citizens saying this is conspiracy theory but these terms ONE WORLD AND NEW WORLD ORDER have been used by US political think tanks throughout the 20th century ----as below with Brookings Institute---the global neo-liberal outlet to Johns Hopkins being the global neo-conservative think tank.
Whatever one thinks all this will look like----none of it has anything to do with religion----it is anti-religion ----and today's religious leaders should not want to partner with these 1% Wall Street global corporate institutions. This coming decade will advance this International Economic Zone structure in the US under economic collapse-----with a very quick movement to what the 1% see as a one world global government. This is why WE THE PEOPLE must become engaged NOW----in reversing these goals. It does not help third world nations to have the US and Europe brought down to their developing nation status---it only enriches the 1%----
THE GOALS OF EDUCATION POLICY AND THIS CURRENT DISMANTLING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IS THE NEED FOR PEOPLE NOT TO KNOW---NOT TO RECEIVE ACCURATE INFORMATION ---AND THIS ALWAYS HAPPENS WHEN WE ALLOW PRIVATIZED AND CORPORATIZED EDUCATION STANDARDIZATION OF INFORMATION AND THE FAR-RIGHT WEALTH AND POWER DEPEND ON EDUCATION CAPTURE.
One's views of end of world differ-----each person is capable of having their own private religious rituals no matter the far-right authoritarian political model----but this shows many in the religious world have been watching these geo-political policies with an eye to being a threat to RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS.
Please glance through a long article but look more closely once you reach this caption to get the sense of what the agenda MOVING FORWARD looks like------
A Global Currency
In 1988, The Economist ran an article titled, Get Ready for the Phoenix, in which they wrote, “THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency.
Ultimately, what this implies is that the future of the global political economy is one of increasing moves toward a global system of governance, or a world government, with a world central bank and global currency; and that, concurrently, these developments are likely to materialize in the face of and as a result of a decline in democracy around the world, and thus, a rise in authoritarianism. What we are witnessing is the creation of a New World Order, composed of a totalitarian global government structure'.
The Financial New World Order: Towards a Global Currency and World Government
July 10, 2011 1:13 am /The Financial New World Order: Towards a Global Currency and World Government
The Financial New World Order: Towards a Global Currency and World Government
Global Research, April 6, 2009
Following the 2009 G20 summit, plans were announced for implementing the creation of a new global currency to replace the US dollar’s role as the world reserve currency. Point 19 of the communiqué released by the G20 at the end of the Summit stated, “We have agreed to support a general SDR allocation which will inject $250bn (£170bn) into the world economy and increase global liquidity.” SDRs, or Special Drawing Rights, are “a synthetic paper currency issued by the International Monetary Fund.” As the Telegraph reported, “the G20 leaders have activated the IMF’s power to create money and begin global “quantitative easing”. In doing so, they are putting a de facto world currency into play. It is outside the control of any sovereign body.
Conspiracy theorists will love it.”
The article continued in stating that, “There is now a world currency in waiting. In time, SDRs are likely to evolve into a parking place for the foreign holdings of central banks, led by the People’s Bank of China.” Further, “The creation of a Financial Stability Board looks like the first step towards a global financial regulator,” or, in other words, a global central bank.
It is important to take a closer look at these “solutions” being proposed and implemented in the midst of the current global financial crisis. These are not new suggestions, as they have been in the plans of the global elite for a long time. However, in the midst of the current crisis, the elite have fast-tracked their agenda of forging a New World Order in finance. It is important to address the background to these proposed and imposed “solutions” and what effects they will have on the International Monetary System (IMS) and the global political economy as a whole.
A New Bretton-Woods
In October of 2008, Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the UK, said that we “must have a new Bretton Woods – building a new international financial architecture for the years ahead.” He continued in saying that, “we must now reform the international financial system around the agreed principles of transparency, integrity, responsibility, good housekeeping and co-operation across borders.” An article in the Telegraph reported that Gordon Brown would want “to see the IMF reformed to become a ‘global central bank’ closely monitoring the international economy and financial system.”
On October 17, 2008, Prime Minister Gordon Brown wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he said, “This week, European leaders came together to propose the guiding principles that we believe should underpin this new Bretton Woods: transparency, sound banking, responsibility, integrity and global governance. We agreed that urgent decisions implementing these principles should be made to root out the irresponsible and often undisclosed lending at the heart of our problems. To do this, we need cross-border supervision of financial institutions; shared global standards for accounting and regulation; a more responsible approach to executive remuneration that rewards hard work, effort and enterprise but not irresponsible risk-taking; and the renewal of our international institutions to make them effective early-warning systems for the world economy.[Emphasis added]”
In early October 2008, it was reported that, “as the world’s central bankers gather this week in Washington DC for an IMF-World Bank conference to discuss the crisis, the big question they face is whether it is time to establish a global economic “policeman” to ensure the crash of 2008 can never be repeated.” Further, “any organisation with the power to police the global economy would have to include representatives of every major country – a United Nations of economic regulation.” A former governor of the Bank of England suggested that, “the answer might already be staring us in the face, in the form of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS),” however, “The problem is that it has no teeth. The IMF tends to couch its warnings about economic problems in very diplomatic language, but the BIS is more independent and much better placed to deal with this if it is given the power to do so.”
Emergence of Regional Currencies
On January 1, 1999, the European Union established the Euro as its regional currency. The Euro has grown in prominence over the past several years. However, it is not to be the only regional currency in the world. There are moves and calls for other regional currencies throughout the world.
In 2007, Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, ran an article titled, The End of National Currency, in which it began by discussing the volatility of international currency markets, and that very few “real” solutions have been proposed to address successive currency crises. The author poses the question, “will restoring lost sovereignty to governments put an end to financial instability?” He answers by stating that, “This is a dangerous misdiagnosis,” and that, “The right course is not to return to a mythical past of monetary sovereignty, with governments controlling local interest and exchange rates in blissful ignorance of the rest of the world. Governments must let go of the fatal notion that nationhood requires them to make and control the money used in their territory. National currencies and global markets simply do not mix; together they make a deadly brew of currency crises and geopolitical tension and create ready pretexts for damaging protectionism. In order to globalize safely, countries should abandon monetary nationalism and abolish unwanted currencies, the source of much of today’s instability.”
The author explains that, “Monetary nationalism is simply incompatible with globalization. It has always been, even if this has only become apparent since the 1970s, when all the world’s governments rendered their currencies intrinsically worthless.” The author states that, “Since economic development outside the process of globalization is no longer possible, countries should abandon monetary nationalism. Governments should replace national currencies with the dollar or the euro or, in the case of Asia, collaborate to produce a new multinational currency over a comparably large and economically diversified area.” Essentially, according to the author, the solution lies in regional currencies.
In October of 2008, “European Central Bank council member Ewald Nowotny said a “tri-polar” global currency system is developing between Asia, Europe and the U.S. and that he’s skeptical the U.S. dollar’s centrality can be revived.”
The Union of South American Nations
The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) was established on May 23, 2008, with the headquarters to be in Ecuador, the South American Parliament to be in Bolivia, and the Bank of the South to be in Venezuela. As the BBC reported, “The leaders of 12 South American nations have formed a regional body aimed at boosting economic and political integration in the region,” and that, “The Unasur members are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.”
The week following the announcement of the Union, it was reported that, “Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Monday that South American nations will seek a common currency as part of the region’s integration efforts following the creation of the Union of South American Nations.” He was quoted as saying, “We are proceeding so as, in the future, we have a common central bank and a common currency.”
The Gulf Cooperation Council and a Regional Currency
In 2005, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional trade bloc among Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced the goal of creating a single common currency by 2010. It was reported that, “An economically united and efficient GCC is clearly a more interesting proposition for larger companies than each individual economy, especially given the impediments to trade evident within the region. This is why trade relations within the GCC have been a core focus of late.” Further, “The natural extension of this trend for increased integration is to introduce a common currency in order to further facilitate trade between the different countries.” It was announced that, “the region’s central bankers had agreed to pursue monetary union in a similar fashion to the rules used in Europe.”
In June of 2008, it was reported that, “Gulf Arab central bankers agreed to create the nucleus of a joint central bank next year in a major step forward for monetary union but signaled that a new common currency would not be in circulation by an agreed 2010 target.” In 2002, it was announced that the “Gulf states say they are seeking advice from the European Central Bank on their monetary union programme.” In February of 2008, Oman announced that it would not be joining the monetary union. In November of 2008, it was announced that the “Final monetary union draft says Gulf central bank will be independent from governments of member states.”
In March of 2009, it was reported that, “The GCC should not rush into forming a single currency as member states need to work out the framework for a regional central bank, Saudi Arabia’s Central Bank Governor Muhammad Al Jasser.” Jasser was further quoted as saying, “It took the European Union 45 years to put together a single currency. We should not rush.” In 2008, with the global financial crisis, new problems were posed for the GCC initiative, as “Pressure mounted last year on the GCC members to drop their currency pegs as inflation accelerated above 10 per cent in five of the six countries. All of the member states except Kuwait peg their currencies to the dollar and tend to follow the US Federal Reserve when setting interest rates.”
An Asian Monetary Union
In 1997, the Brookings Institution, a prominent American think tank, discussed the possibilities of an East Asian Monetary Union, stating that, “the question for the 21st century is whether analogous monetary blocs will form in East Asia (and, for that matter, in the Western Hemisphere). With the dollar, the yen, and the single European currency floating against one another, other small open economies will be tempted to link up to one of the three.” However, “the linkage will be possible only if accompanied by radical changes in institutional arrangements like those contemplated by the European Union. The spread of capital mobility and political democratization will make it prohibitively difficult to peg exchange rates unilaterally. Pegging will require international cooperation, and effective cooperation will require measures akin to monetary unification.”
In 2001, Asia Times Online wrote an article discussing a speech given by economist Robert A. Mundell at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, at which he stated that, “[t]he “Asean plus three” (the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus China, Japan, and Korea) ‘should look to the European Union as a model for closer integration of monetary policy, trade and eventually, currency integration’.”
On May 6, 2005, the website of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) announced that, “China, Japan, South Korea and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to expand their network of bilateral currency swaps into what could become a virtual Asian Monetary Fund,” and that, “[f]inance officials of the 13 nations, who met in the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual conference in Istanbul, appeared determined to turn their various bilateral agreements into some sort of multilateral accord, although none of the officials would directly call it an Asian Monetary Fund.”
In August of 2005, the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank published a report on the prospects of an East Asian Monetary Union, stating that East Asia satisfies the criteria for joining a monetary union, however, it states that compared to the European initiative, “The implication is that achieving any monetary arrangement, including a common currency, is much more difficult in East Asia.” It further states that, “In Europe, a monetary union was achievable primarily because it was part of the larger process of political integration,” however, “There is no apparent desire for political integration in East Asia, partly because of the great differences among those countries in terms of political systems, culture, and shared history. As a result of their own particular histories, East Asian countries remain particularly jealous of their sovereignty.”
Another major problem, as presented by the San Francisco Fed, is that, “East Asian governments appear much more suspicious of strong supranational institutions,” and thus, “in East Asia, sovereignty concerns have left governments reluctant to delegate significant authority to supranational bodies, at least so far.” It explains that as opposed to the steps taken to create a monetary union in Europe, “no broad free trade agreements have been achieved among the largest countries in the region, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China.” Another problem is that, “East Asia does not appear to have an obvious candidate for an internal anchor currency for a cooperative exchange rate arrangement. Most successful new currencies have been started on the back of an existing currency, establishing confidence in its convertibility, thus linking the old with the new.”
The report concludes that, “exchange rate stabilization and monetary integration are unlikely in the near term. Nevertheless, East Asia is integrating through trade, even without an emphasis on formal trade liberalization agreements,” and that, “there is evidence of growing financial cooperation in the region, including the development of regional arrangements for providing liquidity during crises through bilateral foreign exchange swaps, regional economic surveillance discussions, and the development of regional bond markets.” Ultimately, “East Asia might also proceed along the same path [as Europe], first with loose agreements to stabilize currencies, followed later by tighter agreements, and culminating ultimately in adoption of a common anchor—and, after that, maybe an East Asia dollar.”
In 2007, it was reported that, “Asia may need to establish its own monetary fund if it is to cope with future financial shocks similar to that which rocked the region 10 years ago,” and that, “Further Asian financial integration is the best antidote for Asian future financial crises.”
In September of 2007, Forbes reported that, “An East Asian monetary union anchored by Japan is feasible but the region lacks the political will to do it, the Asian Development Bank said.” Pradumna Rana, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) economist, said that, “it appears feasible to establish a currency union in East Asia — particularly among Indonesia, Japan, (South) Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand,” and that, “The economic potential for monetary integration in Asia is strong, even though the political underpinnings of such an accord are not yet in place.” Further, “the real integration at the trade levels ‘will actually reinforce the economic case for monetary union in Asia, in a similar way that real-sector integration did so in Europe,” and ultimately, “the road to an Asian monetary union could proceed on a ‘multi-track, multi-speed’ basis with a seamless Asian free trade area the goal on the trade side.” In April of 2008, it was reported that, “ASEAN bank deputy governors and financial deputy ministers have met in Vietnam’s central Da Nang city, discussing issues on the financial and monetary integration and cooperation in the region.”
African Monetary Union
Currently, Africa has several different monetary union initiatives, as well as some existing monetary unions within the continent. One initiative is the “monetary union project of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS),” which is a “regional group of 15 countries in West Africa.” Among the members are those of an already-existing monetary union in the region, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The ECOWAS consists of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Cape Verde, Liberia, Ghana, Gambia, and Nigeria.
The African Union was founded in 2002, and is an intergovernmental organization consisting of 53 African states. In 2003, the Brookings Institution produced a paper on African economic integration. In it, the authors started by stating that, “Africa, like other regions of the world, is fixing its sights on creating a common currency. Already, there are projects for regional monetary unions, and the bidding process for an eventual African central bank is about to begin.” It states that, “A common currency was also an objective of the Organization for African Unity and the African Economic Community, the predecessors of the AU,” and further, that, “The 1991 Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community outlines six stages for achieving a single monetary zone for Africa that were set to be completed by approximately 2028. In the early stages, regional cooperation and integration within Africa would be strengthened, and this could involve regional monetary unions. The final stage involves the establishment of the African Central Bank (ACB) and creation of a single African currency and an African Economic and Monetary Union.”
The paper further states that the African Central Bank (ACB) “would not be created until around 2020, [but] the bidding process for its location is likely to begin soon,” however, “there are plans for creating various regional monetary unions, which would presumably form building blocks for the single African central bank and currency.”
In August of 2008, “Governors of African Central Banks convened in Kigali Serena Hotel to discuss issues concerning the creation of three African Union (AU) financial institutions,” following “the AU resolution to form the African Monetary Fund (AMF), African Central Bank (ACB) and the African Investment Bank (AIB).” The central bank governors “agreed that when established, the ACB would solely issue and manage Africa’s single currency and monetary authority of the continent’s economy.”
On March 2, 2009, it was reported that, “The African Union will sign a memorandum of understanding this month with Nigeria on the establishment of a continental central bank,” and that, “The institution will be based in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, African Union Commissioner for Economic Affairs Maxwell Mkwezalamba told reporters.” Further, “As an intermediate step to the creation of the bank, the pan- African body will establish an African Monetary Institute within the next three years, he said at a meeting of African economists in the city,” and he was quoted as saying, “We have agreed to work with the Association of African Central Bank Governors to set up a joint technical committee to look into the preparation of a joint strategy.”
The website for the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that, “The African Union Commissioner for Economic Affairs Dr. Maxwell Mkwezalamba has expressed optimism for the adoption of a common currency for Africa,” and that the main theme discussed at the AU Commission meeting in Kenya was, “Towards the Creation of a Single African Currency: Review of the Creation of a Single African Currency: Which optimal Approach to be adopted to accelerate the creation of the unique continental currency.”
A North American Monetary Union and the Amero
In January of 2008, I wrote an article documenting the moves toward the creation of a North American currency, likely under the name Amero. [See: Andrew G. Marshall, North-American Monetary Integration: Here Comes the Amero. Global Research: January 20, 2008] I will briefly outline the information presented in that article here.
In 1999, the Fraser Institute, a prominent and highly influential Canadian think tank, published a report written by Economics professor and former MP, Herbert Grubel, called, The Case for the Amero: The Economics and Politics of a North American Monetary Union. He wrote that, “The plan for a North American Monetary Union presented in this study is designed to include Canada, the United States, and Mexcio,” and a “North American Central Bank, like the European Central Bank, will have a constitution making it responsible only for the maintenance of price stability and not for full employment.” He opined that, “sovereignty is not infinitely valuable. The merit of giving up some aspects of sovereignty should be determined by the gains brought by such a sacrifice,” and that, “It is important to note that in practice Canada has given up its economic sovereignty in many areas, the most important of which involve the World Trade Organization (formerly the GATT), the North American Free Trade Agreement,” as well as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
Also in 1999, the C.D. Howe Institute, another of Canada’s most prominent think tanks, produced a report titled, From Fixing to Monetary Union: Options for North American Currency Integration. In this document, it was written that, “The easiest way to broach the notion of a NAMU [North American Monetary Union] is to view it as the North American equivalent of the European Monetary Union (EMU) and, by extension, the euro.” It further stated that the fact that “a NAMU would mean the end of sovereignty in Canadian monetary policy is clear. Most obviously, it would mean abandoning a made-in-Canada inflation rate for a US or NAMU inflation rate.”
In May of 2007, Canada’s then Governor of the Central Bank of Canada, David Dodge, said that, “North America could one day embrace a euro-style single currency,” and that, “Some proponents have dubbed the single North American currency the ‘amero’.” Answering questions following his speech, Dodge said that, “a single currency was ‘possible’.”
In November of 2007, one of Canada’s richest billionaires, Stephen Jarislowsky, also a member of the board of the C.D. Howe Institute, told a Canadian Parliamentary committee that, “Canada should replace its dollar with a North American currency, or peg it to the U.S. greenback, to avoid the exchange rate shifts the loonie has experienced,” and that, “I think we have to really seriously start thinking of the model of a continental currency just like Europe.”
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, while appearing on Larry King Live in 2007, was asked a question regarding the possibility of a common currency for Latin America, to which he responded by saying, “Long term, very long term. What we propose together, President Bush and myself, it’s ALCA, which is a trade union for all of the Americas. And everything was running fluently until Hugo Chavez came. He decided to isolate himself. He decided to combat the idea and destroy the idea.” Larry King then asked, “It’s going to be like the euro dollar, you mean?” to which Fox responded, “Well, that would be long, long term. I think the processes to go, first step into is trading agreement. And then further on, a new vision, like we are trying to do with NAFTA.”
In January of 2008, Herbert Grubel, the author who coined the term “amero” for the Fraser Institute report, wrote an article for the Financial Post, in which he recommends fixing the Canadian loonie to the US dollar at a fixed exchange rate, but that there are inherent problems with having the US Federal Reserve thus control Canadian interest rates. He then wrote that, “there is a solution to this lack of credibility. In Europe, it came through the creation of the euro and formal end of the ability of national central banks to set interest rates. The analogous creation of the amero is not possible without the unlikely co-operation of the United States. This leaves the credibility issue to be solved by the unilateral adoption of a currency board, which would ensure that international payments imbalances automatically lead to changes in Canada’s money supply and interest rates until the imbalances are ended, all without any actions by the Bank of Canada or influence by politicians. It would be desirable to create simultaneously the currency board and a New Canadian Dollar valued at par with the U.S. dollar. With longer-run competitiveness assured at US90¢ to the U.S. dollar.”
In January of 2009, an online publication of the Wall Street Journal, called Market Watch, discussed the possibility of hyperinflation of the United States dollar, and then stated, regarding the possibility of an amero, “On its face, while difficult to imagine, it makes intuitive sense. The ability to combine Canadian natural resources, American ingenuity and cheap Mexican labor would allow North America to compete better on a global stage.” The author further states that, “If forward policy attempts to induce more debt rather than allowing savings and obligations to align, we must respect the potential for a system shock. We may need to let a two-tier currency gain traction if the dollar meaningfully debases from current levels,” and that, “If this dynamic plays out — and I’ve got no insight that it will — the global balance of powers would fragment into four primary regions: North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In such a scenario, ramifications would manifest through social unrest and geopolitical conflict.”
A Global Currency
In 1988, The Economist ran an article titled, Get Ready for the Phoenix, in which they wrote, “THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency. Prices will be quoted not in dollars, yen or D-marks but in, let’s say, the phoenix. The phoenix will be favoured by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today’s national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the late twentieth century.”
The article stated that, “The market crash [of 1987] taught [governments] that the pretence of policy cooperation can be worse than nothing, and that until real co-operation is feasible (ie, until governments surrender some economic sovereignty) further attempts to peg currencies will flounder.” Amazingly the article states that, “Several more big exchange-rate upsets, a few more stockmarket crashes and probably a slump or two will be needed before politicians are willing to face squarely up to that choice. This points to a muddled sequence of emergency followed by patch-up followed by emergency, stretching out far beyond 2018-except for two things. As time passes, the damage caused by currency instability is gradually going to mount; and the very trends that will make it mount are making the utopia of monetary union feasible.”
Further, the article stated that, “The phoenix zone would impose tight constraints on national governments. There would be no such thing, for instance, as a national monetary policy. The world phoenix supply would be fixed by a new central bank, descended perhaps from the IMF. The world inflation rate-and hence, within narrow margins, each national inflation rate-would be in its charge. Each country could use taxes and public spending to offset temporary falls in demand, but it would have to borrow rather than print money to finance its budget deficit.” The author admits that, “This means a big loss of economic sovereignty, but the trends that make the phoenix so appealing are taking that sovereignty away in any case. Even in a world of more-or-less floating exchange rates, individual governments have seen their policy independence checked by an unfriendly outside world.”
The article concludes in stating that, “The phoenix would probably start as a cocktail of national currencies, just as the Special Drawing Right is today. In time, though, its value against national currencies would cease to matter, because people would choose it for its convenience and the stability of its purchasing power.” The last sentence states, “Pencil in the phoenix for around 2018, and welcome it when it comes.”
Recommendations for a Global Currency
In 1998, the IMF Survey discussed a speech given by James Tobin, a prominent American economist, in which he argued that, “A single global currency might offer a viable alternative to the floating rate.” He further stated that, “there was still a great need” for “lenders of last resort.”
In 1999, economist Judy Shelton addressed the US House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Financial Services. In her testimony, she stated that, “The continued expansion of free trade, the increased integration of financial markets and the advent of electronic commerce are all working to bring about the need for an international monetary standard—a global unit of account.” She further explained that, “Regional currency unions seem to be the next step in the evolution toward some kind of global monetary order. Europe has already adopted a single currency. Asia may organize into a regional currency bloc to offer protection against speculative assaults on the individual currencies of weaker nations. Numerous countries in Latin America are considering various monetary arrangements to insulate them from financial contagion and avoid the economic consequences of devaluation. An important question is whether this process of monetary evolution will be intelligently directed or whether it will simply be driven by events. In my opinion, political leadership can play a decisive role in helping to build a more orderly, rational monetary system than the current free-for-all approach to exchange rate relations.”
She further stated that, “As we have seen in Europe, the sequence of development is (1) you build a common market, and (2) you establish a common currency. Indeed, until you have a common currency, you don’t truly have an efficient common market.” She concludes by stating, “Ideally, every nation should stand willing to convert its currency at a fixed rate into a universal reserve asset. That would automatically create a global monetary union based on a common unit of account. The alternative path to a stable monetary order is to forge a common currency anchored to an asset of intrinsic value. While the current momentum for dollarization should be encouraged, especially for Mexico and Canada, in the end the stability of the global monetary order should not rest on any single nation.”
Paul Volcker, former Governor of the Federal Reserve Board, stated in 2000, that, “If we are to have a truly global economy, a single world currency makes sense.” In a speech delivered by a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, it was stated that Paul Volcker “might be right, and we might one day have a single world currency. Maybe European integration, in the same way as any other regional integration, could be seen as a step towards the ideal situation of a fully integrated world. If and when this world will see the light of day is impossible to say. However, what I can say is that this vision seems as impossible now to most of us as a European monetary union seemed 50 years ago, when the process of European integration started.”
In 2000, the IMF held an international conference and published a brief report titled, One World, One Currency: Destination or Delusion?, in which it was stated that, “As perceptions grow that the world is gradually segmenting into a few regional currency blocs, the logical extension of such a trend also emerges as a theoretical possibility: a single world currency. If so many countries see benefits from currency integration, would a world currency not maximize these benefits?”
It outlines how, “The dollar bloc, already underpinned by the strength of the U.S. economy, has been extended further by dollarization and regional free trade pacts. The euro bloc represents an economic union that is intended to become a full political union likely to expand into Central and Eastern Europe. A yen bloc may emerge from current proposals for Asian monetary cooperation. A currency union may emerge among Mercosur members in Latin America, a geographical currency zone already exists around the South African rand, and a merger of the Australian and New Zealand dollars is a perennial topic in Oceania.”
The summary states that, “The same commercial efficiencies, economies of scale, and physical imperatives that drive regional currencies together also presumably exist on the next level—the global scale.” Further, it reported that, “The smaller and more vulnerable economies of the world—those that the international community is now trying hardest to help—would have most to gain from the certainty and stability that would accompany a single world currency.” Keep in mind, this document was produced by the IMF, and so its recommendations for what it says would likely “help” the smaller and more vulnerable countries of the world, should be taken with a grain – or bucket – of salt.
Economist Robert A. Mundell has long called for a global currency. On his website, he states that the creation of a global currency is “a project that would restore a needed coherence to the international monetary system, give the International Monetary Fund a function that would help it to promote stability, and be a catalyst for international harmony.” He states that, “The benefits from a world currency would be enormous. Prices all over the world would be denominated in the same unit and would be kept equal in different parts of the world to the extent that the law of one price was allowed to work itself out. Apart from tariffs and controls, trade between countries would be as easy as it is between states of the United States.”
Renewed Calls for a Global Currency
On March 16, 2009, Russia suggested that, “the G20 summit in London in April should start establishing a system of managing the process of globalization and consider the possibility of creating a supra-national reserve currency or a ‘super-reserve currency’.” Russia called for “the creation of a supra-national reserve currency that will be issued by international financial institutions,” and that, “It looks expedient to reconsider the role of the IMF in that process and also to determine the possibility and need for taking measures that would allow for the SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) to become a super-reserve currency recognized by the world community.”
On March 23, 2009, it was reported that China’s central bank “proposed replacing the US dollar as the international reserve currency with a new global system controlled by the International Monetary Fund.” The goal would be for the world reserve currency that is “disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.” The chief China economist for HSBC stated that, “This is a clear sign that China, as the largest holder of US dollar financial assets, is concerned about the potential inflationary risk of the US Federal Reserve printing money.” The Governor of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, “suggested expanding the role of special drawing rights, which were introduced by the IMF in 1969 to support the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate regime but became less relevant once that collapsed in the 1970s.” Currently, “the value of SDRs is based on a basket of four currencies – the US dollar, yen, euro and sterling – and they are used largely as a unit of account by the IMF and some other international organizations.”
However, “China’s proposal would expand the basket of currencies forming the basis of SDR valuation to all major economies and set up a settlement system between SDRs and other currencies so they could be used in international trade and financial transactions. Countries would entrust a portion of their SDR reserves to the IMF to manage collectively on their behalf and SDRs would gradually replace existing reserve currencies.”
On March 25, Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary and former President of the New York Federal Reserve, spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations, when asked a question about his thoughts on the Chinese proposal for the global reserve currency, Geithner replied that, “I haven’t read the governor’s proposal. He’s a remarkably — a very thoughtful, very careful, distinguished central banker. Generally find him sensible on every issue. But as I understand his proposal, it’s a proposal designed to increase the use of the IMF’s special drawing rights. And we’re actually quite open to that suggestion. But you should think of it as rather evolutionary, building on the current architectures, than — rather than — rather than moving us to global monetary union [Emphasis added].”
In late March, it was reported that, “A United Nations panel of economists has proposed a new global currency reserve that would take over the US dollar-based system used for decades by international banks,” and that, “An independently administered reserve currency could operate without conflicts posed by the US dollar and keep commodity prices more stable.”
A recent article in the Economic Times stated that, “The world is not yet ready for an international reserve currency, but is ready to begin the process of shifting to such a currency. Otherwise, it would remain too vulnerable to the hegemonic nation,” as in, the United States. Another article in the Economic Times started by proclaiming that, “the world certainly needs an international currency.” Further, the article stated that, “With an unwillingness to accept dollars and the absence of an alternative, international payments system can go into a freeze beyond the control of monetary authorities leading the world economy into a Great Depression,” and that, “In order to avoid such a calamity, the international community should immediately revive the idea of the Substitution Account mooted in 1971, under which official holders of dollars can deposit their unwanted dollars in a special account in the IMF with the values of deposits denominated in an international currency such as the SDR of the IMF.”
Amidst fears of a falling dollar as a result of the increased open discussion of a new global currency, it was reported that, “The dollar’s role as a reserve currency won’t be threatened by a nine-fold expansion in the International Monetary Fund’s unit of account, according to UBS AG, ING Groep NV and Citigroup Inc.” This was reported following the recent G20 meeting, at which, “Group of 20 leaders yesterday gave approval for the agency to raise $250 billion by issuing Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, the artificial currency that the IMF uses to settle accounts among its member nations. It also agreed to put another $500 billion into the IMF’s war chest.” In other words, the large global financial institutions came to the rhetorical rescue of the dollar, so as not to precipitate a crisis in its current standing, so that they can continue with quietly forming a new global currency.
Creating a World Central Bank
In 1998, Jeffrey Garten wrote an article for the New York Times advocating a “global Fed.” Garten was former Dean of the Yale School of Management, former Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade in the Clinton administration, previously served on the White House Council on International Economic Policy under the Nixon administration and on the policy planning staffs of Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Cyrus Vance of the Ford and Carter administrations, former Managing Director at Lehman Brothers, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In his article written in 1998, he stated that, “over time the United States set up crucial central institutions — the Securities and Exchange Commission (1933), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (1934) and, most important, the Federal Reserve (1913). In so doing, America became a managed national economy. These organizations were created to make capitalism work, to prevent destructive business cycles and to moderate the harsh, invisible hand of Adam Smith.”
He then explained that, “This is what now must occur on a global scale. The world needs an institution that has a hand on the economic rudder when the seas become stormy. It needs a global central bank.” He explains that, “Simply trying to coordinate the world’s powerful central banks — the Fed and the new European Central Bank, for instance — wouldn’t work,” and that, “Effective collaboration among finance ministries and treasuries is also unlikely to materialize. These agencies are responsible to elected legislatures, and politics in the industrial countries is more preoccupied with internal events than with international stability.”
He then postulates that, “An independent central bank with responsibility for maintaining global financial stability is the only way out. No one else can do what is needed: inject more money into the system to spur growth, reduce the sky-high debts of emerging markets, and oversee the operations of shaky financial institutions. A global central bank could provide more money to the world economy when it is rapidly losing steam.” Further, “Such a bank would play an oversight role for banks and other financial institutions everywhere, providing some uniform standards for prudent lending in places like China and Mexico. [However, t]he regulation need not be heavy-handed.” Garten continues, “There are two ways a global central bank could be financed. It could have lines of credit from all central banks, drawing on them in bad times and repaying when the markets turn up. Alternately — and admittedly more difficult to carry out — it could be financed by a very modest tariff on all trade, collected at the point of importation, or by a tax on certain global financial transactions.”
Interestingly, Garten states that, “One thing that would not be acceptable would be for the bank to be at the mercy of short-term-oriented legislatures.” In essence, it is not to be accountable to the people of the world. So, he asks the question, “To whom would a global central bank be accountable? It would have too much power to be governed only by technocrats, although it must be led by the best of them. One possibility would be to link the new bank to an enlarged Group of Seven — perhaps a ”G-15” [or in today’s context, the G20] that would include the G-7 plus rotating members like Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Poland, India, China and South Korea.” He further states that, “There would have to be very close collaboration” between the global bank and the Fed, and that, “The global bank would not operate within the United States, and it would not be able to override the decisions of our central bank. But it could supply the missing international ingredient — emergency financing for cash-starved emerging markets. It wouldn’t affect American mortgage rates, but it could help the profitability of American multinational companies by creating a healthier global environment for their businesses.”
In September of 2008, Jeffrey Garten wrote an article for the Financial Times in which he stated that, “Even if the US’s massive financial rescue operation succeeds, it should be followed by something even more far-reaching – the establishment of a Global Monetary Authority to oversee markets that have become borderless.” He emphasized the “need for a new Global Monetary Authority. It would set the tone for capital markets in a way that would not be viscerally opposed to a strong public oversight function with rules for intervention, and would return to capital formation the goal of economic growth and development rather than trading for its own sake.”
Further, the “GMA would be a reinsurer or discounter for certain obligations held by central banks. It would scrutinise the regulatory activities of national authorities with more teeth than the IMF has and oversee the implementation of a limited number of global regulations. It would monitor global risks and establish an effective early warning system with more clout to sound alarms than the BIS has.” Moreover, “The biggest global financial companies would have to register with the GMA and be subject to its monitoring, or be blacklisted. That includes commercial companies and banks, but also sovereign wealth funds, gigantic hedge funds and private equity firms.” He recommends that its board “include central bankers not just from the US, UK, the eurozone and Japan, but also China, Saudi Arabia and Brazil. It would be financed by mandatory contributions from every capable country and from insurance-type premiums from global financial companies – publicly listed, government owned, and privately held alike.”
In October of 2008, it was reported that Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack stated that, “it may take continued international coordination to fully unlock the credit markets and resolve the financial crisis, perhaps even by forming a new global body to oversee the process.”
In late October of 2008, Jeffrey Garten wrote an article for Newsweek in which he stated that, “leaders should begin laying the groundwork for establishing a global central bank.” He explained that, “There was a time when the U.S. Federal Reserve played this role [as governing financial authority of the world], as the prime financial institution of the world’s most powerful economy, overseeing the one global currency. But with the growth of capital markets, the rise of currencies like the euro and the emergence of powerful players such as China, the shift of wealth to Asia and the Persian Gulf and, of course, the deep-seated problems in the American economy itself, the Fed no longer has the capability to lead single-handedly.”
He explains the criteria and operations of a world central bank, saying that, “It could be the lead regulator of big global financial institutions, such as Citigroup or Deutsche Bank, whose activities spill across borders,” as well as “act as a bankruptcy court when big global banks that operate in multiple countries need to be restructured. It could oversee not just the big commercial banks, such as Mitsubishi UFJ, but also the “alternative” financial system that has developed in recent years, consisting of hedge funds, private-equity groups and sovereign wealth funds—all of which are now substantially unregulated.” Further, it “could have influence over key exchange rates, and might lead a new monetary conference to realign the dollar and the yuan, for example, for one of its first missions would be to deal with the great financial imbalances that hang like a sword over the world economy.”
He further postulates that, “A global central bank would not eliminate the need for the Federal Reserve or other national central banks, which will still have frontline responsibility for sound regulatory policies and monetary stability in their respective countries. But it would have heavy influence over them when it comes to following policies that are compatible with global growth and financial stability. For example, it would work with key countries to better coordinate national stimulus programs when the world enters a recession, as is happening now, so that the cumulative impact of the various national efforts do not so dramatically overshoot that they plant the seeds for a crisis of global inflation. This is a big threat as government spending everywhere goes into overdrive.”
In January of 2009, it was reported that, “one clear solution to avoid a repeat of the problems would be the establishment of a “global central bank” – with the IMF and World Bank being unable to prevent the financial meltdown.” Dr. William Overholt, senior research fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School, formerly with the Rand Institute, gave a speech in Dubai in which he said that, “To avoid another crisis, we need an ability to manage global liquidity. Theoretically that could be achieved through some kind of global central bank, or through the creation of a global currency, or through global acceptance of a set of rules with sanctions and a dispute settlement mechanism.”
Guillermo Calvo, Professor of Economics, International and Public Affairs at Columbia University wrote an article for VOX in late March of 2009. Calvo is the former Chief Economist of the Inter-American Development Bank, and is currently a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and President of the International Economic Association and the former Senior Advisor in the Research Department of the IMF.
He wrote that, “Credit availability is not ensured by stricter financial regulation. In fact, it can be counterproductive unless it is accompanied by the establishment of a lender of last resort (LOLR) that radically softens the severity of financial crisis by providing timely credit lines. With that aim in mind, the 20th century saw the creation of national or regional central banks in charge of a subset of the capital market. It has now become apparent that the realm of existing central banks is very limited and the world has no institution that fulfils the necessary global role. The IMF is moving in that direction, but it is still too small and too limited to adequately do so.”
He advocates that, “the first proposal that I would like to make is that the topic of financial regulation should be discussed together with the issue of a global lender of last resort.” Further, he proposed that, “international financial institutions must be quickly endowed with considerably more firepower to help emerging economies through the deleveraging period.”
A “New World Order” in Banking
In March of 2008, following the collapse of Bear Stearns, Reuters reported on a document released by research firm CreditSights, which said that, “Financial firms face a ‘new world order’,” and that, “More industry consolidation and acquisitions may follow after JPMorgan Chase & Co.” Further, “In the event of future consolidation, potential acquirers identified by CreditSights include JPMorganChase, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.”
In June of 2008, before he was Treasury Secretary in the Obama administration, Timothy Geithner, as head of the New York Federal Reserve, wrote an article for the Financial Times following his attendance at the 2008 Bilderberg conference, in which he wrote that, “Banks and investment banks whose health is crucial to the global financial system should operate under a unified regulatory framework,” and he said that, “the US Federal Reserve should play a “central role” in the new regulatory framework, working closely with supervisors in the US and around the world.”
In November of 2008, The National, a prominent United Arab Emirate newspaper, reported on Baron David de Rothschild accompanying Prime Minister Gordon Brown on a visit to the Middle East, although not as a “part of the official party” accompanying Brown. Following an interview with the Baron, it was reported that, “Rothschild shares most people’s view that there is a new world order. In his opinion, banks will deleverage and there will be a new form of global governance.”
In February of 2009, the Times Online reported that a “New world order in banking [is] necessary,” and that, “It is increasingly evident that the world needs a new banking system and that it should not bear much resemblance to the one that has failed so spectacularly.” But of course, the ones that are shaping this new banking system are the champions of the previous banking system. The solutions that will follow are simply the extensions of the current system, only sped up through the necessity posed by the current crisis.
An Emerging Global Government
A recent article in the Financial Post stated that, “The danger in the present course is that if the world moves to a “super sovereign” reserve currency engineered by experts, such as the “UN Commission of Experts” led by Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz, we would give up the possibility of a spontaneous money order and financial harmony for a centrally planned order and the politicization of money. Such a regime change would endanger not only the future value of money but, more importantly, our freedom and prosperity.”
Further, “An uncomfortable characteristic of the new world order may well turn out to be that global income gaps will widen because the rising powers, such as China, India and Brazil, regard those below them on the ladder as potential rivals.” The author further states that, “The new world order thus won’t necessarily be any better than the old one,” and that, “What is certain, though, is that global affairs are going to be considerably different from now on.”
In April of 2009, Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank, said that, “If leaders are serious about creating new global responsibilities or governance, let them start by modernising multilateralism to empower the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank Group to monitor national policies.”
David Rothkopf, a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade in the Clinton administration, and 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, of which he is certainly a member. When discussing the role and agenda of the global “superclass”, 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 writes that, “even the international organizations and alliances we have today, flawed as they are, would have seemed impossible until recently, notably the success of the European Union – a unitary democratic state the size of India. The evolution and achievements of such entities against all odds suggest not isolated instances but an overall trend in the direction of what Tennyson called “the Parliament of Man,” or ‘universal law’.” He states that he is “optimistic that progress will continue to be made,” but it will be difficult, 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 writes 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.”
In December of 2008, the Financial Times ran an article written by Gideon Rachman, a past Bilderberg attendee, who 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 then asks if the European model could “go global,” and states that there are three reasons for thinking that may be the case. First, he states, “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’.” Secondly, he states that, “It could be done,” largely as a result of the transport and communications revolutions having “shrunk the world.” Thirdly, this is made possible through an awakening “change in the political atmosphere,” 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]”
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.
The report, titled, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, outlines the current global political and economic trends that the world may be going through by the year 2025. In terms of the financial crisis, it states that solving this “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.”
It states that 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.” 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.”
The report discusses the topic of regionalism, stating that, “Greater Asian integration, if it occurs, could fill the vacuum left by a weakening multilaterally based international order but could also further undermine that order. In the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, a remarkable series of pan-Asian ventures—the most significant being ASEAN + 3—began to take root. Although few would argue that an Asian counterpart to the EU is a likely outcome even by 2025, if 1997 is taken as a starting point, Asia arguably has evolved more rapidly over the last decade than the European integration did in its first decade(s).” It further states that, “movement over the next 15 years toward an Asian basket of currencies—if not an Asian currency unit as a third reserve—is more than a theoretical possibility.”
It elaborates 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.”
Of great importance to address, and reflecting similar assumptions made by Rachman in his article advocating for a world government, is the topic of democratization, saying 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.”
Ultimately, what this implies is that the future of the global political economy is one of increasing moves toward a global system of governance, or a world government, with a world central bank and global currency; and that, concurrently, these developments are likely to materialize in the face of and as a result of a decline in democracy around the world, and thus, a rise in authoritarianism. What we are witnessing is the creation of a New World Order, composed of a totalitarian global government structure.
In fact, the very concept of a global currency and global central bank is authoritarian in its very nature, as it removes any vestiges of oversight and accountability away from the people of the world, and toward a small, increasingly interconnected group of international elites.
As Carroll Quigley explained in his monumental book, Tragedy and Hope, “[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.”
Indeed, the current “solutions” being proposed to the global financial crisis benefit those that caused the crisis over those that are poised to suffer the most as a result of the crisis: the disappearing middle classes, the world’s dispossessed, poor, indebted people. The proposed solutions to this crisis represent the manifestations and actualization of the ultimate generational goals of the global elite; and thus, represent the least favourable conditions for the vast majority of the world’s people.
It is imperative that the world’s people throw their weight against these “solutions” and usher in a new era of world order, one of the People’s World Order; with the solution lying in local governance and local economies, so that the people have greater roles in determining the future and structure of their own political-economy, and thus, their own society. With this alternative of localized political economies, in conjunction with an unprecedented global population and international democratization of communication through the internet, we have the means and possibility before us to forge the most diverse manifestation of cultures and societies that humanity has ever known.
The answer lies in the individual’s internalization of human power and destination, and a rejection of the externalization of power and human destiny to a global authority of which all but a select few people have access to. To internalize human power and destiny is to realize the gift of a human mind, which has the ability to engage in thought beyond the material, such as food and shelter, and venture into the realm of the conceptual. Each individual possesses – within themselves – the ability to think critically about themselves and their own life; now is the time to utilize this ability with the aim of internalizing the concepts and questions of human power and destiny: Why are we here? Where are we going? Where should we be going? How do we get there?
The supposed answers to these questions are offered to us by a tiny global elite who fear the repercussions of what would take place if the people of the world were to begin to answer these questions themselves. I do not know the answers to these questions, but I do know that the answers lie in the human mind and spirit, that which has overcome and will continue to overcome the greatest of challenges to humanity, and will, without doubt, triumph over the New World Order.
Citizens supporting public funding of religious schools often have no idea what long-term issues surround these policy decisions and THEY NEED TO EDUCATE as to why doing this expedites the breakdown of all education freedoms including religious. OUR RELIGIOUS LEADERS KNOW THIS! Let's keep our public schools strong and our religious freedoms as well. There will be no winners in this race to global corporate rule least of all religious beliefs
Oh, Maryland!: Old Line State Considers Direct Funding Of Catholic Schools
Apr 12, 2010 by Sandhya Bathija in Wall of Separation
It’s clear the Maryland legislature, if it passes this bill, would be unconstitutionally favoring one particular religious group.Today, the Maryland legislature may vote on a bill that would provide direct funding to Catholic schools.
SB 385, which formerly proposed tax credits for tuition expenditures at religious and other private schools, was altered Saturday night by the House Ways and Means subcommittee to provide $10 million in direct grants to private schools.
The measure, originally called the Building Opportunities for All Students and Teachers (BOAST) in Maryland Tax Credit, has since been renamed the Grant Program for Non-Public Schools At-Risk of Closing. The new version requires that in order for a private school to be eligible, it must have been in the same location for 25 years, have experienced a decline in enrollment of at least 10 percent over the past five years and must charge a relatively low tuition.
In other words – the only private schools that will receive funding through this bill are Catholic schools. The language is so specific that it even excludes funding to Jewish schools in the state.
For years, Maryland has introduced tax-credit bills to support parochial schools, but this year, the legislature has given the proposal extra attention because the Archdiocese of Baltimore recently announced it may have to close 13 schools due to declining enrollment.
It’s bad enough that the Maryland General Assembly has considered private school tax credits in the past, but this is taking it much too far.
The government has no business directly funneling tax money to religious schools. Not to mention that the Supreme Court has ruled that it is unconstitutional for the government to make direct payments to sectarian institutions.
It’s clear the Maryland legislature, if it passes this bill, would be unconstitutionally favoring one particular religious group. That’s unacceptable.
Americans United is asking for your help to put a stop to this government bailout for Catholic schools. This session of the Maryland legislature ends tonight at midnight so we are asking those who live in Maryland to voice opposition to this bill by contacting your delegate and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley as soon as possible.