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Egypt Under Empire, Part 3: From Nasser to Mubarak

Egypt Under Empire, Part 3: From Nasser to Mubarak

By: Andrew Gavin Marshall

Originally published at The Hampton Institute

Egyptians Prepare In Tahrir Square For The First Anniverary Of The Revolution

Part 1: Working Class Resistance and European Imperial Ambitions

Part 2: The “Threat” Of Arab Nationalism

Between 1952 and 2011, Egypt was ruled by three military dictators: Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak. Nasser placated labour unrest and imposed many social programs that benefited the population. Sadat subsequently began to break down the ‘social contract’ with Egyptian society, and when Mubarak came to power in 1981, the following three decades witnessed the imposition of a neoliberal order, complete with crony-capitalists, corrupted bureaucracies and a repressive police force. Three decades of increased poverty, polarized wealth and power, and increased labour unrest all laid the groundwork for the 2011 popular uprising.

As Nasser came to power in Egypt in 1952, he successfully crushed labour militancy in the country, and even executed two labour leaders as a symbol of the new regime’s lack of tolerance for radical labour actions. Nasser engaged in a power struggle for a brief period, before assuming complete power in 1954, at which point independent political organizations were banned and he “ushered in a populist-corporatist pact between labour and the state,” in which “the state controls the bulk of the economic, political, and social domains, leaving little space for society to develop itself and for interest groups to surface, compete, and act autonomously.”[1]

Labour groups were organized “into a limited number of singular, compulsory, non-competitive, hierarchically ordered and functionally differentiated categories.” In 1957, the government created the General Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions (GFETU), monopolizing labour unions under the government, purging the radical leaders and co-opting the moderates. Since this period, “trade unions have functioned as an arm of the state rather than as democratic representatives of workers.” Thus, labour activism and actions largely subsided throughout the 1950s and 60s.[2]

Despite violent repression of independent political organizations, communists and militant labour groups, Nasser became incredibly popular both within Egypt and across the wider Arab world. He established a one-party state and a large security apparatus “to crush any and all dissent.” However, his articulation and actions related to Arab nationalism and Arab socialism – the twin pillars of his ‘revolution’ – sought to free Egypt and the Arab world from imperial domination, and to undertake a social revolution domestically as “part of an informal social contract where the population accepted constraints on its political freedom in exchange for the promise of higher living standards and a stronger nation.”[3]

A large network of social services was established, which “provided employment, education and healthcare, as well as subsidized transportation and food.” This program also entailed “spending large sums of money on the military, which was seen as the protector of the nation from external enemies.” These social programs helped to “create a modern middle class” in Egypt.[4] The allegiance of the middle class to the authoritarianism of the regime was secured by the government guaranteeing state employment to all university graduates.[5]

Nasser also implemented major agrarian reforms, which between 1952 and 1961, “redistributed about one seventh of the country’s cultivable land from large landowners… passed on to the landless and near landless fellahin rather than kept for direct use by the state.” This led to an “improvement of rural incomes and agricultural production,” and attempted to undermine the influence of the large landowning class of Egyptians.[6]

With the defeat of Egypt in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Nasser’s government suffered a humiliating defeat, and Nasser’s death in 1970 led to the emergence of a new dictator, Anwar Sadat, also emerging from the military, who ruled the country from 1970 until 1981. Undertaking a policy of ‘de-nasserisation,’ Sadat sought to undo many of Nasser’s more progressive policies, earning him the favour of the West. Among such policies were to return the “confiscated” land to the large landowners within Egypt by employing an ‘open door’ market-oriented program called infitah. The intifah helped to create the conditions for a real estate and credit boom, ultimately adding to Egypt’s foreign debt as the country became increasingly dependent upon foreign financing and ‘investment.’[7]

The infitah – or “opening” – wrote Hibbard and Layton, “offered an alternative vision of economic development to that of Arab socialism;” beginning a process of liberalization and an influx of Western capital, “to integrate Egypt into the Western capitalist system.” Sadat’s policies also oversaw the gradual elimination of Nasser’s social programs and “the abandonment of Nasser’s anti-imperialism.” The country quickly became more trade dependent, having to import staple foods, and foreign financing was limited to non-productive sectors of the economy. Egypt increasingly exported its labour to the Persian Gulf, which helped to reduce the problems of unemployment at home, and increased the country’s reliance upon remittances from its foreign workers sending their wages back home. In 1974, labour remittances, oil exports, tourism, foreign aid and the Suez Canal accounted for nearly a third of Egypt’s foreign income, a number that exploded to 75% in 1980. A new commercial elite developed with extensive ties to the state, while economic inequality between the rich and the rest of society accelerated.[8]

Such policies did not occur without resistance, however, with opposition emanating from academics, state bureaucrats and workers, with strikes and “popular unrest” occurring throughout the mid-1970s, with a major transport worker strike in 1976 and large bread riots in 1977. Sadat responded to the labour unrest and food riots by sending in the military to crush the protests. Sadat oversaw the construction of an alliance between the large landowning class, the business class, and the conservative religious elite, and even sought to build ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Further, Sadat rebuilt ties with the United States, and even established an alliance and peace treaty with Israel, negotiated by the Carter administration in the U.S. as the 1979 Camp David Peace Accords. With that, Sadat lost a great deal of popular support, and Egypt’s Islamists rejected him. Sadat was ultimately assassinated by an Islamist group in 1981.[9]

In 1981, Hosni Mubarak then took control of Egypt, also emerging from within the military and continuing the trend of maintaining the military dictatorship established since 1952, and deepening the economic ‘reforms’ begun under Sadat. Under Mubarak, the military and economic elites became more closely integrated, and with the imposition on the Emergency Law following Sadat’s assassination, Mubarak wielded more authoritarian power, suspending the constitution and dismantling the rights of citizens, also allowing for “detention without charge, press censorship and other restrictions on civil liberties.” A new – parallel – legal system was constructed, relying upon military courts, purportedly for use against ‘terrorists’ but used to persecute any and all forms of political opponents.[10]

Mubarak oversaw – during the 1980s and 1990s – a massively expanded entrenchment of neoliberal economic and social reforms in Egypt. Mubarak also pursued a major campaign against Islamists, who were making political gains with segments of the population by capitalizing on the poverty and popular anger toward the government, largely brought on as a result of the economic reforms. Mubarak’s Egypt thus became a major human rights violator, all the while receiving immense financial and military aid from Western governments, namely, the United States. The role of the security services – in particular the police forces under the control of the Interior Ministry – became more predominant throughout Mubarak’s rule, with torture and other abuses widespread.[11]

The military plays a very large role in the economy as well, and under Mubarak, military officials were appointed as regional governors, village chiefs and put in charge of state-run companies. The military itself has undertaken large land expropriations, runs companies and factories, giving it a major role to play in manufacturing, agriculture, construction, gas and consumer industries. The military, however, keeps most of its economic activities secret, and does not pay taxes while often using “conscripted labourers” for its workforce.[12]

Mubarak began to implement further ‘reforms’ to the agrarian sector along neoliberal lines during the 1980s. The Agriculture Minister Yusuf Wali began implementing agriculture sector liberalization policies in 1986, working “hand in hand with USAID and the World Bank.” The U.S. stressed “market-oriented” reforms and promoted export-led growth, as USAID invested $1.26 billion in the agricultural reforms. These reforms continued over the 1990s, and resulted in widespread dispossession of small farmers and a further alliance between economic and military-political elites.[13]

The major neoliberal reforms in Egypt arrived under Mubarak with the signing of a 1991 Economic Restructuring and Adjustment Program with the IMF, demanding liberalization of trade and prices, privatization, and labour ‘flexibility,’ as well as the removal of several social safety net measures.[14]

The ‘new economic elite’ that emerged in Egypt as a result of the IMF’s programs of the 1990s were closely tied to the ruling party, the National Democratic Party (NDP), and Mubarak’s son, Gamal, who headed the NDP. Prominent businessmen became more influential in policy-making circles and “the number of businessmen elected to Egypt’s parliament increased from 8 in 1995 to 150 by 2005.”[15] Public spending on social services was dramatically cut, state-owned industries were privatized and employees fired, resulting in “staggering hardships for the majority.”[16]

As labour was under sustained attack, they fought back, with twice as many labour protests in the 1990s than took place during the 1980s. With the 1991 IMF program, Egypt was firmly entrenched in a neoliberal ‘order,’ which would accelerate over the following two decades. Fifteen years following the IMF program’s beginning – by 2006 – Egyptian workers had been subjected to continuous hardships and exponentially increased their resistance to it.[17]

The privatization program led to the unprecedented plundering of the Egyptian economy into the hands of relatively few economic elites. Out of 314 state-run companies, 209 were privatized by 2005, “leading to a massive displacement of public sector workers, and with it a further weakening of the struggling labour movement.” The number of workers employed by public sector companies was cut in half between 1994 and 2001. The IMF praised the privatization program in 2006 for having “surpassed expectations.” Wealth and power was concentrated “in the hands of a tiny layer of the country’s elite,” and a few large conglomerates dominated the major sectors of the economy. As Henry Veltmeyer wrote, “Mubarak – and the Egyptian state as a whole – represented an entire capitalist class.”[18]

Neoliberal reforms were further implemented under Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif (2005-2011), which saw businessmen take a more direct role in managing the state, with six major government ministries being run by six major businessmen in the areas of trade and industry, housing, transportation, health, agriculture and social welfare. Taxes were dramatically cut for corporations and elites and dramatically increased for the rest of the population. Corruption and embezzlement of public funds was rampant as the privatization programs effectively subsidized “the private sector at the expense of the nation as a whole.”[19]

The costs of food, fuel and transportation skyrocketed, while Prime Minister Nazif instructed protesting Egyptians to “grow up.” Thus, in 2006, Egypt witnessed a new wave of labour unrest.[20] Independent forms of worker organization re-emerged and in 2006 alone, “there were 220 major strikes involving tens of thousands of workers in the largest strike wave that Egypt had seen in decades,” and which were increasingly linking up with peasant movements protesting against the large landowners.[21]

In 2006, a three-day strike of workers at a weaving and spinning factory in El-Mahalla was “a major turning point in the history of the Egyptian workers’ movement,” marking a total work-stoppage and for a much longer duration than strike action prior and helped in the formation of new workers associations with more democratic accountability, directly challenging the state monopoly over unions.[22]

The strike was “the largest and most politically significant industrial strike since a dispute in the same workplace in 1947,” having roughly 24,000 workers participating, with over 10,000 occupying the factory for three days and nights, and on the fourth day the government granted a concession by offering a 45-day bonus. This set off a wave of worker protests and strikes across the country over the following years. Between 2006 and 2009, an estimated 1.7 million workers participated in protest actions, including private and public industrial workers, postal workers, educational administrators, workers in transportation, tax collection, healthcare, and other sectors. The recent years of labour unrest has been referred to as “the largest social movement in over half a century” taking place within Egypt.[23]

Between 2006 and 2008, Egypt recorded annual growth rates of 7%, and in 2009 – while much of the world was experiencing negative growth – Egypt recorded a 4.6% growth rate. However, between 2008 and 2009, poverty in Egypt increased from 20% to 23.4%, while roughly 40% of Egyptians live on less than $2 per day, one-third of the population is illiterate, and youth make up roughly 90% of the unemployed. Thus, while the neoliberal reforms of the previous three decades produced high growth rates, “it has [also] led to worsening living standards for the majority of the population and the increased concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny minority.”[24] Between 1998 and 2010, there were between 2 and 4 million workers who took part in between 3,400 and 4,000 strikes and other labour actions.[25] There were 266 strikes and labour actions in 2006, 614 in 2007, and they reached roughly 1,900 in 2009.[26]

As strikes escalated, the demands for higher wages and more democratic union representation evolved into demands for the end of the Mubarak regime (and the neoliberal reign of Prime Minister Nazif). One strike organizer in 2007 told a radio program, “We are challenging the regime.” At strikes, workers were chanting, “We will not be ruled by the World Bank! We will not be ruled by colonialism!” Images of signs at protests circulated, reading, “Down with the Government. We want a Free Government.” One strike leader who was arrested in 2007, said upon his release: “We want a change in the structure and hierarchy of the union system in this country… The way unions in this country are organized is completely wrong, from top to bottom. It is organized to make it look like our representatives have been elected, when really they are appointed by the government.”[27]

The second Palestinian Intifada in 2000 helped spawn new social movements within Egypt. The Cairo Conference was held in 2002 in an attempt to organize disparate social groups around two main shared positions: anti-neoliberalism and anti-war. In 2004, this led to the formation of the Kefaya (“Enough”), the Egyptian Movement for Change.[28] This was aided along by a major demographic change within the country, where by 2011, roughly 52% of Egypt’s population was under the age of 25, and it was this group which disproportionately lacked employment, with roughly 95% of post-secondary educated youth being unemployed or working in fields unrelated to their education with very low pay. It was this demographic which became increasingly mobilized around non-ideological movements such as Kefaya, organizing a series of anti-Mubarak protests between 2004 and 2005, demanding democracy and accountability. The younger members of this group then established the April 6 Movement, “an organization that emerged in support of the 2008 strike by textile workers in Mohalla al-Kubra.”[29]

A number of other social groups and protests organizations emerged from 2004 onwards, including Students for Change, Youth for Change, University Professors for Change, Workers for Change, Artists for Change, and the People’s Campaign for Change, among many others. In 2005, as Kefaya organized a massive anti-Mubarak protest, an organization of Egyptian intellectuals was formed as the National Assembly for Democratic Transition. Lawyers, journalists and other professions increasingly took part in protests.[30]

The April 6 Youth Movement began to support the Mahalla workers’ strike in 2008, with founder Ahmed Maher having started a Facebook page that quickly reached over 70,000 members. As support grew, the government crack down ensued, with roughly 500 activists arrested over the following two months, including Maher (who was also tortured).[31]

Since the Mubarak government made it illegal to hold meetings of more than five people, with a heavy-handed approach to information control and news censorship, Facebook and other Internet-based social media platforms quickly became very popular among young Egyptians. Roughly one in nine people in Egypt have Internet access, and 9% of those who have access used Facebook, making it the most visited website in the country, following Google and Yahoo. The Facebook page for the April 6 movement, reported the New York Times in 2009, was the page “with the most dynamic debates” among young Egyptians, “most of whom had never been involved with politics before joining the group.” The Facebook page provided a venue for young Egyptians “to assemble virtually and communicate freely about their grievances.”[32]

The United States has been a major sponsor of the Egyptian dictatorship, giving it extensive leverage with the regime. Between 1948 and 2011, the U.S. provided Egypt with a total of $71.6 billion in bilateral foreign aid (most of which consisted of an annual aid package of $1.3 billion in military aid from 1987 to present), and since the peace treaty with Israel was signed in 1979, Egypt has been the second-largest recipient of U.S. ‘aid’ in the world (after Israel).[33]

Another large international sponsor of the Egyptian dictatorship was the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which also heaped praise upon the Tunisian dictatorship of Ben Ali prior to its overthrow. In a 2010 report on Egypt, the IMF noted that the country had been following the Fund’s advice on economic reforms, though continued to recommend “phasing out energy subsidies” and increasing privatizations. The IMF further noted that, “the relationship between Egypt and the World Bank Group has been transformed and markedly improved over the last few years as a result of the progress Egypt has made in implementing reforms.”[34]

In 2010, labour unrest continued throughout the country, with one strike organizer telling the press in May of 2010, “The government represents the marriage between authority and money – and this marriage needs to be broken up… We call for the resignation of Ahmad Nazif’s government because it works only for businessmen and ignores social justice.”[35]

Egypt was clearly on the edge of an uprising, all that was required was a ‘spark’ – which came in the form of the Tunisian uprising in December of 2010 and January of 2011. With the overthrow of the long-time dictator, Ben Ali, in Tunisia, Egyptians were motivated to mobilize against Mubarak.

Andrew Gavin Marshall is an independent researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada. He is Project Manager of The People’s Book Project, head of the Geopolitics Division of the Hampton Institute, Research Director for Occupy.com’s Global Power Project and hosts a weekly podcast show at BoilingFrogsPost.

Notes

[1] Rabab El-Mahdi, “Labour protests in Egypt: causes and meanings,” Review of African Political Economy (Vol. 38, No. 129, September 2011), page 390.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Scott Hibbard and Azza Salama Layton, “The origins and future of Egypt’s revolt,” Journal of Islamic Law and Culture (Vol. 12, No. 3, October 2010), pages 198-199.

[4] Ibid, page 199.

[5] Rabab El-Mahdi, op. cit., page 390.

[6] Ray Bush, “Coalitions for Dispossession and Networks of Resistance? Land, Politics and Agrarian Reform in Egypt,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (Vol. 38, No. 3, December 2011), page 395.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Scott Hibbard and Azza Salama Layton, “The origins and future of Egypt’s revolt,” Journal of Islamic Law and Culture (Vol. 12, No. 3, October 2010), page 200.

[9] Ibid, pages 200-201.

[10] Ibid, pages 201-202.

[11] Ibid, pages 202-203.

[12] Angela Joya, “The Egyptian revolution: crisis of neoliberalism and the potential for democratic politics,” Review of African Political Economy (Vol. 38, No. 129, September 2011), page 372.

[13] Ray Bush, op. cit., pages 396-397.

[14] Angela Joya, op. cit., page 370.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Scott Hibbard and Azza Salama Layton, op. cit., page 202.

[17] Rabab El-Mahdi, op. cit., page 395.

[18] Henry Veltmeyer, “Unrest and Change: Dispatches from the Frontline of a Class War in Egypt,” Globalizations (Vol. 8, No. 5, October 2011), page 612.

[19] Angela Joya, op. cit., pages 370-371.

[20] Rabab El-Mahdi, op. cit., page 395.

[21] Henry Veltmeyer, op. cit., page 612.

[22] Rabab El-Mahdi, op. cit., pages 397-399.

[23] Ibid, pages 387-388.

[24] Henry Veltmeyer, op. cit., page 611.

[25] Joel Beinin, “Egyptian Workers and January 25th: A Social Movement in Historical Context,” Social Research (Vol. 79, No. 2, Summer 2012), page 326.

[26] Ibrahim Awad, “Breaking Out of Authoritarianism: 18 Months of Political Transition in Egypt,” Constellations (Vol. 20, No. 2, 2013), page 278.

[27] Joel Beinin, op. cit., page 331.

[28] Angela Joya, op. cit., pages 368-369.

[29] Scott Hibbard and Azza Salama Layton, “The origins and future of Egypt’s revolt,” Journal of Islamic Law and Culture (Vol. 12, No. 3, October 2010), pages 206-207.

[30] Angela Joya, op. cit., page 369.

[31] Ellen Knickmeyer, “Fledgling Rebellion on Facebook Is Struck Down by Force in Egypt,” The New York Times, 18 May 2008:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/05/17/ST2008051702711.html

[32] Samantha M. Shapiro, “Revolution, Facebook-Style,” The New York Times, 22 January 2009:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/magazine/25bloggers-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

[33] Jeremy M. Sharp, “Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations,” Congressional Research Service, 27 June 2013: page 9.

[34] Patrick Bond, “Neoliberal threats to North Africa,” Review of African Political Economy (Vol. 38, No. 129, September 2011), pages 483-484.

[35] Joel Beinin, “Egyptian Workers and January 25th: A Social Movement in Historical Context,” Social Research (Vol. 79, No. 2, Summer 2012), page 339.

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Quebec Steps Closer to Martial Law to Repress Students: Bill 78 is a “Declaration of War on the Student Movement”

Quebec Steps Closer to Martial Law to Repress Students

Bill 78 is a “Declaration of War on the Student Movement”

By: Andrew Gavin Marshall

Originally Published at: The Media Co-Op

On Friday, May 18, the Québec legislature signed a special “emergency law” to “restore order” in the province following three months of student protests in a strike against the government’s proposed 80% increase in the cost of tuition. A legislative debate lasted all night and resulted in a vote of 68-48 in favour of the legislation. The legislation has three main focal points: (1) it “suspends” the school semester for schools majorly affected by the strike, (2) it establishes extremely high fines for anyone who attempts to picket or block access to schools, and (3) it imposes massive restrictions on where and how people may demonstrate and protest in the streets. The law is set to expire by July 1, 2013.

On Monday, May 14, Quebec’s Education Minister Line Beauchamp resigned, and was replaced with Quebec’s Treasury Board president Michelle Courchesne, a former Education Minister from 2007 to 2010, who had also participated in the failed negotiations the weekend of May 4. Premier Jean Charest commented on the change of ministers and the continuity of the government’s position on the tuition hikes, saying that, “We believe in this policy… This policy is going to go ahead.” On Tuesday, May 15, protests continued in Quebec, with about 100 riot police called in to break a student strike blockage of a community college in Montreal. Students were told that “all necessary force” would be used to ensure that classes would resume, in line with a legal injunction obtained by 53 of the school’s students to return to class. Legal injunctions have regularly been used to undermine the student strike, as the state refuses to recognize the right of students to strike. As a result, a few dozen – or even one or two – students can obtain legal injunctions to force the schools to re-open and go to class. The injunctions are backed by the power of the state, and so the riot police are called in to pepper spray, tear gas, and beat with batons those students who form picket lines blocking access to the schools. On May 15, parents and teachers of striking students were involved in helping organize the picket line which ended with the riot squad using tear gas and arresting several people.

That night, student leaders met with the new Education Minister Michèle Courchesne, in a meeting that lasted just over an hour, at which students urged the government “to abandon any hard line strategy and impose a moratorium.” The students pushed for a “truce” with the government, and said, following the meeting, that the new Minister was “receptive” but had “refused to commit herself to a position.” Students, however, were assured by the new Minister that no special laws would be adopted to force a settlement. The spokesman for the largest student association – CLASSE – Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, stated that, “We cannot say that the impasse has been overcome. The Minister told us the decision will be taken by the cabinet (on Wednesday).” Martine Desjardins, another student leader expressed optimism in thinking a solution may be at hand, “This is a crisis and we need to solve it quickly and everybody is working hard to do that.” Leo Bureau-Blouin, head of the college student federation, stated, “We certainly hope [the] cabinet will be open to compromises.” The student leaders warned against using legislation to end the conflict, with Nadeau-Dubois stating, “It would be a major step backward… You can’t end a strike like this with police force.” Gabriel-Nadeau indicated that CLASSE was discussing the possibility of sacrificing the semester, and Martine Desjardins of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ) indicated that they were willing to make concessions in negotiations, but was concerned about the government’s hard line with court injunctions and police interventions, which only stoke anger and incur harsher reactions. Léo Bureau-Blouin of the college association stated that, “I’m sure that if they gave us new proposals it would help move things along,” but condemned the idea of a special law: “This would do nothing to help the crisis, to help settle the conflict. With battery of court injunctions, the tension has grown. A special law would only make matter worse.

Students emerged from the meeting with the new Education Minister stating that they were “relatively satisfied” and that, “we hope that the council of ministers is going to be open to our compromises,” referring to the cabinet meeting to be held the following day. Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois described the meeting as “cordial” and stated, “We also unblocked certain channels of communication that had perhaps been blocked by some misunderstandings with Madame Beauchamp.” Jeanne Reynolds, another spokesperson for CLASSE, stated that Minister Courchesne had “assured the students she has no intention of seeing the semester cancelled,” and that this was, “very reassuring.” She added: “Like us, the minister seems to agree injunctions are not the solution to solve the current crisis… Obviously we were very happy to hear that.” The student leaders were surprised to hear the next day that Minister Courchesne commented on their meeting, stating, “On their side I sensed a hardening of their position… That was very clear.” She added, “I will report to the cabinet soon. The government will judge what decision to make then.”

Resentful of the fact that a minority of students have used legal injunctions to violate the declared strike, roughly one hundred students on Wednesday, May 16, went through the hallways disrupting classes at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM). Emotions were heated in confrontations with some of the other students and teachers. This happened as Jean Charest and his cabinet met in Quebec City to discuss a “solution” to the crisis by passing “emergency legislation.”

On May 17, Quebec’s opposition Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois called on Premier Charest to sit down with students instead of legislate against them, “Why is the premier attacking the youth of Quebec?” As the Quebec government tabled legislation to crack down on the student protests, students from all sides of the debate – wearing a red (pro-strike), green (pro-hike), or white squares (proposing a moratorium on tuition fee hikes) – all banded together to urge the government to negotiate instead of passing “repressive” legislation. Student leader Léo Bureau-Blouin commented, “You can clearly see it here today. Regardless of the colour of squares we carry, regardless of the political parties, today is not a time to play partisan politics… Parliamentarians were elected to ensure social peace…we are open to compromises, we are open to discussions.” Student leader Martine Desjardins commented, “All the coloured squares are here to say that it would be better to negotiate a deal rather than unilaterally impose a resolution to this crisis.” Even the main student representative demanding students return to class and end the strike, Laurent Proulx, asked the government not to resort to the legislation, “We want to make sure that both sides reach a settlement that won’t require either to surrender.” Student leaders announced that they would challenge the legislation in court as it violates their right to legitimately protest.

As the Quebec government began an all-night debate on Thursday night on the proposed legislation, protests took place in all five of Quebec’s largest cities. Before Thursday night’s debate, student leaders were calling for new negotiations, with Martine Desjardins opposing Jean Charest’s legislation, “Let him come sit with us, and negotiate a solution to this crisis… Let him come show us that he is a head of state, not just a party leader.” Bureau-Blouin stated, “We are more ready than ever to compromise.” Protests in Montreal the night before – when the legislation was first announced – drew thousands into the streets and resulted in riot police arresting 122 people.

In “abandoning any hope of negotiating a settlement with striking students,” Jean Charest announced that, “We need to bring down the pressure where strikes are still on. We need to bring back social peace.” With student leaders saying they were willing to compromise, Charest announced that he will not back down from the tuition hikes, and “promised a tougher approach to ensure classes can resume in August, with stronger police intervention to guarantee access.” He added, “No student will be forced to attend class. But for others, they have the right to attend classes in a secure environment.” Charest stated that, “We cannot accept that access be blocked … we will not bow to violence and intimidation – our laws need to be obeyed.” Apparently, this means passing new laws to violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. After all, “our laws need to be obeyed.” Student leaders warned of the dangers of passing such a law, as the reaction is sure to be intense. Léo Bureau-Blouin commented, “If there is violence, if there is tension, Mr. Charest will be the only one to blame.” Martine Desjardins commented, “We now know that Mr. Charest never had any real intentions of solving this conflict.” Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois of CLASSE responded to the proposed legislation, “The bill that the government is proposing to table is an anti-union law, it is authoritarian, repressive and breaks the students’ right to strike… This is a government that prefers to hit… its youth, ridicule its youth rather than listen to them.” The student leaders continued to call on students to hold peaceful demonstrations and support the plans for a massive demonstration on Tuesday, May 22, to mark the 100th day of the strike.

The legislation – Bill 78 – includes heavy fines for those participating in student strike demonstrations: “fines of between $1,000 and $5,000 for any individual who prevents someone from entering an educational institution,” and these numbers climb to “between $7,000 and $35,000 for a student leader and to between $25,000 and $125,000 for unions or student federations.” The bill would essentially aim to bankrupt and destroy the student associations. Further, it includes strict new regulations in regards to holding demonstrations – manifestations – which include mandating that demonstration organizers must give police (in writing) at least eight hours before a scheduled demonstration, the details of the itinerary, duration, time, and route for a march. Police are then granted the “right” to demand changes, “in order to keep the peace and maintain order and public security.” Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois commented, “This is an abuse of power… It’s totally unacceptable in a democracy to table such legislation.” Leo Bureau-Blouin, the student leader who has been most willing to compromise, commented, “This legislation strikes a blow to the freedom of expression.” Martine Desjardins stated that the bill is a “declaration of war against the student movement.” The bill, explained student leaders, will only increase tension and make the crisis much worse. Jean Charest commented, “We hold the conviction that this decision is important — not only for our young people, but for the future of the Quebec people.”

The legislation has promoted calls for increased civil disobedience. Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois stated, “When laws become unjust, sometimes you have to disobey and we are now thinking seriously about that possibility… Police repression never scared us. The demonstrations will continue tonight, I believe, every night if necessary.” A member of the National Assembly Amir Khadir, leader of the Quebec political party Quebec Solidaire, stated that, “Civil disobedience is a noble thing… In my democratic perspective and that of my party, civil disobedience, when justified and morally right and commendable, it is politically appropriate.” On Friday, May 18, the Quebec Bar Association stated it had “serious concerns” over the legislation, which it described as “excessive.” Student and union groups united on Friday to oppose the bill, describing it as turning Quebec into a “totalitarian state” and stating, “This law is guided by the aggressiveness, anger and revenge of the Liberal Party.” But not everyone was upset about it. As the law requires organizers to inform police about gatherings of 10 or more people, the chamber of commerce of Gatineau, Quebec, released a “tongue-in-cheek” statement of plans to hold an “assembly of more than 10 people” and asked how many police officers would be present “so that they could prepare the appropriate number of hors d’oeuvres.”

Nadeau-Dubois stated, “I believe my anger is quite representative of the way students are feeling, and I am convinced that will be expressed in the streets… over the next few days and the next few weeks.” He then added: “It’s a declaration of war, not only against students but also against anyone who clings in any way to democracy, against anyone who clings to what Quebec was before this legislation was tabled.” He predicted that Quebecers would “rise up against such an unacceptable document.” The heads of three major Quebec unions came out in opposition to the law, with one leader stating, “The Quebec government chose to use a club instead of dialogue and negotiations… Quebec must not become a police state and that’s what this law means.” Louis Masson, president of the Quebec Bar Association, stated that, “This bill, if adopted, is a breach to the fundamental, constitutional rights of the citizens.” A university and college teacher’s union stated, “If we are no longer able to protest in our society, it becomes a totalitarian society… We are telling our members to defend their fundamental right, the right to demonstrate.”

The legislation also bars students from demonstrating inside or even within 50 metres of college and university buildings. This essentially amounts to making freedom of assembly and speech illegal on college and university campuses. Bureau-Blouin stated, “This bill transforms all civil protests into a crime and transforms a state that has a tradition of openness into a police state… It is an unreasonable limit on our right to demonstrate and aims at killing our associations.” The legislation directly targets the student associations. If a student association attempts to disrupt or prevent students from getting to classes, “it will lose its funding.” Further, “for each day classes are disrupted by actions taken by a student group, the penalty will amount to cessation of funding for a term.” This bill could “virtually bankrupt student associations” for supporting the strike. It also severely restricts the ability of other unions and professors and teachers to support striking students.

Legal experts began speaking out against the legislation, saying that it “goes too far and contravenes fundamental rights.” To add insult to injury, on the same day the legislation was voted for, the City of Montreal quietly passed a by-law which bans masks being worn at protests. The Quebec Bar Association explained that its “serious concerns” about Bill 78 included the fact that, “The scale of its restraints on fundamental freedoms isn’t justified by the objectives aimed by the government.” The president of the Quebec Bar added, “The government is making it harder for people to organize spontaneous demonstrations. It is a limit on freedom of speech.” A Laval University law professor, Louis-Philippe Lampron, an expert in human rights, commented, “Read it. Stunned. Can’t believe that a democratic government can adopt such a law.”

Another Laval University law professor, Fannie Lafontaine, raised concerns about the provisions in the law “which aim to prevent protesters from barring other students from attending school,” as Section 13 and 14 state that no one can “directly or indirectly contribute” to delaying classes or preventing others from having access to them. Section 15 said that student associations must undertake “appropriate means” to ensure their members do not “directly or indirectly” contribute to delaying or denying access to classes. Section 25 threatens fines that go as high as $125,000 for student associations that violate these provisions. Law professor Lafontaine warned that “those sections are too broadly defined while at the same time they are twinned with stiff penalties,” adding: “The students are told to take `appropriate means’ and we don’t know what this implies, to `induce’ members to comply, so there’s an obligation to get results… this doesn’t work in law. You can’t have offences that are written so vaguely they’re impossible to respect.” She also stated, “In times of crisis, all governments tend to restrain fundamental rights and history shows that excessive restrictions don’t help restore order.” Louis Roy, who represents most of the province’s teachers said that his members are “disgusted,” and that, “[t]hey will not be collaborating in any kind of police action. They are not going to become some kind of police squad for the provincial government. We are very close to having a government ready to trample on fundamental rights.” Another union leader stated, “This law is worthy of a banana republic.”

The Canadian Association of University Teachers spoke out on May 18 in condemnation of Bill 78, “for violating fundamental freedoms of association, assembly, and expression.” James L. Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, stated, “This special law is a terrible act of mass repression… The Quebec government has opted to exert the heavy hand of the law as a weapon to suppress dissent.” The bill not only imposes heavy fines and limits freedom of assembly, but it also stipulates that students associations (and other supportive associations, including unions) will be held responsible for any third party violence which takes place at demonstrations.  Turk stated, “Now, more than ever, the rest of Canada needs to be pinning on a red felt square showing their support for the students of Quebec and for civil liberties… Bill 78 needs to be defeated in the name of democracy or the rest of Canada should be joining the students on the streets.”

Lucie Lemonde, a law professor at Universite du Quebec a Montreal, stated, “It’s the worst law that I’ve ever seen, except for the War Measures Act,” which was the invocation of martial law in Quebec in 1970 during the FLQ crisis. She added, “We knew something was coming, but I didn’t think they would use it to change the rules of the game in terms of the rights to demonstrate.” Meanwhile the President of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Michel Leblanc, “welcomed the bill as a way to protect downtown businesses which say they are suffering because of the frequent demonstrations.” All in all, over the course of Friday May 18:

Student groups, unions, opposition politicians, a host of legal scholars, the Quebec Human Rights Commission, right-wing and left-wing commentators, and the normally restrained Quebec Bar Association blasted the provincial law as an assault on the right to speak and assemble freely.

“This bill infringes many of the fundamental rights of our citizens. The basis of a democracy is the rule of law. We must respect the law. We must also respect fundamental freedoms, like the freedom to protest peacefully, the freedom of speech and the freedom of association,” bar association president bâtonnier Louis Masson, said in an interview.

Quebec Solidaire party leader Amir Khadir stated, “This is a bludgeon law imposed by an illegitimate, corrupt government… I call upon all citizens to respect the laws. But we have to ask ourselves the question: Must we obey a law that takes away fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution? Can we be justified to disobey?”

So this is where we’ve come to now: the government of Quebec has decided that instead of compromising on its tuition hikes – something it has stated from the beginning that it was unwilling to even consider – and instead of negotiating in good faith with the students, as all the negotiations have been farces thus far, it will instead “crack down” on the students of Quebec, implementing the “worst law” since the War Measures Act of 1970, which was a declaration of martial law. Bill 78 amounts to a pseudo-declaration of martial law against the students of Quebec. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights to freedom of speech, assembly, and expression. Bill 78 is the most dangerous law in all of Canada, and one of the most dangerous laws in our history as a country. It must be opposed, and in the face of such measures which are expected of a ‘Third World’ police state but not of a so-called ‘democracy,’ civil disobedience is just, righteous, and necessary.

This is no longer about tuition.

Our very freedom is at stake.

Andrew Gavin Marshall is an independent researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada, writing on a number of social, political, economic, and historical issues. He is also Project Manager of The People’s Book Project. He also hosts a weekly podcast show, “Empire, Power, and People,” on BoilingFrogsPost.com.

Ten Points Everyone Should Know About the Quebec Student Movement

Ten Points Everyone Should Know About the Quebec Student Movement

By: Andrew Gavin Marshall

The student strikes in Quebec, which began in February and have lasted for three months, involving roughly 175,000 students in the mostly French-speaking Canadian province, have been subjected to a massive provincial and national media propaganda campaign to demonize and dismiss the students and their struggle. The following is a list of ten points that everyone should know about the student movement in Quebec to help place their struggle in its proper global context.

1)            The issue is debt, not tuition

2)            Striking students in Quebec are setting an example for youth across the continent

3)            The student strike was organized through democratic means and with democratic aims

4)            This is not an exclusively Quebecois phenomenon

5)            Government officials and the media have been openly calling for violence and “fascist” tactics to be used against the students

6)            Excessive state violence has been used against the students

7)            The government supports organized crime and opposes organized students

8)            Canada’s elites punish the people and oppose the students

9)            The student strike is being subjected to a massive and highly successful propaganda campaign to discredit, dismiss, and demonize the students

10)            The student movement is part of a much larger emerging global movement of resistance against austerity, neoliberalism, and corrupt power

1)            The issue is debt, not tuition: In dismissing the students, who are striking against a 75% increase in the cost of tuition over the next five years, the most common argument used is in pointing out that Quebec students pay the lowest tuition in North America, and therefore, they should not be complaining. Even with the 75% increase, they will still be paying substantially lower than most other provinces. Quebec students pay on average $2,500 per year in tuition, while the rest of Canada’s students pay on average $5,000 per year. With the tuition increase of $1,625 spread out over five years, the total tuition cost for Quebec students would be roughly $4,000. The premise here is that since the rest of Canada has it worse, Quebec students should shut up, sit down, and accept “reality.” THIS IS FALSE. In playing the “numbers game,” commentators and their parroting public repeat the tuition costs but fail to add in the numbers which represent the core issue: DEBT. So, Quebec students pay half the average national tuition. True. But they also graduate with half the average national student debt. With the average tuition at $5,000/year, the average student debt for an undergraduate in Canada is $27,000, while the average debt for an undergraduate in Quebec is $13,000. With interest rates expected to increase, in the midst of a hopeless job situation for Canadian youth, Canada’s youth face a future of debt that “is bankrupting a generation of students.” The notion, therefore, that Quebec students should not struggle against a bankrupt future is a bankrupted argument.

2)            Striking students in Quebec are setting an example for youth across the continent: Nearly 60% of Canadian students graduate with debt, on average at $27,000 for an undergraduate degree. Total student debt now stands at about $20 billion in Canada ($15 billion from Federal Government loans programs, and the rest from provincial and commercial bank loans). In Quebec, the average student debt is $15,000, whereas Nova Scotia and Newfoundland have an average student debt of $35,000, British Columbia at nearly $30,000 and Ontario at nearly $27,000. Roughly 70% of new jobs in Canada require a post-secondary education. Half of students in their 20s live at home with their parents, including 73 per cent of those aged 20 to 24 and nearly a third of 25- to 29-year-olds. On average, a four-year degree for a student living at home in Canada costs $55,000, and those costs are expected to increase in coming years at a rate faster than inflation. It has been estimated that in 18 years, a four-year degree for Canadian students will cost $102,000. Defaults on government student loans are at roughly 14%. The Chairman of the Canadian Federation of Students warned in June of 2011 that, “We are on the verge of bankrupting a generation before they even enter the workplace.” This immense student debt affects every decision made in the lives of young graduates. With few jobs, enormous housing costs, the cutting of future benefits and social security, students are entering an economy which holds very little for them in opportunities. Women, minorities, and other marginalized groups are in an even more disadvantaged position. Canadian students are increasingly moving back home and relying more and more upon their parents for support. An informal Globe and Mail poll in early May of 2012 (surveying 2,200 students), “shows that students across Canada share a similar anxiety over rising tuition fees” as that felt in Quebec. Roughly 62% of post-secondary students said they would join a similar strike in their own province, while 32% said they would not, and 5.9% were undecided. In Ontario, where tuition is the highest in Canada, 69% said they would support a strike against increasing tuition. A Quebec research institution released a report in late March of 2012 indicating that increasing the cost of tuition for students is creating a “student debt bubble” akin to the housing bubble in the United States, and with interest rates set to increase, “today’s students may well find themselves in the same situation of not being able to pay off their student loans.” The authors of the report from the Institut de recherche et d’informations socio-economique explained that, “Since governments underwrite those loans, if students default it could be catastrophic for public finances,” and that, “If the bubble explodes, it could be just like the mortgage crisis.” In the United States, the situation is even worse. In March of 2012, the Federal Reserve reported that 27 percent of student borrowers whose loans have gone into repayment are now delinquent on their debt.” Student debt in the United States has reached $1 trillion, “passing total credit card debt along the way.” It has become a threat to the entire existence of the middle class in America. Bankruptcy lawyers in the US are “seeing the telltale signs of a student loan debt bubble.” A recent survey from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) indicated, “more than 80 percent of bankruptcy lawyers have seen a substantial increase in the number of clients seeking relief from student loans in recent years.” The head of the NACBA stated, “This could very well be the next debt bomb for the U.S. economy.” In 1993, 45% of students who earn a bachelor’s degree had to go into debt; today, it is 94%. The average student debt in the United States in 2011 was $23,300, with 10% owning more than $54,000 and 3% owing more than $100,000. President Obama has addressed the situation by simply providing more loans to students. A recent survey of graduates revealed that 40% of them “had delayed making a major purchase, like a home or car, because of college debt, while slightly more than a quarter had put off continuing their education or had moved in with relatives to save money,” and 50% of those surveyed had full-time jobs. Between 2001 and 2011, “state and local financing per student declined by 24 percent nationally.” In the same period of time, “tuition and fees at state schools increased 72 percent.” It would appear that whether in the United States, Canada, or even beyond, the decisions made by schools, banks, and the government, are geared toward increasing the financial burden on students and families, and increasing profits for themselves. The effect will be to plunge the student and youth population into poverty over the coming years. Thus, the student movement in Quebec, instead of being portrayed as “entitled brats” elsewhere, are actually setting an example for students and youth across the continent and beyond. Since Quebec tuition is the lowest on the continent, it gives all the more reason that other students should follow Quebec’s example, instead of Quebec students being told to follow the rest of the country (and continent) into debt bondage.

3)            The student strike was organized through democratic means and with democratic aims: The decision to strike was made through student associations and organizations that uniquely operate through direct-democracy. While most student associations at schools across Canada hold elections where students choose the members of the associations, the democratic accountability ends there (just like with government). Among the Francophone schools in Quebec, the leaders are not only elected by the students, but decisions are made through general assemblies, debate and discussion, and through the votes of the actual constituents, the members of the student associations, not just the leaders. This means that the student associations that voted to strike are more democratically accountable and participatory than most other student associations, and certainly the government. It represents a more profound and meaningful working definition of democracy that is lacking across the rest of the country. The Anglophone student associations that went on strike – from Concordia and McGill – did so because, for the first time ever, they began to operate through direct-democracy. This of course, has resulted in insults and derision from the media. The national media in Canada – most especially the National Post – complain that the student “tactics are anything but democratic,” and that the students aren’t acting in a democratic way, but that “it’s really mob rule.” Obviously, it is naïve to assume that the National Post has any sort of understanding of democracy.

4)            This is not an exclusively Quebecois phenomenon: I am an Anglophone, I don’t even speak French, I have only lived in Montreal for under two years, but the strikers are struggling as much for me as for any other student, Francophone or Anglophone. Typically, when others across Canada see what is taking place here, they frame it along the lines of, “Oh those Quebecois, always yelling about something.” But I’m yelling too… in English. Many people here are yelling… in English. It is true that the majority of the students protesting are Francophone, and the majority of the schools on strike are Francophone, but it is not exclusionary. In fact, the participation in the strike from the Anglophone schools (while a minority within the schools) is unprecedented in Quebec history. This was undertaken because students began mobilizing at the grassroots and emulating the French student groups in how they make decisions (i.e., through direct-democracy). The participation of Anglophone students in the open-ended strike is unprecedented in Quebec history.

5)            Government officials and the media have been openly calling for violence and “fascist” tactics to be used against the students: With all the focus on student violence at protests, breaking bank windows, throwing rocks at riot police, and other acts of vandalism, student leaders have never called for violence against the government or vandalism against property, and have, in fact, denounced it and spoken out for calm, stating: “The student movement wants to fight alongside the populace and not against it.” On the other hand, it has been government officials and the national media which have been openly calling for violence to be used against students. On May 11, Michael Den Tandt, writing for the National Post, stated that, “It’s time for tough treatment of Quebec student strikers,” and recommended to Quebec Premier Jean Charest that, “He must bring down the hammer.” Tandt claimed that there was “a better way” to deal with student protesters: “Dispersal with massive use of tear gas; then arrest, public humiliation, and some pain.” He even went on to suggest that, “caning is more merciful than incarceration,” or perhaps even re-imagining the medieval punishment in which “miscreants and ne’er-do-wells were placed in the stockade, in the public square, and pelted with rotten cabbages. That might not be a bad idea, either.” This, Tandt claimed, would be the only way to preserve “peace, order, and good government.” Kelly McParland, writing the for National Post on May 11, suggested that it was now time for Charest to “empower the police to use the full extent of the law against those who condone or pursue further disruption,” and that the government must make a “show of strength” against the students. If this was not bad enough, get ready for this: A member of the Quebec Liberal Party, head of the tax office in the Municipal Affairs Department, Bernard Guay, wrote an article for a French-language newspaper in Quebec in mid-April advocating a strategy to “end the student strikes.” In the article, the government official recommended using the fascist movements of the 1920s and 1930s as an example in how to deal with “leftists” in giving them “their own medicine.” He suggested organizing a political “cabal” to handle the “wasteful and anti-social” situation, which would mobilize students to not only cross picket lines, but to confront and assault students who wear the little red square (the symbol of the student strike). This, Guay suggested, would help society “overcome the tyranny of Leftist agitators,” no doubt by emulating fascist tyranny. The article was eventually pulled and an apology was issued, while a government superior supposedly reprimanded Guay, though the government refused to elaborate on what that consisted of. Just contemplate this for a moment: A Quebec Liberal government official recommended using “inspiration” from fascist movements to attack the striking students. Imagine if one of the student associations had openly called for violence, let alone for the emulation of fascism. It would be national news, and likely lead to arrests and charges. But since it was a government official, barely a peep was heard.

6)            Excessive state violence has been used against the students: Throughout the three months of protests from students in Quebec, the violence has almost exclusively been blamed on the students. Images of protesters throwing rocks and breaking bank windows inundate the media and ‘inform’ the discourse, demonizing the students as violent, vandals, and destructive. Meanwhile, the reality of state violence being used against the students far exceeds any of the violent reactions from protesters, but receives far less coverage. Riot police meet students with pepper spray, tear gas, concussion grenades, smoke bombs, beating them with batons, shoot them with rubber bullets, and have even been driving police cars and trucks into groups of students. On May 4, on the 42nd anniversary of the Kent State massacre in which the U.S. National Guard murdered four protesting students, Quebec almost experienced its own Kent State, when several students were critically injured by police, shot with rubber bullets in the face. One student lost an eye, and another remains in the hospital with serious head injuries, including a skull fracture and brain contusion. The Quebec provincial police – the SQ – have not only been involved in violent repression of student protests in Quebec, but have also (along with the RCMP) been involved in training foreign police forces how to violently repress their own populations, such as in Haiti. Roughly 12,000 people in Quebec have signed a petition against the police reaction to student protests, stipulating that the police actions have been far too violent.  In late April, even before the Quebec police almost killed a couple students, Amnesty International “asked the government to call for a toning down of police measures that… are unduly aggressive and might potentially smother students’ right to free expression.” The Quebec government, of course, defends police violence against students and youths. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) – Canada’s spy agency – has recently announced its interest in “gathering intelligence” on Quebec student protesters and related groups as “possible threats to national security.” Coincidentally, Prime Minister Stephen Harper dismantled the government agency responsible for oversight of CSIS, making the agency essentially unaccountable. In reaction to student protests, the City of Montreal is considering banning masks being worn at protests in a new bylaw which is being voted on without public consultation. Thus, apparently it is fine for police to wear gas masks as they shoot chemical agents at Quebec’s youth, but students cannot attempt to even meagerly protect themselves by covering their faces. The federal Conservative government of Stephen Harper is attempting to pass a law that bans masks at protests, which includes a ten-year sentence for “rioters who wear masks.” Quebec has even established a secretive police unit called the GAMMA squad to monitor political groups in the province, which has already targeted and arrested members of the leading student organization behind the strike. The police unit is designed to monitor “anarchists” and “marginal political groups.” Some political groups have acknowledged this as “a declaration of war” by the government against such groups. Spokesperson for the largest student group, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, stated that, “This squad is really a new kind of political police to fight against social movements.” The situation of police repression has become so prevalent that even the U.S. State Department has warned Americans to stay away from student protests in the city, “as bystanders can quickly be caught up in unforeseen violence and in some cases, detained by the local police.”

7)            The government supports organized crime and opposes organized students: The government claims that it must increase the cost of tuition in order to balance the budget and to increase the “competitiveness” of schools. The government has ignored, belittled, undermined, attempted to divide, and outright oppress the student movement. The Liberal Government of Quebec, in short, has declared organized students to be enemies of the state. Meanwhile, that same government has no problem of working with and supporting organized crime, namely, the Montreal Mafia. In 2010, Quebec, under Premier Jean Charest, was declared to be “the most corrupt province” in Canada. A former opposition leader in the Montreal city hall reported that, “the Italian mafia controls about 80 per cent of city hall.” The mafia is a “big player” in the Quebec economy, and “is deeply entrenched in city affairs” of Montreal, as “more than 600 businesses pay Mafia protection money in Montreal alone, handing organized crime leaders an unprecedented degree of control of Quebec’s economy.” The construction industry, especially, is heavily linked to the mafia. The Montreal Mafia is as influential as their Sicilian counterparts, where “all of the major infrastructure work in Sicily is under Mafia control.” In 2009, a government official stated that, “It’s Montreal’s Italian Mafia that controls what is going on in road construction. They control, from what we can tell, 80 per cent of the contracts.” In the fall of 2011, an internal report written by the former Montreal police chief for the government was leaked, stating, “We have discovered a firmly rooted, clandestine universe on an unexpected scale, harmful to our society on the level of safety and economics and of justice and democracy.” The report added, “Suspicions are persistent that an evil empire is taking form in the highway construction domain,” and that, “If there were to be an intensification of influence-peddling in the political sphere, we would no longer simply be talking about marginal, or even parallel criminal activities: we could suspect an infiltration or even a takeover of certain functions of the state.” Quebec Premier Jean Charest, for several years, rejected calls for a public inquiry into corruption in the construction industry, even as the head of Quebec’s anti-collusion squad called for such an inquiry. An opposition party in Quebec stated that Jean Charest “is protecting the (Quebec) Liberal party – and in protecting the Liberal party, Mr. Charest is protecting the Mafia, organized crime.” After the leaked report revealed “cost overruns totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, kickbacks and illegal donations to political parties,” Charest had to – after two years of refusing – open a public inquiry into corruption. The Quebec mafia have not only “run gambling and prostitution and imported stupefying amounts of illegal drugs into Canada, but they have extended their influence to elected civic and provincial governments, and to Liberal and Conservative federal governments through bribery and other ‘illustrious relations’.” The Federal Conservative Party of Canada, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper as its leader, received dozens of donations from Mafia-connected construction and engineering firm employees. The Mafia-industry has also donated to the Federal Liberal Party, but less so than the Conservatives, who hold power. In Quebec, government officials have helped the Mafia charge far more for public-works contracts than they were worth. These Mafia companies would then use a lot of that extra money to fund political parties, most notably, the Liberals, who have been in power for nine years. A former Montreal police officer who worked in the intelligence unit with access to the police’s confidential list of informants was suspected of selling information to the mafia. In January of 2012, he was found dead, reportedly of a suicide. In April of 2012, fifteen arrests were made in Montreal by the police in relation to corruption charges linked to the Mafia. Among them were one of the biggest names in the construction industry, with 14 individual facing conspiracy charges “involving municipal contracts associated with the Mascouche water-treatment plants [that] are connected to big construction, engineering and law firms that have been involved in municipal contracts and politics across the Montreal region for decades. And the individuals have been around the municipal world for years.” One Quebec mayor has even been charged. The Montreal police force has “not been very interested, and it should be,” in helping the anti-corruption investigation. Two of those who were arrested included Quebec Liberal Party fundraisers, one of whom Charest personally delivered an award to in 2010 for his “years of service as an organizer.” All three of Quebec’s main political parties were connected to individuals arrested in the raids. Canada’s federal police force, the RCMP, have refused to cooperate with the Mafia-corruption inquiry in handing over their massive amounts of information to the judge leading the inquiry. Quebec Education Minister Line Beauchamp, who has been leading the government assault against the students, attended a political fundraiser for herself which was attended by a notorious Mafia figure who personally “donated generously to the minister’s Liberal riding association.” As these revelations emerged, Beauchamp stated, “I don’t know the individual in question and even today I wouldn’t be able to recognize him.” At the time, Beauchamp was the Environment Minister, and was responsible for granting the Mafia figure’s company a favourable certificate to expand its business. Beauchamp claimed she did not know about the deal, but as head of the Ministry which handled it, either she is utterly incompetent or a liar. Either way, she is clearly not fit for “public service” if it amounts to nothing more than “service to the Mafia.” The fact that she is now responsible for increasing tuition and leading the attack on students speaks volumes.  Line Beauchamp, when questioned about taking political contributions from the Mafia, stated, “Now that the information is public and the links well established, I would not put myself in that position again.” Well isn’t that reassuring? Now that it’s public, she wouldn’t do it again. That’s sort of like saying, “I wouldn’t have committed the crime if I knew I was going to be caught.” The notion that Beauchamp didn’t know whom this Mafia figure was who was giving her money is absurd. It’s even more absurd when you note that one of Beauchamp’s political attaches was a 30-year veteran of the Montreal police force. As one Quebec political figure commented about the Liberal Government’s Mafia links: “They refuse to sit down with a student leader but they have breakfast with a mafioso … where is the logic in that?” Indeed. It’s clear that the Quebec government has no problem working with, handing out contracts to, and taking money from the Mafia and organized crime. In fact, they are so integrated that the government itself is a form of organized crime. But for that government, and for the media boot-lickers who follow the government line, organized students are the true threat to Quebec. National newspapers declare Quebec students following “mob rule” when it’s actually the government that is closely connected to “mob rule.” The students are challenging and being repressed by a Mafioso-government alliance of industrialists, politicians, financiers and police… yet it is the students who are blamed for everything. The government gives the Mafia public contracts double or triple their actual value, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars (if not more), while students are being asked to pay nearly double their current tuition. There’s money for the mob, but scraps for the students.

8)            Canada’s elites punish the people and oppose the students: It’s not simply the government of Quebec which has set itself against the students, sought to increase their tuition and repress their resistance, often with violent means, but a wide sector of elite society in Quebec and Canada propose tuition increases and blind faith to the state in managing its repression of a growing social movement. As such, the student movement should recognize that not simply are Jean Charest and his Liberal-Mafia government the antagonists of social justice, but the whole elite society itself. As early as 2007, TD Bank, one of Canada’s big five banks, outlined a “plan for prosperity” for the province of Quebec, and directly recommended Quebec to raise tuition costs for students. Naturally, the Quebec government is more likely to listen to a bank than the youth of the province. Banks of course, have an interest in increasing tuition costs for students, as they provide student loans and lines of credit which they charge interest on and make profits. The Royal Bank of Canada acknowledged that student lines of credit are “very popular products.” Elites of all sorts support the tuition increases. In February of 2010, a group of “prominent” (i.e., elitist) Quebecers signed a letter proposing to increase Quebec’s tuition costs. Among the signatories were the former Premier of Quebec for the Parti Quebecois, Lucien Bouchard.  In early May, a letter was published in the Montreal Gazette which stated that students need to pay more for their education in Quebec, signed by the same elitists who proposed the tuition increase back in February of 2010. Initially, this group of elitists had proposed an increase of $1,000 every year for three years. The letter then calls for the application of state power to be employed against the student movement: “It is time that we react. We must reinstate order; the students have to return to class… This is a situation when, regardless of political allegiances, the population must support the state, which is ultimately responsible for public order, the safety of individuals and the integrity of our institutions.” The “integrity” of institutions which cooperate with the Mafia, I might add. What incredible integrity! The letter was signed by Lucien Bouchard, former Premier of Quebec; Michel Audet, an economist and former Finance Minister in the first Charest government in Quebec; Françoise Bertrand, the President and chief executive officer of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (The Quebec Federation of Chambers of Commerce), where she sits alongside the presidents and executives of major Canadian corporations, banks, and business interests. She also sits on the board of directors of Quebecor Inc., a major media conglomerate, with former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney on its board. Another signatory was Yves-Thomas Dorval, President of the Quebec Employers’ Council, who formerly worked for British American Tobacco Group, former Vice President at Edelman Canada, an international public relations firm, was a director at a pharmaceutical corporation, head of strategic planning at an insurance company, and previously worked for the Government of Quebec and Hydro-Quebec. Joseph Facal, another signatory to the letter demanding higher tuition and state repression of students, is former president of the Quebec Treasury Board, and was a cabinet minister in the Quebec government of Lucien Bouchard. Other signatories include Pierre Fortin, a professor emeritus at the Université du Québec à Montréal; Michel Gervais, the former rector of Université Laval; Monique Jérôme-Forget, former finance minister of Quebec and former president of the Quebec Treasury Board, member of the Quebec Liberal Party between 1998 and 2009, was responsible for introducing public-private partnerships in Quebec’s infrastructure development (which saw enormous cooperation with the Mafia), and is on the board of directors of Astral Media. Robert Lacroix, another co-signer, was former rector of the Université de Montréal is also a fellow at CIRANO, a Montreal-based think tank which is governed by a collection of university heads, business executives, and bankers, including representatives from Power Corporation (owned by the Desmarais family). Another signatory is Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, a prominent business organization in Montreal, of which the board of directors includes a number of corporate executives, mining company representatives, university board members, bankers and Hélène Desmarais, who married into the Desmarais family. Another signatory is Claude Montmarquette, professor emeritus at the Université de Montréal, who is also a member of the elitist CIRANO think tank, which as a “research institution” (for elites) has recommended increasing Quebec’s tuition costs for several years. Another signatory was Marcel Boyer, a Bell Canada Professor of industrial economics at the Université de Montréal, Vice-president and chief economist at the Montreal Economic Institute, is the C.D. Howe Scholar in Economic Policy at the C.D. Howe Institute, Member of the Board of the Agency for Public-Private Partnerships of Québec, and Visiting Senior Research Advisor for industrial economics at Industry Canada. At the Montreal Economic Institute, Boyer sits alongside notable elitists, bankers, and corporate executives, including Hélène Desmarais, who married into the Desmarais family (the most powerful family in Canada). At the C.D. Howe Institute, Boyer works for even more elitists, as the board of directors is made up of some of Canada’s top bankers, corporate executives, and again includes Hélène Desmarais. The Desmarais family, who own Power Corporation and its many subsidiaries, as well as a number of foreign corporations in Europe and China, are Canada’s most powerful family. The patriarch, Paul Desmarais Sr., has had extremely close business and even family ties to every Canadian Prime Minister since Pierre Trudeau, and all Quebec premiers (save two) in the past several decades. The Desmarais’ have strong links to the Parti Quebecois, the Liberals, Conservatives, and even the NDP, and socialize with presidents and prime ministers around the world, as well as the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and even Spanish royalty. Paul Desmarais Sr. has “a disproportionate influence on politics and the economy in Quebec and Canada,” and he especially “has a lot of influence on Premier Jean Charest.” When former French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave Desmarais the French Legion of Honour, Desmarais brought Jean Charest with him. Quebec author Robin Philpot commented that Desmarais “took him along like a poodle,” referring to Charest. The Desmarais family has extensive ties to Canadian and especially Quebec politicians, have extensive interests in Canadian and international corporations and banks, are closely tied to major national and international think tanks (including the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderberg Group), and even host an annual international think tank conference in Montreal, the Conference of Montreal. The Desmarais family have had very close ties to Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien, Paul Martin, and even Stephen Harper, and to Quebec premiers, including Lucien Bouchard, who co-authored the article in the Gazette advocating increased tuition. The Desmarais empire also includes ownership of seven of the ten French newspapers in Quebec, including La Presse. The Desmarais family stand atop a parasitic Canadian oligarchy, which has bankers and corporate executives controlling the entire economy, political parties, the media, think tanks which set policy, and even our educational institutions, with the chancellors of both Concordia and McGill universities serving on the boards of the Bank of Montreal and the Royal Bank of Canada, respectively, as well as both schools having extensive leadership ties to Power Corporation and the Desmarais family. It is this very oligarchy which demands the people pay more, go further into debt, suffer and descend into poverty, while they make record profits. In March of 2012, Power Corporation reported fourth quarter profits of $314 million, with yearly earnings at over $1.1 billion. Canada’s banks last year made record profits, and then decided to increase bank fees. At the end of April, it was reported that Canada’s banks had received a “secret bailout” back in 2008/09, from both the Bank of Canada and the U.S. Federal Reserve, amounting to roughly $114 billion, or $3,400 for every Canadian man, woman, and child (more than the cost of yearly tuition in Quebec). And yet Quebec youth are told we suffer from “entitlement.” And now banks are expected to be making even more profits, as reported in early May. As banks make more record profits, Canadians are going deeper into debt. The big Canadian banks, along with the federal government, have colluded to create a massive housing bubble in Canada, most especially in Toronto and Vancouver, and with average Canadian household debt at $103,000, most of which is held in mortgages, and with the Bank of Canada announcing its intent to raise interest rates, Canada is set for a housing crisis like that seen in the United States in 2008, forcing the people to suffer while the banks make a profit. The head of the Bank of Canada (a former Goldman Sachs executive) said that Canadian household debt is the biggest threat to the Canadian economy, but don’t worry, Canada’s Finance Minister said he is working in close cooperation with the big banks to intervene in the housing market if necessary, which would likely mean another bailout for the big banks, and of course, hand the check to you! So, Canada has its priorities: every single Canadian man, woman, and child owes $3,400 for a secret bank bailout to banks that are now making record profits and increasing their fees, while simultaneously explaining that there is no money for education, so we will have to pay more for that, too, which is something those same banks demand our governments do to us. When the students stand up, they are said to be “brats” and whining about “entitlements.” But then, what does that make the banks? This is why I argue that Canada’s elites are parasitic in their very nature, slowly draining the host (that’s us!) of its life until there is nothing left the extract.

9)            The student strike is being subjected to a massive and highly successful propaganda campaign to discredit, dismiss, and demonize the students: In the vast majority of coverage on the student strike and protests in Quebec, the media and its many talking heads have undertaken a major propaganda campaign against the students. The students have been consistently ignored, dismissed, derided, insulted and attacked. One Canadian newspaper said it was “hard to feel sorry” for Quebec students, who were “whining and crying” and “kicking up a fuss,” treating Canada’s young generation like ungrateful children throwing a collective tantrum. In almost every article about the student strike, the main point brought up to dismiss the students is that Quebec has the lowest tuition costs in North America. The National Post published a column written by a third-year political science student at McGill University in Montreal stating that, “Quebec students must pay their share,” and advised people to “ignore the overheated rhetoric from student strikers,” and that, “Jean Charest must go full steam ahead.” The student author, Brendan Steven, is co-founder of McGill’s Moderate Political Action Committee (ModPAC), which is an organizing mobilizing McGill students in opposition to the strike. Steven’s organization attacked striking student associations as “illegitimate, unconstitutional shams” and attacked the democratic functioning of other student associations holding general assemblies. Steven complained that the democratic general assemblies “are being invented on a whim.” Brendan Steven not only gets to write columns for the National Post, but gets interviewed on CBC. Steven’s anti-strike group sent a letter to the McGill administration complaining about pro-strike students on the campus, writing, “This group violates our democratic right to access an education without fear of harm,” and added: “We are demanding the McGill administration take action against this minority group before the current conflicts escalate into disasters. They have proven they will not remain peaceful.” As a lap-dog boot-licking power worshipper, Brendan Steven has a future for himself in politics, that’s for sure! Back in January, Steven wrote an article for the Huffington Post in which he explained that the reason why CEOs get paid so much is because “they’re worth it.” He referred to Milton Friedman – the father of neoliberalism – as a “great economic thinker.” Back in November of 2011, Steven wrote an article for the McGill Daily entitled, “Do not demonize authorities,” and then went on to justify police violence against protesting students engaged in an occupation of a school building, which he characterized as “an inherently hostile act.” Steven later got an opportunity to appear on CBC’s The Current. Margaret Wente, writing for the Globe and Mail, wrote that, “It’s a little hard for the rest of us to muster sympathy for Quebec’s downtrodden students, who pay the lowest tuition fees in all of North America.” She then referred to the striking students as “the baristas of tomorrow and they don’t even know it.” Wente then attempted to explain the Quebec students by writing: “Now I get it: The kids are on another planet.” Interesting how she used the word “kids” to just add a little extra condescension. But it seems clear that Wente “gets” very little. In an August 2011 column, Wente tried to explain why poor black communities in Britain and America were experiencing riots and gang activity, placing blame on “single-mothers” and “family breakdown,” and explained that, “Rootless, unmoored young men with no stake in society are a major threat to social order.” Explaining this demographic in economic terms, Wente wrote: “They are, quite simply, surplus to requirements.” In another column, Wente argued that helping deliver much-needed humanitarian supplies to Gaza would “enable terrorists.” Wente also wrote an article entitled, “The poor are doing better than you think,” suggesting that it’s not so bad for poor people because they have air conditioning, DVD players, and cable TV. Wente has been consistently critical of the Occupy movement, and suggested in another article that, “the biggest economic challenge we face today is not income inequality, greedy corporations, Wall Street corruption or the concentration of wealth among the top 1 per cent. It’s the increasing failure of young men with high-school degrees or less to latch on to the world of work.” Of course, in Wente’s world, the inability of young men to get a job has nothing to do with income inequality, greedy corporations, Wall Street corruption or the concentration of wealth. In another article criticizing the Occupy movement, Wente managed to argue that it was not Wall Street and bankers that have destroyed the economy and left people without jobs, but rather what she refers to as the “virtueocracy,” blaming unions, single mothers who gets masters degrees in social sciences, and people who want to work at NGOs and non-profits, doing “transformational, world-saving work.” So it’s Wente’s “insightful” voice which is “informing” Canadians about the student movement in Quebec. Other Canadian publications writing about the Quebec student strike have headlines like, “Reality check for the entitled,” repeating the idiotic argument that because Quebec students pay less than the rest of Canada, they shouldn’t be “complaining” about the hikes. Andrew Coyne wrote a syndicated column in which he claimed that, “Quebec students know violence works,” framing the protest at which police almost killed two students as an action “of general rage the students had promised.” With no mention of the student who lost an eye, or the other student who ended up in the hospital with critical head injuries, Coyne talked about a cop who “was beaten savagely” and “lay helpless on the ground.” No mention, of course, of the police truck that drove into a group of students moments later, or the fact that the cop who was “beaten savagely” got away with minor injuries, unlike the students who were shot in the face with rubber bullets. By simply omitting police brutality and violence, Coyne presented the student movement as itself inherently violent, instead of at times erupting in violent reactions to state violence, which is far more extreme in every case. The Toronto Sun even had an article which claimed that the students have employed tactics of “thuggery” and “violent criminal behaviour.” Publications regularly ask their readers if Quebec students have “legitimate” grievances, if they are fighting for “social justice,” or if they are just “spoiled brats.” A syndicated column from the Vancouver Sun by Licia Corbella was titled, “How rioting students help make me grateful.” She discussed her latest visit to church where the pastor advised: “Parents, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them,” and mentioned how parents anger their children by “belittling them, underestimating them and not treating them as individuals.” Corbella then took particular note of how parents provoke and enrage children “when we give them a sense of entitlement.” With the word “entitlement,” Corbella naturally then began thinking about Quebec students, as according to Corbella’s pastor, “entitlement leads to rage.” Corbella wrote that rioting “is, in essence, what a spoiled two-year-old would do if they had the ability.” She further wrote: “In Quebec, these entitled youth, who believe the rest of society MUST provide them with an almost free education or else, have blocked other students from accessing the educations they paid for, burned vehicles, smashed shop windows, looted property and severely beaten up a police officer who got separated from the rest of his colleagues.” Again, no mention of the two students who were almost killed by police at the same event. Corbella quoted someone interviewed on TV, endorsing the claim that the student protests are “starting to resemble terrorism,” though she took issue with the word “starting.” This is the result of creating, according to Corbell, “an entitlement society.” Apparently, the pastor’s lesson about not “belittling” the young did not sink in with Corbella. An article in the Chronicle Herald asked, “What planet are these kids on?” The author then wrote that, “the irony is that these students now want the system to accommodate their desires and for someone else to pay the bill,” and that, “students should stop making foolish demands.” Other articles claim that students “need a lesson in economics.” After all, the fact that the majority of economists, fully armed with “lessons in economics,” were unable to predict the massive global economic crisis in 2008, should obviously not lead to any questioning of the ideology of modern economic theory. No, it would be better for students to learn about the ocean from those who couldn’t see a tsunami as it approached the beach. Another article, written by a former speechwriter to the Prime Minister of Canada, wrote that the student arguments were vacuous and that the youth were in a “state of complete denial.” Rex Murphy, a commentator with the National Post and CBC, referred to the student strike as “short-sighted” and that student actions were “crude attempts at precipitating a crisis.” Student actions, he claimed, were the “actions of a mob” and were “simply wrong,” and thus, should be “condemned.” The CBC has been particularly terrible in their coverage of the student movement. With few exceptions, the Canadian media have established a consensus in opposition to the student protests, and use techniques of omission, distortion, or outright condemnation in order to promote a distinctly anti-student stance.

10)            The student movement is part of a much larger emerging global movement of resistance against austerity, neoliberalism, and corrupt power: In the coverage and discourse about the student movement, very little context is given in placing this student movement in a wider global context. The British newspaper, The Guardian, acknowledged this context, commenting on the red squares worn by striking students (a symbol of going squarely into the red, into debt), explaining that they have “become a symbol of the most powerful challenge to neoliberalism on the continent.” The article also adopted the term promoted by the student movement itself to describe the wider social context of the protests, calling it the “Maple Spring.” The author placed the fight against tuition increases in the context of a struggle against austerity measures worldwide, writing: “Forcing students to pay more for education is part of a transfer of wealth from the poor and middle-class to the rich – as with privatization and the state’s withdrawal from service-provision, tax breaks for corporations and deep cuts to social programs.” The article noted how the student movement has linked up with civic groups against a Quebec government plan to subsidize mining companies in exploiting the natural resources of Northern Quebec (Plan Nord), taking land from indigenous peoples to give to multibillion dollar corporations. As one of the student leaders stated, the protest was about more than tuition and was aimed at the elite class itself, “Those people are a single elite, a greedy elite, a corrupt elite, a vulgar elite, an elite that only sees education as an investment in human capital, that only sees a tree as a piece of paper and only sees a child as a future employee.” The student strike has thus become a social movement. The protests aim at economic disruption through civil disobedience, and have garnered the support of thousands of protesters, and 200,000 protesters on March 22, and close to 300,000 on April 22. Protests have blocked entrances to banks, disrupted a conference for the Plan Nord exploitation, linking the movement with indigenous and environmental groups. It was only when the movement began to align with other social movements and issues that the government even accepted the possibility of speaking to students. Unions have also increasingly been supporting the student strike, including with large financial contributions. Though, the large union support for the student movement was also involved in attempted co-optation and undermining of the students. At the negotiations between the government and the students, the union leaders convinced the student leaders to accept the deal, which met none of the student demands and kept the tuition increases intact. There was a risk that the major unions were essentially aiming to undermine the student movement. But the student groups, which had to submit the agreement to democratic votes, rejected the horrible government offer. Thus the Maple Spring continues. Quebec is not the only location with student protests taking place. In Chile, a massive student movement has emerged and developed over the past year, changing the politics of the country and challenging the elites and the society they have built for their own benefit. One of the leaders of the Chilean student movement is a 23-year old young woman, Camila Vallejo, who has attained celebrity status. In Quebec’s student movement, the most visible and vocal leader is 21-year old Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, who has also achieved something of celebrity status within the province. Just as in Quebec, student protests in Chile are met with state violence, though in the Latin American country, the apparatus of state violence is the remnants of a U.S.-supported military dictatorship. Still, this does not stop tens of thousands of students going out into the streets in Santiago, as recently as late April. Protests by students have also been emerging elsewhere, often in cooperation and solidarity with the Occupy movement and other anti-austerity protests. Silent protests are emerging at American universities where students are protesting their massive debts. California students have been increasingly protesting increased tuition costs. Student protests at UC Berkeley ended with 12 citations for trespassing. Some students in California have even begun a hunger strike against tuition increases. In Brooklyn, New York, students protesting against tuition increases, many of them wearing the Quebec “red square” symbol, were assaulted by police officers. Even high school students in New York have been protesting. Israeli social activists are back on the streets protesting against austerity measures. An Occupy group has resumed protests in London. The Spanish indignado movement, which began in May of 2011, saw a resurgence on the one year anniversary, with another round of anti-austerity protests in Spain, bringing tens of thousands of protesters, mostly youths, out into the streets of Madrid, and more than 100,000 across the country. Their protest was met with police repression. Increasingly, students, the Occupy movement, and other social groups are uniting in protests against the costs of higher education and the debts of students. This is indeed the context in which the ‘Maple Spring’ – the Quebec student movement – should be placed, as part of a much broader global anti-austerity movement.

So march on, students. Show Quebec, Canada, and the world what it takes to oppose parasitic elites, mafia-connected politicians, billionaire bankers, and seek to change a social, political, and economic system that benefits the few at the expense of the many.

Solidarity, brothers and sisters!

For a comprehensive analysis of the Quebec student strike, see: “The Québec Student Strike: From ‘Maple Spring’ to Summer Rebellion?”

For up to date news and information of student movements around the world, join this Facebook page: We Are the Youth Revolution.

Andrew Gavin Marshall is an independent researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada, writing on a number of social, political, economic, and historical issues. He is also Project Manager of The People’s Book Project. He also hosts a weekly podcast show, “Empire, Power, and People,” on BoilingFrogsPost.com.

Revolution and Repression in America

Revolution and Repression in America
The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom, Part 2
Global Research, June 29, 2010

This is Part 2 of the series, “The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom.“

Part 1: The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order


Introduction

As outlined in Part 1 of this series, “The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom,” there are two major geopolitical realities in the world today, both largely brought about as a result of the “Technological Revolution” in which technology and electronics have come to define and shape our society.

The Technological Revolution has led to a diametrically opposed, antagonistic, and conflicting geopolitical reality: never before has humanity been so awakened to issues of power, exploitation, imperialism and domination; and simultaneously, never before have elites been so transnational and global in orientation, and with the ability to impose such a truly global system of scientific despotism and political oppression. These are the two major geopolitical realities of the world today. Never in all of human history has mankind been so capable of achieving a true global political psycho-social awakening; nor has humanity ever been in such danger of being subjected to a truly global scientific totalitarianism, potentially more oppressive than any system known before, and without a doubt more technologically capable of imposing a permanent despotism upon humanity. So we are filled with hope, but driven by urgency. In all of human history, never has the potential nor the repercussions of human actions and ideas ever been so monumental.

Not only is the awakening global in its reach, but in its very nature. It creates within the individual, an awareness of the global condition. So it is a ‘global awakening’ both in the external environment, and in the internal psychology. This new reality in the world, coupled with the fact that the world’s population has never been so vast, presents a challenge to elites seeking to dominate people all over the world who are aware and awakened to the realities of social inequality, war, poverty, exploitation, disrespect, imperialism and domination. This directly implies that these populations will be significantly more challenging to control: economically, politically, socially, psychologically and spiritually. Thus, from the point of view of the global oligarchy, the only method of imposing order and control – on this unique and historical human condition – is through the organized chaos of economic crises, war, and the rapid expansion and institutionalization of a global scientific dictatorship. Our hope is their fear; and our greatest fear is their only hope.

(See: The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order)

This essay (Part II) will undertake an examination of these two geopolitical realities on a national scale, focusing primarily on the “American Awakening.”

The American Awakening

In the past decade, there has been an enormous surge in popular political activism, which has corresponded to the expansion of imperialism, exploitation and despotism in the world. The events of September 11th, 2001, sparked two major geopolitical events. The first was the implementation of the Bush Doctrine – the “War on Terror” – which was organized in response to the terrorist attacks. This imperialist expansion led to the war and occupation of Afghanistan, the war on Iraq and subsequent occupation, the war in Lebanon in 2006, the war on Somalia, continuing military expansionism and imposition in the Palestinian territories, as well as expansive covert operations in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and around the world.

The second major geopolitical trend instigated by the 9/11 attacks was the formation of what has come to be known as the “9/11 Truth Movement,” in which millions of people around the world, including thousands of academics, architects, engineers, government officials, intelligence and military officials and other professionals, as well as an exponentially growing abundance of people in the general population internationally have sought to question and challenge the official accounts of the events of 9/11. Like all activist groups, there are fringe and radical elements within the movement, those who claim that “no planes” were used in the attacks, or that the attacks were undertaken by Israel – with anti-Semitic undertones – or other such fringe theories. Regardless of the fringe elements, the main focus of the movement is based around the fact that the official story of events does not stand up to any form of independent and unbiased, rational analysis. The media for years ignored the growing international movement, but only in recent years have acknowledged the movement; however, they did not address the movement by analyzing the information and issues, but rather by seeking to discredit and demonize the political movement, focusing on the fringe elements and beliefs and applying labels of “conspiracy theorist,” attempting to discredit anyone who questions the official story.

In 2006, Time Magazine acknowledged that the 9/11 Truth Movement is not a “fringe movement,” but is, in fact, “a mainstream political reality.” They also cited a major political poll by Scripps-Howard in 2006, which revealed that 36% of Americans think it is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that government officials either allowed the attacks to be carried out or carried out the attacks themselves.[1]

The growth of this movement spurred on major new movements and political activism, driven almost exclusively by organized and ‘politically awakened’ civilians. Driven largely by the Internet, this movement has awakened a mass of people globally to the political and strategic reality of what is known – in military terms – as a “false flag operation”, in which an attack is carried out against a certain target, where those undertaking the attack fly the flag of someone else (i.e., “false flag”) in an effort to implicate them in the attack; and thus the response to an attack would be against the perceived attackers. It is, essentially, a covert military strategem: a strategic deception. The Greek dramatist and playwright Aeschylus wrote that, “In war, the first casualty is truth.” A false flag attack an act of war that is deliberately designed to deceive and hide the truth. It is an attack carried out and blamed on one’s enemy in order to justify implementing a political agenda. Governments have used such tactics for centuries, and especially western nations in the past half-century.[2]

This movement has spawned an activist resurgence in other global issues, such as the global economic system, and most notably, the central banking system, particularly the Federal Reserve. While many Americans knew next to nothing about their central bank, the Federal Reserve, a growing movement of Americans and others around the world were educating themselves about the Federal Reserve System and the global banking system in general. Many found a leader in a Texas Congressman named Ron Paul, who campaigned on the Republican ticket for President in 2008, and who drew the widest grassroots support from across the nation of any Republican candidates. Among Democrats, “9/11 Truthers” and others critical of US foreign policy came to find a passionate leader in Cynthia McKinney, who was one of the lone voices in Congress to directly challenge the Bush administration on the official version of events, and has challenged the election fraud in 2000 and 2004, conducted a Congressional hearing on covert activities in Africa, exposing the hand of western nations behind the Rwandan genocide and Congo Civil War.

In late 2008, as the government began its financial bailout of the banks, the “End the Fed” movement emerged in sporadic protests at the 12 Federal Reserve Banks located around the country, and over 40 protests took place across the nation within a matter of months.[3]

The “Homeland Security State” Targets Dissenters

With the increasing militarization of foreign policy, we also see the increasing militarization of domestic politics, and most notably the emergence of a high-tech surveillance police state: a “Homeland Security State.” National and international elites are in the process of incrementally constructing a ‘new totalitarianism’ in replacing democracy.[4] Civil rights and freedoms are dismantled through anti-terrorist legislation, wiretapping and internet surveillance are rampant and expansive, “watch lists” are constructed, which often include the names of dissenters, and the military is increasingly poised to partake in policing. Further, over the past decade, we have seen the rapid expansion of “Continuity of Government” (COG) plans, which plan for the suspension of the Constitution and imposition of martial law in the event of an emergency.[5] At this point in American society, if there was a rapid and expansive economic collapse or another major terrorist attack on US soil, America would transform into a military government, more fascist in nature than anything; but equipped with an arsenal and “technetronic” police state the likes of which no dictator in history has had access to. Freedom has never been so threatened; yet, people have never been so mobilized in modern history to challenge the threats to freedom and democracy in America, in the west, and in the world.

(See: The Transnational Homeland Security State and the Decline of Democracy )

In 2003, General Tommy Franks gave an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine in which he elaborated on this concept. Tommy Franks was the former Commander of the Pentagon’s Central Command over the Middle East, and thus he was the top General overseeing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In his interview with the magazine, Franks stated that the objective of terrorism is “to change the mannerisms, the behavior, the sociology and, ultimately, the anthropology of a society,” and thus, in the event of another major terrorist attack in America or in the West:

the western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we’ve seen for a couple of hundred years in this grand experiment that we call democracy. Now, in a practical sense, what does that mean? It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive casualty-producing event somewhere in the western world—it may be in the United States of America—that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass-casualty-producing event. Which, in fact, then begins to potentially unravel the fabric of our Constitution.[6]

One interesting facet that very little is known about in the militarization of domestic society and incremental totalitarianism is how the coercive state apparatus, while being justified under the guise of fighting terrorism or “protecting the Homeland,” is in fact being directed against citizen activists and popular political movements. For example, following 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security established what are known as “Fusion Centers,” set up all over the United States, and which are designed as “information sharing and collecting” hubs, in which agencies like the CIA, FBI, Department of Justice, Homeland Security and the US Military collect and analyze information together. As of July 2009, there were 72 acknowledged Fusion Centers around the United States.[7] Think of them as local surveillance centers, because that’s what they are.

Fusion Centers are also positioned to take part as local command centers in the event of a national emergency or implementation of “Continuity of Government” plans to declare martial law. State and local law enforcement agencies provide the majority of information to the local Fusion Centers, which is then analyzed and disseminated to the major intelligence, military or Homeland Security departments and agencies. However, in recent years, Fusion Centers have been criticized for their purported agenda, as they are justified on the basis of acting as centers designated for “counter-terrorism” purposes, but in practice are directed against citizen groups.

In the spring of 2009, it was revealed that the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) – a Fusion Center – had put out an information pamphlet designed to help law enforcement officials identify “potential domestic terrorists.” According to the report:

If you’re an anti-abortion activist, or if you display political paraphernalia supporting a third-party candidate or a certain Republican member of Congress, if you possess subversive literature, you very well might be a member of a domestic paramilitary group.[8]

When did our society become something out of 1984? When did our governments designate “subversive literature” as a sign of terrorism? The report classified such activities as being part of a “Modern Militia Movement,” and further identified “potential threats to American security” as:

People who supported former third-party presidential candidates like Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr are cited in the report, in addition to anti-abortion activists and conspiracy theorists who believe the United States, Mexico and Canada will someday form a North American Union.[9]

In other words, those who are opposed to the political and economic process of “North American integration”[10] are seen and identified as “potential militia members.” The report even directly identified possession of such films like the anti-Federal Reserve film, “America: Freedom to Fascism” as “potential signals of militia involvement.”[11] The document put out by the Fusion Center further warned law enforcement officials to be “on the lookout” for “bumper stickers advertising third party candidates, or people with copies of the United States Constitution.” The report wrote that due to the economic crisis, “a lush environment for militia activity has been created,” and:

It goes on to cite possible militia members as people who talk about the New World Order conspiracy, express anger with the Federal Reserve banking system, resist paying taxes, warn other citizens about the perceived dangers of radio frequency identification (RFID) or lobby for a return to strict constitutionalism as possible threats to law enforcement.

While the memo does offer something of a lopsided summary of many of the various groups which swelled enormously following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it also links individuals who are otherwise peaceful with the Ku Klux Klan and other violent organizations.[12]

Another Fusion Center in Virginia identified many universities as potential “radicalization nodes” for terrorists, singling out “historically black colleges” as potential threats, and “it also contains an extensive list of peaceful American and International activist groups from nearly all cross-sections of political engagement, placing them side-by-side with groups that have long been known for resorting to violence.”[13]

In April of 2009, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) released a report on the threat to liberties and civil rights posed by the Fusion Centers, saying that, “Fusion centers have experienced a mission creep in the last several years, becoming more of a threat than a security device. With no overarching guidelines to restrict or direct them, these centers put Americans’ privacy at huge risk.” The ACLU report identified several “troubling incidents” in regards to Fusion Centers violating privacy and civil rights:

- A May 7, 2008 report entitled “Universal Adversary Dynamic Threat Assessment” authored by a private contractor that labeled environmental organizations like the Sierra Club, the Humane Society and the Audubon Society as “mainstream organizations with known or possible links to eco-terrorism”;

- A potential abuse of authority by DHS officials who improperly monitored and disseminated the communications of peace activists affiliated with the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN);

- A report produced on February 19, 2009 by the North Central Texas Fusion System entitled “Prevention Awareness Bulletin” which described a purported conspiracy between Muslim civil rights organizations, lobbying groups, the anti-war movement, the U.S. Treasury Department, hip hop bands and former Congresswoman and presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney to “provide an environment for terrorist organizations to flourish”;

- A “Strategic Report” produced February 20, 2009 by the Missouri Information Analysis Center that described a purported security threat posed by the “modern militia movement” but inappropriately included references to social, religious and political ideologies, including support of third party presidential candidates such as Congressman Ron Paul and former Congressman Bob Barr; and

- A “Protective Intelligence Bulletin” issued by the DHS Intelligence Branch of the Threat Management Division of the Federal Protective Service which improperly collected and disseminated information regarding political demonstrations and inappropriately labeled peaceful advocacy groups and other activists as “extremists.”[14]

To those in power, ‘peace’ is an ‘extremist’ idea, because ‘war’ and ‘violence’ are the norms to them. Now it has come to the point where those who challenge the structures of power are simply designated as terrorists and extremists. This is an incredibly dangerous political road at which the end is despotism and the death of democracy. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, as one of those identified by Fusion Centers as providing “an environment for terrorist organizations to flourish,” had this to say about the Fusion Center report:

As a student of COINTELPRO, the government’s infamous Counter-Intelligence Program [directed against the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s], I know what my government is capable of doing to quash dissent. That’s why I voted against the Patriot Act, worked in Congress to roll back the Secret Evidence Act, and introduced legislation to repeal the Military Commissions Act. I come from a long legacy of activists for justice and freedom inside this country. I am on the advocacy front lines for peace abroad and justice at home. But I know that we will not have peace or justice without truth. Truth is the foundation of the dignity that we seek. Dignity for all is not a threat to the United States.[15]

It has become evident that the response of the American government to the “global political awakening” within the United States is aimed at demonizing, discrediting, and oppressing activist groups and political movements. But how far can this oppression go?

Detention Camps for Dissidents?

One startling and deeply concerning development in the area of “Homeland Security” is the highly secretive and deliberately quiet establishment of “detention centers” within the United States, designed to house millions of people in the event of an “emergency.” In 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft “announced [a] desire for camps for U.S. citizens he deems to be ‘enemy combatants’,” and that his plan “would allow him to order the indefinite incarceration of U.S. citizens and summarily strip them of their constitutional rights and access to the courts by declaring them enemy combatants.”[16]

Also in 2002, it was reported that FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (now under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security), was “moving ahead with plans to create temporary cities that could handle millions of Americans after mass destruction attacks on U.S. cities.” Newsmax reported that, “FEMA was seeking bids from three major real estate and/or engineering firms to help prepare for the creation of the emergency cities, using tents and trailers – if an urban area is attacked by NBC (nuclear, chemical or biological) weapons.”[17]

In 2006, Dick Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, and its subsidiary company, Kellogg-Brown & Root (KBR) received a major contract from the Department of Homeland Security worth $385 million, which was given “to support the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in the event of an emergency.” A press release on KBR’s website stated that:

The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.[18]

Further, it stated that, “The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other U.S. Government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster. In the event of a natural disaster, the contractor could be tasked with providing housing for ICE personnel performing law enforcement functions in support of relief efforts.”[19]

Within two weeks, “Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that the Fiscal Year 2007 federal budget would allocate over $400 million to add 6,700 additional detention beds (an increase of 32 percent over 2006).” As historian and author Peter Dale Scott reported:

Both the contract and the budget allocation are in partial fulfillment of an ambitious 10-year Homeland Security strategic plan, code-named ENDGAME, authorized in 2003. According to a 49-page Homeland Security document on the plan, ENDGAME expands “a mission first articulated in the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.” Its goal is the capability to “remove all removable aliens,” including “illegal economic migrants, aliens who have committed criminal acts, asylum-seekers (required to be retained by law) or potential terrorists.”[20]

Considering that the government labels anti-war activists, libertarians, progressives, and other peaceful citizens groups as “extremists,” “paramilitary members” and “terrorists,” this is especially concerning. In 2008, a former US Congressman wrote an article for the San Francisco Chronicle in which he warned that, “Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of ‘an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs’.” He elaborated:

Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.[21]

As Peter Dale Scott explained:

the contract evoked ominous memories of Oliver North’s controversial Rex-84 “readiness exercise” in 1984. This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary “refugees,” in the context of “uncontrolled population movements” over the Mexican border into the United States. North’s activities raised civil liberties concerns in both Congress and the Justice Department. The concerns persist.

“Almost certainly this is preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters,” says Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who in 1971 released the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. military’s account of its activities in Vietnam. “They’ve already done this on a smaller scale, with the ‘special registration’ detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo.”

Plans for detention facilities or camps have a long history, going back to fears in the 1970s of a national uprising by black militants. As Alonzo Chardy reported in the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987, an executive order for continuity of government (COG) had been drafted in 1982 by FEMA head Louis Giuffrida. The order called for “suspension of the Constitution” and “declaration of martial law.”[22]

More recently, there have been several reported incidents of small towns having major “detention centers” being built in them which remain empty and maintained for the event of an “emergency.” One such facility is being proposed for the City of Italy to build “a detention center for illegal immigrants.”[23] There was also an effort to have a detention center built in Benson City “to house illegal immigrants.”[24] A major American prison corporation, Corplan Corrections, “has been at the center of numerous controversies, including a bizarre prison-building scheme in Hardin, Montana that involved a private military force called American Police Force run by an ex-con. The prison cost the small town $27 million but never housed any prisoners.” Further, Corplan “has approached city officials in several towns across the U.S. – Benson, Arizona; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Weslaco, Texas – with a proposal to build a new detention center for immigrant families.”[25]

These facilities, built under the pretences of housing “illegal immigrants” yet largely remaining empty, could potentially be used to house not only immigrants, but also Muslims and “possibly dissenters” following a major emergency, such as an economic collapse or terrorist attack within the United States. After all, in World War II, Canada and the United States rounded up Japanese and German immigrants into internment camps. Again, it becomes evident that the response of power structures to the manifestation of the global political awakening within the United States is to oppress and suppress the people, and with that, undermine democracy itself.

The Prospects of Revolution

During the first phase of the global economic crisis in December of 2008, the IMF warned governments of the prospect of “violent unrest on the streets.” The head of the IMF warned that, “violent protests could break out in countries worldwide if the financial system was not restructured to benefit everyone rather than a small elite.”[26] Naturally, the IMF director leaves out the fact that he is part of that small elite and that the IMF functions for the benefit of that very same elite.

In late December of 2008, “A U.S. Army War College report warn[ed] an economic crisis in the United States could lead to massive civil unrest and the need to call on the military to restore order.” The report stated that, “Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities … to defend basic domestic order and human security.”[27]

Throughout 2009, there was an abundance of civil unrest, protests and even riots all across Europe in response to the economic crisis. In February of 2009, Obama’s intelligence chief, Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the economic crisis has become the greatest threat to U.S. national security:

I’d like to begin with the global economic crisis, because it already looms as the most serious one in decades, if not in centuries … Economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they are prolonged for a one- or two-year period… And instability can loosen the fragile hold that many developing countries have on law and order, which can spill out in dangerous ways into the international community.[28]

In other words, the economic crisis poses two major social threats to the “national security” (i.e., imperial status) of the United States. Of key importance is that America and other western nations may lose control of their colonial possessions and interests in the developing world – Africa, South America and Asia – as the people in those regions, the most “politically awakened” in the world, can cause “regime-threatening instability” as the prospects of riots, rebellion and revolution expose the failure of their national leaders and governance structures. This would pose an immense threat to the interests of the west in those regions, as they primarily rely upon local nation-states to control the populations and resources. Concurrently, these revolts could spread to the developing world. So western elites are faced with the prospects of possibly losing their control over the world’s resources and even their own domestic populations. The natural reaction, in imperial logic, is to militarize both the foreign and domestic spheres.

No wonder then, that in 2008, the highest-ranking general in the United States, “Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ranks the financial crisis as a higher priority and greater risk to security than current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” He explained, “It’s a global crisis. And as that impacts security issues, or feeds greater instability, I think it will impact on our national security in ways that we quite haven’t figured out yet.”[29]

The head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) warned that, “The global economic crisis could trigger political unrest equal to that seen during the 1930s.” He elaborated, “The crisis today is spreading even faster (than the Great Depression) and affects more countries at the same time.”[30]

In February of 2009, renowned economic historian and Harvard professor, Niall Ferguson, predicted a “prolonged financial hardship, even civil war, before the ‘Great Recession’ ends,” and that, “The global crisis is far from over, [it] has only just begun, and Canada is no exception,” he said while at a speaking event in Canada. He explained, “Policy makers and forecasters who see a recovery next year are probably lying to boost public confidence,” while, “the crisis will eventually provoke political conflict.” He further explained:

There will be blood, in the sense that a crisis of this magnitude is bound to increase political as well as economic [conflict]. It is bound to destabilize some countries. It will cause civil wars to break out, that have been dormant. It will topple governments that were moderate and bring in governments that are extreme. These things are pretty predictable.[31]

Even in May of 2009, the head of the World Bank warned that, “the global economic crisis could lead to serious social upheaval,” as “there is a risk of a serious human and social crisis with very serious political implications.”[32] Zbigniew Brzezinski himself warned in February of 2009 that, “There’s going to be growing conflict between the classes and if people are unemployed and really hurting, hell, there could be even riots!”[33]

In March of 2010, Moody’s, a major credit ratings agency, warned that “social unrest” is coming to the west, as the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Spain “are all at risk of soaring debt costs and will have to implement austerity plans that threaten ‘social cohesion’.”[34]

In 2007, a British Defence Ministry report was released assessing global trends in the world over the next 30 years. In assessing “Global Inequality”, the report stated that over the next 30 years:

[T]he gap between rich and poor will probably increase and absolute poverty will remain a global challenge… Disparities in wealth and advantage will therefore become more obvious, with their associated grievances and resentments, even among the growing numbers of people who are likely to be materially more prosperous than their parents and grandparents.  Absolute poverty and comparative disadvantage will fuel perceptions of injustice among those whose expectations are not met, increasing tension and instability, both within and between societies and resulting in expressions of violence such as disorder, criminality, terrorism and insurgency. They may also lead to the resurgence of not only anti-capitalist ideologies, possibly linked to religious, anarchist or nihilist movements, but also to populism and the revival of Marxism.[35]

Further, the report warned of the dangers to the established powers of a revolution emerging from the disgruntled middle classes of the west:

The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by MarxThe globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’ attachment to particular states.  The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite.  Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.[36]

From the Old World to the New

So here we are, in the year 2010, the end of the first decade of the 21st century; and what a century it has been thus far: 9/11, a recession, the war on Afghanistan, the “war on terror”, the war on Iraq, terrorist attacks in Bali, Madrid, London and all across the Middle East; the war on Somalia, the Congo Civil War (the deadliest conflict since World War II, with upwards of 6 million innocent civilians killed since 1996); the Russia-Georgia war, the expansion of the war into Pakistan, the election of Barack Obama, the global economic crisis and here we are.

All of human history is the story of the struggle of free humanity – the individual and the collective – against the constructs of power, which sought to dominate and control humanity. From humanity’s origins in Africa, civilizations rose and fell, dominated and decimated. From Ancient Egypt to Greece and Rome, the Chinese dynasties, the Mayans and Aztecs, all sought domination of land and people. The Persian Empire and the Ottoman Empire expanded and controlled vast populations and diverse people; and with the emergence of Capitalism came the emergence of the European powers.

For the past 500 years, Europe and America have dominated the world; and in fact, only in the last 65 years has America dominated the globe. The Peace of Westphalia was signed in 1648, ending the Thirty Years’ War in the Holy Roman Empire and the Eighty Years’ War between Spain and the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. This agreement effectively ended the Holy Roman Empire, and marked the emergence of the idea of the modern nation-state. University studies in International Relations begin with the Peace of Westphalia, as it is viewed as the beginning of the international system we know today.

Out of this emerged the great European empires: the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, and later the French, British and German empires, which created the first global political economy with the Atlantic Slave Trade, trading weapons and goods in exchange for captured slaves, fueling internal civil wars among the large African empires to feed them a supply of slaves which they then took to the Americas to use as a labour force. That labour force would produce goods taken back to Europe, traded among the world’s empires, and ultimately financing the continued flow of weapons into Africa. It was a triangular trade between Europe, Africa and the Americas. At this time, the notion of ‘race’ originated through a series of legal decisions made in the colonies.

In the 1600s, the colonies in the Americas were made up of white, Indian and black indentured labourers and slaves, both ‘un-free blacks and whites, with blacks being a minority, yet they still “exercised basic rights in law.” A problem arose for elites attempting to control the labour class: the un-free native labour force knew the land and could escape easily (so they would later be largely eliminated through genocide); and in the 1660s, the labour class was becoming rebellious, where black and white labourers worked together and rebelled against local elites. The entire lower class of society was united – regardless of their varied and expansive differences – and they were united against the elites. Thus, a doctrine of ‘divide and conquer’ was implemented against the psycho-social foundations of the people.[37]

The elite “relaxed the servitude” of the white labourers, and “intensified the bonds of black slavery,” and subsequently “introduced a new regime of racial oppression. In doing so, they effectively created the white race – and with it white supremacy.” Thus, “the conditions of white and black servants began to diverge considerably after 1660.” Following this, legislation would separate white and black slavery, prevent “mixed” marriages, and seek to prevent the procreation of “mixed-race” children. Whereas before 1660, many black slaves were not indentured for life, this changed as colonial law increasingly “imposed lifetime bondage for black servants – and, especially significant, the curse of lifetime servitude for their offspring.”[38]

A central feature of the social construction of this racial divide was “the denial of the right to vote,” as most Anglo-American colonies previously allowed free blacks to vote, but this slowly changed throughout the colonies. The ruling class of America was essentially “inventing race.” Thus, “Freedom was increasingly identified with race, not class.”[39]

In 1648, the nation-state emerged; in 1660, racism was created through legal decisions; and in 1694, the Bank of England was created and the birth of the central banking system took place. All of these were essentially ‘social constructions’ – nation, race, currency – in which they are simply ideas that are accepted as reality. A nation is not a physical entity, race has no true basis for discrimination or hierarchy, and a currency has no actual value. They only hold as true because everyone accepts them as true.

From this period of immense transition, European imperial nations dominated the world; racism justified their domination, and central banks dominated the empires at home and abroad. The 1800s saw the Industrial Revolution, which instigated the decline of slavery and the emergence of paid labour and hourly wages. Eventually, the notion of ‘race science’ emerged within the eugenics movement, originating in Europe, and later migrating to the United States in the late 19th century. This helped justify the ‘Scramble for Africa’, which began in the 1880s and entailed the European empires formally colonizing the entire continent of Africa, carving it into nations among them, but justifying it on the basis of a racist “civilizing mission.”

The European imperial age declined with World War I, a battle of empires and economies. This led to the collapse of many European empires as well as the Ottoman and Russian empires, with the emergence of the Soviet Union as well as nation-states in the Middle East. The emergence of fascism took root in the 1920s and 30s, and grew to coalesce in World War II, which led to the ultimate decline of the British and French empires, and the emergence of the American empire.

America became the engine of empire for the Atlantic community, Europe and North America. It created and ran international organizations allowing for transnational elites to share power among an increasingly global – an increasingly smaller – group of elites. The World, for nearly fifty years, was defined as a global struggle between Communism and Democracy – between the Soviet Union and the West. This historical myth hides the face of global domination: a struggle between two blocs for global domination of the world’s people and resources.

With the end of the Cold War came the emergence of the New World Order, a world in which there was only one global power: the United States. I was born shortly before the Berlin Wall came down, and I developed a memory only after the Soviet Union collapsed; the only world I know is the one in which the United States has been the only global power. I know only the era of ‘globalization’ and the promises it made my generation. Think of the effect upon the youth this great period of transition will have.

The history of humanity is one of constant change, sometimes slow and incremental, at other times rapid and expansive. Today, we are in a period in which we are seeing a convergence of never-before-seen global realities. The population of the world has never been so monumentally large – at 6.8 billion – and among the global population, for the first time in human history, there is a true “global political awakening.” This does not mean that everyone is correct in their views, but it does mean that the world’s people are thinking and acting – even if incidentally or unknowingly – about the global polity. This is most especially so in the areas where the Atlantic world has dominated for so long, as they have been subjected to poverty, racism, and war like no other people on earth. Their ‘awakening’ was forced upon them, and the west is now having its awakening forced upon it.

At our current position, we are about to undergo a global historical period of transition, the likes of which has never before been seen. The incremental and slow building ‘global political awakening’ that emerged around the world in the past century, is reaching a precipice and rapid expansion at the beginning of the 21st century. Global power has never been so centralized, with international institutions and systems of global governance holding authority over several realms of humanity. We are partaking in global wars seeking to dominate populations and control resources, democracy is eroding in the west, and wealth disparities have never been so great in all of human history.

For the first time in the last 500 years, the East has risen – with China and India – as new global powers, rising within the system not against it; marking the first time that nation-states have not risen against the global power, but with the global power. China and India are being brought within a new global political and economic system that is being constructed: a global totalitarian system of continental colonies to a global state. In 1998, then Secretary-General of NATO, Javier Solana, gave a speech in which he said:

It is my general contention that humanity and democracy – two principles essentially irrelevant to the original Westphalian order – can serve as guideposts in crafting a new international order, better adapted to the security realities, and challenges, of today’s Europe.[40]

Further, he explained, “the Westphalian system had its limits. For one, the principle of sovereignty it relied on also produced the basis for rivalry, not community of states; exclusion, not integration.” Thus, to truly have global power, the international system of nation-states must be ‘re-imagined’ and altered: first, into continental governance structures, and ultimately a global structure. As Solana said, “In the United Nations, the ideal of a global institution including all nations became a reality,” and “the ideal of European integration was set in motion.” He elaborated:

But an integral part of the evolution of the Atlantic Alliance was the idea of reconciliation: the integration of our militaries, the common project of collective defence, and the willingness to work towards a common approach to defend the Alliance’s common values.

Unfortunately, also out of the same ashes of the second world war emerged the East-West confrontation that left Europe deeply divided for more than four decades. As our century comes to an end, we at last have the opportunity to overcome this division and to set free all the creative energies this continent can muster to build the new security order which will lead us into the 21st century.[41]

It is a difficult balancing act for global powers – particularly the United States – to manage the integration of China into the ‘new world order’, while simultaneously both of them compete for control of global resources, located primarily in regions of the world which are experiencing the most rapid and extensive ‘awakening’. The imperial mindset – like that of Brzezinski’s – seeks to rationalize global power as being equated with ‘global stability’, and that without empire, there is only ‘chaos’. Thus, imperial logic dictates that America must seek to dominate as much of the world as fast as possible, and hence control global resources, which will allow it to determine the terms of China and other powers’ inclusion in the new world order. This has the potential to spark a global war – a World War III type of scenario between the NATO powers and the China-Russia alliance – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – who seek to share power, not to be dominated. Global populations at home and abroad have never been so challenging to control: global war is inevitable in the imperial mindset. As Brzezinski himself stated in a speech to Chatham House in London in 2009:

But these major world powers, new and old, also face a novel reality: while the lethality of their military might is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historic low. To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.[42]

In many people’s view of the global economic crisis, the problem was ‘greed’. Greed is not the problem, it is but a symptom of the disease that is ‘power’; which, like a cancer, expands and kills its host. Humanity is entering what will likely be the most turbulent period in human history. The future is not yet written; all that is certain is that everything will change. What it comes down to is the greatest human struggle in the history of our small little planet: the struggle of the world’s people – in every corner of the world, from every religion, ‘race’, ethnicity, ideology, language, sex, gender and variation – against a global power elite who control the most advanced, technological, and lethal tools of oppression every conceived. Make no mistake, we are not repeating history, we are making it.

The Power of Ideas

Our awakening is the greatest threat to these global elites, and it is our only hope of protecting any notions of freedom, liberty, family, equality and individuality. It is these notions that have led to and created the greatest developments and ideas in human history. Humanity’s best is within these concepts, and its worst is within power. The shame of humanity is within its systems of power, so for humanity to survive we must re-imagine and remodel our global system and global power.

We cannot design a society for humanity without taking into consideration human nature. If you build it, they will come. If we keep creating positions of great power, and continually globalize power, it will attract exactly the wrong type of people to those positions of power: the ones that want it and want to abuse the power. These people are more likely to get to these positions of power because they are willing to do anything to get there, which means that once they have it, they will do anything to maintain and expand it. And so power grows, and the cancer spreads. Imagine if Hitler’s rise to power took place not in the era of nation-states, but in the era of the ‘global state.’ All that is required is one tyrant, and humanity is nothing if not proof that there are always tyrants in waiting.

What is a nation? Is it an army, a flag, an anthem, or a building of government? A nation is an idea – and is constructed by a series of ideas. There is no ‘real’ border, it is an imaginary line, and everyone in the world pretends they are there, and nation-states (which are really people who are in control of these ideas), govern accordingly. Now we are in a period in which elites are attempting to re-imagine the international community, to erase the ‘idea’ of borders, and to ultimately re-program humanity to follow their example. Social planners seek to control not simply our land, resources and bodies, but most importantly, our minds. World government will be sold to us on the ‘ideas’ of peace, something all of humanity wants; all save the powerful, for war and conflict is the means through which power is accumulated and society is transformed.

True peace will never be possible with a singular global power structure; for once power is globally centralized, what more can the powerful seek to achieve? Thus, the powerful fight each other for control of the centralized authority, paranoia governs their minds, and distrust and hatred directs their actions. Power subsequently becomes its own worst enemy, as it eats away at its host and destroys the body within which it lives.

True peace can only come from human understanding. Free humanity must understand each other if we are to live among each other. We cannot any longer view each other through the lenses of power: through the media, government, economic, and social structures. These structures are designed with the intent to mislead and misrepresent people, they are illegitimate and must be considered as such. We must view and understand each other on a human level: on ideas of freedom, liberty, family, equality and individually. To achieve that understanding, one realizes that freedom must be for all or none, that liberty is not to be selective, the importance of family, the necessity of equality and the acceptance and celebration of individuality. With that, peace is inevitable. With power, peace is impossible.

Just as elites seek to re-imagine and recreate our world, we too, can do the same. This must begin with the human understanding, where we enter into a new Renaissance or Enlightenment, not western, but global; where the people communicate and interact with each other on a personal basis, not through elite structures. This must be the aim of the global political awakening: to achieve peace through peaceful means. If everyone in the world simply decided to no longer acknowledge people and positions of power, that power would vanish. If there is no army, because the soldiers decided to no longer recognize the government, there is no one to pull the trigger on people in the street.

I think, therefore I am. If I think I am free, I will become free. But while an individual can do this, it does not work if everyone doesn’t do it. This requires all people, everywhere, to work together, talk together, learn together, think together and act together. We can either do this now, or potentially be subdued for decades if not longer. If we do not achieve global peace and freedom for all people, if we do not understand each other, power will win, at least for a while. What is important to note is that the emergence of a technetronic society reduces the need for people, as technology can watch, listen, control and kill people with the push of a button. We are also in danger of becoming a docile, tranquilized society, lost in drugs – whether recreational or even more notably, pharmaceutical. We must avoid entering into a ‘brave new world’, and instead bravely construct a different world.

From the militarization of domestic society, it would appear as if we are moving into a world quite reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, in which the world is divided into a few major regional blocs that war against each other and terrorize their populations through acts of physical terror and total surveillance (“Big Brother”). This is but a phase and evolution into the final stage – the grand idea – or as Aldous Huxley referred to it, “The Ultimate Revolution”: the global scientific dictatorship. That will be the focus of the third and final part in this series.


This is Part 2 of the series, “The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom.“

Part 1: The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order


Endnotes

[1]        Lev Grossman, Why the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Won’t Go Away. Time Magazine: September 3, 2006: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1531304,00.html

[2]        Andrew Gavin Marshall, State-Sponsored Terror: British and American Black Ops in Iraq. Global Research: June 25, 2008: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9447; Andrew Gavin Marshall, Breaking Iraq and Blaming Iran. Global Research: July 3, 2008: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9450 ; Andrew Gavin Marshall, Operation Gladio: CIA Network of “Stay Behind” Secret Armies. Global Research: July 17, 2008: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9556 ; also see: Daniele Ganser, NATO’s secret armies: operation Gladio and terrorism in Western Europe, (Frank Cass: 2005).

[3]        Chris Steller, Minneapolis Federal Reserve draws third protest in six months. The Minnesota Independent: April 25, 2009: http://minnesotaindependent.com/33400/end-the-fed-minneapolis

[4]        Andrew Gavin Marshall, The Transnational Homeland Security State and the Decline of Democracy. Global Research: April 15, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18676

[5]        Peter Dale Scott, Supplanting the United States Constitution: War, National Emergency and “Continuity of Government”. Global Research: May 19, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19238 ; Peter Dale Scott, Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and War. Global Research: January 8, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11681

[6]        Marvin R. Shanken, General Tommy Franks: An exclusive interview with America’s top general in the war on terrorism. Cigar Aficionado Magazine: December 1, 2003: http://www.cigaraficionado.com/Cigar/CA_Profiles/People_Profile/0,2540,201,00.html

[7]        Amy Goodman, Broadcast Exclusive: Declassified Docs Reveal Military Operative Spied on WA Peace Groups, Activist Friends Stunned. Democracy Now! July 28, 2009: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/7/28/broadcast_exclusive_declassified_docs_reveal_military

[8]        Joshua Rhett Miller, ‘Fusion Centers’ Expand Criteria to Identify Militia Members. Fox News: March 23, 2009: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/23/fusion-centers-expand-criteria-identify-militia-members/

[9]        Joshua Rhett Miller, ‘Fusion Centers’ Expand Criteria to Identify Militia Members. Fox News: March 23, 2009: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/23/fusion-centers-expand-criteria-identify-militia-members/

[10]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Tyrants and Traitors: The “Evolution by Stealth” of a North American Union. Global Research: August 7, 2007: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6475

[11]      Joshua Rhett Miller, ‘Fusion Centers’ Expand Criteria to Identify Militia Members. Fox News: March 23, 2009: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/23/fusion-centers-expand-criteria-identify-militia-members/

[12]      Stephen C. Webster, Missouri retracts police memo which labeled activists as ‘militia’. The Raw Story: March 26, 2009: http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Missouri_retracts_police_memo_which_labeled_0326.html

[13]      Stephen C. Webster, Fusion center declares nation’s oldest universities possible terror threat. The Raw Story: April 6, 2009: http://www.rawstory.com/news/2008/Virginia_terror_assessment_targets_enormous_crosssection_0406.html

[14]      Press Release, ACLU Calls For Internal DHS Investigations On Fusion Centers. ACLU: April 1, 2009: http://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/aclu-calls-internal-dhs-investigations-fusion-centers

[15]      Press Release, ACLU Calls For Internal DHS Investigations On Fusion Centers. ACLU: April 1, 2009: http://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/aclu-calls-internal-dhs-investigations-fusion-centers

[16]      Jonathan Turley, Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft’s Hellish Vision. Los Angeles Times: August 14, 2002: http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0814-05.htm

[17]      Christopher Ruddy, FEMA’s Plan for Mass Destruction Attacks: Of Course It’s True. Newsmax: August 6, 2002: http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/8/6/183147.shtml

[18]      Press Release, KBR Awarded U.S. Department of Homeland Security Contingency Support Project for Emergency Support Services. KBR: January 24, 2006: http://www.kbr.com/Newsroom/Press-Releases/2006/01/24/KBR-Awarded-US-Department-of-Homeland-Security-Contingency-Support-Project-for-Emergency-Support-Services/

[19]      Ibid.

[20]      Peter Dale Scott, 10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North. New American Media: February 26, 2006: http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=9c2d6a5e75201d7e3936ddc65cdd56a9

[21]      Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg, Rule by fear or rule by law? The San Francisco Chronicle: February 4, 2008: http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-02-04/opinion/17140386_1_martial-law-kbr-national-defense-authorization-act

[22]      Peter Dale Scott, Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps. Global Research: February 6, 2006: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=1897

[23]      Cindy Sutherland, Italy City Council hears proposal for commercial development. Italy Neotribune: May 18, 2010: http://www.italyneotribune.com/stories/italy-city-council-hears-proposal-for-commercial-development

[24]      Thelma Grimes, Council ‘nay’ on detention center; City wants project funding assurance. Benson News: May 11, 2010: http://www.bensonnews-sun.com/articles/2010/05/12/news/news03.txt

[25]      Forrest Wilder, For the Lucios, Private Prison Consulting is a Family Affair. Texas Observer: April 23, 2010: http://www.texasobserver.org/forrestforthetrees/for-the-lucios-private-prison-consulting-is-a-family-affair

[26]      Angela Balakrishnan, IMF chief issues stark warning on economic crisis. The Guardian: December 18, 2008: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/dec/16/imf-financial-crisis

[27]      Military.com, Study: DoD May Act On US Civil Unrest. McClatchy-Tribune Information Services: December 29, 2008: http://www.military.com/news/article/study-dod-may-act-on-us-civil-unrest.html

[28]      Stephen C. Webster, US intel chief: Economic crisis a greater threat than terrorism. Raw Story: February 13, 2009: http://rawstory.com/news/2008/US_intel_chief_Economic_crisis_greater_0213.html

[29]      Tom Philpott, MILITARY UPDATE: Official: Financial crisis a bigger security risk than wars. Colorado Springs Gazette: February 1, 2009: http://www.gazette.com/articles/mullen-47273-military-time.html

[30]      AFP, WTO chief warns of looming political unrest. AFP: February 7, 2009: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gpC1Q4gXJfp6EwMl1rMGrmA_a7ZA

[31]      Heather Scoffield, ‘There will be blood’. The Globe and Mail: February 23, 2009: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/article973785.ece

[32]      BBC, World Bank warns of social unrest. BBC News: May 24, 2009: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8066037.stm

[33]      Press TV, Economic Crisis: Brzezinski warns of riots in US. Global Research: February 21, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12392

[34]      Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Moody’s fears social unrest as AAA states implement austerity plans. The Telegraph: March 15, 2010: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/7450468/Moodys-fears-social-unrest-as-AAA-states-implement-austerity-plans.html

[35]      DCDC, The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme, 2007-2036, 3rd ed. The Ministry of Defence, January 2007: page 3

[36]      Ibid, page 81.

[37]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, War, Racism and the Empire of Poverty. Global Research: March 22, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18263

[38]      Ibid.

[39]      Ibid.

[40]      Dr. Javier Solana, “Securing Peace in Europe”, NATO speech: November 12, 1998: http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/1998/s981112a.html

[41]      Ibid.

[42]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Major Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next US President,” International Affairs, 85: 1, (2009), page 54 (emphasis added)

The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order

The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order
The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom, Part 1
Global Research, June 24, 2010
There is a new and unique development in human history that is taking place around the world; it is unprecedented in reach and volume, and it is also the greatest threat to all global power structures: the ‘global political awakening.’ The term was coined by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and refers to the fact that, as Brzezinski wrote:

For the first time in history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. Global activism is generating a surge in the quest for cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world scarred by memories of colonial or imperial domination.[1]

It is, in essence, this massive ‘global political awakening’ which presents the gravest and greatest challenge to the organized powers of globalization and the global political economy: nation-states, multinational corporations and banks, central banks, international organizations, military, intelligence, media and academic institutions. The Transnational Capitalist Class (TCC), or ‘Superclass’ as David Rothkopf refers to them, are globalized like never before. For the first time in history, we have a truly global and heavily integrated elite. As elites have globalized their power, seeking to construct a ‘new world order’ of global governance and ultimately global government, they have simultaneously globalized populations.

The ‘Technological Revolution’ (or ‘Technetronic’ Revolution, as Brzezinski termed it in 1970) involves two major geopolitical developments. The first is that as technology advances, systems of mass communication rapidly accelerate, and the world’s people are able to engage in instant communication with one another and gain access to information from around the world. In it, lies the potential – and ultimately a central source – of a massive global political awakening. Simultaneously, the Technological Revolution has allowed elites to redirect and control society in ways never before imagined, ultimately culminating in a global scientific dictatorship, as many have warned of since the early decades of the 20th century. The potential for controlling the masses has never been so great, as science unleashes the power of genetics, biometrics, surveillance, and new forms of modern eugenics; implemented by a scientific elite equipped with systems of psycho-social control (the use of psychology in controlling the masses).

What is the “Global Political Awakening”?

To answer this question, it is best to let Zbigniew Brzezinski speak for himself, since it is his term. In 2009, Zbigniew Brzezinski published an article based on a speech he delivered to the London-based Chatham House in their academic journal, International Affairs. Chatham House, formerly the Royal Institute of International Relations, is the British counterpart to the US-based Council on Foreign Relations, both of which were founded in 1921 as “Sister Institutes” to coordinate Anglo-American foreign policy. His article, “Major foreign policy challenges for the next US President,” aptly analyzes the major geopolitical challenges for the Obama administration in leading the global hegemonic state at this critical juncture. Brzezinski refers to the ‘global political awakening’ as “a truly transformative event on the global scene,” since:

For the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. There are only a few pockets of humanity left in the remotest corners of the world that are not politically alert and engaged with the political turmoil and stirrings that are so widespread today around the world. The resulting global political activism is generating a surge in the quest for personal dignity, cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world painfully scarred by memories of centuries-long alien colonial or imperial domination.[2]

Brzezinski posits that the ‘global political awakening’ is one of the most dramatic and significant developments in geopolitics that has ever occurred, and it “is apparent in radically different forms from Iraq to Indonesia, from Bolivia to Tibet.” As the Economist explained, “Though America has focused on its notion of what people want (democracy and the wealth created by free trade and open markets), Brzezinski points in a different direction: It’s about dignity.” Further, argues Brzezinski, “The worldwide yearning for human dignity is the central challenge inherent in the phenomenon of global political awakening.”[3]

In 2005, Brzezinski wrote an essay for The American Interest entitled, “The Dilemma of the Last Sovereign,” in which he explains the geopolitical landscape that America and the world find themselves in. He wrote that, “For most states, sovereignty now verges on being a legal fiction,” and he critically assessed the foreign policy objectives and rhetoric of the Bush administration. Brzezinski has been an ardent critic of the “war on terror” and the rhetoric inherent in it, namely that of the demonization of Islam and Muslim people, which constitute one of the fastest growing populations and the fastest growing religion in the world. Brzezinski fears the compound negative affects this can have on American foreign policy and the objectives and aspirations of global power. He writes:

America needs to face squarely a centrally important new global reality: that the world’s population is experiencing a political awakening unprecedented in scope and intensity, with the result that the politics of populism are transforming the politics of power. The need to respond to that massive phenomenon poses to the uniquely sovereign America an historic dilemma: What should be the central definition of America’s global role?[4]

Brzezinski explains that formulating a foreign policy based off of one single event – the September 11th terror attacks – has both legitimized illegal measures (torture, suspension of habeas corpus, etc) and has launched and pacified citizens to accepting the “global war on terror,” a war without end. The rhetoric and emotions central to this global foreign policy created a wave of patriotism and feelings of redemption and revenge. Thus, Brzezinski explains:

There was no need to be more precise as to who the terrorists actually were, where they came from, or what historical motives, religious passions or political grievances had focused their hatred on America. Terrorism thus replaced Soviet nuclear weapons as the principal threat, and terrorists (potentially omnipresent and generally identified as Muslims) replaced communists as the ubiquitous menace.[5]

Brzezinski explains that this foreign policy, which has inflamed anti-Americanism around the world, specifically in the Muslim world, which was the principle target population of ‘terrorist’ rhetoric, has in fact further inflamed the ‘global political awakening’. Brzezinski writes that:

[T]he central challenge of our time is posed not by global terrorism, but rather by the intensifying turbulence caused by the phenomenon of global political awakening. That awakening is socially massive and politically radicalizing.[6]

This ‘global political awakening’, Brzezinski writes, while unique in its global scope today, originates in the ideas and actions of the French Revolution, which was central in “transforming modern politics through the emergence of a socially powerful national consciousness.” Brzezinski explains the evolution of the ‘awakening’:

During the subsequent 216 years, political awakening has spread gradually but inexorably like an ink blot. Europe of 1848, and more generally the nationalist movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reflected the new politics of populist passions and growing mass commitment. In some places that combination embraced utopian Manichaeism for which the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Fascist assumption of power in Italy in 1922, and the Nazi seizure of the German state in 1933 were the launch-pads. The political awakening also swept China, precipitating several decades of civil conflict. Anti-colonial sentiments galvanized India, where the tactic of passive resistance effectively disarmed imperial domination, and after World War II anti-colonial political stirrings elsewhere ended the remaining European empires. In the western hemisphere, Mexico experienced the first inklings of populist activism already in the 1860s, leading eventually to the Mexican Revolution of the early 20th century.[7]

Ultimately, what this implies is that – regardless of the final results of past awakenings – what is central to the concept of a ‘political awakening’ is the population – the people – taking on a political and social consciousness and subsequently, partaking in massive political and social action aimed at generating a major shift and change, or revolution, in the political, social and economic realms. Thus, no social transformation presents a greater or more direct challenge to entrenched and centralized power structures – whether they are political, social or economic in nature. Brzezinski goes on to explain the evolution of the ‘global political awakening’ in modern times:

It is no overstatement to assert that now in the 21st century the population of much of the developing world is politically stirring and in many places seething with unrest. It is a population acutely conscious of social injustice to an unprecedented degree, and often resentful of its perceived lack of political dignity. The nearly universal access to radio, television and increasingly the Internet is creating a community of shared perceptions and envy that can be galvanized and channeled by demagogic political or religious passions. These energies transcend sovereign borders and pose a challenge both to existing states as well as to the existing global hierarchy, on top of which America still perches.[8]

Brzezinski explains that several central areas of the ‘global political awakening’, such as China, India, Egypt, Bolivia, the Muslims in the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia and increasingly in Europe, as well as Indians in Latin America, “increasingly are defining what they desire in reaction to what they perceive to be the hostile impact on them of the outside world. In differing ways and degrees of intensity they dislike the status quo, and many of them are susceptible to being mobilized against the external power that they both envy and perceive as self-interestedly preoccupied with that status quo.” Brzezinski elaborates on the specific group most affected by this awakening:

The youth of the Third World are particularly restless and resentful. The demographic revolution they embody is thus a political time-bomb, as well. With the exception of Europe, Japan and America, the rapidly expanding demographic bulge in the 25-year-old-and-under age bracket is creating a huge mass of impatient young people. Their minds have been stirred by sounds and images that emanate from afar and which intensify their disaffection with what is at hand. Their potential revolutionary spearhead is likely to emerge from among the scores of millions of students concentrated in the often intellectually dubious “tertiary level” educational institutions of developing countries. Depending on the definition of the tertiary educational level, there are currently worldwide between 80 and 130 million “college” students. Typically originating from the socially insecure lower middle class and inflamed by a sense of social outrage, these millions of students are revolutionaries-in-waiting, already semi-mobilized in large congregations, connected by the Internet and pre-positioned for a replay on a larger scale of what transpired years earlier in Mexico City or in Tiananmen Square. Their physical energy and emotional frustration is just waiting to be triggered by a cause, or a faith, or a hatred.[9]

Brzezinski thus posits that to address this new global “challenge” to entrenched powers, particularly nation-states that cannot sufficiently address the increasingly non-pliant populations and populist demands, what is required, is “increasingly supranational cooperation, actively promoted by the United States.” In other words, Brzezinski favours an increased and expanded ‘internationalization’, not surprising considering he laid the intellectual foundations of the Trilateral Commission. He explains that “Democracy per se is not an enduring solution,” as it could be overtaken by “radically resentful populism.” This is truly a new global reality:

Politically awakened mankind craves political dignity, which democracy can enhance, but political dignity also encompasses ethnic or national self-determination, religious self-definition, and human and social rights, all in a world now acutely aware of economic, racial and ethnic inequities. The quest for political dignity, especially through national self-determination and social transformation, is part of the pulse of self-assertion by the world’s underprivileged.[10]

Thus, writes Brzezinski, “An effective response can only come from a self-confident America genuinely committed to a new vision of global solidarity.” The idea is that to address the grievances caused by globalization and global power structures, the world and America must expand and institutionalize the process of globalization, not simply in the economic sphere, but in the social and political as well. It is a flawed logic, to say the least, that the answer to this problem is to enhance and strengthen the systemic problems. One cannot put out a fire by adding fuel.

Brzezinski even wrote that, “Let it be said right away that supranationality should not be confused with world government. Even if it were desirable, mankind is not remotely ready for world government, and the American people certainly do not want it.” Instead, Brzezinski argues, America must be central in constructing a system of global governance, “in shaping a world that is defined less by the fiction of state sovereignty and more by the reality of expanding and politically regulated interdependence.”[11] In other words, not ‘global government’ but ‘global governance’, which is simply a rhetorical ploy, as ‘global governance’ – no matter how overlapping, sporadic and desultory it presents itself, is in fact a key step and necessary transition in the moves toward an actual global government.

Thus, the rhetoric and reality of a “global war on terror” in actuality further inflames the ‘global political awakening’ as opposed to challenging and addressing the issue. In 2007, Brzezinski told the US Senate that the “War on terror” was a “mythical historical narrative,”[12] or in other words, a complete fiction.

Of Power and People

To properly understand the ‘global political awakening’ it is imperative to understand and analyze the power structures that it most gravely threatens. Why is Brzezinski speaking so vociferously on this subject? From what perspective does he approach this issue?

Global power structures are most often represented by nation-states, of which there are over 200 in the world, and the vast majority are overlooking increasingly politically awakened populations who are more shaped by transnational communications and realities (such as poverty, inequality, war, empire, etc.) than by national issues. Among nation-states, the most dominant are the western powers, particularly the United States, which sits atop the global hierarchy of nations as the global hegemon (empire). American foreign policy was provided with the imperial impetus by an inter-locking network of international think tanks, which bring together the top political, banking, industrial, academic, media, military and intelligence figures to formulate coordinated policies.

The most notable of these institutions that socialize elites across national borders and provide the rationale and impetus for empire are an inter-locking network of international think tanks. In 1921, British and American elite academics got together with major international banking interests to form two “sister institutes” called the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) in London, now known as Chatham House, and the Council on Foreign Relations in the United States. Subsequent related think tanks were created in Canada, such as the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, now known as the Canadian International Council (CIC), and other affiliated think tanks in South Africa, India, Australia, and more recently in the European Union with the formation of the European Council on Foreign Relations.[13]

Following World War I, these powers sought to reshape the world order in their designs, with Woodrow Wilson proclaiming a right to “national self determination” which shaped the formation of nation-states throughout the Middle East, which until the war was dominated by the Ottoman Empire. Thus, proclaiming a right to “self-determination” for people everywhere became, in fact, a means of constructing nation-state power structures which the western nations became not only instrumental in building, but in exerting hegemony over. To control people, one must construct institutions of control. Nations like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, etc., did not exist prior to World War I.

Elites have always sought to control populations and individuals for their own power desires. It does not matter whether the political system is that of fascism, communism, socialism or democracy: elites seek power and control and are inherent in each system of governance. In 1928, Edward Bernays, nephew of the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, wrote one of his most influential works entitled “Propaganda.” Bernays also wrote the book on “Public Relations,” and is known as the “father of public relations,” and few outside of that area know of Bernays; however, his effect on elites and social control has been profound and wide-ranging.

Bernays led the propaganda effort behind the 1954 CIA coup in Guatemala, framing it as a “liberation from Communism” when in fact it was the imposition of a decades-long dictatorship to protect the interests of the United Fruit Company, who had hired Bernays to manage the media campaign against the democratic socialist government of Guatemala. Bernays also found a fan and student in Josef Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, who took many of his ideas from Bernays’ writings. Among one of Bernays’ more infamous projects was the popularizing of smoking for American women, as he hired beautiful women to walk up and down Madison Avenue while smoking cigarettes, giving women the idea that smoking is synonymous with beauty.

In his 1928 book, “Propaganda,” Bernays wrote that, “If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it.” Further:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society… Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. . . . In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons . . . who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.[14]

Following World War II, America became the global hegemon, whose imperial impetus was provided by the strategic concept of “containment” in containing the spread of Communism. Thus, America’s imperial adventures in Korea, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America became defined by the desire to “roll back” the influence of the Soviet Union and Communism. It was, not surprisingly, the Council on Foreign Relations that originated the idea of “containment” as a central feature of foreign policy.[15]

Further, following World War II, America was handed the responsibility for overseeing and managing the international monetary system and global political economy through the creation of institutions and agreements such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), NATO, the UN, and GATT (later to become the World Trade Organization – WTO). One central power institution that was significant in establishing consensus among Western elites and providing a forum for expanding global western hegemony was the Bilderberg Group, founded in 1954 as an international think tank.[16]

Zbigniew Brzezinski, an up-and-coming academic, joined the Council on Foreign Relations in the early 1960s. In 1970, Brzezinski, who had attended a few Bilderberg meetings, wrote a book entitled, “Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era,” in which he analyzed the impact of the ‘Revolution in Technology and Electronics,’ thus, the ‘technetronic era.’ Brzezinski defines the ‘technetronic society’ as, “a society that is shaped culturally, psychologically, socially, and economically by the impact of technology and electronics – particularly in the arena of computers and communications. The industrial process is no longer the principal determinant of social change, altering the mores, the social structure, and the values of society.”[17]

Brzezinski, expanding upon notions of social control, such as those propagated by Edward Bernays, wrote that, “Human conduct, some argue, can be predetermined and subjected to deliberate control,” and he quoted an “experimenter in intelligence control” who asserted that, “I foresee the time when we shall have the means and therefore, inevitably, the temptation to manipulate the behaviour and intellectual functioning of all the people through environmental and biochemical manipulation of the brain.”[18]

Brzezinski, in a telling exposé of his astute powers of observation and ability to identify major global trends, wrote that we are “witnessing the emergence of transnational elites” who are “composed of international businessmen, scholars, professional men, and public officials. The ties of these new elites cut across national boundaries, their perspectives are not confined by national traditions, and their interests are more functional than national.” Further, writes Brzezinski, “it is likely that before long the social elites of most of the more advanced countries will be highly internationalist or globalist in spirit and outlook.” However, warns Brzezinski, this increasing internationalization of elites “could create a dangerous gap between them and the politically activated masses, whose ‘nativism’ – exploited by more nationalist political leaders – could work against the ‘cosmopolitan’ elites.”[19] Brzezinski also wrote about “the gradual appearance of a more controlled and directed society,” in the “technetronic revolution;” explaining:

Such a society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific know-how. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control. Under such circumstances, the scientific and technological momentum of the country would not be reversed but would actually feed on the situation it exploits.[20]

Further, writes Brzezinski, “Persisting social crisis, the emergence of a charismatic personality, and the exploitation of mass media to obtain public confidence would be the steppingstones in the piecemeal transformation of the United States into a highly controlled society.” Elaborating, Brzezinski writes, “The traditionally democratic American society could, because of its fascination with technical efficiency, become an extremely controlled society, and its humane and individualistic qualities would thereby be lost.”[21]

In his book, Brzezinski called for a “Community of the Developed Nations,” consisting of Western Europe, North America and Japan, to coordinate and integrate in order to shape a ‘new world order’ built upon ideas of global governance under the direction of these transnational elites. In 1972, Brzezinski and his friend, David Rockefeller, presented the idea to the annual Bilderberg meetings. Rockefeller was, at that time, Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and was CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank. In 1973, Brzezinski and Rockefeller created the Trilateral Commission, a sort of sister institute to the Bilderberg Group, with much cross-over membership, bringing Japan into the western sphere of economic and political integration.[22]

In 1975, the Trilateral Commission published a Task Force Report entitled, “The Crisis of Democracy,” of which one of the principal authors was Samuel Huntington, a political scientist and close associate and friend of Zbigniew Brzezinski. In this report, Huntington argues that the 1960s saw a surge in democracy in America, with an upswing in citizen participation, often “in the form of marches, demonstrations, protest movements, and ‘cause’ organizations.”[23] Further, “the 1960s also saw a reassertion of the primacy of equality as a goal in social, economic, and political life.”[24] Huntington analyzed how as part of this “democratic surge,” statistics showed that throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s, there was a dramatic increase in the percentage of people who felt the United States was spending too much on defense (from 18% in 1960 to 52% in 1969, largely due to the Vietnam War).[25] In other words, people were becoming politically aware of empire and exploitation.

Huntington wrote that the “essence of the democratic surge of the 1960s was a general challenge to existing systems of authority, public and private,” and that, “People no longer felt the same compulsion to obey those whom they had previously considered superior to themselves in age, rank, status, expertise, character, or talents.” Huntington explained that in the 1960s, “hierarchy, expertise, and wealth” had come “under heavy attack.”[26] He stated that three key issues which were central to the increased political participation in the 1960s were:

social issues, such as use of drugs, civil liberties, and the role of women; racial issues, involving integration, busing, government aid to minority groups, and urban riots; military issues, involving primarily, of course, the war in Vietnam but also the draft, military spending, military aid programs, and the role of the military-industrial complex more generally.[27]

Huntington presented these issues, essentially, as the “crisis of democracy,” in that they increased distrust with the government and authority, that they led to social and ideological polarization, and led to a “Decline in the authority, status, influence, and effectiveness of the presidency.”[28]

Huntington concluded that many problems of governance in the United States stem from an “excess of democracy,” and that, “the effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups.” Huntington explained that society has always had “marginal groups” which do not participate in politics, and while acknowledging that the existence of “marginality on the part of some groups is inherently undemocratic,” it has also “enabled democracy to function effectively.” Huntington identifies “the blacks” as one such group that had become politically active, posing a “danger of overloading the political system with demands.”[29]

Huntington, in his conclusion, stated that the vulnerability of democracy, essentially the ‘crisis of democracy,’ comes from “a highly educated, mobilized, and participant society,” and that what is needed is “a more balanced existence” in which there are “desirable limits to the indefinite extension of political democracy.”[30] Summed up, the Trilateral Commission Task Force Report essentially explained that the “Crisis of Democracy” is that there is too much of it, and so the ‘solution’ to the ‘crisis’ is to have less democracy and more ‘authority.’

The New World Order

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, American ideologues – politicians and academics – began discussing the idea of the emergence of a “new world order” in which power in the world is centralized with one power – the United States, and laid the basis for an expansion of elitist ideology pertaining to the notion of ‘globalization’: that power and power structures should be globalizaed. In short, the ‘new world order’ was to be a global order of global governance. In the short term, it was to be led by the United States, which must be the central and primary actor in constructing a new world order, and ultimately a global government.[31]

Anne-Marie Slaughter, currently the Director of Policy Planning for the US State Department, is a prominent academic within the American elite establishment, having long served in various posts at the State Department, elite universities and on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1997, Slaughter wrote an article for the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, “Foreign Affairs,” in which she discussed the theoretical foundations of the ‘new world order.’ In it, she wrote that, “The state is not disappearing, it is disaggregating into its separate, functionally distinct parts. These parts—courts, regulatory agencies, executives, and even legislatures—are networking with their counterparts abroad, creating a dense web of relations that constitutes a new, transgovernmental order,” and that, “transgovernmentalism is rapidly becoming the most widespread and effective mode of international governance.”[32]

Long preceding Slaughter’s analysis of the ‘new world order,’ Richard N. Gardner published an article in Foreign Affairs titled, “The Hard Road to World Order.” Gardner, a former American Ambassador and member of the Trilateral Commission, wrote that, “The quest for a world structure that secures peace, advances human rights and provides the conditions for economic progress—for what is loosely called world order—has never seemed more frustrating but at the same time strangely hopeful.”[33]

Gardner wrote, “If instant world government, [UN] Charter review, and a greatly strengthened International Court do not provide the answers, what hope for progress is there? The answer will not satisfy those who seek simple solutions to complex problems, but it comes down essentially to this: The hope for the foreseeable future lies, not in building up a few ambitious central institutions of universal membership and general jurisdiction as was envisaged at the end of the last war, but rather in the much more decentralized, disorderly and pragmatic process of inventing or adapting institutions of limited jurisdiction and selected membership to deal with specific problems on a case-by-case basis, as the necessity for cooperation is perceived by the relevant nations.”[34]

He then stated, “In short, the “house of world order” will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down. It will look like a great “booming, buzzing confusion,” to use William James’ famous description of reality, but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.”[35]

In 1992, Strobe Talbott wrote an article for Time Magazine entitled, “The Birth of the Global Nation.” Talbott worked as a journalist for Time Magazine for 21 years, and has been a fellow of the Yale Corporation, a trustee of the Hotchkiss School and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a director of the Council on Foreign Relations, the North American Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission, and the American Association of Rhodes Scholars, and a member of the participating faculty of the World Economic Forum. Talbott served as Deputy Secretary of State from 1994 to 2001 in the Clinton administration and currently sits as President of the Brookings Institution, one of the premier American think tanks. In his 1992 article, “within the next hundred years,” Talbott wrote, “nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority.” He explained:

All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances. No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary. Through the ages, there has been an overall trend toward larger units claiming sovereignty and, paradoxically, a gradual diminution of how much true sovereignty any one country actually has.[36]

Further, he wrote that, “it has taken the events in our own wondrous and terrible century to clinch the case for world government. With the advent of electricity, radio and air travel, the planet has become smaller than ever, its commercial life freer, its nations more interdependent and its conflicts bloodier.”[37]

David Rothkopf, a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade in the Clinton administration, former managing director of Kissinger and Associates, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, recently wrote a book titled, “Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They are Making.” As a member of that “superclass,” his writing should provide a necessary insight into the construction of this “New World Order.” He states that, “In a world of global movements and threats that don’t present their passports at national borders, it is no longer possible for a nation-state acting alone to fulfill its portion of the social contract.” He wrote that, “progress will continue to be made,” however, it will be challenging, because it “undercuts many national and local power structures and cultural concepts that have foundations deep in the bedrock of human civilization, namely the notion of sovereignty.” He further wrote that, “Mechanisms of global governance are more achievable in today’s environment,” and that these mechanisms “are often creative with temporary solutions to urgent problems that cannot wait for the world to embrace a bigger and more controversial idea like real global government.”[38]

In December of 2008, the Financial Times published an article titled, “And Now for A World Government,” in which the author, former Bilderberg attendee, Gideon Rachman, wrote that, “for the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible,” and that, “A ‘world government’ would involve much more than co-operation between nations. It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws. The European Union has already set up a continental government for 27 countries, which could be a model. The EU has a supreme court, a currency, thousands of pages of law, a large civil service and the ability to deploy military force.”[39]

He stated that, “it is increasingly clear that the most difficult issues facing national governments are international in nature: there is global warming, a global financial crisis and a ‘global war on terror’.” He wrote that the European model could “go global” and that a world government “could be done,” as “The financial crisis and climate change are pushing national governments towards global solutions, even in countries such as China and the US that are traditionally fierce guardians of national sovereignty.” He quoted an adviser to French President Nicolas Sarkozy as saying, “Global governance is just a euphemism for global government,” and that the “core of the international financial crisis is that we have global financial markets and no global rule of law.” However, Rachman states that any push towards a global government “will be a painful, slow process.” He then states that a key problem in this push can be explained with an example from the EU, which “has suffered a series of humiliating defeats in referendums, when plans for ‘ever closer union’ have been referred to the voters. In general, the Union has progressed fastest when far-reaching deals have been agreed by technocrats and politicians – and then pushed through without direct reference to the voters. International governance tends to be effective, only when it is anti-democratic.”[40]

The Global Political Awakening and the Global Economic Crisis

In the face of the global economic crisis, the process that has led to the global political awakening is rapidly expanding, as the social, political and economic inequalities and disparities that led to the awakening are all being exacerbated and expanded. Thus, the global political awakening itself is entering into a period in which it will undergo rapid, expansionary and global transformation.

This ‘global political awakening’, of which Brzezinski has explained as being one of the primary global geopolitical challenges of today, has largely, up until recent times, been exemplified in the ‘Global South’, or the ‘Third World’ developing nations of the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. Developments in recent decades and years in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Iran exemplify the nationalist-orientation of much of this awakening, taking place in a world increasingly and incrementally moving towards global governance and global institutions.

In 1998, Hugo Chavez became President of Venezuela, having campaigned on promises of aiding the nation’s poor majority. In 2002, an American coup attempt took place in Venezuela, but Chavez retained his power and was further emboldened by the attempt, and gained a great burst of popular support among the people. Chavez has undertaken what he refers to as a process of “Bolivarian socialism”, and has taken a decidedly and vehemently anti-American posture in Latin America, long considered America’s “back yard.” Suddenly, there is virulent rhetoric and contempt against the United States and its influence in the region, which itself is backed by the enormous oil-wealth of Venezuela.

In Bolivia, Evo Morales was elected President in 2005 of the poorest nation in South America, and he was also the first indigenous leader of that country to ever hold that position of power, after having long been dominated by the Spanish-descended landed aristocracy. Evo Morales rose to power on the wave of various social movements within Bolivia, key among them being the “water wars” which took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia’s third largest city, in 2000. The water wars were instigated after the World Bank forced Bolivia to privatize its water so that American and European companies could come in and purchase the rights to Bolivia’s water, meaning that people in the poorest nation in South America could not even drink rain water without paying American or European companies for the ‘right’ to use it. Thus, revolt arose and Evo Morales rose with it. Now, Morales and Chavez represent the “new Left” in Latin America, and with it, growing sentiments of anti-American imperialism.

In Iran, itself defined more by nationalism than ethnic polarities, has become a principal target of the western hegemonic world order, as it sits atop massive gas and oil reserves, and is virulently anti-American and firmly opposed to western hegemony in the Middle East. However, with increased American rhetoric against Iran, its regime and political elites are further emboldened and politically strengthened among its people, the majority of whom are poor.

Global socio-political economic conditions directly relate to the expansion and emergence of the ‘global political awakening’. As of 1998, “3 billion people live on less than $2 per day while 1.3 billion get by on less than $1 per day. Seventy percent of those living on less than $1 per day are women.”[41] In 2003, a World Bank report revealed that, “A minority of the world’s population (17%) consume most of the world’s resources (80%), leaving almost 5 billion people to live on the remaining 20%. As a result, billions of people are living without the very basic necessities of life – food, water, housing and sanitation.”[42]

In regards to poverty and hunger statistics, “Over 840 million people in the world are malnourished—799 million of them are from the developing world. Sadly, more than 153 million of them are under the age of 5 (half the entire US population).” Further, “Every day, 34,000 children under five die of hunger or other hunger-related diseases. This results in 6 million deaths a year.” That amounts to a “Hunger Holocaust” that takes place every single year. As of 2003, “Of 6.2 billion living today, 1.2 billion live on less than $1 per day. Nearly 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day.”[43]

In 2006, a groundbreaking and comprehensive report released by the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER) reported that, “The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of global household wealth.” An incredibly startling statistic was that:

[T]he richest 1% of adults alone owned 40% of global assets in the year 2000, and that the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total. In contrast, the bottom half of the world adult population owned barely 1% of global wealth.[44]

This is worth repeating: the top 1% owns 40% of global assets; the top 10% owns 85% of world assets; and the bottom 50% owns 1% of global assets; a sobering figure, indeed. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) report stated that in 2009, “an estimated 55 million to 90 million more people will be living in extreme poverty than anticipated before the crisis.” Further, “the encouraging trend in the eradication of hunger since the early 1990s was reversed in 2008, largely due to higher food prices.” Hunger in developing regions has risen to 17% in 2008, and “children bear the brunt of the burden.”[45]

In April of 2009, a major global charity, Oxfam, reported that a couple trillion dollars given to bail out banks could have been enough “to end global extreme poverty for 50 years.”[46] In September of 2009, Oxfam reported that the economic crisis “is forcing 100 people-a-minute into poverty.” Oxfam stated that, “Developing countries across the globe are struggling to respond to the global recession that continues to slash incomes, destroy jobs and has helped push the total number of hungry people in the world above 1 billion.”[47]

The financial crisis has hit the ‘developing’ world much harder than the western developed nations of the world. The UN reported in March of 2009 that, “Reduced growth in 2009 will cost the 390 million people in sub-Saharan Africa living in extreme poverty around $18 billion, or $46 per person,” and “This projected loss represents 20 per cent of the per capita income of Africa’s poor – a figure that dwarfs the losses sustained in the developed world.”[48]

Thus, the majority of the world’s people live in absolute poverty and social dislocation. This is directly the result of the globalized world order that has been and is being constructed. Now, as that same infrastructure is being further institutionalized and built upon, people are being thrown into the ‘awakening’ like never before. Their very poverty pushes them into an awakening. There is a seemingly lost notion of judging a society by how it treats it weakest members: the poor. Poverty forces one to look at the world differently, as they see the harsh restraints that society has imposed upon the human spirit. Life simply cannot be about the struggle to make payments week-to-week; to afford water, shelter, and food; to live according to the dictates of money and power.

Look to history, and you see that from some of the most oppressive societies can come the greatest of humanity. Russia, a nation which has never in its history experienced true political freedom for the individual, has managed to produce some of the greatest music, art, expression and literature as a vibrant outcry of humanity from a society so overcome with the need to control it. It the fact that such triumphs of human spirit can come from such tyrannies over human nature is a sobering display of the great mystery of human beings. Why waste humanity by subjecting it to poverty? Think of the difference that could be made if all of humanity was allowed to flourish individually and collectively; think of all the ideas, art, expression, intellect and beauty we aren’t getting from those who have no voice.

Until we address this fundamental issue, any notion of humanity as being ‘civilized’ is but a cynical joke. If it’s human civilization, we haven’t quite figured it out yet. We don’t yet have a proper definition of ‘civilized’, and we need to make it ‘humane’.

The West and the Awakening

The middle classes of the western world are undergoing a dramatic transition, most especially in the wake of the global economic crisis. In the previous decades, the middle class has become a debt-based class, whose consumption was based almost entirely on debt, and so their ability to consume and be the social bedrock of the capitalist system is but a mere fiction. Never in history has the middle class, and most especially the youth who are graduating college into the hardest job market in decades, been in such peril.[49]

The global debt crisis, which is beginning in Greece, and spreading throughout the euro-zone economies of Spain, Portugal, Ireland and ultimately the entire EU, will further consume the UK, Japan and go all the way to America.[50] This will be a truly global debt crisis. Government measures to address the issue of debt focus on the implementation of ‘fiscal austerity measures’ to reduce the debt burdens and make interest payments on their debts.

‘Fiscal austerity’ is a vague term that in actuality refers to cutting social spending and increasing taxes. The effect this has is that the public sector is devastated, as all assets are privatized, public workers are fired en masse, unemployment becomes rampant, health and education disappear, taxes rise dramatically, and currencies are devalued to make all assets cheaper for international corporations and banks to buy up, while internally causing inflation – dramatically increasing the costs of fuel and food. In short, ‘fiscal austerity’ implies ‘social destruction’ as the social foundations of nations and peoples are pulled out from under them. States then become despotic and oppress the people, who naturally revolt against ‘austerity’: the sterilization of society.

‘Fiscal austerity’ swept the developing world through the 1980s and 1990s in response to the 1980s debt crisis which consumed Latin America, Africa, and areas of Asia. The result of the fiscal austerity measures imposed upon nations by the World Bank and IMF was the social dismantling of the new societies and their subsequent enslavement to the international creditors of the IMF, World Bank, and western corporations and banks. It was an era of economic imperialism, and the IMF was a central tool of this imperial project.

As the debt crisis we see unfolding today sweeps the world, the IMF is again stepping in to impose ‘fiscal austerity’ on nations in return for short-term loans for countries to pay off the interest on their exorbitant debts, themselves owed mostly to major European and American banks. Western nations have agreed to impose fiscal austerity,[51] which will in fact only inflame the crisis, deepen the depression and destroy the social foundations of the west so that we are left only with the authoritarian apparatus of state power – the police, military, homeland ‘security’ apparatus – which is employed against people to protect the status quo powers.

The IMF has also come to the global economic crisis with a new agenda, giving out loans in its own synthetic currency – Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) – an international reserve basket of currencies. The G20 in April of 2009 granted the IMF the authority to begin phasing in the applications of issuing SDRs, and for the IMF to in effect become a global central bank issuing a global currency.[52] So through this global debt crisis, SDRs will be disbursed globally – both efficiently and in abundance – as nations will need major capital inflows and loans to pay off interest payments, or in the event of a default. This will happen at a pace so rapid that it would never be conceivable if not for a global economic crisis. The same took place in the 1980s, as the nature of “Structural Adjustment Programs” (SAPs) could not be properly assessed as detrimental to economic conditions and ultimately socially devastating, for countries needed money fast (as the debt crisis spread across the developing world) and were not in a position to negotiate. Today, this will be the ‘globalization’ of the debt crisis of the 1980s, on a much larger and more devastating scale, and the reaction will be equally globalized and devastating: the continued implementation of ‘global governance’.

As austerity hits the west, the middle class will vanish in obscurity, as they will be absorbed into the lower, labour-oriented working class.[53] The youth of the western middle class, comprising the majority of the educated youth, will be exposed to a ‘poverty of expectations’ in which they grew up in a world in which they were promised everything, and from whom everything was so quickly taken. The inevitability of protests, riots and possible rebellion is as sure as the sun rises.[54]

In the United States, the emergence of the Tea Party movement is representative of – in large part – a growing dissatisfaction with the government and the economy. Naturally, like any group, it has its radical and fringe elements, which tend to draw the majority of media attention in an effort to shape public opinion, but the core and the driving force of the movement is the notion of popular dissatisfaction with government. Whatever one thinks of the legitimacy of such protestations, people are not pleased, and people are taking to the streets. And so it begins.

Even intellectuals of the left have spoken publicly warning people not to simply and so easily discount the Tea Party movement as fringe or radical. One such individual, Noam Chomsky, while speaking at a University in April of 2010, warned that he felt fascism was coming to America, and he explained that, “Ridiculing the tea party shenanigans is a serious error,” as their attitudes “are understandable.” He explained, “For over 30 years, real incomes have stagnated or declined. This is in large part the consequence of the decision in the 1970s to financialize the economy.” This constitutes ‘class resentment’, as “The bankers, who are primarily responsible for the crisis, are now reveling in record bonuses while official unemployment is around 10 percent and unemployment in the manufacturing sector is at Depression-era levels.” This same financial industry is directly linked to Obama, who is supporting their interests, and people are noticing.[55]

Another notable feminist intellectual of the left, Naomi Wolf, who wrote a book during the Bush administration on the emergence of fascism in America, and much of her message is being picked up by the Tea Party movement, as those on the right who were listening and agreeing with Wolf during the Bush administration (a considerable minority), then provided the impetus for the emergence of the Tea Party movement and many of its core or original ideas. In an interview in March 2010, Wolf explained that her ideas are even more relevant under Obama than Bush. She explained, “Bush legalized torture, but Obama is legalizing impunity. He promised to roll stuff back, but he is institutionalizing these things forever. It is terrifying and the left doesn’t seem to recognize it.” She explained how the left, while active under Bush, has been tranquilized under Obama, and that there is a potential for true intellectuals and for people more generally and more importantly, to reach out to each other across the spectrum. She explained:

I was invited by the Ron Paul supporters to their rally in Washington last summer and I loved it. I met a lot of people I respected, a lot of “ordinary” people, as in not privileged. They were stepping up to the plate, when my own liberal privileged fellow demographic habituates were lying around whining. It was a wake-up call to the libertarians that there’s a progressive who cares so much about the same issues. Their views of liberals are just as distorted as ours are of conservatives.[56]

In regards to the Tea Party movement, Wolf had this to say: “The Tea Party is not monolithic. There is a battle between people who care about liberty and the Constitution and the Republican Establishment who is trying to take ownership of it and redirect it for its own purposes.” Further, she explained that the Tea Party is “ahead of their time” on certain issues, “I used to think “End the Fed people” were crackpots. The media paints them as deranged. But it turned out we had good reason to have more oversight.”[57]

In time, others will join with the Tea Party movement and new activist groups, the anti-war movement will have to revitalize itself or die away; since Obama became President their influence, their voice, and their dignity has all but vanished. They have become a pacified voice, and their silence is complicity; thus, the anti-war movement must reignite and reinvigorate or it will decompose. The ‘Left’s’ distrust of corporations must merge with the ‘Right’s’ distrust of government to create a trust in ‘people’. Soon students will be joining protests, and the issues of the Tea Party movement and others like it can become more refined and informed.

When the middle classes of the west are plunged into poverty, it will force an awakening, for when people have nothing, they have nothing left to lose. The only way that the entrenched powers of the world have been able to expand their power and maintain their power is with the ignorant consent of the populations of the west. Issues of war, empire, economics and terror shape public opinion and allow social planners to redirect and reconstitute society. The people of the west have allowed themselves to be ruled as such and have allowed our rulers to be so ruthless in our names. People have been blinded by consumerism and entertainment. Images of celebrities, professional sports, Hollywood, iPods, blackberrys, and PCs consume the minds of people, and especially the youth of the west today. It has been the illusion of being the consuming class that has allowed our societies to be run so recklessly. So long as we have our TVs and PCs we won’t pay attention to anything else!

When the ability to consume is removed, the people will enter into a period of a great awakening. This will give rise to major new political movements, many progressive but some regressive, some fringe and radical, some violent and tyrannical, but altogether new and ultimately global. This is when the people of the west will come to realize the plight of the rest. This will be the era in which people begin to understand the realization that there is great truth in Dr. Martin Luther King’s words, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Thus, the struggle of Africans will become the struggle of Americans: it must be freedom for all or freedom for none.

This is the major geopolitical reality and the pre-eminent global threat to world power structures. No development in all of human history presents such a monumental challenge to the status quo. As global power structures have never resembled such a monumental threat to mankind, mankind has never posed such an immense threat to institutionalized power. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Even if elites think that they truly do run the world, human nature has a way of exposing the flaws in that assumption. Human nature is not meant to be ‘controlled,’ but rather is meant to be nurtured.

A View From the Top

Again, it is important to go to Brzezinski’s own words in describing this new geopolitical reality, as it provides great insight into not only how the ‘global political awakening’ is defined; but more importantly, how it is perceived by those who hold power. In 2004, Brzezinski gave a speech at the Carnegie Council on his 2004 book, “The Choice”. The Carnegie Council is an elite think tank based in the United States, so Brzezinski is speaking to those who are potentially negatively affected by such an awakening. Brzezinski stated that America’s foreign policy in the wake of 9/11 – the “War on Terror” – is presenting a major challenge to American hegemony, as it is increasingly isolating the United States and damaging the nation’s credibility, as well as hiding the issues in virulent rhetoric which only further inflames the real and true challenge: the global political awakening. He states:

The misdiagnosis [of foreign policy] pertains to a relatively vague, excessively abstract, highly emotional, semi-theological definition of the chief menace that we face today in the world, and the consequent slighting of what I view as the unprecedented global challenge arising out of the unique phenomenon of a truly massive global political awakening of mankind. We live in an age in which mankind writ large is becoming politically conscious and politically activated to an unprecedented degree, and it is this condition which is producing a great deal of international turmoil.

But we are not focusing on that. We are focusing specifically on one word, which is being elevated into a specter, defined as an entity, presented as somehow unified but unrelated to any specific event or place—and that word is terrorism. The global challenge today on the basis of which we tend to operate politically is the definition of terrorism with a global reach as the principal challenge of our time.

I don’t deny that terrorism is a reality, a threat to us, an ugly menace and a vicious manifestation. But it is a symptom of something larger and more complicated, related to the global turmoil that takes place in many parts of the world and manifests itself in different ways.

That turmoil is the product of the political awakening, the fact that today vast masses of the world are not politically neutered, as they have been throughout history. They have political consciousness. It may be undefined, it may point in different directions, it may be primitive, it may be intolerant, it may be hateful, but it is a form of political activism.[58]

Brzezinski explains that literacy has made for greater political awareness, while TV has made for immediate awareness of global disparities, and the Internet has provided instant communications. Further, says Brzezinski, “Much of this is also spurred by America’s impact on the world,” or in other words, American economic, political, and cultural imperialism; and further, “Much of it is also fueled by globalization, which the United States propounds, favors and projects by virtue of being a globally outward-thrusting society.” Brzezinski warns, “But that also contributes to instability, and is beginning to create something altogether new: namely, some new ideological or doctrinal challenge which might fill the void created by the disappearance of communism.” Brzezinski explains that Communism emerged in the last century as an alternative, however, today:

it is now totally discredited, and we have a pragmatic vacuum in the world today regarding doctrines. But I see the beginnings, in writings and stirrings, of the making of a doctrine which combines anti-Americanism with anti-globalization, and the two could become a powerful force in a world that is very unequal and turbulent.[59]

A question following Brzezinski’s speech asked him to expand upon how to address the notion of and deal with the ‘global political awakening’. Brzezinski explained that, “We deal with the world as it is and we are as we are. If we are to use our power intelligently and if we are to move in the right direction, we have no choice but do it incrementally.”[60] In other words, as Brzezinski has detailed his vision of a solution to world problems in creating the conditions for global governance; they must do it “incrementally,” for that is how to “use [their] power intelligently.” The solution to the ‘global political awakening’, in the view from the top, is to continue to create the apparatus of an oppressive global government.

On April 23, 2010, Zbigniew Brzezinski went to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations to give a speech at an event jointly-hosted by the Canadian International Council (CIC), the Canadian counterpart to the Council on Foreign Relations in the US and Chatham House in the U.K. These are many of the intellectual, social, political and economic elite of Canada. In his speech, Brzezinski gives a breakdown of the modern geopolitical realities:

Let me begin by making just a thumbnail definition of the geopolitical context in which we all find ourselves, including America. And in my perspective, that geopolitical context is very much defined by new – by two new global realities. The first is that global political leadership – by which I mean the role of certain leading powers in the world – has now become much more diversified unlike what it was until relatively recently. Relatively recently still, the world was dominated by the Atlantic world, as it had been for many centuries. It no longer is. Today, the rise of the Far East has created a new but much more differentiated global leadership. One which in a nutshell involves a wanton hazard, an arbitrary list of the primary players in the world scene: the United States, clearly; maybe next to it – but maybe – the European Union, I say maybe because it is not yet a political entity; certainly, increasingly so, and visibly so, China; Russia, mainly in one respect only because it is a nuclear power co-equal to the United States, but otherwise very deficient in all of the major indices of what constitutes global power. Behind Russia, perhaps individually, but to a much lesser extent, Germany, France, Great Britain, Japan, certainly, although it does not have the political assertive posture; India is rising, and then in the background of that we have the new entity of the G20, a much more diversified global leadership, lacking internal unity, with many of its members in bilateral antagonisms. That makes the context much more complicated.

The other major change in international affairs is that for the first time, in all of human history, mankind has been politically awakened. That is a total new reality – total new reality. It has not been so for most of human history until the last one hundred years. And in the course of the last one hundred years, the whole world has become politically awakened. And no matter where you go, politics is a matter of social engagement, and most people know what is generally going on –generally going on – in the world, and are consciously aware of global inequities, inequalities, lack of respect, exploitation. Mankind is now politically awakened and stirring. The combination of the two: the diversified global leadership, politically awakened masses, makes a much more difficult context for any major power including, currently, the leading world power: the United States.[61]

Conclusion

So, the Technological Revolution has led to a diametrically opposed, antagonistic, and conflicting geopolitical reality: never before has humanity been so awakened to issues of power, exploitation, imperialism and domination; and simultaneously, never before have elites been so transnational and global in orientation, and with the ability to impose such a truly global system of scientific despotism and political oppression. These are the two major geopolitical realities of the world today. Reflect on that. Never in all of human history has mankind been so capable of achieving a true global political psycho-social awakening; nor has humanity ever been in such danger of being subjected to a truly global scientific totalitarianism, potentially more oppressive than any system known before, and without a doubt more technologically capable of imposing a permanent despotism upon humanity. So we are filled with hope, but driven by urgency. In all of human history, never has the potential nor the repercussions of human actions and ideas ever been so monumental.

Suddenly, global elites are faced with the reality of seeking to dominate populations that are increasingly becoming self-aware and are developing a global consciousness. Thus, a population being subjected to domination in Africa has the ability to become aware of a population being subjected to the same forms of domination in the Middle East, South America or Asia; and they can recognize that they are all being dominated by the same global power structures. That is a key point: not only is the awakening global in its reach, but in its nature; it creates within the individual, an awareness of the global condition. So it is a ‘global awakening’ both in the external environment, and in the internal psychology.

This new reality in the world, coupled with the fact that the world’s population has never been so vast, presents a challenge to elites seeking to dominate people all over the world who are aware and awakened to the realities of social inequality, war, poverty, exploitation, disrespect, imperialism and domination. This directly implies that these populations will be significantly more challenging to control: economically, politically, socially, psychologically and spiritually. Thus, from the point of view of the global oligarchy, the only method of imposing order and control – on this unique and historical human condition – is through the organized chaos of economic crises, war, and the rapid expansion and institutionalization of a global scientific dictatorship. Our hope is their fear; and our greatest fear is their only hope.

As Charles Dickens once wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” That has never been so true as it is today.

 


This has been Part 1 in the three-part series, “The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom.”

Part 2 will examine the nature of the global awakening in the ‘west’, particularly the United States, and the potential for revolution within that awakening; as well as the state systems of control and oppression being constructed to deal with it; notably, the construction of a Homeland Security State.

Part 3 will examine the evolution of the idea and reality of a scientific dictatorship, the technological revolution’s effect on power, and the emergence of new systems of social control based upon a modern implementation of eugenics.

 


Endnotes

[1]        Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Global Political Awakening. The New York Times: December 16, 2008: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/opinion/16iht-YEbrzezinski.1.18730411.html

[2]        Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Major Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next US President,” International Affairs, 85: 1, (2009), page 53 (emphasis added)

[3]        AFP, A new brain for Barack Obama. The Economist: March 14, 2007: http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2007/03/a_new_brain_for_barack_obama

[4]        Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Dilemma of the Last Sovereign. The American Interest Magazine, Autumn 2005: http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=56

[5]        Ibid.

[6]        Ibid.

[7]        Ibid.

[8]        Ibid.

[9]        Ibid.

[10]      Ibid.

[11]      Ibid.

[12]      Michael Collins, Brzezinski: On The Path To War With Iran. Global Research: February 25, 2007: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=4920

[13]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Origins of the American Empire: Revolution, World Wars and World Order. Global Research: July 28, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14552 ; see sections, “World War Restructures World Order,” and “Empire, War and the Rise of the New Global Hegemon,” for a look at this interlocking network of think tanks.

[14]      John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays & The Birth of PR. PR Watch, Second Quarter 1999, Volume 6, No. 2: http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/1999Q2/bernays.html

[15]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Origins of the American Empire: Revolution, World Wars and World Order. Global Research: July 28, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14552 ; Andrew Gavin Marshall, Controlling the Global Economy: Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission and the Federal Reserve. Global Research: August 3, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14614

[16]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Controlling the Global Economy: Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission and the Federal Reserve. Global Research: August 3, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14614

[17]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era. (Viking Press, New York, 1970), page 10

[18]      Ibid, page 12.

[19]      Ibid, page 29.

[20]      Ibid, page 97.

[21]      Ibid.

[22]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Controlling the Global Economy: Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission and the Federal Reserve. Global Research: August 3, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14614

[23]      Michel J. Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington and Joji Watanuki, The Crisis of Democracy. (Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission, New York University Press, 1975), page 61

[24]      Ibid, page 62.

[25]      Ibid, page 71.

[26]      Ibid, pages 74-75

[27]      Ibid, page 77.

[28]      Ibid, page 93.

[29]      Ibid, pages 113-114.

[30]      Ibid, page 115.

[31]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Forging a “New World Order” Under a One World Government. Global Research: August 13, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14712

[32]      Anne-Marie Slaughter, The Real New World Order. Foreign Affairs: September/October, 1997: pages 184-185

[33]      Richard N. Gardner, The Hard Road to World Order. Foreign Affairs: April, 1974: page 556

[34]      Ibid, page 558.

[35]      Ibid.

[36]      Strobe Talbott, America Abroad. Time Magazine: July 20, 1992: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,976015,00.html

[37]      Ibid.

[38]      David Rothkopf, Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They are Making. (Toronto: Penguin Books, 2008), pages 315-316

[39]      Gideon Rachman, And now for a world government. The Financial Times: December 8, 2008: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7a03e5b6-c541-11dd-b516-000077b07658.html

[40]      Ibid.

[41]      Jeff Gates, Statistics on Poverty and Inequality. Global Policy Forum: May 1999: http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/218/46377.html

[42]      Social & Economic Injustice, World Centric, 2004: http://worldcentric.org/conscious-living/social-and-economic-injustice

[43]      Ibid.

[44]      GPF, Press Release: Pioneering Study Shows Richest Own Half World Wealth. Global Policy Forum: December 5, 2006: http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/218/46555.html

[45]      UN, The Millennium Development Goals Report 2009. United Nations, New York, 2009: page 4

[46]      G20 Summit: Bank bailout would end global poverty, says Oxfam. The Telegraph: April 1, 2009: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/g20-summit/5087404/G20-Summit-Bank-bailout-would-end-global-poverty-says-Oxfam.html

[47]      Press Release, 100 people every minute pushed into poverty by economic crisis. Oxfam International: September 24, 2009: http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2009-09-24/100-people-every-minute-pushed-poverty-economic-crisis

[48]      Press Release, Financial crisis to deepen extreme poverty, increase child mortality rates – UN report. UN News Center: March 3, 2009: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=30070

[49]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Western Civilization and the Economic Crisis: The Impoverishment of the Middle Class. Global Research: March 30, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18386

[50]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Debt Dynamite Dominoes: The Coming Financial Catastrophe. Global Research: February 22, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17736

[51]      Reuters, G20 communique after meeting in South Korea. G20 Communiqué: June 5, 2010: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6540VN20100605

[52]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Forging a “New World Order” Under a One World Government. Global Research: August 13, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14712 ; or for a more succinct analysis, Andrew Gavin Marshall, The Financial New World Order: Towards a Global Currency and World Government. Global Research: April 6, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13070

[53]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Western Civilization and the Economic Crisis: The Impoverishment of the Middle Class. Global Research: March 30, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18386

[54]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, The Global Economic Crisis: Riots, Rebellion and Revolution. Global Research: April 7, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18529

[55]      Matthew Rothschild, Chomsky Warns of Risk of Fascism in America. The Progressive: April 12, 2010: http://www.progressive.org/wx041210.html

[56]      Justine Sharrock, Naomi Wolf Thinks the Tea Parties Help Fight Fascism — Is She Onto Something or in Fantasy Land? Alternet: March 30, 2010: http://www.alternet.org/news/146184/naomi_wolf_thinks_the_tea_parties_help_fight_fascism_–_is_she_on_to_something_or_in_fantasy_land__

[57]      Ibid.

[58]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership. Speech at the Carnegie Council: March 25, 2004: http://www.cceia.org/resources/transcripts/4424.html

[59]      Ibid.

[60]      Ibid.

[61]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, America’s Geopolitical Dilemmas. Speech at the Canadian International Council and Montreal Council on Foreign Relations: April 23, 2010: http://www.onlinecic.org/resourcece/multimedia/americasgeopoliticaldilemmas

Debt Dynamite Dominoes: The Coming Financial Catastrophe

Debt Dynamite Dominoes: The Coming Financial Catastrophe
Assessing the Illusion of Recovery
Global Research, February 22, 2010

Understanding the Nature of the Global Economic Crisis

The people have been lulled into a false sense of safety under the ruse of a perceived “economic recovery.” Unfortunately, what the majority of people think does not make it so, especially when the people making the key decisions think and act to the contrary. The sovereign debt crises that have been unfolding in the past couple years and more recently in Greece, are canaries in the coal mine for the rest of Western “civilization.” The crisis threatens to spread to Spain, Portugal and Ireland; like dominoes, one country after another will collapse into a debt and currency crisis, all the way to America.

In October 2008, the mainstream media and politicians of the Western world were warning of an impending depression if actions were not taken to quickly prevent this. The problem was that this crisis had been a long-time coming, and what’s worse, is that the actions governments took did not address any of the core, systemic issues and problems with the global economy; they merely set out to save the banking industry from collapse. To do this, governments around the world implemented massive “stimulus” and “bailout” packages, plunging their countries deeper into debt to save the banks from themselves, while charging it to people of the world.

Then an uproar of stock market speculation followed, as money was pumped into the stocks, but not the real economy. This recovery has been nothing but a complete and utter illusion, and within the next two years, the illusion will likely come to a complete collapse.

The governments gave the banks a blank check, charged it to the public, and now it’s time to pay; through drastic tax increases, social spending cuts, privatization of state industries and services, dismantling of any protective tariffs and trade regulations, and raising interest rates. The effect that this will have is to rapidly accelerate, both in the speed and volume, the unemployment rate, globally. The stock market would crash to record lows, where governments would be forced to freeze them altogether.

When the crisis is over, the middle classes of the western world will have been liquidated of their economic, political and social status. The global economy will have gone through the greatest consolidation of industry and banking in world history leading to a system in which only a few corporations and banks control the global economy and its resources; governments will have lost that right. The people of the western world will be treated by the financial oligarchs as they have treated the ‘global South’ and in particular, Africa; they will remove our social structures and foundations so that we become entirely subservient to their dominance over the economic and political structures of our society.

This is where we stand today, and is the road on which we travel.

The western world has been plundered into poverty, a process long underway, but with the unfolding of the crisis, will be rapidly accelerated. As our societies collapse in on themselves, the governments will protect the banks and multinationals. When the people go out into the streets, as they invariably do and will, the government will not come to their aid, but will come with police and military forces to crush the protests and oppress the people. The social foundations will collapse with the economy, and the state will clamp down to prevent the people from constructing a new one.

The road to recovery is far from here. When the crisis has come to an end, the world we know will have changed dramatically. No one ever grows up in the world they were born into; everything is always changing. Now is no exception. The only difference is, that we are about to go through the most rapid changes the world has seen thus far.

Assessing the Illusion of Recovery

In August of 2009, I wrote an article, Entering the Greatest Depression in History, in which I analyzed how there is a deep systemic crisis in the Capitalist system in which we have gone through merely one burst bubble thus far, the housing bubble, but there remains a great many others.

There remains as a significantly larger threat than the housing collapse, a commercial real estate bubble. As the Deutsche Bank CEO said in May of 2009, “It’s either the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning.”

Of even greater significance is what has been termed the “bailout bubble” in which governments have superficially inflated the economies through massive debt-inducing bailout packages. As of July of 2009, the government watchdog and investigator of the US bailout program stated that the U.S. may have put itself at risk of up to $23.7 trillion dollars.

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, Entering the Greatest Depression in History. Global Research: August 7, 2009]

In October of 2009, approximately one year following the “great panic” of 2008, I wrote an article titled, The Economic Recovery is an Illusion, in which I analyzed what the most prestigious and powerful financial institution in the world, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), had to say about the crisis and “recovery.”

The BIS, as well as its former chief economist, who had both correctly predicted the crisis that unfolded in 2008, were warning of a future crisis in the global economy, citing the fact that none of the key issues and structural problems with the economy had been changed, and that government bailouts may do more harm than good in the long run.

William White, former Chief Economist of the BIS, warned:

The world has not tackled the problems at the heart of the economic downturn and is likely to slip back into recession. [He] warned that government actions to help the economy in the short run may be sowing the seeds for future crises.

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, The Economic Recovery is an Illusion. Global Research: October 3, 2009]

Crying Wolf or Castigating Cassandra?

While people were being lulled into a false sense of security, prominent voices warning of the harsh bite of reality to come were, instead of being listened to, berated and pushed aside by the mainstream media. Gerald Celente, who accurately predicted the economic crisis of 2008 and who had been warning of a much larger crisis to come, had been accused by the mainstream media of pushing “pessimism porn.”[1] Celente’s response has been that he isn’t pushing “pessimism porn,” but that he refuses to push “optimism opium” of which the mainstream media does so outstandingly.

So, are these voices of criticism merely “crying wolf” or is it that the media is out to “castigate Cassandra”? Cassandra, in Greek mythology, was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy, who was granted by the God Apollo the gift of prophecy. She prophesied and warned the Trojans of the Trojan Horse, the death of Agamemnon and the destruction of Troy. When she warned the Trojans, they simply cast her aside as “mad” and did not heed her warnings.

While those who warn of a future economic crisis may not have been granted the gift of prophecy from Apollo, they certainly have the ability of comprehension.

So what do the Cassandras of the world have to say today? Should we listen?

Empire and Economics

To understand the global economic crisis, we must understand the global causes of the economic crisis. We must first determine how we got to the initial crisis, from there, we can critically assess how governments responded to the outbreak of the crisis, and thus, we can determine where we currently stand, and where we are likely headed.

Africa and much of the developing world was released from the socio-political-economic restraints of the European empires throughout the 1950s and into the 60s. Africans began to try to take their nations into their own hands. At the end of World War II, the United States was the greatest power in the world. It had command of the United Nations, the World Bank and the IMF, as well as setting up the NATO military alliance. The US dollar reigned supreme, and its value was tied to gold.

In 1954, Western European elites worked together to form an international think tank called the Bilderberg Group, which would seek to link the political economies of Western Europe and North America. Every year, roughly 130 of the most powerful people in academia, media, military, industry, banking, and politics would meet to debate and discuss key issues related to the expansion of Western hegemony over the world and the re-shaping of world order. They undertook, as one of their key agendas, the formation of the European Union and the Euro currency unit.

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, Controlling the Global Economy: Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission and the Federal Reserve. Global Research: August 3, 2009]

In 1971, Nixon abandoned the dollar’s link to gold, which meant that the dollar no longer had a fixed exchange rate, but would change according to the whims and choices of the Federal Reserve (the central bank of the United States).  One key individual that was responsible for this choice was the third highest official in the U.S. Treasury Department at the time, Paul Volcker.[2]

Volcker got his start as a staff economist at the New York Federal Reserve Bank in the early 50s. After five years there, “David Rockefeller’s Chase Bank lured him away.”[3] So in 1957, Volcker went to work at Chase, where Rockefeller “recruited him as his special assistant on a congressional commission on money and credit in America and for help, later, on an advisory commission to the Treasury Department.”[4] In the early 60s, Volcker went to work in the Treasury Department, and returned to Chase in 1965 “as an aide to Rockefeller, this time as vice president dealing with international business.” With Nixon entering the White House, Volcker got the third highest job in the Treasury Department. This put him at the center of the decision making process behind the dissolution of the Bretton Woods agreement by abandoning the dollar’s link to gold in 1971.[5]

In 1973, David Rockefeller, the then-Chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank and President of the Council on Foreign Relations, created the Trilateral Commission, which sought to expand upon the Bilderberg Group. It was an international think tank, which would include elites from Western Europe, North America, and Japan, and was to align a “trilateral” political economic partnership between these regions. It was to further the interests and hegemony of the Western controlled world order.

That same year, the Petri-dish experiment of neoliberalism was undertaken in Chile. While a leftist government was coming to power in Chile, threatening the economic interests of not only David Rockefeller’s bank, but a number of American corporations, David Rockefeller set up meetings between Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s National Security Adviser, and a number of leading corporate industrialists. Kissinger in turn, set up meetings between these individuals and the CIA chief and Nixon himself. Within a short while, the CIA had begun an operation to topple the government of Chile.

On September 11, 1973, a Chilean General, with the help of the CIA, overthrew the government of Chile and installed a military dictatorship that killed thousands. The day following the coup, a plan for an economic restructuring of Chile was on the president’s desk. The economic advisers from the University of Chicago, where the ideas of Milton Freidman poured out, designed the restructuring of Chile along neoliberal lines.

Neoliberalism was thus born in violence.

In 1973, a global oil crisis hit the world. This was the result of the Yom Kippur War, which took place in the Middle East in 1973. However, much more covertly, it was an American strategem. Right when the US dropped the dollar’s peg to gold, the State Department had quietly begun pressuring Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations to increase the price of oil. At the 1973 Bilderberg meeting, held six months before the oil price rises, a 400% increase in the price of oil was discussed. The discussion was over what to do with the large influx of what would come to be called “petrodollars,” the oil revenues of the OPEC nations.

Henry Kissinger worked behind the scenes in 1973 to ensure a war would take place in the Middle East, which happened in October. Then, the OPEC nations drastically increased the price of oil. Many newly industrializing nations of the developing world, free from the shackles of overt political and economic imperialism, suddenly faced a problem: oil is the lifeblood of an industrial society and it is imperative in the process of development and industrialization. If they were to continue to develop and industrialize, they would need the money to afford to do so.

Concurrently, the oil producing nations of the world were awash with petrodollars, bringing in record surpluses. However, to make a profit, the money would need to be invested. This is where the Western banking system came to the scene. With the loss of the dollar’s link to cold, the US currency could flow around the world at a much faster rate. The price of oil was tied to the price of the US dollar, and so oil was traded in US dollars. OPEC nations thus invested their oil money into Western banks, which in turn, would “recycle” that money by loaning it to the developing nations of the world in need of financing industrialization. It seemed like a win-win situation: the oil nations make money, invest it in the West, which loans it to the South, to be able to develop and build “western” societies.

However, all things do not end as fairy tales, especially when those in power are threatened. An industrialized and developed ‘Global South’ (Latin America, Africa, and parts of Asia) would not be a good thing for the established Western elites. If they wanted to maintain their hegemony over the world, they must prevent the rise of potential rivals, especially in regions so rich in natural resources and the global supplies of energy.

It was at this time that the United States initiated talks with China. The “opening” of China was to be a Western project of expanding Western capital into China. China will be allowed to rise only so much as the West allows it. The Chinese elite were happy to oblige with the prospect of their own growth in political and economic power. India and Brazil also followed suit, but to a smaller degree than that of China. China and India were to brought within the framework of the Trilateral partnership, and in time, both China and India would have officials attending meetings of the Trilateral Commission.

So money flowed around the world, primarily in the form of the US dollar. Foreign central banks would buy US Treasuries (debts) as an investment, which would also show faith in the strength of the US dollar and economy. The hegemony of the US dollar reached around the world.

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, Controlling the Global Economy: Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission and the Federal Reserve. Global Research: August 3, 2009]

The Hegemony of Neoliberalism

In 1977, however, a new US administration came to power under the Presidency of Jimmy Carter, who was himself a member of the Trilateral Commission. With his administration, came another roughly two-dozen members of the Trilateral Commission to fill key positions within his government. In 1973, Paul Volcker, the rising star through Chase Manhattan and the Treasury Department became a member of the Trilateral Commission. In 1975, he was made President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the most powerful of the 12 regional Fed banks. In 1979, Jimmy Carter gave the job of Treasury Secretary to the former Governor of the Federal Reserve System, and in turn, David Rockefeller recommended Jimmy Carter appoint Paul Volcker as Governor of the Federal Reserve Board, which Carter quickly did.[6]

In 1979, the price of oil skyrocketed again. This time, Paul Volcker at the Fed was to take a different approach. His response was to drastically increase interest rates. Interest rates went from 2% in the late 70s to 18% in the early 1980s. The effect this had was that the US economy went into recession, and greatly reduced its imports from developing nations. A the same time, developing nations, who had taken on heavy debt burdens to finance industrialization, suddenly found themselves having to pay 18% interest payments on their loans. The idea that they could borrow heavily to build an industrial society, which would in turn pay off their loans, had suddenly come to a halt. As the US dollar had spread around the world in the forms of petrodollars and loans, the decisions that the Fed made would affect the entire world. In 1982, Mexico announced that it could no longer service its debt, and defaulted on its loans. This marked the spread of the 1980s debt crisis, which spread throughout Latin America and across the continent of Africa.

Suddenly, much of the developing world was plunged into crisis. Thus, the IMF and World Bank entered the scene with their newly developed “Structural Adjustment Programs” (SAPs), which would encompass a country in need signing an agreement, the SAP, which would provide the country with a loan from the IMF, as well as “development” projects by the World Bank. In turn, the country would have to undergo a neoliberal restructuring of its country.

Neoliberalism spread out of America and Britain in the 1980s; through their financial empires and instruments – including the World Bank and IMF – they spread the neoliberal ideology around the globe. Countries that resisted neoliberalism were subjected to “regime change”. This would occur through financial manipulation, via currency speculation or the hegemonic monetary policies of the Western nations, primarily the United States; economic sanctions, via the United Nations or simply done on a bilateral basis; covert regime change, through “colour revolutions” or coups, assassinations; and sometimes overt military campaigns and war.

The neoliberal ideology consisted in what has often been termed “free market fundamentalism.” This would entail a massive wave of privatization, in which state assets and industries are privatized in order to become economically “more productive and efficient.” This would have the social effect of leading to the firing of entire areas of the public sector, especially health and education as well as any specially protected national industries, which for many poor nations meant vital natural resources.

Then, the market would be “liberalized” which meant that restrictions and impediments to foreign investments in the nation would diminish by reducing or eliminating trade barriers and tariffs (taxes), and thus foreign capital (Western corporations and banks) would be able to invest in the country easily, while national industries that grow and “compete” would be able to more easily invest in other nations and industries around the world. The Central Bank of the nation would then keep interest rates artificially low, to allow for the easier movement of money in and out of the country. The effect of this would be that foreign multinational corporations and international banks would be able to easily buy up the privatized industries, and thus, buy up the national economy. Simultaneously major national industries may be allowed to grow and work with the global banks and corporations. This would essentially oligopolize the national economy, and bring it within the sphere of influence of the “global economy” controlled by and for the Western elites.

The European empires had imposed upon Africa and many other colonized peoples around the world a system of ‘indirect rule’, in which local governance structures were restructured and reorganized into a system where the local population is governed by locals, but for the western colonial powers. Thus, a local elite is created, and they enrich themselves through the colonial system, so they have no interest in challenging the colonial powers, but instead seek to protect their own interests, which happen to be the interests of the empire.

In the era of globalization, the leaders of the ‘Third World’ have been co-opted and their societies reorganized by and for the interests of the globalized elites. This is a system of indirect rule, and the local elites becoming ‘indirect globalists’; they have been brought within the global system and structures of empire.

Following a Structural Adjustment Program, masses of people would be left unemployed; the prices of essential commodities such as food and fuel would increase, sometimes by hundreds of percentiles, while the currency lost its value. Poverty would spread and entire sectors of the economy would be shut down. In the “developing” world of Asia, Latin America and Africa, these policies were especially damaging. With no social safety nets to fall into, the people would go hungry; the public state was dismantled.

When it came to Africa, the continent so rapidly de-industrialized throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s that poverty increased by incredible degrees. With that, conflict would spread. In the 1990s, as the harsh effects of neoliberal policies were easily and quickly seen on the African continent, the main notion pushed through academia, the media, and policy circles was that the state of Africa was due to the “mismanagement” by Africans. The blame was put solely on the national governments. While national political and economic elites did become complicit in the problems, the problems were imposed from beyond the continent, not from within.

Thus, in the 1990s, the notion of “good governance” became prominent. This was the idea that in return for loans and “help” from the IMF and World Bank, nations would need to undertake reforms not only of the economic sector, but also to create the conditions of what the west perceived as “good governance.” However, in neoliberal parlance, “good governance” implies “minimal governance”, and governments still had to dismantle their public sectors. They simply had to begin applying the illusion of democracy, through the holding of elections and allowing for the formation of a civil society. “Freedom” however, was still to maintain simply an economic concept, in that the nation would be “free” for Western capital to enter into.

While massive poverty and violence spread across the continent, people were given the “gift” of elections. They would elect one leader, who would then be locked into an already pre-determined economic and political structure. The political leaders would enrich themselves at the expense of others, and then be thrown out at the next election, or simply fix the elections. This would continue, back and forth, all the while no real change would be allowed to take place. Western imposed “democracy” had thus failed.

An article in a 2002 edition of International Affairs, the journal of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (the British counter-part to the Council on Foreign Relations), wrote that:

In 1960 the average income of the top 20 per cent of the world’s population was 30 times that of the bottom 20 per cent. By 1990 it was 60 times, ad by 1997, 74 times that of the lowest fifth. Today the assets of the top three billionaires are more than the combined GNP [Gross National Product] of all least developed countries and their 600 million people.

This has been the context in which there has been an explosive growth in the presence of Western as well as local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Africa. NGOs today form a prominent part of the ‘development machine’, a vast institutional and disciplinary nexus of official agencies, practitioners, consultants, scholars and other miscellaneous experts producing and consuming knowledge about the ‘developing world’.

[. . . ] Aid (in which NGOs have come to play a significant role) is frequently portrayed as a form of altruism, a charitable act that enables wealth to flow from rich to poor, poverty to be reduced and the poor to be empowered.[7]

The authors then explained that NGOs have a peculiar evolution in Africa:

[T[heir role in ‘development’ represents a continuity of the work of their precursors, the missionaries and voluntary organizations that cooperated in Europe’s colonization and control of Africa. Today their work contributes marginally to the relief of poverty, but significantly to undermining the struggle of African people to emancipate themselves from economic, social and political oppression.[8]

The authors examined how with the spread of neoliberalism, the notion of a “minimalist state” spread across the world and across Africa. Thus, they explain, the IMF and World Bank “became the new commanders of post-colonial economies.” However, these efforts were not imposed without resistance, as, “Between 1976 and 1992 there were 146 protests against IMF-supported austerity measures [SAPs] in 39 countries around the world.” Usually, however, governments responded with brute force, violently oppressing demonstrations. However, the widespread opposition to these “reforms” needed to be addressed by major organizations and “aid” agencies in re-evaluating their approach to ‘development’:[9]

The outcome of these deliberations was the ‘good governance’ agenda in the 1990s and the decision to co-opt NGOs and other civil society organizations to a repackaged programme of welfare provision, a social initiative that could be more accurately described as a programme of social control.

The result was to implement the notion of ‘pluralism’ in the form of ‘multipartyism’, which only ended up in bringing “into the public domain the seething divisions between sections of the ruling class competing for control of the state.” As for the ‘welfare initiatives’, the bilateral and multilateral aid agencies set aside significant funds for addressing the “social dimensions of adjustment,” which would “minimize the more glaring inequalities that their policies perpetuated.” This is where the growth of NGOs in Africa rapidly accelerated.[10]

Africa had again, become firmly enraptured in the cold grip of imperialism. Conflicts in Africa would be stirred up by imperial foreign powers, often using ethnic divides to turn the people against each other, using the political leaders of African nations as vassals submissive to Western hegemony. War and conflict would spread, and with it, so too would Western capital and the multinational corporation.

Building a ‘New’ Economy

While the developing world fell under the heavy sword of Western neoliberal hegemony, the Western industrialized societies experienced a rapid growth of their own economic strength. It was the Western banks and multinational corporations that spread into and took control of the economies of Africa, Latin America, Asia, and with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Russia opened itself up to Western finance, and the IMF and World Bank swept in and imposed neoliberal restructuring, which led to a collapse of the Russian economy, and enrichment of a few billionaire oligarchs who own the Russian economy, and who are intricately connected with Western economic interests; again, ‘indirect globalists’.

As the Western financial and commercial sectors took control of the vast majority of the world’s resources and productive industries, amassing incredible profits, they needed new avenues in which to invest. Out of this need for a new road to capital accumulation (making money), the US Federal Reserve stepped in to help out.

The Federal Reserve in the 1990s began to ease interest rates lower and lower to again allow for the easier spread of money. This was the era of ‘globalization,’ where proclamations of a “New World Order” emerged. Regional trading blocs and “free trade” agreements spread rapidly, as world systems of political and economic structure increasingly grew out of the national structure and into a supra-national form. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented in an “economic constitution for North America” as Reagan referred to it.

Regionalism had emerged as the next major phase in the construction of the New World Order, with the European Union being at the forefront. The world economy was ‘globalized’ and so too, would the political structure follow, on both regional and global levels. The World Trade Organization (WTO) was formed to maintain and enshrine global neoliberal constitution for trade. All through this time, a truly global ruling class emerged, the Transnational Capitalist Class (TCC), or global elite, which constituted a singular international class.

However, as the wealth and power of elites grew, everyone else suffered. The middle class had been subjected to a quiet dismantling. In the Western developed nations, industries and factories closed down, relocating to cheap Third World countries to exploit their labour, then sell the products in the Western world cheaply. Our living standards in the West began to fall, but because we could buy products for cheaper, no one seemed to complain. We continued to consume, and we used credit and debt to do so. The middle class existed only in theory, but was in fact, beholden to the shackles of debt.

The Clinton administration used ‘globalization’ as its grand strategy throughout the 1990s, facilitating the decline of productive capital (as in, money that flows into production of goods and services), and implemented the rise finance capital (money made on money). Thus, financial speculation became one of the key tools of economic expansion. This is what was termed the “financialization” of the economy. To allow this to occur, the Clinton administration actively worked to deregulate the banking sector. The Glass-Steagle Act, put in place by FDR in 1933 to prevent commercial banks from merging with investment banks and engaging in speculation, (which in large part caused the Great Depression), was slowly dismantled through the coordinated efforts of America’s largest banks, the Federal Reserve, and the US Treasury Department.

Thus, a massive wave of consolidation took place, as large banks ate smaller banks, corporations merged, where banks and corporations stopped being American or European and became truly global. Some of the key individuals that took part in the dismantling of Glass-Steagle and the expansion of ‘financialization’ were Alan Greenspan at the Federal Reserve and Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers at the Treasury Department, now key officials in Obama’s economic team.

This era saw the rise of ‘derivatives’ which are ‘complex financial instruments’ that essentially act as short-term insurance policies, betting and speculating that an asset price or commodity would go up or go down in value, allowing money to be made on whether stocks or prices go up or down. However, it wasn’t called ‘insurance’ because ‘insurance’ has to be regulated. Thus, it was referred to as derivatives trade, and organizations called Hedge Funds entered the picture in managing the global trade in derivatives.

The stock market would go up as speculation on future profits drove stocks higher and higher, inflating a massive bubble in what was termed a ‘virtual economy.’ The Federal Reserve facilitated this, as it had previously done in the lead-up to the Great Depression, by keeping interest rates artificially low, and allowing for easy-flowing money into the financial sector. The Federal Reserve thus inflated the ‘dot-com’ bubble of the technology sector. When this bubble burst, the Federal Reserve, with Allen Greenspan at the helm, created the “housing bubble.”

The Federal Reserve maintained low interest rates and actively encouraged and facilitated the flow of money into the housing sector. Banks were given free reign and actually encouraged to make loans to high-risk individuals who would never be able to pay back their debt. Again, the middle class existed only in the myth of the ‘free market’.

Concurrently, throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s, the role of speculation as a financial instrument of war became apparent. Within the neoliberal global economy, money could flow easily into and out of countries. Thus, when confidence weakens in the prospect of one nation’s economy, there can be a case of ‘capital flight’ where foreign investors sell their assets in that nation’s currency and remove their capital from that country. This results in an inevitable collapse of the nations economy.

This happened to Mexico in 1994, in the midst of joining NAFTA, where international investors speculated against the Mexican peso, betting that it would collapse; they cashed in their pesos for dollars, which devalued the peso and collapsed the Mexican economy. This was followed by the East Asian financial crisis in 1997, where throughout the 1990s, Western capital had penetrated East Asian economies speculating in real estate and the stock markets. However, this resulted in over-investment, as the real economy, (production, manufacturing, etc.) could not keep up with speculative capital. Thus, Western capital feared a crisis, and began speculating against the national currencies of East Asian economies, which triggered devaluation and a financial panic as capital fled from East Asia into Western banking sectors. The economies collapsed and then the IMF came in to ‘restructure’ them accordingly. The same strategy was undertaken with Russia in 1998, and Argentina in 2001.

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, Forging a “New World Order” Under a One World Government. Global Research: August 13, 2009]

Throughout the 2000s, the housing bubble was inflated beyond measure, and around the middle of the decade, when the indicators emerged of a crisis in the housing market a commercial real estate bubble was formed. This bubble has yet to burst.

The 2007-2008 Financial Crisis

In 2007, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the most prestigious financial institution in the world and the central bank to the world’s central banks, issued a warning that the world is on the verge of another Great Depression, “citing mass issuance of new-fangled credit instruments, soaring levels of household debt, extreme appetite for risk shown by investors, and entrenched imbalances in the world currency system.”[11]

As the housing bubble began to collapse, the commodity bubble was inflated, where money went increasingly into speculation, the stock market, and the price of commodities soared, such as with the massive increases in the price of oil between 2007 and 2008. In September of 2007, a medium-sized British Bank called Northern Rock, a major partaker in the loans of bad mortgages which turned out to be worthless, sought help from the Bank of England, which led to a run on the bank and investor panic. In February of 2008, the British government bought and nationalized Northern Rock.

In March of 2008, Bear Stearns, an American bank that had been a heavy lender in the mortgage real estate market, went into crisis. On March 14, 2008, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York worked with J.P. Morgan Chase (whose CEO is a board member of the NY Fed) to provide Bear Stearns with an emergency loan. However, they quickly changed their mind, and the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, working with the President of the New York Fed, Timothy Geithner, and the Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (former CEO of Goldman Sachs), forced Bear Stearns to sell itself to JP Morgan Chase for $2 a share, which had previously traded at $172 a share in January of 2007. The merger was paid for by the Federal Reserve of New York, and charged to the US taxpayer.

In June of 2008, the BIS again warned of an impending Great Depression.[12]

In September of 2008, the US government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two major home mortgage corporations. The same month, the global bank Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, giving the signal that no one is safe and that the entire economy was on the verge of collapse. Lehman was a major dealer in the US Treasury Securities market and was heavily invested in home mortgages. Lehman filed for bankruptcy on September 15, 2008, marking the largest bankruptcy in US history. A wave of bank consolidation spread across the United States and internationally. The big banks became much bigger as Bank of America swallowed Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan ate Washington Mutual, and Wells Fargo took over Wachovia.

In November of 2008, the US government bailed out the largest insurance company in the world, AIG. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, with Timothy Geithner at the helm:

[Bought out], for about $30 billion, insurance contracts AIG sold on toxic debt securities to banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co., Societe Generale and Deutsche Bank AG, among others. That decision, critics say, amounted to a back-door bailout for the banks, which received 100 cents on the dollar for contracts that would have been worth far less had AIG been allowed to fail.

As Bloomberg reported, since the New York Fed is quasi-governmental, as in, it is given government authority, but not subject to government oversight, and is owned by the banks that make up its board (such as JP Morgan Chase), “It’s as though the New York Fed was a black-ops outfit for the nation’s central bank.”[13]

The Bailout

In the fall of 2008, the Bush administration sought to implement a bailout package for the economy, designed to save the US banking system. The leaders of the nation went into rabid fear mongering. The President warned:

More banks could fail, including some in your community. The stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. The value of your home could plummet. Foreclosures would rise dramatically.

The head of the Federal Reserve Board, Ben Bernanke, as well as Treasury Secretary Paulson, in late September warned of “recession, layoffs and lost homes if Congress doesn’t quickly approve the Bush administration’s emergency $700 billion financial bailout plan.”[14] Seven months prior, in February of 2008, prior to the collapse of Bear Stearns, both Bernanke and Paulson said “the nation will avoid falling into recession.”[15] In September of 2008, Paulson was saying that people “should be scared.”[16]

The bailout package was made into a massive financial scam, which would plunge the United States into unprecedented levels of debt, while pumping incredible amounts of money into major global banks.

The public was told, as was the Congress, that the bailout was worth $700 billion dollars. However, this was extremely misleading, and a closer reading of the fine print would reveal much more, in that $700 billion is the amount that could be spent “at any one time.” As Chris Martenson wrote:

This means that $700 billion is NOT the cost of this dangerous legislation, it is only the amount that can be outstanding at any one time.  After, say, $100 billion of bad mortgages are disposed of, another $100 billion can be bought.  In short, these four little words assure that there is NO LIMIT to the potential size of this bailout. This means that $700 billion is a rolling amount, not a ceiling.

So what happens when you have vague language and an unlimited budget?  Fraud and self-dealing.  Mark my words, this is the largest looting operation ever in the history of the US, and it’s all spelled out right in this delightfully brief document that is about to be rammed through a scared Congress and made into law.[17]

Further, the proposed bill would “raise the nation’s debt ceiling to $11.315 trillion from $10.615 trillion,” and that the actions taken as a result of the passage of the bill would not be subject to investigation by the nation’s court system, as it would “bar courts from reviewing actions taken under its authority”:

The Bush administration seeks “dictatorial power unreviewable by the third branch of government, the courts, to try to resolve the crisis,” said Frank Razzano, a former assistant chief trial attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission now at Pepper Hamilton LLP in Washington. “We are taking a huge leap of faith.”[18]

Larisa Alexandrovna, writing with the Huffington Post, warned that the passage of the bailout bill will be the final nails in the coffin of the fascist coup over America, in the form of financial fascists:

This manufactured crisis is now to be remedied, if the fiscal fascists get their way, with the total transfer of Congressional powers (the few that still remain) to the Executive Branch and the total transfer of public funds into corporate (via government as intermediary) hands.

[. . . ] The Treasury Secretary can buy broadly defined assets, on any terms he wants, he can hire anyone he wants to do it and can appoint private sector companies as financial deputies of the US government. And he can write whatever regulation he thinks [is] needed.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.[19]

At the same time, the US Federal Reserve was bailing out foreign banks of hundreds of billions of dollars, “that are desperate for dollars and can’t access America’s frozen credit markets – a move co-ordinated with central banks in Japan, the Eurozone, Switzerland, Canada and here in the UK.”[20] The moves would have been coordinated through the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basle, Switzerland. As Politico reported, “foreign-based banks with big U.S. operations could qualify for the Treasury Department’s mortgage bailout.” A Treasury Fact Sheet released by the US Department of Treasury stated that:

Participating financial institutions must have significant operations in the U.S., unless the Secretary makes a determination, in consultation with the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, that broader eligibility is necessary to effectively stabilize financial markets.[21]

So, the bailout package would not only allow for the rescue of American banks, but any banks internationally, whether public or private, if the Treasury Secretary deemed it “necessary”, and that none of the Secretary’s decisions could be reviewed or subjected to oversight of any kind. Further, it would mean that the Treasury Secretary would have a blank check, but simply wouldn’t be able to hand out more than $700 billion “at any one time.” In short, the bailout is in fact, a coup d’état by the banks over the government.

Many Congressmen were told that if they failed to pass the bailout package, they were threatened with martial law.[22] Sure enough, Congress passed the bill, and the financial coup had been a profound success.

No wonder then, in early 2009, one Congressman reported that the banks “are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.”[23] Another Congressman said that “The banks run the place,” and explained, “I will tell you what the problem is – they give three times more money than the next biggest group. It’s huge the amount of money they put into politics.”[24]

The Collapse of Iceland

On October 9th, 2008, the government of Iceland took control of the nation’s largest bank, nationalizing it, and halted trading on the Icelandic stock market. Within a single week, “the vast majority of Iceland’s once-proud banking sector has been nationalized.” In early October, it was reported that:

Iceland, which has transformed itself from one of Europe’s poorest countries to one of its wealthiest in the space of a generation, could face bankruptcy. In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Geir Haarde conceded: “There is a very real danger, fellow citizens, that the Icelandic economy in the worst case could be sucked into the whirlpool, and the result could be national bankruptcy.”

An article in BusinessWeek explained:

How did things get so bad so fast? Blame the Icelandic banking system’s heavy reliance on external financing. With the privatization of the banking sector, completed in 2000, Iceland’s banks used substantial wholesale funding to finance their entry into the local mortgage market and acquire foreign financial firms, mainly in Britain and Scandinavia. The banks, in large part, were simply following the international ambitions of a new generation of Icelandic entrepreneurs who forged global empires in industries from retailing to food production to pharmaceuticals. By the end of 2006, the total assets of the three main banks were $150 billion, eight times the country’s GDP.

In just five years, the banks went from being almost entirely domestic lenders to becoming major international financial intermediaries. In 2000, says Richard Portes, a professor of economics at London Business School, two-thirds of their financing came from domestic sources and one-third from abroad. More recently—until the crisis hit—that ratio was reversed. But as wholesale funding markets seized up, Iceland’s banks started to collapse under a mountain of foreign debt.[25]

This was the grueling situation that faced the government at the time of the global economic crisis. The causes, however, were not Icelandic; they were international. Iceland owed “more than $60 billion overseas, about six times the value of its annual economic output. As a professor at London School of Economics said, ‘No Western country in peacetime has crashed so quickly and so badly’.”[26]

What went wrong?

Iceland followed the path of neoliberalism, deregulated banking and financial sectors and aided in the spread and ease of flow for international capital. When times got tough, Iceland went into crisis, as the Observer reported in early October 2008:

Iceland is on the brink of collapse. Inflation and interest rates are raging upwards. The krona, Iceland’s currency, is in freefall and is rated just above those of Zimbabwe and Turkmenistan.

[. . . ] The discredited government and officials from the central bank have been huddled behind closed doors for three days with still no sign of a plan. International banks won’t send any more money and supplies of foreign currency are running out.[27]

In 2007, the UN had awarded Iceland the “best country to live in”:

The nation’s celebrated rags-to-riches story began in the Nineties when free market reforms, fish quota cash and a stock market based on stable pension funds allowed Icelandic entrepreneurs to go out and sweep up international credit. Britain and Denmark were favourite shopping haunts, and in 2004 alone Icelanders spent £894m on shares in British companies. In just five years, the average Icelandic family saw its wealth increase by 45 per cent.[28]

As the third of Iceland’s large banks was in trouble, following the government takeover of the previous two, the UK responded by freezing Icelandic assets in the UK. Kaupthing, the last of the three banks standing in early October, had many assets in the UK.

On October 7th, Iceland’s Central Bank governor told the media, “We will not pay for irresponsible debtors and…not for banks who have behaved irresponsibly.” The following day, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, claimed that, “The Icelandic government, believe it or not, have told me yesterday they have no intention of honoring their obligations here,” although, Arni Mathiesen, the Icelandic minister of finance, said, “nothing in this telephone conversation can support the conclusion that Iceland would not honor its obligation.”[29]

On October 10, 2008, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “We are freezing the assets of Icelandic companies in the United Kingdom where we can. We will take further action against the Icelandic authorities wherever that is necessary to recover money.” Thus:

Many Icelandic companies operating in the U.K., in totally unrelated industries, experienced their assets being frozen by the U.K. government–as well as other acts of seeming vengeance by U.K. businesses and media.

The immediate effect of the collapse of Kaupthing is that Iceland’s financial system is ruined and the foreign exchange market shut down. Retailers are scrambling to secure currency for food imports and medicine. The IMF is being called in for assistance.[30]

The UK had more than £840m invested in Icelandic banks, and they were moving in to save their investments,[31] which just so happened to help spur on the collapse of the Icelandic economy.

On October 24, 2008, an agreement between Iceland and the IMF was signed. In late November, the IMF approved a loan to Iceland of $2.1 billion, with an additional $3 billion in loans from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and Poland.[32] Why the agreement to the loan took so long, was because the UK pressured the IMF to delay the loan “until a dispute over the compensation Iceland owes savers in Icesave, one of its collapsed banks, is resolved.”[33]

In January of 2009, the entire Icelandic government was “formally dissolved” as the government collapsed when the Prime Minister and his entire cabinet resigned. This put the opposition part in charge of an interim government.[34] In July of 2009, the new government formally applied for European Union membership, however, “Icelanders have traditionally been skeptical of the benefits of full EU membership, fearing that they would lose some of their independence as a small state within a larger political entity.”[35]

In August of 2009, Iceland’s parliament passed a bill “to repay Britain and the Netherlands more than $5 billion lost in Icelandic deposit accounts”:

Icelanders, already reeling from a crisis that has left many destitute, have objected to paying for mistakes made by private banks under the watch of other governments.

Their anger in particular is directed at Britain, which used an anti-terrorism law to seize Icelandic assets during the crisis last year, a move which residents said added insult to injury.

The government argued it had little choice but to make good on the debts if it wanted to ensure aid continued to flow. Rejection could have led to Britain or the Netherlands seeking to block aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).[36]

Iceland is now in the service of the IMF and its international creditors. The small independent nation that for so long had prided itself on a strong economy and strong sense of independence had been brought to its knees.

In mid-January of 2010, the IMF and Sweden together delayed their loans to Iceland, due to Iceland’s “failure to reach a £2.3bn compensation deal with Britain and the Netherlands over its collapsed Icesave accounts.” Sweden, the UK and the IMF were blackmailing Iceland to save UK assets in return for loans.[37]

In February of 2010, it was reported that the EU would begin negotiations with Iceland to secure Icelandic membership in the EU by 2012. However, Iceland’s “aspirations are now tied partially to a dispute with the Netherlands and Britain over $5 billion in debts lost in the country’s banking collapse in late 2008.”[38]

Iceland stood as a sign of what was to come. The sovereign debt crisis that brought Iceland to its knees had new targets on the horizon.

Dubai Hit By Financial Storm

In February of 2009, the Guardian reported that, “A six-year boom that turned sand dunes into a glittering metropolis, creating the world’s tallest building, its biggest shopping mall and, some say, a shrine to unbridled capitalism, is grinding to a halt,” as Dubai, one of six states that form the United Arab Emirates (UAE), went into crisis. Further, “the real estate bubble that propelled the frenetic expansion of Dubai on the back of borrowed cash and speculative investment, has burst.”[39]

Months later, in November of 2009, Dubai was plunged into a debt crisis, prompting fears of sparking a double-dip recession and the next wave of the financial crisis. As the Guardian reported:

Governments have cut interest rates, created new electronic money and allowed budget deficits to reach record levels in an attempt to boost growth after the near-collapse of the global financial system. [. . . ] Despite having oil, it’s still the case that many of these countries had explosive credit growth. It’s very clear that in 2010, we’ve got plenty more problems in store.[40]

The neighboring oil-rich state of Abu Dhabi, however, came to the rescue of Dubai with a $10 billion bailout package, leading the Foreign Minister of the UAE to declare Dubai’s financial crisis as over.[41]

In mid-February of 2010, however, renewed fears of a debt crisis in Dubai resurfaced; Morgan Stanley reported that, “the cost to insure against a Dubai default [in mid-February] shot up to the level it was at during the peak of the city-state’s debt crisis in November.”[42] These fears resurfaced as:

Investors switched their attention to the Gulf [on February 15] as markets reacted to fears that a restructuring plan from the state-owned conglomerate Dubai World would pay creditors only 60 per cent of the money they are owed.[43]

Again, the aims that governments seek in the unfolding debt crisis is not to save their people from a collapsing economy and inflated currency, but to save the ‘interests’ of their major banks and corporations within each collapsing economy.

A Sovereign Debt Crisis Hits Greece

In October of 2009, a new Socialist government came to power in Greece on the promise of injecting 3 billion euros to reinvigorate the Greek economy.[44] Greece had suffered particularly hard during the economic crisis; it experienced riots and protests. In December of 2009, Greece said it would not default on its debt, but the government added, “Salaried workers will not pay for this situation: we will not proceed with wage freezes or cuts. We did not come to power to tear down the social state.” As Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote for the Telegraph in December of 2009:

Greece is being told to adopt an IMF-style austerity package, without the devaluation so central to IMF plans. The prescription is ruinous and patently self-defeating. Public debt is already 113pc of GDP. The [European] Commission says it will reach 125pc by late 2010. It may top 140pc by 2012.

If Greece were to impose the draconian pay cuts under way in Ireland (5pc for lower state workers, rising to 20pc for bosses), it would deepen depression and cause tax revenues to collapse further. It is already too late for such crude policies. Greece is past the tipping point of a compound debt spiral.

Evans-Pritchard wrote that the crisis in Greece had much to do with the European Monetary Union (EMU), which created the Euro, and made all member states subject to the decisions of the European Central Bank, as “Interest rates were too low for Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Ireland, causing them all to be engulfed in a destructive property and wage boom.” Further:

EU states may club together to keep Greece afloat with loans for a while. That solves nothing. It increases Greece’s debt, drawing out the agony. What Greece needs – unless it leaves EMU – is a permanent subsidy from the North. Spain and Portugal will need help too.[45]

Greece’s debt had soared, by early December 2009, to a spiraling 300-billion euros, as its “financial woes have also weighed on the euro currency, whose long-term value depends on member countries keeping their finances in order.” Further, Ireland, Spain and Portugal were all facing problems with their debt. As it turned out, the previous Greek government had been cooking the books, and when the new government came to power, it inherited twice the federal deficit it had anticipated.[46]

In February of 2010, the New York Times revealed that:

[W]ith Wall Street’s help, [Greece] engaged in a decade-long effort to skirt European debt limits. One deal created by Goldman Sachs helped obscure billions in debt from the budget overseers in Brussels.

Even as the crisis was nearing the flashpoint, banks were searching for ways to help Greece forestall the day of reckoning. In early November — three months before Athens became the epicenter of global financial anxiety — a team from Goldman Sachs arrived in the ancient city with a very modern proposition for a government struggling to pay its bills, according to two people who were briefed on the meeting.

The bankers, led by Goldman’s president, Gary D. Cohn, held out a financing instrument that would have pushed debt from Greece’s health care system far into the future, much as when strapped homeowners take out second mortgages to pay off their credit cards.[47]

Even back in 2001, when Greece joined the Euro-bloc, Goldman Sachs helped the country “quietly borrow billions” in a deal “hidden from public view because it was treated as a currency trade rather than a loan, [and] helped Athens to meet Europe’s deficit rules while continuing to spend beyond its means.” Further, “Greece owes the world $300 billion, and major banks are on the hook for much of that debt. A default would reverberate around the globe.” Both Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase had undertaken similar efforts in Italy and other countries in Europe as well.[48]

In early February, EU nations led by France and Germany met to discuss a rescue package for Greece, likely with the help of the European Central Bank and possibly the IMF. The issue had plunged the Eurozone into a crisis, as confidence in the Euro fell across the board, and “Germans have become so disillusioned with the euro, many will not accept notes produced outside their homeland.”[49]

Germany was expected to bail out the Greek economy, much to the dismay of the German people. As one German politician stated, “We cannot expect the citizens, whose taxes are already too high, to go along with supporting the erroneous financial and budget policy of other states of the eurozone.” One economist warned that the collapse of Greece could lead to a collapse of the Euro:

There are enough people ­speculating on the markets about the possible bankruptcy of Greece, and once Greece goes, they would then turn their attentions to Spain and Italy, and Germany and France would be forced to step in once again.[50]

However, the Lisbon Treaty had been passed over 2009, which put into effect a European Constitution, giving Brussels enormous powers over its member states. As the Telegraph reported on February 16, 2010, the EU stripped Greece of its right to vote at a crucial meeting to take place in March:

The council of EU finance ministers said Athens must comply with austerity demands by March 16 or lose control over its own tax and spend policies altogether. It if fails to do so, the EU will itself impose cuts under the draconian Article 126.9 of the Lisbon Treaty in what would amount to economic suzerainty [i.e., foreign economic control].

While the symbolic move to suspend Greece of its voting rights at one meeting makes no practical difference, it marks a constitutional watershed and represents a crushing loss of sovereignty.

“We certainly won’t let them off the hook,” said Austria’s finance minister, Josef Proll, echoing views shared by colleagues in Northern Europe. Some German officials have called for Greece to be denied a vote in all EU matter until it emerges from “receivership”.

The EU has still refused to reveal details of how it might help Greece raise €30bn (£26bn) from global debt markets by the end of June.[51]

It would appear that the EU is in a troubling position. If they allow the IMF to rescue Greece, it would be a blow to the faith in the Euro currency, whereas if they bailout Greece, it will encourage internal pressures within European countries to abandon the Euro.

In early February, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote in the Telegraph that, “The Greek debt crisis has spread to Spain and Portugal in a dangerous escalation as global markets test whether Europe is willing to shore up monetary union with muscle rather than mere words”:

Julian Callow from Barclays Capital said the EU may to need to invoke emergency treaty powers under Article 122 to halt the contagion, issuing an EU guarantee for Greek debt. “If not contained, this could result in a `Lehman-style’ tsunami spreading across much of the EU.”

[. . . ] EU leaders will come to the rescue in the end, but Germany has yet to blink in this game of “brinkmanship”. The core issue is that EMU’s credit bubble has left southern Europe with huge foreign liabilities: Spain at 91pc of GDP (€950bn); Portugal 108pc (€177bn). This compares with 87pc for Greece (€208bn). By this gauge, Iberian imbalances are worse than those of Greece, and the sums are far greater. The danger is that foreign creditors will cut off funding, setting off an internal EMU version of the Asian financial crisis in 1998.[52]

Fear began to spread in regards to a growing sovereign debt crisis, stretching across Greece, Spain and Portugal, and likely much wider and larger than that.

A Global Debt Crisis

In 2007, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), “the world’s most prestigious financial body,” warned of a coming great depression, and stated that while in a crisis, central banks may cut interest rates (which they subsequently did). However, as the BIS pointed out, while cutting interest rates may help, in the long run it has the effect of “sowing the seeds for more serious problems further ahead.”[53]

In the summer of 2008, prior to the apex of the 2008 financial crisis in September and October, the BIS again warned of the inherent dangers of a new Great Depression. As Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote, “the ultimate bank of central bankers” warned that central banks, such as the Federal Reserve, would not find it so easy to “clean up” the messes they had made in asset-price bubbles.

The BIS report stated that, “It is not impossible that the unwinding of the credit bubble could, after a temporary period of higher inflation, culminate in a deflation that might be hard to manage, all the more so given the high debt levels.” As Evans-Pritchard explained, “this amounts to a warning that monetary overkill by the Fed, the Bank of England, and above all the European Central Bank could prove dangerous at this juncture.” The BIS report warned that, “Global banks – with loans of $37 trillion in 2007, or 70pc of world GDP – are still in the eye of the storm.” Ultimately, the actions of central banks were designed “to put off the day of reckoning,” not to prevent it.[54]

Seeing how the BIS is not simply a casual observer, but is in fact the most important financial institution in the world, as it is where the world’s central bankers meet and, in secret, decide monetary policy for the world. As central banks have acted as the architects of the financial crisis, the BIS warning of a Great Depression is not simply a case of Cassandra prophesying the Trojan Horse, but is a case where she prophesied the horse, then opened the gates of Troy and pulled the horse in.

It was within this context that the governments of the world took on massive amounts of debt and bailed out the financial sectors from their accumulated risk by buying their bad debts.

In late June of 2009, several months following Western governments implementing bailouts and stimulus packages, the world was in the euphoria of “recovery.” At this time, however, the Bank for International Settlements released another report warning against such complacency in believing in the “recovery.” The BIS warned of only “limited progress” in fixing the financial system. The article is worth quoting at length:

Instead of implementing policies designed to clean up banks’ balance sheets, some rescue plans have pushed banks to maintain their lending practices of the past, or even increase domestic credit where it’s not warranted.

[. . . ] The lack of progress threatens to prolong the crisis and delay the recovery because a dysfunctional financial system reduces the ability of monetary and fiscal actions to stimulate the economy.

That’s because without a solid banking system underpinning financial markets, stimulus measures won’t be able to gain traction, and may only lead to a temporary pickup in growth.

A fleeting recovery could well make matters worse, the BIS warns, since further government support for banks is absolutely necessary, but will become unpopular if the public sees a recovery in hand. And authorities may get distracted with sustaining credit, asset prices and demand rather than focusing on fixing bank balance sheets.

[. . . ] It warned that despite the unprecedented measures in the form of fiscal stimulus, interest rate cuts, bank bailouts and quantitative easing, there is an “open question” whether the policies will be able to stabilize the global economy.

And as governments bulk up their deficits to spend their way out of the crisis, they need to be careful that their lack of restraint doesn’t come back to bite them, the central bankers said. If governments don’t communicate a credible exit strategy, they will find it harder to place debt, and could face rising funding costs – leading to spending cuts or significantly higher taxes.[55]

The BIS had thus endorsed the bailout and stimulus packages, which is no surprise, considering that the BIS is owned by the central banks of the world, which in turn are owned by the major global banks that were “bailed out” by the governments. However, the BIS warned that these rescue efforts, “while necessary” for the banks, will likely have deleterious effects for national governments.

The BIS warned that, “there’s a risk central banks will raise interest rates and withdraw emergency liquidity too late, triggering inflation”:

Central banks around the globe have lowered borrowing costs to record lows and injected billions of dollars [or, more accurately, trillions] into the financial system to counter the worst recession since World War II. While some policy makers have stressed the need to withdraw the emergency measures as soon as the economy improves, the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, and European Central Bank are still in the process of implementing asset-purchase programs designed to unblock credit markets and revive growth.

“The big and justifiable worry is that, before it can be reversed, the dramatic easing in monetary policy will translate into growth in the broader monetary and credit aggregates,” the BIS said. That will “lead to inflation that feeds inflation expectations or it may fuel yet another asset-price bubble, sowing the seeds of the next financial boom-bust cycle.”[56]

Of enormous significance was the warning from the BIS that, “fiscal stimulus packages may provide no more than a temporary boost to growth, and be followed by an extended period of economic stagnation.” As the Australian reported in late June:

The only international body to correctly predict the financial crisis – the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) – has warned the biggest risk is that governments might be forced by world bond investors to abandon their stimulus packages, and instead slash spending while lifting taxes and interest rates.

Further, major western countries such as Australia “faced the possibility of a run on the currency, which would force interest rates to rise,” and “Particularly in smaller and more open economies, pressure on the currency could force central banks to follow a tighter policy than would be warranted by domestic economic conditions.” Not surprisingly, the BIS stated that, “government guarantees and asset insurance have exposed taxpayers to potentially large losses,” through the bailouts and stimulus packages, and “stimulus programs will drive up real interest rates and inflation expectations,” as inflation “would intensify as the downturn abated.”[57]

In May of 2009, Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), warned that Britain faces a major struggle in the next phase of the economic crisis:

[T]he mountain of debt that had poisoned the financial system had not disappeared overnight. Instead, it has been shifted from the private sector onto the public sector balance sheet. Britain has taken on hundreds of billions of pounds of bank debt and stands behind potentially trillions of dollars of contingent liabilities.

If the first stage of the crisis was the financial implosion and the second the economic crunch, the third stage – the one heralded by Johnson – is where governments start to topple under the weight of this debt. If 2008 was a year of private sector bankruptcies, 2009 and 2010, it goes, will be the years of government insolvency.

However, as dire as things look for Britain, “The UK is likely to be joined by other countries as the full scale of the downturn becomes apparent and more financial skeletons are pulled from the sub-prime closet.”[58]

In September of 2009, the former Chief Economist of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), William White, who had accurately predicted the previous crisis, warned that, “The world has not tackled the problems at the heart of the economic downturn and is likely to slip back into recession.” He “also warned that government actions to help the economy in the short run may be sowing the seeds for future crises.” An article in the Financial Times elaborated:

“Are we going into a W[-shaped recession]? Almost certainly. Are we going into an L? I would not be in the slightest bit surprised,” [White] said, referring to the risks of a so-called double-dip recession or a protracted stagnation like Japan suffered in the 1990s.

“The only thing that would really surprise me is a rapid and sustainable recovery from the position we’re in.”

The comments from Mr White, who ran the economic department at the central banks’ bank from 1995 to 2008, carry weight because he was one of the few senior figures to predict the financial crisis in the years before it struck.

Mr White repeatedly warned of dangerous imbalances in the global financial system as far back as 2003 and – breaking a great taboo in central banking circles at the time – he dared to challenge Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, over his policy of persistent cheap money [i.e., low interest rates].

[. . . ] Worldwide, central banks have pumped [trillions] of dollars of new money into the financial system over the past two years in an effort to prevent a depression. Meanwhile, governments have gone to similar extremes, taking on vast sums of debt to prop up industries from banking to car making.

These measures may already be inflating a bubble in asset prices, from equities to commodities, he said, and there was a small risk that inflation would get out of control over the medium term if central banks miss-time their “exit strategies”.

Meanwhile, the underlying problems in the global economy, such as unsustainable trade imbalances between the US, Europe and Asia, had not been resolved.[59]

In late September of 2009, the General Manager of the BIS warned governments against complacency, saying that, “the market rebound should not be misinterpreted,” and that, “The profile of the recovery is not clear.”[60]

In September, the Financial Times further reported that William White, former Chief Economist at the BIS, also “argued that after two years of government support for the financial system, we now have a set of banks that are even bigger – and more dangerous – than ever before,” which also, “has been argued by Simon Johnson, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund,” who “says that the finance industry has in effect captured the US government,” and pointedly stated: “recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform.”[61]

In mid-September, the BIS released a warning about the global financial system, as “The global market for derivatives rebounded to $426 trillion in the second quarter [of 2009] as risk appetite returned, but the system remains unstable and prone to crises.” The derivatives rose by 16% “mostly due to a surge in futures and options contracts on three-month interest rates.” In other words, speculation is back in full force as bailout money to banks in turn fed speculative practices that have not been subjected to reform or regulation. Thus, the problems that created the previous crisis are still present and growing:

Stephen Cecchetti, the [BIS] chief economist, said over-the-counter markets for derivatives are still opaque and pose “major systemic risks” for the financial system. The danger is that regulators will again fail to see that big institutions have taken far more exposure than they can handle in shock conditions, repeating the errors that allowed the giant US insurer AIG to write nearly “half a trillion dollars” of unhedged insurance through credit default swaps.[62]

In late November of 2009, Morgan Stanley warned that, “Britain risks becoming the first country in the G10 bloc of major economies to risk capital flight and a full-blown debt crisis over coming months.” The Bank of England may have to raise interest rates “before it is ready — risking a double-dip recession, and an incipient compound-debt spiral.” Further:

Morgan Stanley said [the] sterling may fall a further 10pc in trade-weighted terms. This would complete the steepest slide in the pound since the industrial revolution, exceeding the 30pc drop from peak to trough after Britain was driven off the Gold Standard in cataclysmic circumstances in 1931.[63]

As Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote for the Telegraph, this “is a reminder that countries merely bought time during the crisis by resorting to fiscal stimulus and shunting private losses onto public books,” and, while he endorsed the stimulus packages claiming it was “necessary,” he admitted that the stimulus packages “have not resolved the underlying debt problem. They have storied up a second set of difficulties by degrading sovereign debt across much of the world.”[64] Morgan Stanley said another surprise in 2010 could be a surge in the dollar. However, this would be due to capital flight out of Europe as its economies crumble under their debt burdens and capital seeks a “safe haven” in the US dollar.

In December of 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported on the warnings of some of the nation’s top economists, who feared that following a financial crisis such as the one experienced in the previous two years, “there’s typically a wave of sovereign default crises.” As economist Kenneth Rogoff explained, “If you want to know what’s next on the menu, that’s a good bet,” as “Spiraling government debts around the world, from Washington to Berlin to Tokyo, could set the scene for years of financial troubles.” Apart from the obvious example of Greece, other countries are at risk, as the author of the article wrote:

Also worrying are several other countries at the periphery of Europe—the Baltics, Eastern European countries like Hungary, and maybe Ireland and Spain. This is where public finances are worst. And the handcuffs of the European single currency, Prof. Rogoff said, mean individual countries can’t just print more money to get out of their debts. (For the record, the smartest investor I have ever known, a hedge fund manager in London, is also anticipating a sovereign debt crisis.)

[. . . ] The major sovereign debt crises, he said, are probably a couple of years away. The key issue is that this time, the mounting financial troubles of the U.S., Germany and Japan mean these countries, once the rich uncles of the world, will no longer have the money to step in and rescue the more feckless nieces and nephews.

Rogoff predicted that, “We’re going to be raising taxes sky high,” and that, “we’re probably going to see a lot of inflation, eventually. We will have to. It’s the easiest way to reduce the value of those liabilities in real terms.” Rogoff stated, “The way rich countries default is through inflation.” Further, “even U.S. municipal bonds won’t be safe from trouble. California could be among those facing a default crisis.” Rogoff elaborated, “It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Federal Reserve buying California debt at some point, or some form of bailout.”[65]

The bailouts, particularly that of the United States, handed a blank check to the world’s largest banks. As another favour, the US government put those same banks in charge of ‘reform’ and ‘regulation’ of the banking industry. Naturally, no reform or regulation took place. Thus, the money given to banks by the government can be used in financial speculation. As the sovereign debt crisis unfolds and spreads around the globe, the major international banks will be able to create enormous wealth in speculation, rapidly pulling their money out of one nation in debt crisis, precipitating a collapse, and moving to another, until all the dominoes have fallen, and the banks stand larger, wealthier, and more powerful than any nation or institution on earth (assuming they already aren’t). This is why the bankers were so eager to undertake a financial coup of the United States, to ensure that no actual reform took place, that they could loot the nation of all it has, and profit off of its eventual collapse and the collapse of the global economy. The banks have been saved! Now everyone else must pay.

Edmund Conway, the Economics Editor of the Telegraph, reported in early January of 2010, that throughout the year:

[S]overeign credit will buckle under the strain of [government] deficits; the economic recovery will falter as the Government withdraws its fiscal stimulus measures and more companies will continue to fail. In other words, 2010 is unlikely to be the year of a V-shaped recovery.[66]

In other words, the ‘recovery’ is an illusion. In mid-January of 2010, the World Economic Forum released a report in which it warned that, “There is now more than a one-in-five chance of another asset price bubble implosion costing the world more than £1 trillion, and similar odds of a full-scale sovereign fiscal crisis.” The report warned of a simultaneous second financial crisis coupled with a major fiscal crisis as countries default on their debts. The report “also warned of the possibility of China’s economy overheating and, instead of helping support global economic growth, preventing a fully-fledged recovery from developing.” Further:

The report, which in previous years had been among the first to cite the prospect of a financial crisis, the oil crisis that preceded it and the ongoing food crisis, included a list of growing risks threatening leading economies. Among the most likely, and potentially most costly, is a sovereign debt crisis, as some countries struggle to afford the unprecedented costs of the crisis clean-up, the report said, specifically naming the UK and the US.

[. . .] The report also highlights the risk of a further asset price collapse, which could derail the nascent economic recovery across the world, with particular concern surrounding China, which some fear may follow the footsteps Japan trod in the 1990s.[67]

Nouriel Roubini, one of America’s top economists who predicted the financial crisis, wrote an article in Forbes in January of 2010 explaining that, “the severe recession, combined with a financial crisis during 2008-09, worsened the fiscal positions of developed countries due to stimulus spending, lower tax revenues and support to the financial sector.” He warned that the debt burden of major economies, including the US, Japan and Britain, would likely increase. With this, investors will become wary of the sustainability of fiscal markets and will begin to withdraw from debt markets, long considered “safe havens.” Further:

Most central banks will withdraw liquidity starting in 2010, but government financing needs will remain high thereafter. Monetization and increased debt issuances by governments in the developed world will raise inflation expectations.

As interest rates rise, which they will have to in a tightening of monetary policy, (which up until now have been kept artificially low so as to encourage the spread of liquidity around the world), interest payments on the debt will increase dramatically. Roubini warned:

The U.S. and Japan might be among the last to face investor aversion—the dollar is the global reserve currency and the U.S. has the deepest and most liquid debt markets, while Japan is a net creditor and largely finances its debt domestically. But investors will turn increasingly cautious even about these countries if the necessary fiscal reforms are delayed.[68]

Governments will thus need to drastically increase taxes and cut spending. Essentially, this will amount to a global “Structural Adjustment Program” (SAP) in the developed, industrialized nations of the West.

Where SAPs imposed upon ‘Third World’ debtor nations would provide a loan in return for the dismantling of the public state, higher taxes, growing unemployment, total privatization of state industries and deregulation of trade and investment, the loans provided by the IMF and World Bank would ultimately benefit Western multinational corporations and banks. This is what the Western world now faces: we bailed out the banks, and now we must pay for it, through massive unemployment, increased taxes, and the dismantling of the public sphere.

In February of 2010, Niall Ferguson, a prominent British economic historian, wrote an article for the Financial Times entitled, “A Greek Crisis Coming to America.” He starts by explaining that, “It began in Athens. It is spreading to Lisbon and Madrid. But it would be a grave mistake to assume that the sovereign debt crisis that is unfolding will remain confined to the weaker eurozone economies.” He explained that this is not a crisis confined to one region, “It is a fiscal crisis of the western world,” and “Its ramifications are far more profound than most investors currently appreciate.” Ferguson writes that, “the problem is essentially the same from Iceland to Ireland to Britain to the US. It just comes in widely differing sizes,” and the US is no small risk:

For the world’s biggest economy, the US, the day of reckoning still seems reassuringly remote. The worse things get in the eurozone, the more the US dollar rallies as nervous investors park their cash in the “safe haven” of American government debt. This effect may persist for some months, just as the dollar and Treasuries rallied in the depths of the banking panic in late 2008.

Yet even a casual look at the fiscal position of the federal government (not to mention the states) makes a nonsense of the phrase “safe haven”. US government debt is a safe haven the way Pearl Harbor was a safe haven in 1941.

Ferguson points out that, “The long-run projections of the Congressional Budget Office suggest that the US will never again run a balanced budget. That’s right, never.” Ferguson explains that debt will hurt major economies:

By raising fears of default and/or currency depreciation ahead of actual inflation, they push up real interest rates. Higher real rates, in turn, act as drag on growth, especially when the private sector is also heavily indebted – as is the case in most western economies, not least the US.

Although the US household savings rate has risen since the Great Recession began, it has not risen enough to absorb a trillion dollars of net Treasury issuance a year. Only two things have thus far stood between the US and higher bond yields: purchases of Treasuries (and mortgage-backed securities, which many sellers essentially swapped for Treasuries) by the Federal Reserve and reserve accumulation by the Chinese monetary authorities.[69]

In late February of 2010, the warning signs were flashing red that interest rates were going to have to rise, taxes increase, and the burden of debt would need to be addressed.

China Begins to Dump US Treasuries

US Treasuries are US government debt that is issued by the US Treasury Department, which are bought by foreign governments as an investment. It is a show of faith in the US economy to buy their debt (i.e., Treasuries). In buying a US Treasury, you are lending money to the US government for a certain period of time.

However, as the United States has taken on excessive debt loads to save the banks from crisis, the prospect of buying US Treasuries has become less appealing, and the threat that they are an unsafe investment is ever-growing. In February of 2009, Hilary Clinton urged China to continue buying US Treasuries in order to finance Obama’s stimulus package. As an article in Bloomberg pointed out:

The U.S. is the single largest buyer of the exports that drive growth in China, the world’s third-largest economy. China in turn invests surplus earnings from shipments of goods such as toys, clothing and steel primarily in Treasury securities, making it the world’s largest holder of U.S. government debt at the end of last year with $696.2 billion.[70]

The following month, the Chinese central bank announced that they would continue buying US Treasuries.[71]

However, in February of 2009, Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest individuals, warned against buying US Treasuries:

Buffett said that with the U.S. Federal Reserve and Treasury Department going “all in” to jump-start an economy shrinking at the fastest pace since 1982, “once-unthinkable dosages” of stimulus will likely spur an “onslaught” of inflation, an enemy of fixed-income investors.

“The investment world has gone from underpricing risk to overpricing it,” Buffett wrote. “Cash is earning close to nothing and will surely find its purchasing power eroded over time.”

“When the financial history of this decade is written, it will surely speak of the Internet bubble of the late 1990s and the housing bubble of the early 2000s,” he went on. “But the U.S. Treasury bond bubble of late 2008 may be regarded as almost equally extraordinary.”[72]

In September of 2009, an article on CNN reported of the dangers if China were to start dumping US Treasuries, which “could cause longer-term interest rates to shoot up since bond prices and yields move in opposite directions,” as a weakening US currency could lead to inflation, which would in turn, reduce the value and worth of China’s holdings in US Treasuries.[73]

It has become a waiting game; an economic catch-22: China holds US debt (Treasuries) which allows the US to spend to “save the economy” (or more accurately, the banks), but all the spending has plunged the US into such abysmal debt from which it will never be able to emerge. The result is that inflation will likely occur, with a possibility of hyperinflation, thus reducing the value of the US currency. China’s economy is entirely dependent upon the US as a consumer economy, while the US is dependent upon China as a buyer and holder of US debt. Both countries are delaying the inevitable. If China doesn’t want to hold worthless investments (US debt) it must stop buying US Treasuries, and then international faith in the US currency would begin to fall, forcing interest rates to rise, which could even precipitate a speculative assault against the US dollar. At the same time, a collapsing US currency and economy would not help China’s economy, which would tumble with it. So, it has become a waiting game.

In February of 2010, the Financial Times reported that China had begun in December of 2009, the process of dumping US Treasuries, and thus falling behind Japan as the largest holder of US debt, selling approximately $38.8 billion of US Treasuries, as “Foreign demand for US Treasury bonds fell by a record amount”:

The fall in demand comes as countries retreat from the “flight to safety” strategy they embarked on at the peak of the global financial crisis and could mean the US will have to pay more in debt interest.

For China, the sale of US Treasuries marks a reversal that it signalled last year when it said it would begin to reduce some of its holdings. Any changes in its behaviour are politically sensitive because it is the biggest US trade partner and has helped to finance US deficits.

Alan Ruskin, a strategist at RBS Securities, said that China’s behaviour showed that it felt “saturated” with Treasury paper. The change of sentiment could hurt the dollar and the Treasury market as the US has to look to other countries for financing.[74]

So, China has given the US a vote of non-confidence. This is evident of the slippery-slide down the road to a collapse of the US economy, and possibly, the US dollar, itself.

Is a Debt Crisis Coming to America?

All the warning signs are there: America is in dire straights when it comes to its total debt, proper actions have not been taken to reform the monetary or financial systems, the same problems remain prevalent, and the bailout and stimulus packages have further exposed the United States to astronomical debt levels. While the dollar will likely continue to go up as confidence in the Eurozone economies tumbles, this is not because the dollar is a good investment, but because the dollar is simply a better investment (for now) than the Euro, which isn’t saying much.

The Chinese moves to begin dumping US Treasuries is a signal that the issue of American debt has already weighed in on the functions and movements of the global financial system. While the day of reckoning may be months if not years away, it is coming nonetheless.

On February 15, it was reported that the Federal Reserve, having pumped $2.2 trillion into the economy, “must start pulling that money back.” As the Fed reportedly bought roughly $2 trillion in bad assets, it is now debating “how and when to sell those assets.”[75] As the Korea Times reported, “The problem: Do it too quickly and the Fed might cut off or curtail the recovery. Wait too long and risk setting off a punishing round of inflation.”[76]

In mid-February, there were reports of dissent within the Federal Reserve System, as Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, warned that, “The US must fix its growing debt problems or risk a new financial crisis.” He explained, “that rising debt was infringing on the central bank’s ability to fulfill its goals of maintaining price stability and long-term economic growth.” In January, he was the lone voice at a Fed meeting that said interest rates should not remain near zero for an “extended period.” He said the worst case scenario would be for the US government to have to again ask the Fed to print more money, and instead suggested that, “the administration must find ways to cut spending and generate revenue,” admitting that it would be a “painful and politically inconvenient” process.[77]

However, these reports are largely disingenuous, as it has placed focus on a superficial debt level. The United States, even prior to the onset of the economic crisis in 2007 and 2008, had long been a reckless spender. The cost of maintaining an empire is astronomical and beyond the actual means of any nation. Historically, the collapse of empires has as much or more to do with a collapse in their currency and fiscal system than their military defeat or collapse in war. Also important to note is that these processes are not mutually exclusive, but are, in fact, intricately interconnected.

As empires decline, the world order is increasingly marred in economic crises and international conflict. As the crisis in the economy worsens, international conflict and wars spread. As I have amply documented elsewhere, the United States, since the end of World War II, has been the global hegemon: maintaining the largest military force in the world, and not shying away from using it, as well as running the global monetary system. Since the 1970s, the US dollar has acted as a world reserve currency. Following the collapse of the USSR, the grand imperial strategy of America was to dominate Eurasia and control the world militarily and economically.

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, An Imperial Strategy for a New World Order: The Origins of World War III. Global Research: October 16, 2009]

Throughout the years of the Bush administration, the imperial strategy was given immense new life under the guise of the “war on terror.” Under this banner, the United States declared war on the world and all who oppose its hegemony. All the while, the administration colluded with the big banks and the Federal Reserve to artificially maintain the economic system. In the latter years of the Bush administration, this illusion began to come tumbling down. Never before in history has such a large nation wages multiple major theatre wars around the world without the public at home being fiscally restrained in some manner, either through higher taxes or interest rates. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The trillion dollar wars plunged the United States deeper into debt.

By 2007, the year that Northern Rock collapsed in the UK, signaling the start of the collapse of 2008, the total debt – domestic, commercial and consumer debt – of the United States stood at a shocking $51 trillion.[78]

As if this debt burden was not enough, considering it would be impossible to ever pay back, the past two years has seen the most expansive and rapid debt expansion ever seen in world history – in the form of stimulus and bailout packages around the world. In July of 2009, it was reported that, “U.S. taxpayers may be on the hook for as much as $23.7 trillion to bolster the economy and bail out financial companies, said Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.”[79]

That is worth noting once again: the “bailout” bill implemented under Bush, and fully supported and sponsored by President-elect Obama, has possibly bailed out the financial sector of up to $23.7 trillion. How could this be? After all, the public was told that the “bailout” was $700 billion.

In fact, the fine print in the bailout bill revealed that $700 billion was not a ceiling, as in, $700 billion was not the maximum amount of money that could be injected into the banks; it was the maximum that could be injected into the financial system “at any one time.” Thus, it became a “rolling amount.” It essentially created a back-door loophole for the major global banks, both domestic and foreign, to plunder the nation and loot it entirely. There was no limit to the money banks could get from the Fed. And none of the actions would be subject to review or oversight by Congress or the Judiciary, i.e., the people.[80]

This is why, as Obama became President in late January of 2009, his administration fully implemented the financial coup over the United States. The man who had been responsible for orchestrating the bailout of AIG, the buyout of Bear Stearns as a gift for JP Morgan Chase, and had been elected to run the Federal Reserve Bank of New York by the major global banks in New York (chief among them, JP Morgan Chase), had suddenly become Treasury Secretary under Obama. The Fed, and thus, the banks were now put directly in charge of the looting.

Obama then took on a team of economic advisers that made any astute economic observer flinch in terror. The titans of economic crisis and catastrophe had become the fox in charge of the chicken coop. Those who were instrumental in creating and constructing the economic crises of the previous decades and building the instruments and infrastructure that led to the current crisis, were with Obama, brought in to “solve” the crisis they created. Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve and architect of the 1980s debt crisis, was now a top economic adviser to Obama. As well as this, Lawrence Summers joined Obama’s economic team, who had previously been instrumental in Bill Clinton’s Treasury Department in dismantling all banking regulations and creating the market for speculation and derivatives which directly led to the current crisis.

In short, the financial oligarchy is in absolute control of the United States government. Concurrently, the military structure of the American empire has firmly established its grip over foreign policy, as America’s wars are expanded into Pakistan, Yemen, and potentially Iran.

Make no mistake, a crisis is coming to America, it is only a question of when, and how severe.

Imperial Decline and the Rise of the New World Order

The decline of the American empire, an inevitable result of its half-century of exerting its political and economic hegemony around the world, is not an isolated event in the global political economy. The US declines concurrently with the rise of what is termed the “New World Order.”

America has been used by powerful western banking and corporate interests as an engine of empire, expanding their influence across the globe. Banks have no armies, so they must control nations; banks have no products, so they must control industries; banks have only money, and interest earned on it. Thus, they must ensure that industry and governments alike borrow money en masse to the point where they are so indebted, they can never emerge. As a result, governments and industries become subservient to the banking interests. Banks achieved this masterful feat through the construction of the global central banking system.

Bankers took control first of Great Britain through the Bank of England, building up the massive might of the British Empire, and spread into the rest of Europe, creating central banks in the major European empires. In the 20th Century, the central bankers took control of the United States through the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, prior to the outbreak of World War I.

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, Global Power and Global Government: Evolution and Revolution of the Central Banking System. Global Research: July 21, 2009]

Following World War I, a restructuring of the world order was undertaken. In part, these actions paved the way to the Great Depression, which struck in 1929. The Great Depression was created as a result of the major banks engaging in speculation, which was actively encouraged and financed by the Federal Reserve and other major central banks.

As a result of the Great Depression, a new institution was formed, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), based in Basle, Switzerland. As historian Carroll Quigley explained, the BIS was formed to “remedy the decline of London as the world’s financial center by providing a mechanism by which a world with three chief financial centers in London, New York, and Paris could still operate as one.” He explained:

[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.[81]

The new order that is being constructed is not one in which there is another single global power, as many commentators suggest China may become, but rather that a multi-polar world order is constructed, in which the global political economy is restructured into a global governance structure: in short, the new world order is to be marked by the construction of a world government.

This is the context in which the solutions to the global economic crisis are being implemented. In April of 2009, the G20 set into motion the plans to form a global currency, which would presumably replace the US dollar as the world reserve currency. This new currency would either be operated through the IMF or the BIS, and would be a reserve currency whose value is determined as a basket of currencies (such as the dollar, yen, euro, etc), which would play off of one another, and whose value would be fixed to the global currency.

This process is being implemented, through long-term planning, simultaneously as we see the further emergence of regional currencies, as not only the Euro, but plans and discussions for other regional currencies are underway in North America, South America, the Gulf states, Africa and East Asia.

A 1988 article in the Economist foretold of a coming global currency by 2018, in which the author wrote that countries would have to give up monetary and economic sovereignty, however:

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.[82]

To create a global currency, and thus a global system of economic governance, the world would have to be plunged into economic and currency crises to force governments to take the necessary actions in moving towards a global currency.

From 1998 onwards, there have been several calls for the formation of a global central bank, and in the midst of the global economic crisis of 2008, renewed calls and actual actions and efforts undertaken by the G20 have sped up the development of a “global Fed” and world currency. A global central bank is being offered as a solution to prevent a future global economic crisis from occurring.

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, The Financial New World Order: Towards a Global Currency and World Government. Global Research: April 6, 2009]

In March of 2008, closely following the collapse of Bear Stearns, a major financial firm released a report stating that, “Financial firms face a ‘new world order’,” and that major banks would become much larger through mergers and acquisitions. There would be a new world order of banking consolidation.[83]

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.”[84]

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.”[85] However, what the article fails to point out is that the ‘new world order in banking’ is to be constructed by the bankers.

This process is going hand-in-hand with the formation of a new world order in global political structures, following the economic trends. As regionalism was spurred by economic initiatives, such as regional trading blocs and currency groupings, the political structure of a regional government followed closely behind. Europe was the first to undertake this initiative, with the formation of a European trading bloc, which became an economic union and eventually a currency union, and which, as a result of the recently passed Lisbon Treaty, is being formally established into a political union.

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, Forging a “New World Order” Under a One World Government. Global Research: August 13, 2009]

The new world order consists of the formation of regional governance structures, which are themselves submissive to a global governance structure, both economically and politically.

‘New Capitalism’

In the construction of a ‘New World Order’, the capitalist system is under intense reform. Capitalism has, since its inception, altered its nature and forms. In the midst of the current global economic crisis, the construction of the ‘New Capitalism’ is based upon the ‘China model’; that is, ‘Totalitarian Capitalism’.

Governments will no longer stand behind the ‘public relations’ – propagandized illusion of ‘protecting the people’. When an economy collapses, the governments throw away their public obligations, and act for the interests of their private owners. Governments will come to the aid of the powerful banks and corporations, not the people, as “The bourgeoisie resorts to fascism less in response to disturbances in the street than in response to disturbances in their own economic system.”[86] During a large economic crisis:

[The state] rescues business enterprises on the brink of bankruptcy, forcing the masses to foot the bill. Such enterprises are kept alive with subsidies, tax exemptions, orders for public works and armaments. In short, the state thrusts itself into the breach left by the vanishing private customers. [. . . ] Such maneuvers are difficult under a democratic regime [because people still] have some means of defense [and are] still capable of setting some limit to the insatiable demands of the money power. [In] certain countries and under certain conditions, the bourgeoisie throws its traditional democracy overboard.[87]

Those who proclaim the actions of western governments ‘socialist’ are misled, as the ‘solutions’ are of a different nature. Daniel Guerin wrote in Fascism and Big Business about the nature of the fascist economies of Italy and Germany in the lead up to World War II. Guerin wrote of the actions of Italian and German governments to bail out big businesses and banks in an economic crisis:

It would be a mistake to interpret this state intervention as ‘socialist’ in character. It is brought about not in the interest of the community but in the exclusive interest of the capitalists.[88]

Fascist economic policy:

[I]ssues paper and ruins the national currency at the expense of all the people who live on fixed incomes from investments, savings, pensions, government salaries, etc., – and also the working class, whose wages remain stable or lag far behind the rise in the cost of living. [. . .] The enormous expenses of the fascist state do not appear in the official budget, [hiding the inflation].[89]

[. . . ] The hidden inflation produces the same effects as open inflation: the purchasing power of money is lessened.[90]

The bureaucracy of the fascist state becomes much more powerful in directing the economy, and is advised by the ‘capitalist magnates’, who “become the economic high command – no longer concealed, as previously, but official – of the state. Permanent contact is established between them and the bureaucratic apparatus. They dictate, and the bureaucracy executes.”[91] This is exactly the nature of the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve, most especially since the Obama administration took office.

In November of 2008, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) issued a report in collaboration between all sixteen US intelligence agencies and major international foundations and think tanks, in which they assessed and analyzed general trends in the world until 2025. When it reported on trends in ‘democratization’, discussing the spread and nature of democracy in the world, the report warned:

[A]dvances [in democracy] are likely to slow and globalization will subject many recently democratized countries to increasing social and economic pressures that could undermine liberal institutions. [. . . ] The better economic performance of many authoritarian governments could sow doubts among some about democracy as the best form of government.

[. . . ] Even in many well-established democracies [i.e., the West], 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.[92]

The warning from Daniel Guerin is vital to understanding this trend: “The bourgeoisie resorts to fascism less in response to disturbances in the street than in response to disturbances in their own economic system.”[93] Totalitarianism is on the rise, as David Lyon wrote:

The ultimate feature of the totalitarian domination is the absence of exit, which can be achieved temporarily by closing borders, but permanently only by a truly global reach that would render the very notion of exit meaningless. This in itself justifies questions about the totalitarian potential of globalization. [. . . ] Is abolition of borders intrinsically (morally) good, because they symbolize barriers that needlessly separate and exclude people, or are they potential lines of resistance, refuge and difference that may save us from the totalitarian abyss? [I]f globalization undermines the tested, state-based models of democracy, the world may be vulnerable to a global totalitarian etatization, [i.e., centralization and control].[94]

In 2007, the British Defense Ministry released a report in which they analyzed future trends in the world. It stated in regards to social problems, “The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx.” Interestingly:

The thesis is based on a growing gap between the middle classes and the super-rich on one hand and an urban under-class threatening social order: ‘The world’s middle classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest’. Marxism could also be revived, it says, because of global inequality. An increased trend towards moral relativism and pragmatic values will encourage people to seek the ‘sanctuary provided by more rigid belief systems, including religious orthodoxy and doctrinaire political ideologies, such as popularism and Marxism’.[95]

The general trend has thus become the reformation of the capitalist system into a system based upon the ‘China model’ of totalitarian capitalism. The capitalist class fear potential revolutionary sentiment among the middle and lower classes of the world. Obama was a well-packaged Wall Street product, sold to the American people and the people of the world on the promise of ‘Hope’ and ‘Change.’ Obama was put in place to pacify resistance.

Prior to Obama becoming President, the American people were becoming united in their opposition against not only the Bush administration, but Congress and the government in general. Both the president and Congress were equally hated; the people were uniting. Since Obama became President, the people have been turned against one another: ‘conservatives’ blame the ‘liberals’ and ‘socialists’ for all the problems, pointing fingers at Obama (who is nothing more than a figurehead), while those on the left point at the Republicans and ‘conservatives’ and Bush, placing all the blame on them. The right defends the Republicans; the left defends Obama. The people have been divided, arguably more so than at any time in recent history.

In dividing the people against each other, those in power have been able to quell resistance against them, and have continued to loot and plunder the nation and people, while using its military might to loot and plunder foreign nations and people. Obama is not to provide hope and change for the American people; his purpose was to provide the illusion of ‘change’ and provide ‘hope’ to the elites in preventing a purposeful and powerful opposition or rebellion among the people. Meanwhile, the government has been preparing for the potentiality of great social and civil unrest following a future collapse or crisis. Instead of coming to the aid of the people, the government is preparing to control and oppress the people.

Could Martial Law Come to America?

Processes undertaken in the American political establishment in previous decades, and rapidly accelerated under the Bush administration and carried on by the Obama administration, have set the course for the imposition of a military government in America. Readily armed with an oppressive state apparatus and backed by the heavy surveillance state apparatus, the ‘Homeland Security’ state is about controlling the population, not protecting them.

In January of 2006, KBR, a subsidiary of the then-Vice President Cheney’s former corporation, Halliburton, received a contract from the Department of Homeland Security:

[T]o support the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in the event of an emergency. [The contract] has a maximum total value of $385 million over a five-year term, consisting of a one-year based period and four one-year options, the competitively awarded contract will be executed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District. KBR held the previous ICE contract from 2000 through 2005.

[It further] provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs. [. . . ] The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other U.S. Government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster. [emphasis added][96]

Put simply, the contract is to develop a system of ‘internment camps’ inside the United States to be used in times of ‘emergency’. Further, as Peter Dale Scott revealed in his book, The Road to 9/11:

On February 6, 2007, homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff announced that the fiscal year 2007 federal budget would allocate more than $400 million to add sixty-seven hundred additional detention beds (an increase of 32 percent over 2006). [This was] in partial fulfillment of an ambitious ten-year Homeland Security strategic plan, code-named Endgame, authorized in 2003, [designed to] remove all removable aliens [and] potential terrorists.[97]

As Scott previously wrote, “the contract evoked ominous memories of Oliver North’s controversial Rex-84 ‘readiness exercise’ in 1984. This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary ‘refugees,’ in the context of ‘uncontrolled population movements’ over the Mexican border into the United States.” However, it was to be a cover for the rounding up of ‘subversives’ and ‘dissenters’. Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the ‘Pentagon papers’ in 1971, stated that, “Almost certainly this [new contract] is preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters.”[98]

In February of 2008, an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, co-authored by a former US Congressman, reported that, “Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.”[99]

Further, in February of 2008, the Vancouver Sun reported that:

Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other’s borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal. [. . .] Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, which was signed Feb. 14 in Texas [but the] U.S. military’s Northern Command, however, publicized the agreement with a statement outlining how its top officer, Gen. Gene Renuart, and Canadian Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, head of Canada Command, signed the plan, which allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation in a civil emergency.

[. . . ] If U.S. forces were to come into Canada they would be under tactical control of the Canadian Forces but still under the command of the U.S. military.[100]

Commenting on the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Yale law and political science professor Bruce Ackerman wrote in the Los Angeles Times that the legislation “authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.” Further, it states that the legislation “grants the president enormous power over citizens and legal residents. They can be designated as enemy combatants if they have contributed money to a Middle Eastern charity, and they can be held indefinitely in a military prison.” Not only that, but, “ordinary Americans would be required to defend themselves before a military tribunal without the constitutional guarantees provided in criminal trials.” Startlingly, “Legal residents who aren’t citizens are treated even more harshly. The bill entirely cuts off their access to federal habeas corpus, leaving them at the mercy of the president’s suspicions.”[101]

Senator Patrick Leahey made a statement on February 2007 in which he discussed the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007, saying:

Last year, Congress quietly made it easier for this President or any President to declare martial law. That’s right: In legislation added at the Administration’s request to last year’s massive Defense Authorization Bill, it has now become easier to bypass longtime posse comitatus restrictions that prevent the federal government’s use of the military, including a federalized National Guard, to perform domestic law enforcement duties.

He added that, “posse comitatus [is] the legal doctrine that bars the use of the military for law enforcement directed at the American people here at home.” The Bill is an amendment to the Insurrection Act, of which Leahey further commented:

When the Insurrection Act is invoked, the President can — without the consent of the respective governors — federalize the National Guard and use it, along with the entire military, to carry out law enforcement duties. [This] is a sweeping grant of authority to the President. [. . . ] In addition to the cases of insurrection, the Act can now be invoked to restore public order after a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, or — and this is extremely broad — ‘other condition’.[102]

On May 9, 2007, the White House issued a press release about the National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 51, also known as the “National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive.” This directive:

[P]rescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.

The document defines “catastrophic emergency” as, “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.” It explains “Continuity of Government” (COG), as “a coordinated effort within the Federal Government’s executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency.” [emphasis added]

The directive states that, “The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator.”[103]

Essentially, in time of a “catastrophic emergency”, the President takes over total control of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government in order to secure “continuity”. In essence, the Presidency would become an “Executive Dictatorship”.

In late September of 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis, the Army Times, an official media outlet of the Pentagon, reported that, “Helping ‘people at home’ may become a permanent part of the active Army,” as the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, having spent years patrolling Iraq, are now “training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.” Further:

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.[104]

None of the authorizations, bills, executive orders, or contracts related to the declaration of marital law and suspension of democracy in the event of an ‘emergency’ have been repealed by the Obama administration.

In fact, as the New York Times revealed in July 2009, the Obama administration has decidedly left in place the Bush administration decisions regarding the government response to a national emergency in ‘Continuity of Government’ (COG) plans in establishing a ‘shadow government’:

A shift in authority has given military officials at the White House a bigger operational role in creating a backup government if the nation’s capital were “decapitated” by a terrorist attack or other calamity, according to current and former officials involved in the decision.

The move, which was made in the closing weeks of the administration of President George W. Bush, came after months of heated internal debate about the balance of power and the role of the military in a time of crisis, participants said. Officials said the Obama administration had left the plan essentially intact.

Under the revamped structure, the White House Military Office, which reports to the office of the White House chief of staff, has assumed a more central role in setting up a temporary “shadow government” in a crisis.

The Obama administration announced that their continuity plans were ‘settled’ and they “drew no distance between their own policies and those left behind by the Bush administration.”[105] In July of 2009, it was also reported on moves by the Obama administration to implement a system of ‘preventive detention’. With this, any semblance of democratic accountability and freedom have been utterly gutted and disemboweled; the Republic is officially dead:

[‘Preventive detention’] is to be a permanent, institutionalized detention scheme with the power vested in the President going forward to imprison people with no charges.

[. . . ] Manifestly, this isn’t about anything other than institutionalizing what has clearly emerged as the central premise of the Obama Justice System:  picking and choosing what level of due process each individual accused Terrorist is accorded, to be determined exclusively by what process ensures that the state will always win.   If they know they’ll convict you in a real court proceeding, they’ll give you one; if they think they might lose there, they’ll put you in a military commission; if they’re still not sure they will win, they’ll just indefinitely imprison you without any charges.

[. . .] It’s Kafkaesque show trials in their most perverse form:  the outcome is pre-determined (guilty and imprisoned) and only the process changes.  That’s especially true since, even where a miscalculation causes someone to be tried but then acquitted, the power to detain them could still be asserted.[106]

Society, and with it, any remaining ‘democracy’ is being closed down. In this economic crisis, as Daniel Guerin warned decades ago, the financial oligarchy have chosen to ‘throw democracy overboard’, and have opted for the other option: totalitarian capitalism; fascism.

In Conclusion

The current crisis is not merely a failure of the US housing bubble, that is but a symptom of a much wider and far-reaching problem. The nations of the world are mired in exorbitant debt loads, as the sovereign debt crisis spreads across the globe, entire economies will crumble, and currencies will collapse while the banks consolidate and grow. The result will be to properly implement and construct the apparatus of a global government structure. A central facet of this is the formation of a global central bank and a global currency.

The people of the world have been lulled into a false sense of security and complacency, living under the illusion of an economic recovery. The fact remains: it is only an illusion, and eventually, it will come tumbling down. The people have been conned into handing their governments over to the banks, and the banks have been looting and pillaging the treasuries and wealth of nations, and all the while, and making the people pay for it.

There never was a story of more woe, than that of human kind, and their monied foe.

Truly, the people of the world do need a new world order, but not one determined and constructed by and for those who have created the past failed world orders. It must be a world order directed and determined by the people of the world, not the powerful. But to do this, the people must take back the power.

The way to achieving a stable economy is along the path of peace. War and economic crises play off of one another, and are systematically linked. Imperialism is the driver of this system, and behind it, the banking establishment as the financier.

Peace is the only way forward, in both political and economic realms. Peace is the pre-requisite for social sustainability and for a truly great civilization.

The people of the world must pursue and work for peace and justice on a global scale: economically, politically, socially, scientifically, artistically, and personally. It’s asking a lot, but it’s our only option. We need to have ‘hope’, a word often strewn around with little intent to the point where it has come to represent failed expectations. We need hope in ourselves, in our ability to throw off the shackles that bind us and in our diversity and creativity construct a new world that will benefit all.

No one knows what this world would look like, or how exactly to get there, least of all myself. What we do know is what it doesn’t look like, and what road to steer clear of. The time has come to retake our rightful place as the commanders of our own lives. It must be freedom for all, or freedom for none. This is our world, and we have been given the gift of the human mind and critical thought, which no other living being can rightfully boast; what a shame it would be to waste it.

Notes

[1]        Dan Harris, Pessimism Porn? Economic Forecasts Get Lurid. ABC News: April 9, 2009: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=7299825&page=1

Hugo Lindgren, Pessimism Porn. New York Magazine: February 1, 2009: http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/53858/

[2]        Joseph B. Treaster, Paul Volcker: The Making of a Financial Legend. John Wiley and Sons, 2004: page 38

[3]        Joseph B. Treaster, Paul Volcker: The Making of a Financial Legend. John Wiley and Sons, 2004: page 36

[4]        Joseph B. Treaster, Paul Volcker: The Making of a Financial Legend. John Wiley and Sons, 2004: page 37

[5]        Joseph B. Treaster, Paul Volcker: The Making of a Financial Legend. John Wiley and Sons, 2004: page 38

[6]        Joseph B. Treaster, Paul Volcker: The Making of a Financial Legend. John Wiley and Sons, 2004: pages 57-60

[7]        Firoze Manji and Carl O’Coill, The Missionary position: NGOs and development in Africa. International Affairs: Issue 78, Vol. 3, 2002: pages 567-568

[8]        Firoze Manji and Carl O’Coill, The Missionary position: NGOs and development in Africa. International Affairs: Issue 78, Vol. 3, 2002: page 568

[9]        Firoze Manji and Carl O’Coill, The Missionary position: NGOs and development in Africa. International Affairs: Issue 78, Vol. 3, 2002: page 578

[10]      Firoze Manji and Carl O’Coill, The Missionary position: NGOs and development in Africa. International Affairs: Issue 78, Vol. 3, 2002: page 579

[11]      Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, BIS warns of Great Depression dangers from credit spree. The Telegraph: June 27, 2009:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/2811081/BIS-warns-of-Great-Depression-dangers-from-credit-spree.html

[12]      Gill Montia, Central bank body warns of Great Depression. Banking Times: June 9, 2008:

 http://www.bankingtimes.co.uk/09062008-central-bank-body-warns-of-great-depression/

[13]      David Reilly, Secret Banking Cabal Emerges From AIG Shadows: David Reilly. Bloomberg: January 29, 2010: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aaIuE.W8RAuU

[14]      AP, Bernanke, Paulson: Congress must act now. MSNBC: September 23, 2008: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26850571/

[15]      Chris Isidore, Paulson, Bernanke: Slow growth ahead. CNN Money: February 14, 2008: http://money.cnn.com/2008/02/14/news/economy/bernanke_paulson/index.htm

[16]      People should be more scared than mad, Paulson says. Politico: September 24, 2008: http://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/0908/People_should_be_more_scared_than_mad_Paulson_says.html

[17]      Chris Martenson, What the latest bailout plan means. ChrisMartenson.com: September 21, 2008: http://www.chrismartenson.com/blog/what-latest-bailout-plan-means/5149

[18]      Alison Fitzgerald and John Brinsley, Treasury Seeks Authority to Buy $700 Billion Assets. Bloomberg: September 20, 2008: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aZ2aFDx8_idM&refer=home

[19]      Larisa Alexandrovna, Welcome to the final stages of the coup. Huffington Post: September 29, 2008: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larisa-alexandrovna/welcome-to-the-final-stag_b_127990.html

[20]      Liam Halligan, A default by the US government is no longer unthinkable. The Telegraph: September 20, 2008: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/liamhalligan/3023967/A-default-by-the-US-government-is-no-longer-unthinkable.html

[21]      Mike Allen, Exclusive: Foreign banks may get help. Politico: September 21, 2008: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13690.html

[22]      Steve Watson, Democratic Congressman: Representatives Were Threatened With Martial Law In America Over Bailout Bill. Infowars.com: October 3, 2008: http://www.infowars.net/articles/october2008/031008Sherman.htm

[23]      Ryan Grim, Dick Durbin: Banks “Frankly Own The Place”. Huffington Post: April 29, 2009: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/29/dick-durbin-banks-frankly_n_193010.html

[24]      GRETCHEN MORGENSON and DON VAN NATTA Jr., In Crisis, Banks Dig In for Fight Against Rules. The New York Times: May 31, 2009: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/business/01lobby.html

[25]      Kerry Capell, The Stunning Collapse of Iceland. BusinessWeek: October 9, 2008: http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/oct2008/gb2008109_947306.htm?chan=globalbiz_europe+index+page_top+stories

[26]      Toby Sanger, Iceland’s Economic Meltdown Is a Big Flashing Warning Sign. AlterNet: October 21, 2008: http://www.alternet.org/economy/103525/iceland%27s_economic_meltdown_is_a_big_flashing_warning_sign/?comments=view&cID=1038826&pID=1038711

[27]      Tracy McVeigh, The party’s over for Iceland, the island that tried to buy the world. The Observer: October 5, 2008: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/oct/05/iceland.creditcrunch

[28]      Ibid.

[29]      Arsaell Valfells, Gordon Brown Killed Iceland. Forbes: October 16, 2008: http://www.forbes.com/2008/10/16/brown-iceland-britain-oped-cx_av_valfells.html?referer=sphere_related_content&referer=sphere_related_content

[30]      Ibid.

[31]      Councils ‘not reckless with cash’. BBC: October 10, 2008: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7660438.stm

[32]      Economic programme in cooperation with IMF. The Icelandic Government Information Centre: October 24, 2008: http://www.iceland.org/info/iceland-imf-program/

[33]      David Ibison, Iceland’s rescue package flounders. The Financial Times: November 12, 2008

[34]      David Blair, Financial crisis causes Iceland’s government to collapse. The Telegraph: January 27, 2009: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/iceland/4348312/Financial-crisis-causes-Icelands-government-to-collapse.html

[35]      Iceland applies to join European Union. CNN: July 17, 2009: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/07/17/iceland.eu.application/index.html?iref=newssearch

[36]      Omar Valdimarsson, Iceland parliament approves debt bill. Reuters: August 28, 2009: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE57R3B920090828

[37]      Rowena Mason, IMF and Sweden to delay Iceland loans. The Telegraph: January 14, 2010: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/6990795/IMF-and-Sweden-to-delay-Iceland-loans.html

[38]      Justyna Pawlak, EU to recommend start of Iceland talks – EU official. Reuters: February 16, 2010: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE61F25D20100216

[39]      Paul Lewis, Dubai’s six-year building boom grinds to halt as financial crisis takes hold. The Guardian: February 13, 2009: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/13/dubai-boom-halt

[40]      Larry Elliott and Heather Stewart, Fears of double-dip recession grow as Dubai crashes. The Guardian: November 26, 2009: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/nov/26/double-dip-recession-dubai-debt

[41]      Hugh Tomlinson, UAE minister claims Dubai crisis is over. The Times Online: December 17, 2009: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/article6960523.ece

[42]      AP, Dubai debt fears resurface as questions linger. Forbes: February 16, 2010: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/02/16/business-financials-ml-dubai-financial-crisis_7359531.html

[43]      Alastair Marsh, Markets hit as fears over Dubai debt rekindled. The Independent: February 16, 2010: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/markets-hit-as-fears-over-dubai-debt-rekindled-1900730.html

[44]      Ed Harris, Greece turns to Socialists to fight economic crisis. London Evening Standard: October 5, 2009: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23752278-greece-turns-to-socialists-to-fight-economic-crisis.do

[45]      Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Greece defies Europe as EMU crisis turns deadly serious. The Telegraph: December 13, 2009: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/6804156/Greece-defies-Europe-as-EMU-crisis-turns-deadly-serious.html

[46]      Elena Becatoros, Greece prepares economic crisis plan. The Globe and Mail: December 14, 2009: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/greece-prepares-economic-crisis-plan/article1399496/

[47]      LOUISE STORY, LANDON THOMAS Jr. and NELSON D. SCHWARTZ, Wall St. Helped to Mask Debt Fueling Europe’s Crisis. The New York Times: February 13, 2010: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/business/global/14debt.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1266501631-XefUT62RSKhWj6xKSCX37Q

[48]      Ibid.

[49]      Sam Fleming and Kirsty Walker, The euro? It’s a great success, says Mandy as Greece turmoil sends single currency into worst ever crisis. The UK Daily Mail: February 12, 2010: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250094/Greece-debt-crisis-Britons-pay-3-5bn-bailout.html

[50]      Kate Connolly, Greek debt crisis: the view from Germany. The Guardian: February 11, 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/11/germany-greece-tax-debt-crisis

[51]      Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Greece loses EU voting power in blow to sovereignty. The Telegraph: February 16, 2010: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/7252288/Greece-loses-EU-voting-power-in-blow-to-sovereignty.html

[52]      Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Fears of ‘Lehman-style’ tsunami as crisis hits Spain and Portugal. The Telegraph: February 4, 2010: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/7159456/Fears-of-Lehman-style-tsunami-as-crisis-hits-Spain-and-Portugal.html

[53]      Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, BIS warns of Great Depression dangers from credit spree. The Telegraph: June 25, 2007: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/2811081/BIS-warns-of-Great-Depression-dangers-from-credit-spree.html

[54]      Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, BIS slams central banks, warns of worse crunch to come. The Telegraph: June 30, 2008: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/2792450/BIS-slams-central-banks-warns-of-worse-crunch-to-come.html

[55]      Heather Scoffield, Financial repairs must continue: central banks. The Globe and Mail: July 29, 2009: http://v1.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090629.wcentralbanks0629/BNStory/HEATHER+SCOFFIELD/

[56]      Simone Meier, BIS Sees Risk Central Banks Will Raise Interest Rates Too Late. Bloomberg: June 29, 2009: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=aOnSy9jXFKaY

[57]      David Uren, Bank for International Settlements warning over stimulus benefits. The Australian: June 30, 2009: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/bank-for-international-settlements-warning-over-stimulus-benefits/story-0-1225743622643

[58]      Edmund Conway, S&P’s warning to Britain marks the next stage of this global crisis. The Telegraph: May 23, 2009: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/recession/5373334/SandPs-warning-to-Britain-marks-the-next-stage-of-this-global-crisis.html

[59]      Robert Cookson and Sundeep Tucker, Economist warns of double-dip recession. The Financial Times: September 14, 2009: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e6dd31f0-a133-11de-a88d-00144feabdc0.html

[60]      Patrick Jenkins, BIS head worried by complacency. The Financial Times: September 20, 2009: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a7a04972-a60c-11de-8c92-00144feabdc0.html?catid=4&SID=google

[61]      Robert Cookson and Victor Mallet, Societal soul-searching casts shadow over big banks. The Financial Times: September 18, 2009: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7721033c-a3ea-11de-9fed-00144feabdc0.html

[62]      Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Derivatives still pose huge risk, says BIS. The Telegraph: September 13, 2009: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/6184496/Derivatives-still-pose-huge-risk-says-BIS.html

[63]      Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Morgan Stanley fears UK sovereign debt crisis in 2010. The Telegraph: November 30, 2009: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/6693162/Morgan-Stanley-fears-UK-sovereign-debt-crisis-in-2010.html

[64]      Ibid.

[65]      Brett Arends, What a Sovereign-Debt Crisis Could Mean for You. The Wall Street Journal: December 18, 2009: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703323704574602030789251824.html

[66]      Edmund Conway, A 2010 sovereign debt crisis could still cause UK banking chaos. The Telegraph: January 4, 2010: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/6928164/A-2010-sovereign-debt-crisis-could-still-cause-UK-banking-chaos.html

[67]      Edmund Conway, ‘Significant chance’ of second financial crisis, warns World Economic Forum. The Telegraph: January 14, 2010: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/davos/6990433/Significant-chance-of-second-financial-crisis-warns-World-Economic-Forum.html

[68]      Nouriel Roubini and Arpitha Bykere, The Coming Sovereign Debt Crisis. Forbes: January 14, 2010: http://www.forbes.com/2010/01/13/sovereign-debt-crisis-opinions-colummnists-nouriel-roubini-arpitha-bykere.html

[69]      Niall Ferguson, A Greek crisis is coming to America. The Financial Times: February 10, 2010: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f90bca10-1679-11df-bf44-00144feab49a.html

[70]      Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, Clinton Urges China to Keep Buying U.S. Treasury Securities. Bloomberg: February 22, 2009: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=apSqGtcNsqSY

[71]      Agencies, China to keep buying US Treasuries: central banker. China Daily: March 23, 2009: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2009-03/23/content_7606971.htm

[72]      Jonathan Stempel, Buffett says U.S. Treasury bubble one for the ages. Reuters: February 28, 2009: http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE51R1Q720090228

[73]      Paul R. La Monica, China still likes us … for now. CNN Money: September 16, 2009: http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/16/markets/thebuzz/index.htm

[74]      Alan Rappeport, Foreign demand falls for Treasuries. The Financial Times: February 17, 2010: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f06667d2-1b63-11df-838f-00144feab49a.html

[75]      Barrie McKenna, Fed weighs sale of mortgage securities. CTV: February 17, 2010: http://www.ctv.ca/generic/generated/static/business/article1471824.html

[76]      Dale McFeatters, Fed Plans to Wind Down $2.2 Tril. Stake. Korea Times: February 15, 2010: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2010/02/160_60822.html

[77]      Alan Rappeport, Lone voice warns of debt threat to Fed. The Financial Times: February 16, 2010: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c918b8dc-1b37-11df-953f-00144feab49a.html

[78]      FIABIC, US home prices the most vital indicator for turnaround. FIABIC Asia Pacific: January 19, 2009: http://www.fiabci-asiapacific.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=133&Itemid=41

Alexander Green, The National Debt: The Biggest Threat to Your Financial Future. Investment U: August 25, 2008: http://www.investmentu.com/IUEL/2008/August/the-national-debt.html

John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff, Financial Implosion and Stagnation. Global Research: May 20, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13692

[79]      Dawn Kopecki and Catherine Dodge, U.S. Rescue May Reach $23.7 Trillion, Barofsky Says (Update3). Bloomberg: July 20, 2009: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aY0tX8UysIaM

[80]      Chris Martenson, What the latest bailout plan means. ChrisMartenson.com: September 21, 2008: http://www.chrismartenson.com/blog/what-latest-bailout-plan-means/5149

[81]      Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (New York: Macmillan Company, 1966), 324-325

[82]      Get ready for the phoenix. The Economist: Vol. 306: January 9, 1988: pages 9-10

[83]      Walden Siew, Banks face “new world order,” consolidation: report. Reuters: March 17, 2008: http://www.reuters.com/article/innovationNews/idUSN1743541720080317

[84]      Rupert Wright, The first barons of banking. The National: November 6, 2008: http://www.thenational.ae/article/20081106/BUSINESS/167536298/1005

[85]      Michael Lafferty, New world order in banking necessary after abject failure of present model. The Times Online: February 24, 2009: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/management/article5792585.ece

[86]      Daniel Guerin, Fascism and Big Business. Monad Press, 1973: page 22

[87]      Daniel Guerin, Fascism and Big Business. Monad Press, 1973: page 23

[88]      Daniel Guerin, Fascism and Big Business. Monad Press, 1973: page 215

[89]      Daniel Guerin, Fascism and Big Business. Monad Press, 1973: page 224

[90]      Daniel Guerin, Fascism and Big Business. Monad Press, 1973: page 230

[91]      Daniel Guerin, Fascism and Big Business. Monad Press, 1973: page 239

[92]      NIC, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World. The National Intelligence Council’s 2025 Project: November, 2008: pages 87:
http://www.dni.gov/nic/NIC_2025_project.html

[93]      Daniel Guerin, Fascism and Big Business. Monad Press, 1973: page 22

[94]      David Lyon, Theorizing surveillance: the panopticon and beyond. Willan Publishing, 2006: page 71

[95]      Richard Norton-Taylor, Revolution, flashmobs, and brain chips. A grim vision of the future. The Guardian: April 9, 2007:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/apr/09/frontpagenews.news

[96]      KBR, KBR Awarded U.S. Department of Homeland Security Contingency Support Project for Emergency Support Services. Press Releases: 2006 Archive, January 24, 2006: http://www.kbr.com/news/2006/govnews_060124.aspx

[97]      Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. University of California Press: 2007, page 240

[98]      Peter Dale Scott, Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps. Pacific News Service: February 8, 2006:
http://news.pacificnews.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=eed74d9d44c30493706fe03f4c9b3a77

[99]      Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg, Rule by Fear or Rule by Law? The San Francisco Chronicle: February 4, 2008:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/02/04/ED5OUPQJ7.DTL

[100]    David Pugliese, Canada-U.S. pact allows cross-border military activity. The  Vancouver Sun: February 23, 2008:

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=ba99826e-f9b7-42a4-9b0a-f82134b92e7e

[101]    Bruce Ackerman, The White House Warden. Los Angeles Times: September 28, 2006: 

http://www.law.yale.edu/news/3531.htm

[102]    Patrick Leahy, Statement Of Sen. Patrick Leahy On Legislation To Repeal Changes To  The Insurrection Act. February 7, 2007:  http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200702/020707.html

[103]    The White House, National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive.  Office of the Press Secretary: May 9, 2007:

http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070509-12.html

[104]    Gina Cavallaro, Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1. The Army Times: September 30, 2008: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland_090708w/

[105]    ERIC LICHTBLAU and JAMES RISEN, Power Shifts in Plan for Capital Calamity. The New York Times: July 27, 2009: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/us/politics/28continuity.html

[106]    Glen Greenwald, First steps taken to implement preventive detention, military commissions. Salon: July 21, 2009: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/07/21/detention/index.html

Global War and Dying Democracy: The Revolution of the Elites

Global War and Dying Democracy: The Revolution of the Elites
Global Power and Global Government: Part 5
Global Research, August 19, 2009

This article is the 5th and final part in the series, “Global Power and Global Government,” published by Global Research.

Part 1: Global Power and Global Government: Evolution and Revolution of the Central Banking System
Part 2: Origins of the American Empire: Revolution, World Wars and World Order
Part 3: Controlling the Global Economy: Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission and the Federal Reserve
Part 4: Forging a “New World Order” Under a One World Government


Transnational Totalitarianism

Global trends in political economy suggest that “democracy” as we know it, is a fading concept, where even Western industrialized nations are retreating from the system. Arguably, through party politics and financial-corporate interests, democracy is something of a façade as it is. However, we are entering into an era in which even the institutions and image of democracy are in retreat, and the slide into totalitarianism seems inevitable.

The National Intelligence Council report, Global Trends 2025, stated that many governments will be “expanding domestic security forces, surveillance capabilities, and the employment of special operations-type forces.” Counterterrorism measures will increasingly “involve urban operations as a result of greater urbanization,” and governments “may increasingly erect barricades and fences around their territories to inhibit access. Gated communities will continue to spring up within many societies as elites seek to insulate themselves from domestic threats.”[1] Essentially, expect a continued move towards and internationalization of domestic police state measures to control populations.

The nature of totalitarianism is such that it is, “by nature (or rather by definition), a global project that cannot be fully accomplished in just one community or one country. Being fuelled by the need to suppress any alternative orders and ideas, it has no natural limits and is bound to aim at totally dominating everything and everyone.” David Lyon explained in Theorizing Surveillance, that, “The ultimate feature of the totalitarian domination is the absence of exit, which can be achieved temporarily by closing borders, but permanently only by a truly global reach that would render the very notion of exit meaningless. This in itself justifies questions about the totalitarian potential of globalization.” The author raises the important question, “Is abolition of borders intrinsically (morally) good, because they symbolize barriers that needlessly separate and exclude people, or are they potential lines of resistance, refuge and difference that may save us from the totalitarian abyss?” Further, “if globalization undermines the tested, state-based models of democracy, the world may be vulnerable to a global totalitarian etatization.”[2]

Russia Today, a major Russian media source, published an article by the Strategic Cultural Fund, in which it stated that, “the current crisis is being used as a mechanism for provoking some deepening social upheavals that would make mankind – plunged as it is already into chaos and frightened by the ghost of an all-out violence – urge of its own free will that a ‘supranational’ arbitrator with dictatorial powers intervene into the world affairs.” The author pointed out that, “The events are following the same path as the Great Depression in 1929-1933: a financial crisis, an economic recession, social conflicts, establishing totalitarian dictatorships, inciting a war to concentrate power, and capital in the hands of a narrow circle.” However, as the author noted, this time around, it’s different, as this “is the final stage in the ‘global control’ strategy, where a decisive blow should be dealt to the national state sovereignty institution, followed by a transition to a system of private power of transnational elites.”

The author explained that a global police state is forming, as “Intelligence activities, trade of war, penitentiary system, and information control are passing into private hands. This is done through so-called outsourcing, a relatively new business phenomenon that consists of trusting certain functions to private firms that act as contractors and relying on individuals outside an organization to solve its internal tasks.” Further, “he biggest achievements have been made over the last few years in the area of establishing electronic control over people’s identities, carried out under the pretext of counterterrorism. Currently, the FBI is creating the world’s biggest database of biometric indexes (fingerprints, retina scans, face shapes, scar shapes and allocation, speech and gesture patterns, etc.) that now contains 55 million fingerprints.”[3]

Global War

Further, the prospects of war are increasing with the deepening of the economic crisis. It must be noted that historically, as empires are in decline, international violence increases. The scope of a global depression and the undertaking of restructuring the entire global political economy may also require and produce a global war to serve as a catalyst for formation of the New World Order.

The National Intelligence Council document, Global Trends 2025, stated that there is a likely increase in the risk of a nuclear war, or in the very least, the use of a nuclear weapon by 2025, as, “Ongoing low-intensity clashes between India and Pakistan continue to raise the specter that such events could escalate to a broader conflict between those nuclear powers.”[4]

The report also predicts a resurgence of mercantilist foreign policies of the great powers in competition for resources, which “could lead to interstate conflicts if government leaders deem assured access to energy resources to be essential to maintaining domestic stability and the survival of their regime.” In particular, “Central Asia has become an area of intense international competition for access to energy.”[5]

Further, “Sub-Saharan Africa will remain the most vulnerable region on Earth in terms of economic challenges, population stresses, civil conflict, and political instability.  The weakness of states and troubled relations between states and societies probably will slow major improvements in the region’s prospects over the next 20 years unless there is sustained international engagement and, at times, intervention.  Southern Africa will continue to be the most stable and promising sub-region politically and economically.” This seems to suggest that there will be many more cases of “humanitarian intervention,” likely under the auspices of a Western dominated international organization, such as the UN. There will also be a democratic “backslide” in the most populous African countries, and that, “the region will be vulnerable to civil conflict and complex forms of interstate conflict—with militaries fragmented along ethnic or other divides, limited control of border areas, and insurgents and criminal groups preying on unarmed civilians in neighboring countries.  Central Africa contains the most troubling of these cases, including Congo-Kinshasa, Congo-Brazzaville, Central African Republic, and Chad.”[6]

In 2007, the British Defense Ministry released a report in which they analyzed future trends in the world. Among many of the things predicted within 30 years are: “Information chips implanted in the brain. Electromagnetic pulse weapons. The middle classes becoming revolutionary, taking on the role of Marx’s proletariat. The population of countries in the Middle East increasing by 132%, while Europe’s drops as fertility falls. ‘Flashmobs’ – groups rapidly mobilised by criminal gangs or terrorists groups.”

It further reported that, “The development of neutron weapons which destroy living organisms but not buildings ‘might make a weapon of choice for extreme ethnic cleansing in an increasingly populated world’. The use of unmanned weapons platforms would enable the ‘application of lethal force without human intervention, raising consequential legal and ethical issues’. The ‘explicit use’ of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons and devices delivered by unmanned vehicles or missiles.” Further, “an implantable ‘information chip’ could be wired directly to the brain. A growing pervasiveness of information communications technology will enable states, terrorists or criminals, to mobilise ‘flashmobs’, challenging security forces to match this potential agility coupled with an ability to concentrate forces quickly in a small area.”

In regards to social problems, “The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx.” Interestingly, “The thesis is based on a growing gap between the middle classes and the super-rich on one hand and an urban under-class threatening social order: ‘The world’s middle classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest’. Marxism could also be revived, it says, because of global inequality. An increased trend towards moral relativism and pragmatic values will encourage people to seek the ‘sanctuary provided by more rigid belief systems, including religious orthodoxy and doctrinaire political ideologies, such as popularism and Marxism’.”

The report also forecasts that, “Globalisation may lead to levels of international integration that effectively bring inter-state warfare to an end. But it may lead to “inter-communal conflict” – communities with shared interests transcending national boundaries and resorting to the use of violence.”[7]

RAND corporation, a Pentagon-linked powerhouse think tank, connected to the Blderberg Group, Trilateral Commission and Council on Foreign Relations, came up with a solution to the financial crisis in October of 2008: for the United States to start a major war. Chinese media reported that RAND “presented a shocking proposal to the Pentagon in which it lobbied for a war to be started with a major foreign power in an attempt to stimulate the American economy and prevent a recession.” Further, “the target country would have to be a major influential power,” and Chinese media “speculated that the target of the new war would probably be China or Russia, but that it could also be Iran or another middle eastern country.”[8]

Gerald Celente, the CEO of Trends Research Institute, the most highly respected trend forecaster in the United States, has been sounding the alarm over the trends to come in the next few years. Having previously predicted the 1987 stock market crash, the fall of the Soviet Union, the dot-com bubble burst, and the 2008 housing bubble burst, these forecasts should not be taken lightly.

Celente told Fox News that, “by 2012 America will become an undeveloped nation, that there will be a revolution marked by food riots, squatter rebellions, tax revolts and job marches, and that holidays will be more about obtaining food, not gifts.” He stated that this will be “worse than the great depression.” In another interview, Celente stated that, “There will be a revolution in this country,” and, “It’s not going to come yet, but it’s going to come down the line and we’re going to see a third party and this was the catalyst for it: the takeover of Washington, D. C., in broad daylight by Wall Street in this bloodless coup. And it will happen as conditions continue to worsen.” He further explained, “The first thing to do is organize with tax revolts. That’s going to be the big one because people can’t afford to pay more school tax, property tax, any kind of tax. You’re going to start seeing those kinds of protests start to develop.”[9]

In June of 2009, Gerald Celente reported that, “The measures taken by successive governments to save the politically corrupt, morally bankrupt, physically decrepit [American] giant from collapse have served to only hasten its demise. While the decline has been decades in the making, the acceleration of ruinous policies under the current Administration is leading the United States — and much of the world — to the point of no return.” This coming catastrophe, which Celente refers to as “Obamageddon,” will become the “Greatest Depression.”[10]

In May of 2009, Celente forecasted that a major issue is the “bailout bubble” which is bigger than the dot-com bubble or the real estate bubble that preceded it, and is made up of 12.8 trillion dollars. He states that with the bursting of this bubble, the next trend would be what he calls “fascism light” and that it will be followed by war.[11] He stated that, “this bubble will be the last one.  After the final blowout of the bailout bubble, we are concerned that the government will take the nation into war.   This is a historical precedent that’s been done over and over again.” He elaborated, “So, it’s not the dollar that will survive.  We may not even survive.  Look at the German mess after WWI.  It gave rise to Fascism and WWII.  The next war will be fought with weapons of mass destruction.”[12]

The Imperial Project

War should not be understood as a recent phenomenon in regards to accelerating capitalism through expansion and transition, as this has been a continual theme throughout the history of capitalism. The notion of “surplus imperialism” is what describes the function and role of war and militarism within capitalism. The concept is built around the function of “constant war.”

Ellen Wood explains the notion of ‘surplus imperialism,’ in that, “Boundless domination of a global economy, and of the multiple states that administer it, requires military action without end, in purpose or time.”[13] Further, “Imperial dominance in a global capitalist economy requires a delicate and contradictory balance between suppressing competition and maintaining conditions in competing economies that generate markets and profit. This is one of the most fundamental contradictions of the new world order.”[14]

Shortly after George Bush Sr. declared a “new world order coming into view,” in 1991, the US strategic community began setting forth a new strategy for the United States in the world. This first emerged in 1992, with the Defense Planning Guidance. The New York Times broke the story, reporting that, “In a broad new policy statement that is in its final drafting phase, the Defense Department asserts that America’s political and military mission in the post-cold-war era will be to ensure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia or the territories of the former Soviet Union,” and that, “The classified document makes the case for a world dominated by one superpower whose position can be perpetuated by constructive behavior and sufficient military might to deter any nation or group of nations from challenging American primacy.”

The main figure that drafted this policy was the Pentagon’s Under Secretary for Policy Paul Wolfowitz, who would later become Deputy Secretary of Defense in the George W. Bush administration, as well as President of the World Bank. Wolfowitz is also a member of the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, and is currently a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a neo-conservative think tank.

The document places emphasis “on using military force, if necessary, to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in such countries as North Korea, Iraq, some of the successor republics to the Soviet Union and in Europe,” and that, “What is most important, it says, is ‘the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S.’ and ‘the United States should be postured to act independently when collective action cannot be orchestrated’ or in a crisis that demands quick response.” Further, “the new draft sketches a world in which there is one dominant military power whose leaders ‘must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role’.” Among the necessary challenges to American supremacy, the document “postulated regional wars against Iraq and North Korea,” and identified China and Russia as its major threats. It further “suggests that the United States could also consider extending to Eastern and Central European nations security commitments similar to those extended to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Arab states along the Persian Gulf.”[15] The Secretary of Defense at the time of this document’s writing was none other than Dick Cheney.

When George Bush Sr. was replaced by Bill Clinton in 1993, the neo-conservative hawks in the Bush administration formed a think tank called the Project for the New American Century, or PNAC. In 2000, they published a report called, Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century. Building upon the Defense Policy Guidance document, they state that, “the United States must retain sufficient forces able to rapidly deploy and win multiple simultaneous large-scale wars,”[16] that there is “need to retain sufficient combat forces to fight and win, multiple, nearly simultaneous major theatre wars,”[17] and that “the Pentagon needs to begin to calculate the force necessary to protect, independently, US interests in Europe, East Asia and the Gulf at all times.”[18] Further, “the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”[19] In describing the need for massive increases in military spending, rapidly expanding the armed forces and “dealing” with threats such as Iraq, North Korea and Iran, they state, “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”[20]

Zbigniew Brzezinski, co-founder of the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller, former National Security Adviser and key foreign policy architect in Jimmy Carter’s administration, also wrote a book on American geostrategy. Brzezinski is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg Group, and has also been a board member of Amnesty International, the Atlantic Council and the National Endowment for Democracy. Currently, he is a trustee and counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a major US policy think tank.

In his 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard, Brzezinski outlined a strategy for America in the world. He wrote, “For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia. For half a millennium, world affairs were dominated by Eurasian powers and peoples who fought with one another for regional domination and reached out for global power.” Further, “how America ‘manages’ Eurasia is critical. Eurasia is the globe’s largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail African subordination.”[21] Brzezinski explained that, “the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well-being. The economic self-denial (that is, defense spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization.”[22] Brzezinski also outlines Russia and China, in cooperation with Iran and possibly Pakistan, as the most significant coalition that could challenge US hegemony.

With the George W. Bush administration, the neo-conservative war hawks put into action the plans set out in their American imperial strategic documents. This made up the Bush doctrine, which called for “a unilateral and exclusive right to preemptive attack, any time, anywhere, unfettered by any international agreements, to ensure that ‘[o]ur forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hope of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States’.”[23]

In 2000, the Pentagon released a document called Joint Vision 2020, which outlined a project to achieve what they termed, “Full Spectrum Dominance,” as the blueprint for the Department of Defense in the future. “Full-spectrum dominance means the ability of U.S. forces, operating alone or with allies, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the range of military operations.” The report “addresses full-spectrum dominance across the range of conflicts from nuclear war to major theater wars to smaller-scale contingencies. It also addresses amorphous situations like peacekeeping and noncombat humanitarian relief.” Further, “The development of a global information grid will provide the environment for decision superiority.”[24]

The War on Terrorism, as a war with invisible enemies and borderless boundaries, a truly global war, marks a major stage in the evolution of the constant war “surplus imperialism” of the American empire. The US military, while being used as a vehicle for surplus imperialism; is also creating and maintaining and expanding NATO. NATO is expanding its role in the world. The wars in Yugoslavia following the collapse of the Soviet Union were used to legitimize NATO’s continued existence, which was created to have an alliance against the USSR. When the USSR vanished, so too did NATO’s purpose, until it found a new calling: becoming a global policeman. NATO has undergone its first major war in Afghanistan and its expansion into Eastern Europe is enclosing Russia and China.

Ivo Daalder, the US representative to NATO, also a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote an article for Foreign Affairs in which he advocated for a “global NATO” to “address the global challenges of the day.”[25] In April of 2009, NATO began to review its Strategic Concept “in order to stay relevant in a changing security environment,” and that, “The leaders envisage cyber-attacks, energy security and climate change as new threats to NATO, which would mean big changes in NATO’s future operations.”[26] Since 2008, NATO has been re-imagining its strategy and moving to a doctrine of advocating for pre-emptive nuclear warfare.[27]

As George Orwell wrote in 1984, “The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.”

The Revolution of the New World Order

The new system being formed is not one based upon any notion of competition or “free markets” or “socialist morality”, but is, instead a system based upon consolidation of power and wealth; thus, the fewer, the better; one government, one central bank, one army, one currency, one authority, one ruler. This is a much more “efficient” and “controllable” system, and thus requires a much smaller population or class to run it, as well as a much smaller population to serve it. Also, with such a system, a smaller global population would be ideal for the rulers, for it limits their risk, in terms of revolt, uprising, and revolution, and created a more malleable and manageable population. In this new capitalist system, the end goal is not profit, but power. In a sense, this is how the whole capitalist system has functioned, as profit has always acted as a means and lever to achieve power. Power itself, was the goal, profit was merely the means of achieving such a goal.

Shortly following the origins of the capitalist system, central banking emerged. It was through the central banking system that the most powerful figures and individuals in the world were able to consolidate power, controlling both industry and governments. Through central banks, these figures would collapse economies, destroying industry and thus, profits; bankrupt countries and collapse their political structures, destroying a base for the exercise of power; but in doing so, they would consolidate their authority over these governments and industry, wiping out competition and eliminating dissent. It is these individuals who have played the greatest roles in shaping and reshaping the capitalist system, and are the main figures in the current reorganization of world order.

However, such is the nature of individuals whose lives revolve around the acquisition and exercise of power. Like the saying goes, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts, absolutely.” Those who are driven by the lust for power often eliminate and remove all of those who helped them reach such a position. Hitler undertook the Night of Long Knives, in which a series of political executions were carried out, targeting prominent figures of the SA, who helped Hitler rise to power. Stalin similarly, also purged the Soviet Union of those who helped him rise to power.

Power alters the psychology of the individual that holds it. It is an extremely lonely condition, in which, once power is achieved, and with no more power to gain, the obsession turns to the preservation of power, and with that, paranoia of losing it. This is why those that assist the powerful in gaining more power are doomed to a fate that is similar or worse than those who fight against such a power. This, ultimately, is why it is futile to join forces with such systems of power, or ally oneself with such powerful figures.

Power is a cancer; it eats away at its host. The greater the power held, the more cancerous it is, the more malignant it becomes. The less power held by individuals, the less chance there is for growth of this cancer, or for it to become malignant. Power must be shared among all people, for the risk carried thus becomes a risk to all, and there is a greater degree of cooperation, support, and there is a more efficient and effective means through which everyone can act as a check against the abuse of power.

Theoretical Foundations of Global Revolution

Currently, we are witnessing, in the wake of the massive economic crisis, a revolution in the global political economy. This revolution, like all revolutions, is not simply a top-down or a bottom-up revolution. Historically, revolutions are driven by a combination of both the grassroots and the elite. Often, this materializes in clashes between social groups, such as with the American Revolution. Although, the American Revolution itself was primarily waged by the American landed elite against the foreign imperial elite of Great Britain. The French Revolution was the combination of the banking and aristocratic elite co-opting, manipulating and controlling the grassroots opposition to the established order. The Russian Revolution, also being able to see rising social tensions among the lower classes, was co-opted by an international banking elite.

Currently, the transnational elite are very aware of the increasing social tensions among the worlds majority. As the crisis deepens, tensions will rise, and the chances of revolt and revolution from below greatly increase. Governments everywhere, particularly in the Western industrialized nations are building massive police states to monitor and control populations, and are actively preparing for martial law and military rule in the event of such a situation unfolding.

However, the transnational elite are undertaking their own revolution from above. This revolution is encompassing the restructuring of the global political economy through their orchestrated economic crisis.

Neo-Gramscian political economic theory can help us understand how this revolution has been and is currently being undertaken. Neo-Gramscian IPE (International Political Economy) emerged in the 1980s within the critical camp of theory. Largely based off of the Italian Marxist writer, Antonio Gramsci, it places a great focus on analysis of global power, order and structure. There has been much analysis within Neo-Gramscian theory on the nature and structure of the transnational capitalist class.  Among the analysis of transnational classes, Neo-Gramscian theory also places emphasis on the notions of hegemony and resistance, or counter-hegemony.

The Gramscian notion of hegemony differs from other perspectives in, particularly mainstream, Global Political Economy. With the Gramscian concept of hegemony, it does not focus simply on the use of state power at exerting power, but rather defines hegemony as a system of power that is dual; it requires both coercion and consent. Consent is key, as it implies the active consent of “subaltern” or “subordinate” groups (in other words, the great majority of the world’s people), to being submissive to the system itself. This hegemony is built around the notion of conformity; thus, conformity is an active consent to hegemony. By conforming, one is submitting to the system and their place within it. This is also an internationalizing concept, in that this hegemony is not nation-based, but transnational, and backed by the threat of coercive force.

In discussing resistance to hegemony, or counter-hegemony, Gramsci identified two forms of resistance; the war of position and the war of movement. Robert Cox, the most well known Neo-Gramscian theorist, analyzed how Gramsci defined these notions by comparing the experiences of Russia with the Bolshevik Revolution as compared with experiences in Western Europe. As Cox explained, “The basic difference between Russia and Western Europe was in the relative strengths of state and civil society. In Russia, the administrative and coercive apparatus of the state was formidable but proved to be vulnerable, while civil society was undeveloped. A relatively small working class led by a disciplined avant-garde was able to overwhelm the state in a war of movement and met no effective resistance from the rest of civil society.”[28]

So a war of movement was characterized by a small vanguard seizing power and overthrowing the state. “In Western Europe, by contrast, civil society, under bourgeois hegemony, was much more fully developed and took manifold forms. A war of movement might conceivably, in conditions of exceptional upheaval, enable a revolutionary vanguard to seize control of the state apparatus; but because of the resiliency of civil society such an exploit would in the long run be doomed to failure.” As Gramsci himself noted, “In Russia, the State was everything, civil society was primordial and gelatinous; in the West, there was a proper relation between State and civil society, and when the State trembled a sturdy structure of civil society was at once revealed.”[29]

In this instance, a war of movement was impossible to achieve in Western Europe, and thus, “The alternative strategy is the war of position which slowly builds up the strength of the social foundations of a new state. In Western Europe, the struggle had to be won in civil society before an assault on the state could achieve success.” This undertaking is massive to say the least, as it implies as a necessity, “creating alternative institutions and alternative intellectual resources within existing society and building bridges between workers and other subordinate classes. It means actively building counter-hegemony within an established hegemony while resisting the pressures and temptations to relapse into pursuit of incremental gains for subaltern groups within the framework of bourgeois hegemony.” In other words, it is a “long-range revolutionary strategy,” as compared to social democracy, which is “a policy of making gains within the established order.”[30]

However, I wish to take the concept and notion of the “war of position” and re-imagine it, not as a means of counter-hegemony, but as a means of supra-hegemony. This is not a war of position on the part of a counter-hegemonic group (grassroots opposition, etc), but is rather a war of position on the part of an embedded international elite, or supra-hegemonic group. Supra is Latin for “above,” which implies that this group is above hegemony, just as supra-national institutions (such as the European Union) are above nations. This is the elite of the elite, beyond national elites, and composing the top tier of the hierarchy within the transnational superclass. In terms of composition, this group is the highly concentrated international bankers, the dynastic banking families such as the Rothschilds and Rockefellers, who control the major banking institutions of the world, which in turn, control the international central banking system. Their centralized power is exemplified in the Bank for International Settlements.

I will refer to this group as the Global Cartel. This Cartel has usurped global authority and power through an incremental, multi-century spanning war of position. The Peace of Westphalia, signed in 1648, constituting two separate treaties, created the notion of the nation state and state sovereignty within Western Europe. Feudalism dominated Europe from the medieval period through the 16th century, and was slowly replaced by the emergence of Capitalism. Major European empires had, since the 15th century, been pursuing empire building, such as with the trans-Atlantic slave trade and expansion into the Americas. This formed the first truly global economy. The empires worked under and in service to the monarchies that oversaw them.

It was with the founding of the Bank of England in 1694 that a European group of bankers overtook one of the major European empires. Great Britain then became the dominant empire, experiencing the Industrial Revolution prior to any other nation, and became a global hegemon. With the French Revolution, these European bankers took over another major empire through the establishment of the Bank of France, and then financed and profited off of all sides of every major war, and expanded imperial reach.

Through the expansion of the central banking system, a highly concentrated group of European bankers were able to overtake the major nations of the world. The entire history of the United States is the story of a Republic’s struggle and battle against a central bank. Finally, the bankers usurped monetary authority with the establishment of the Federal Reserve, and built up and created the American empire.

It was in the 20th century that the war of position of the cartel is most apparent. As the world globalized, so too did the war of position. The major banking dynasties founded powerful philanthropies, such as the Carnegie Endowment and the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. These organizations shaped civil society in the United States and set their sights internationally in scope. Through the establishment of think tanks like the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) in Britain and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in the United States, this cartel was able to bring in and centralize the intellectual, academic, strategic, military, economic and political establishments under the cartel’s influence. This was expanded by the cartel through organizations such as the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission.

Centralizing and controlling debate and discussion within these vital socio-political-economic realms was a vital component of institutionalizing hegemony, as Gramsci understands it, in that the cartel used their monetary and financial hegemony (controlling the printing and value of currencies) to stimulate an active consent among the socio-political-economic elite. National elites consented to the hegemony of the cartel, whose coercive hegemony was in their ability to destroy a national economy through monetary policy.

This hegemony, both coercive and consenting, based within the elite class themselves, facilitated the war of position of the cartel to advance their interests and proceed with their incremental revolution. The aim of this cartel, like many tyrants and power-hungry people before it, was world domination. Bankers command no army, lead no nation, and motivate no people. Their influence lies in co-opting the commanders, controlling the leaders, and manipulating motivation.

Thus, it was of absolute necessity for the cartel to undertake their ultimate aim of world domination and world government through a war of position, as no person would fight for, surrender a nation to, or be motivated to help any banker achieve their own selfish goals. Rather, they had to slowly usurp power incrementally; control money, buy politicians, own economies, build empires, engineer wars, mold civil society, control their opposition, overtake educational institutions and ultimately, control thought.

Conclusion

As George Orwell wrote, “Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

The more people that think for themselves; the worse it is for the cartel. People, free thinking individuals, are the greatest threat to this cartel and their war of position. That is why the answer and solution to exposing the supra-hegemonic war of position, challenging and triumphing over the New World Order, lies in the free-thinking individual. The challenge is global and globalized; the solution is local and localized. The problem is conformity and controlled thought; the answer is individuality and free thought.

While humanity is faced with such monumental crises the likes of which in scope and size, we have never before faced, so too, are we faced with the greatest opportunities for an ultimate change in the right direction. While people are controlled and manipulated through crisis and disorder, so too can people be awoken to seeing the necessity of knowledge and critical thought. When one’s life is thrown into disorder and chaos, suddenly observation, information and knowledge become important in understanding how one got into that situation, and how one can escape it.

With this in mind, while facing the potential for the greatest struggle humanity has ever faced, so too are we facing the greatest potential for a new Enlightenment or a new Renaissance; an age of new thought, new life, new potential, and peace. No matter how much elites think they control all things, life has a way of making one realize that there are things outside the control of people. With every action, comes an equal and opposite reaction.

We may not reach a new age of thinking and peace before we enter into a new age of oppression and war. In fact, the former may not be possible without the latter. People must awake from their slumber; their immersion in consumerist society and pop culture distractions, and awake to both the malevolence of world systems and the wonder of life and its potential. Through crisis, comes control; through control, comes power; through power, comes resistance; through resistance, comes thinking; through thinking, comes potential; through potential, comes peace.

We may very well be entering into the most oppressive and destructive order the world has yet seen, but from its ruins and ashes, which are as inevitable as the tides and as sure as the sun rises, we may see the rise of a truly peaceful world order; in which we see the triumphs of individualism merge with the interests of the majority; a people’s world order of peace for all. We must maintain, as Antonio Gramsci once wrote, “Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.”

Notes

[1]        NIC, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World. The National Intelligence Council’s 2025 Project: November, 2008: pages 70-72:  http://www.dni.gov/nic/NIC_2025_project.html

[2]        David Lyon, Theorizing surveillance: the panopticon and beyond. Willan Publishing, 2006: page 71

[3]        Olga Chetverikova, Crisis as a way to build a global totalitarian state. Russia Today: April 20, 2009: http://www.russiatoday.com/Politics/2009-04-20/Crisis_as_a_way_to_build_a_global_totalitarian_state.html

[4]        NIC, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World. The National Intelligence Council’s 2025 Project: November, 2008: pages 67:  http://www.dni.gov/nic/NIC_2025_project.html

[5]        NIC, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World. The National Intelligence Council’s 2025 Project: November, 2008: pages 63:  http://www.dni.gov/nic/NIC_2025_project.html

[6]        NIC, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World. The National Intelligence Council’s 2025 Project: November, 2008: pages 56:  http://www.dni.gov/nic/NIC_2025_project.html

[7]        Richard Norton-Taylor, Revolution, flashmobs, and brain chips. A grim vision of the future. The Guardian: April 9, 2007: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/apr/09/frontpagenews.news

[8]        Paul Joseph Watson & Yihan Dai, RAND Lobbies Pentagon: Start War To Save U.S. Economy. Prison Planet: October 30, 2008: http://www.prisonplanet.com/rand-lobbies-pentagon-start-war-to-save-us-economy.html

[9]        Paul Joseph Watson, Celente Predicts Revolution, Food Riots, Tax Rebellions By 2012. Prison Planet: November 13, 2008: http://www.prisonplanet.com/celente-predicts-revolution-food-riots-tax-rebellions-by-2012.html

[10]      Gerald Celente, Obamageddon — 2012. Prison Planet: June 30: 2009: http://www.infowars.com/obamageddon-2012/

[11]      CNBC, Gerald Celente. May 21, 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akH5C3f4aTI

[12]      Terry Easton, Exclusive Interview with Future Prediction Expert Gerald Celente. Human Events: June 5, 2009: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=32152

[13]      Ellen Wood, Empire of Capital. Verso, 2003: page 144

[14]      Ellen Wood, Empire of Capital. Verso, 2003: page 157

[15]      Tyler, Patrick E. U.S. Strategy Plan Calls for Insuring No Rivals Develop: A One Superpower World. The New York Times: March 8, 1992. http://work.colum.edu/~amiller/wolfowitz1992.htm

[16]      PNAC, Rebuilding America’s Defenses. Project for the New American Century: September 2000, page 6: http://www.newamericancentury.org/publicationsreports.htm

[17]      Ibid. Page 8

[18]      Ibid. Page 9

[19]      Ibid. Page 14

[20]      Ibid. Page 51

[21]      Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books, 1997: Pages 30-31

[22]      Ibid. Page 36

[23]      Ellen Wood, Empire of Capital. Verso, 2003: page 160

[24]      Jim Garamone, Joint Vision 2020 Emphasizes Full-spectrum Dominance. American Forces Press Service: June 2, 2000: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=45289

[25]      Ivo Daalder and James Goldgeier, Global NATO. Foreign Affairs: Sep/Oct2006, Vol. 85, Issue 5

[26]      Xinhua, NATO changes to stay relevant. Xinhua News Agency: April 5, 2009: http://www.china.org.cn/international/2009-04/05/content_17554731.htm

[27]      Ian Traynor, Pre-emptive nuclear strike a key option, Nato told. The Guardian: January 22, 2008: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jan/22/nato.nuclear

Michel Chossudovsky, The US-NATO Preemptive Nuclear Doctrine: Trigger a Middle East Nuclear Holocaust to Defend “The Western Way of Life”. Global Research: February 11, 2008: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8048

[28]      Robert W. Cox, Gramsci, Hegemony and International Relations: An Essay in Method. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2: pages 164-165

[29]      Robert W. Cox, Gramsci, Hegemony and International Relations: An Essay in Method. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2: page 165

[30]      Robert W. Cox, Gramsci, Hegemony and International Relations: An Essay in Method. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2: page 165

Martial Law, Inc.

Martial Law, Inc.
KBR: A Halliburton Subsidiary
Global Research, March 5, 2008

KBR, or Kellogg Brown & Root, was a subsidiary of the Halliburton Corporation until 2007, when bad publicity and indictments against KBR forced Halliburton to sell its shares in KBR.1

KBR and Vietnam:

KBR, having financed Lyndon Johnson from the 1940s and into the Vice Presidential position, was rewarded after Kennedy’s assassination with lucrative contracts in the escalated Vietnam War. “Johnson, who became president in 1963 after Kennedy’s assassination and who was elected with broad support in 1964, used the Gulf of Tonkin incident,” in order to “justify the sending of ground troops into Vietnam. The result of that move was the need for billions of dollars worth of bases, airstrips, ports, and bridges. Enter Brown & Root.”2

With that, “In 1965, a year after Johnson stepped up America’s participation in Vietnam, Brown & Root joined three other construction and project management behemoths, Raymond International, Morris-Knudsen, and J.A. Jones to form one of the largest civilian-based military construction conglomerates in history.” That team of corporations was known as RMK-BRJ, which, “literally changed the face of Vietnam, clearing out wide swaths of jungle for airplane landing strips, dredging channels for ships, and building American bases from Da Nang to Saigon.”3 KBR, as a member of this joint conglomerate, was also contracted to build new prison cells in Vietnam, replacing the “horribly inhumane prison cells built by the French government 75 years earlier to hold prisoners.”4

KBR and the Rwandan Genocide:

In 1990, the first invasion of Rwanda took place by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a militant organization from Uganda, overseen by a man by the name of Paul Kagame. The aim of this Tutsi rebel organization was the overthrow of Rwanda’s then-Hutu President Habyarimana, who was at the time, using World Bank loans to import enormous numbers of machetes under World Bank surveillance of Rwanda’s expenditure.5 This was the offset of the Rwandan civil war, which lasted until 1993, when a peace agreement was being brokered between Rwanda’s president and other neighboring leaders, including the President of Burundi. When the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi were flying back to Rwanda during the time of peace settlements, in 1994, their plane, also carrying on board many French officials, was shot down. This is the event that triggered the Rwandan genocide.

The first invasion of Rwanda by the RPF in 1990 “had the military backing of the first Bush administration [1989-1993], including Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney.”6 In 1992, “then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney commissioned Brown & Root to produce a classified report examining the benefits of greatly expanding logistics privatization. The report led the Pentagon to solicit bids from thirty-seven firms for an unprecedented five-year contract to provide the bulk of the Army’s overseas logistics needs. Later that year, the Defense Department chose Brown & Root as the first such umbrella logistics contractor.”7

In 1993, newly elected President Bill Clinton continued this policy of supporting the RPF. His trusted allies in the United Nations, Madeline Albright, then US Ambassador to the United Nations and Kofi Annan, then head of the UN’s peacekeeping operations, ensured that the relationship would be concealed from the public. Wayne Madsen reported that both Albright and Annan, “conveniently chose to ignore evidence that a US-trained and supplied guerrilla force – the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) – was responsible for the fateful April 6, 1994 terrorist missile attack on the aircraft carrying the Hutu presidents of Rwanda and Burundi home from a peace summit in Tanzania.”8

Paul Kagame, leader of the RPF, had been trained at US military bases in the United States in guerilla warfare tactics, and had very close ties to the Pentagon, the US State Department and the CIA.9 It also turns out that the US supplied the RPF with the missiles used to shoot down the plane carrying the two presidents, and that a UN investigation revealed that the warehouse which was used in assembling the missile launchers was leased to a company linked to none other than the CIA. Albright and Annan also ensured that information did not reach the public.10

Madsen revealed that a French investigation in 2004 about the shooting down of the plane, carried out on behalf of the French citizens who were killed on the plane, revealed that there was a startling connection to an organization that goes by the name of the, “International Strategic and Tactical Organization” [ISTO], which represents powerful political and corporate interests, including Armitage and Associates LC, a firm founded by George W. Bush’s first Deputy Secretary of Defense Richard Armitage, and KBR, or Kellogg Brown & Root, then a subsidiary of Halliburton.11 In 1994, KBR was in Rwanda under a $6.3 million contract called “Operation Support Hope.”12

As a result of the Rwandan genocide, many of the key players got handsomely rewarded with promotions. Paul Kagame became President of Rwanda, Kofi Annan became Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Madeline Albright became Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State. A year later, in 1995, Dick Cheney went to become the CEO of Halliburton until the year 2000.

KBR and The Congo Civil War:

Kellogg-Brown & Root, which was connected to the, “International Strategic and Tactical Organization” (ISTO), made another appearance in Africa. This time, it was to do with the Congo civil war, which started in the late 1990s. The Congo was invaded in 1996 by forces from Rwanda under the leadership of Paul Kagame, as well as Burundi and Uganda sending in troops supporting rebel Congolese leader, Laurent Kabila, to overthrow the then-President of Congo [Zaire], Mobutu Sese Seko.13 KBR, “reportedly built a military base on the Congolese/Rwandan border, where the Rwandan army has trained,” and, what’s more, “The Bechtel Corporation provided satellite maps and reconnaissance photos to Kabila so that he could monitor the movements of Mobutu’s troops.”14 Bechtel’s board of directors includes former Secretary of State George Schultz and has former Secretary of Defense, Caspar Wienberger, as a legal counsel, while Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR at this time.

After deposing the former President of Congo, Kabila gave out juicy contracts to big corporations ready to rape the Congo’s resources. American Mineral Fields (AMF) got a huge contract for exploration rights over many rich minerals, and “Mike McMurrough, a friend of US President Bill Clinton, was the chair of AMF.”15 Another big company to profit off the death of millions of Congolese people is Barrick Gold Corporation, a Canadian mining company, with former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Clinton Adviser Vernon Jordan on its board of directors, and George HW Bush as a company adviser.16

KBR in Bosnia and Kosovo:

As economics professor at the University of Ottawa, Michel Chossudovsky, noted, “Throughout the 1990s, the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was used by the CIA as a go-between — to channel weapons and Mujahideen mercenaries to the Bosnian Muslim Army in the civil war in Yugoslavia.” Quoting a report by the International Media Corporation, Chossudovsky wrote:

Reliable sources report that the United States is now [1994] actively participating in the arming and training of the Muslim forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina in direct contravention of the United Nations accords. US agencies have been providing weapons made in … China (PRC), North Korea (DPRK) and Iran…

… It was [also] reported that 400 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (Pasdaran) arrived in Bosnia with a large supply of arms and ammunition. It was alleged that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had full knowledge of the operation and that the CIA believed that some of the 400 had been detached for future terrorist operations in Western Europe.

During September and October [1994], there has been a stream of “Afghan” Mujahedin … covertly landed in Ploce, Croatia (South-West of Mostar) from where they have traveled with false papers … before deploying with the Bosnian Muslim forces in the Kupres, Zenica and Banja Luka areas…

The Mujahedin landing at Ploce are reported to have been accompanied by US Special Forces equipped with high-tech communications equipment, … The sources said that the mission of the US troops was to establish a command, control, communications and intelligence network to coordinate and support Bosnian Muslim offensives — in concert with Mujahideen and Bosnian Croat forces.17

Further, a Congressional report issued in 1997, “confirms unequivocally the complicity of the Clinton Administration with several Islamic fundamentalist organisations including Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda,” and that, “The “Bosnian pattern” described in the 1997 Congressional RPC report was replicated in Kosovo. With the complicity of NATO and the US State Department. Mujahideen mercenaries from the Middle East and Central Asia were recruited to fight in the ranks of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1998-99, largely supporting NATO’s war effort.” It was revealed that, “the task of arming and training of the KLA had been entrusted in 1998 to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Britain’s Secret Intelligence Services MI6.”18

After the US/British instigated conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, Halliburton subsidiary KBR got another interesting contract. As the Asia Times reported, KBR’s “big break came in December 1995. Dick Cheney had been the chief executive officer of parent company Halliburton for only two months. KBR was sent to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo to build two army camps in the middle of two deserted wheat fields. Instead it built two cities, one in Bosnia and one in Kosovo – complete with mail delivery and 24-hour food and laundry. In other words: without KBR, there would be no operating US Army in Bosnia and Kosovo. And the money was great: from 1995-2000, the KBR bill to the US government was more than $2 billion.” On top of this:

KBR’s strategic masterpiece is Camp Bondsteel – the largest and most expensive US Army base since Vietnam, still in use today, complete with roads, its own power generators, houses, satellite dishes, a helicopter airfield and of course a Vietnam-style prison. By a fabulous coincidence, Camp Bondsteel is right on the path of the Albanian-Macedonian-Bulgarian Oil (AMBO) Trans-Balkan Pipeline. This key piece of Pipelineistan is supposed to connect the oil-and-gas-rich Caspian Sea with Europe. The feasibility project for AMBO was conducted by none other than KBR.19

As Michel Chossudovsky wrote, “The plans to build Camp Bondsteel under a lucrative multibillion dollar DoD [Department of Defense] contract with Halliburton’s Texas based subsidiary KBR were formulated while Dick Cheney was Halliburton’s CEO,” and that, “The US and NATO had advanced plans to bomb Yugoslavia before 1999, and many European political leaders now believe that the US deliberately used the bombing of Yugoslavia to establish camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. According to Colonel Robert L. McCure, ‘Engineering planning for operations in Kosovo began months before the first bomb was dropped’.” The reasoning behind this was that:

One of the objectives underlying Camp Bondsteel was to protect the Albanian-Macedonian-Bulgarian Oil pipeline project (AMBO), which was to channel Caspian sea oil from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas to the Adriatic.

Coincidentally, two years prior to the invasion, in 1997, a senior executive of `Brown & Root Energy, a subsidiary of Halliburton, Edward L. (Ted) Ferguson had been appointed to head AMBO. The feasibility plans for the AMBO pipeline were also undertaken by Halliburton’s engineering company, Kellog, Brown & Root Ltd.20

KBR in Afghanistan and Iraq:

As Dan Briody wrote in The Halliburton Agenda, “When troops were deployed to Afghanistan, so was Kellogg Brown & Root. They built US bases in Bagram and Kandahar for $157 million. As it had done in the past, KBR has men on the ground before the first troops even arrived in most locations.”21 It was reported that KBR “was awarded a $100 million contract in 2002 to build a new U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, from the State Department.”22

As the Center for Public Integrity reported, “KBR, Inc., the global engineering and construction giant, won more than $16 billion in U.S. government contracts for work in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2004 to 2006—far more than any other company.”23

Indeed, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq presented Halliburton and its subsidiary, KBR, with an amazing opportunity of war profiteering on a scale never before seen. Not only was the company enriching itself, but its former CEO, Dick Cheney, currently Vice President of the United States, “sold most of his Halliburton shares when he left the company, but retained stock options worth about $8m,” and the Guardian reported in 2003 that KBR “is still making annual payments to its former chief executive, the vice-president Dick Cheney.”24

In December of 2005, the Chicago Tribune reported that, “A proposal prohibiting defense contractor involvement in human trafficking for forced prostitution and labor was drafted by the Pentagon last summer, but five defense lobbying groups oppose key provisions.” The lobbying groups, “say they’re in favor of the idea in principle, but said they believe that implementing key portions of it overseas is unrealistic. They represent thousands of firms, including some of the industry’s biggest names, such as DynCorp International and Halliburton subsidiary KBR, both of which have been linked to trafficking-related concerns.”25 However, human trafficking experts have criticized the move by the lobbying groups, and told “the Pentagon that the policy would merely formalize practices that have allowed contractors working overseas to escape punishment for involvement in trafficking.”

The allegations of human trafficking include, “the alleged involvement of DynCorp employees in buying women and girls as sex slaves in Bosnia during the U.S. military’s deployment there in the late 1990s,” and that, “Middle Eastern firms working under American subcontracts in Iraq, and a chain of human brokers beneath them, engaged in the kind of abuses condemned elsewhere by the U.S. government as human trafficking,” which pertained to KBR. The Chicago Tribune then reported in 2006 that, “some of KBR’s subcontractors, and a chain of human brokers stretching to South and Southeast Asia, allegedly engaged in the same kinds of abuses routinely condemned” as human trafficking.26

In December of 2007, it was reported that, “A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.” The article continued, “Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.”27 Jones filed a lawsuit against Halliburton and KBR, and “says she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her leave. Jones described the container as sparely furnished with a bed, table and lamp.”

KBR and the North American Union:

More recently, KBR has been awarded contracts by Shell Canada, now majority owned by its parent company, Royal Dutch Shell, “to provide field construction and module fabrication services by Shell Canada for the Scotford Upgrader Expansion east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.”28 Business Wire reported that, “The Scotford Upgrader Expansion project is part of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) Expansion 1, which will add approximately 100,000 barrels per day of capacity to the AOSP bitumen mining and upgrading facilities. AOSP is a joint venture between Shell Canada, Chevron Canada Limited and Western Oil Sands L.P. The total estimated cost of the project is between Cdn$10 billion and $12.8 billion.”

This is significant because it directly relates to the “deep integration” of Canada, the United States, and Mexico into a North American Union under the auspices of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). The Independent Task Force on the Future of North America was a joint task force created between the US-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE). The purpose of this task force was to produce a document, which would serve as a blueprint for the implementation of “integrating” the three countries of North America into a regional block, ultimately into a North American Union. The report was issued 2 months after the leaders of the 3 nations signed the Security and Prosperity Partnership agreement in 2005, and is titled, “Building a North American Community.”

In this document, regarding integrating energy sectors, it stated, “Canada’s vast oilsands, once a high-cost experimental means of extracting oil, now provide a viable new source of energy that is attracting a steady stream of multibillion dollar investments, and interest from countries such as China, and they have catapulted Canada into second place in the world in terms of proved oil reserves. Production from oilsands fields is projected to reach 2 million barrels per day by 2010.”29 The report further stated, “the three governments need to work together to ensure energy security for people in all three countries. Issues to be addressed include the expansion and protection of the North American energy infrastructure.”30

In 2006, the SPP created a new organization with the specific purpose of “advising” and “directing” the three governments on how to integrate properly and to set deadlines for specific programs. This organization is called the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC).

The Canadian membership of the North American Competitiveness Council includes Dominic D’Alessandro, President and CEO of Manulife Financial, who is also Chairman of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), David A. Ganong, President of Ganong Bros. Limited, as well as being a director of the CCCE and a director of Sun Life Financial, Hunter Harrison, President and CEO of Canadian National Railway Company and member of the CCCE, Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar Corporation who also sits on the board of CIBC, Michael Sabia, President and CEO of Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), Annette Verschuren, President of The Home Depot Canada and member of the board of the CCCE, Richard E. Waugh, President and CEO of The Bank of Nova Scotia who also is on the board of the Institute for International Finance, is a member of the Chairman’s Advisory Council for the Council of the Americas, and the IMF’s Capital Markets Consultative Group. Further members of the NACC include Richard L. George, President and CEO of Suncor Energy Inc., an American who is Honourary Chair of the CCCE, and Paul Desmarais, Jr., Chairman and Co-CEO of Power Corporation of Canada.

Suncor, one of the Canadian corporations on the NACC, has as a member of its board of directors an American by the name of John Huff. John R. Huff, also happens to be on the board of directors of KBR32, now in a joint project with Shell in developing the oil sands, as recommended by the SPP.

KBR and Concentration Camps:

The New York Times reported in 2003, that, “Since the attacks of Sept. 11, Kellogg Brown & Root has won significant additional business from the federal government and the Pentagon. It has built cells for detainees at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba and is the exclusive logistics supplier for the Navy and the Army, providing services like cooking, construction, power generation and fuel transportation.”33 In 2005, the Independent reported that, “A subsidiary of Halliburton, the oil services group once led by the US Vice-President, Dick Cheney, has won a $30m (£16m) contract to help build a new permanent prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.”34

On January 24, 2006, KBR, which was still a subsidiary of Halliburton at the time, got a contract from the Department of Homeland Security, “to support the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in the event of an emergency.”35 The press release on KBR’s website further stated that the contract has a “maximum total value of $385 million over a five-year term, consisting of a one-year based period and four one-year options, the competitively awarded contract will be executed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District. KBR held the previous ICE contract from 2000 through 2005.” The Executive Director of the KBR Government and Infrastructure division was quoted in the release as saying the contract, “builds on our extremely strong track record in the arena of emergency operations support.”

The contract awarded to KBR, a construction firm, “provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs,” [Emphasis added]. Further, “The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other U.S. Government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster,” [Emphasis added].

As author, professor and former diplomat Peter Dale Scott notes in his book, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America, “On February 6, 2007, homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff announced that the fiscal year 2007 federal budget would allocate more than $400 million to add sixty-seven hundred additional detention beds (an increase of 32 percent over 2006).” Scott goes on to state that this was “in partial fulfillment of an ambitious ten-year Homeland Security strategic plan, code-named Endgame, authorized in 2003,” whose goal was to “remove all removable aliens,” as well as “potential terrorists.”36

As Scott wrote in an article shortly after the KBR contract was issued in 2006, “the contract evoked ominous memories of Oliver North’s controversial Rex-84 ‘readiness exercise’ in 1984. This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary ‘refugees,’ in the context of ‘uncontrolled population movements’ over the Mexican border into the United States.” Scott quoted Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 as a military analyst leaked the “Pentagon Papers” about the military’s activities in Vietnam, as saying, “Almost certainly this is preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters,” and that, “They’ve already done this on a smaller scale, with the ‘special registration’ detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo.”37

A recent San Francisco Chronicle article, co-authored by a former US Congressman, reported that, “Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.”38

Conclusion

As the preparations of martial law are being put in place, it is of vital important to identify the specific corporations involved in this process. Administrations change, politicians go in and out of power, but the corporation is a consistent powerhouse. In this case, KBR has been a force to be reckoned with since the rise of Lyndon Johnson. Today, it has reached new heights. It was necessary to examine the recent history of this company’s activities, much the same as identifying a person’s own history and experiences to account for their present personality: so as to better understand their actions today. Given KBR’s history related to war and violence, more light should be shed on their current activities with the Department of Homeland Security, as morality is not a concept KBR seems to understand.

Notes

1 KBR Splits From Halliburton, Names New Board Members, RigZone, April 9, 2007:

http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=43642

2 Dan Briody, The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: New Jersey, 2004: pages 163-64

3 Dan Briody, The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: New Jersey, 2004: page 164

4 Dan Briody, The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: New Jersey, 2004: page 167

5 Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, 2nd ed. Global Research: 2003, page 114

6 Wayne Madsen, Jaded Tasks – Brass Plates, Black Ops, & Big Oil: The Blood Politics of Bush & Co. TrineDay: 2006, page 2

7 Habib Moody, Soldiers for Rent. The New Atlantis: No. 17, Summer 2007:
http://www.thenewatlantis.com/archive/17/soa/soldiersforrent.htm

8 Wayne Madsen, Jaded Tasks – Brass Plates, Black Ops, & Big Oil: The Blood Politics of Bush & Co. TrineDay: 2006, page 2

9 Wayne Madsen, Jaded Tasks – Brass Plates, Black Ops, & Big Oil: The Blood Politics of Bush & Co. TrineDay: 2006, pages 2-3

10 Wayne Madsen, Jaded Tasks – Brass Plates, Black Ops, & Big Oil: The Blood Politics of Bush & Co. TrineDay: 2006, page 12

11 Wayne Madsen, Jaded Tasks – Brass Plates, Black Ops, & Big Oil: The Blood Politics of Bush & Co. TrineDay: 2006, page 6-12

12 Dan Briody, The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: New Jersey, 2004: page 186

13 Steven Hiatt, ed., A Game As Old As Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc: 2007, page 94

14 Steven Hiatt, ed., A Game As Old As Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc: 2007, page 99

15 Steven Hiatt, ed., A Game As Old As Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc: 2007, page 99

16 Steven Hiatt, ed., A Game As Old As Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc: 2007, pages 99-100

17 Michel Chossudovsky, Osamagate. Global Research: October 9, 2001:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO110A.html

18 Michel Chossudovsky, Osamagate. Global Research: October 9, 2001:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO110A.html

19 ATOL, The Iraq Gold Rush. Asia Times Online: May 14, 2004:
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/FE14Ak03.html

20 Michel Chossudovsky, The Criminalization of the State: “Independent Kosovo”, a Territory under US-NATO Military Rule. Global Research: February 4, 2008:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7996

21 Dan Briody, The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: New Jersey, 2004: page 219

22 Laura Peterson, Kellogg Brown & Root (Halliburton). Center for Public Integrity:
http://www.publicintegrity.org/WOW/bio.aspx?act=pro&ddlC=31

23 John Perry, Baghdad Bonanza. Center for Public Integrity:
http://www.publicintegrity.org/Content.aspx?source=home&context=article&id=936

24 Robert Bryce and Julian Borger, Cheney is still paid by Pentagon contractor. The Guardian: March 12, 2003:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/mar/12/usa.iraq5

25 Cam Simpson, US Stalls on Human Trafficking. Chicago Tribune: December 27, 2005:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0512270176dec27,1,2117782.story

26 Cam Simpson, U.S. to probe claims of human trafficking. Chicago Tribune: January 19, 2006:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0601190052jan19,0,1567028.story

27 Brian Ross, Maddy Sauer and Justin Rood, Victim: Gang-Rape Cover-Up by U.S., Halliburton/KBR. ABC News: December 10, 2007: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=3977702&page=1

28 Business Wire, KBR Awarded Contracts for Construction and Fabrication Services by Shell Canada for Scotford Upgrader Expansion. BNet: May 14, 2007:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2007_May_14/ai_n19096678

29 John Manley, Pedro Aspe, William Weld. “Building a North American Community”.

The Council on Foreign Relations: May 2005, page 25 http://www.cfr.org/publication/8102/

30 Ibid, page 26

31 Embassy Report, Meet the Powerful Business Members of the North American Competitiveness Council. Embassy Magazine: June 13, 2007:
http://www.embassymag.ca/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=/2007/june/13/businessmembers/

32 KBR, Board of Directors.
http://www.kbr.com/corporate/corporate_governance/board_of_directors/index.aspx

33 Elizabeth Becker, A NATION AT WAR: RECONSTRUCTION; Details Given On Contract Halliburton Was Awarded. The New York Times: April 11, 2003:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B04EED9173BF932A25757C0A9659C8B63

34 Rupert Cornwell, Halliburton given $30m to expand Guantanamo Bay. The Independent: June 18, 2005: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/halliburton-given-30m-to-expand-guantanamo-bay-494530.html

35 KBR, KBR Awarded U.S. Department of Homeland Security Contingency Support Project for Emergency Support Services. Press Releases: 2006 Archive, January 24, 2006:
http://www.kbr.com/news/2006/govnews_060124.aspx

36 Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. University of California Press: 2007, page 240

37 Peter Dale Scott, Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps. Pacific News Service: February 8, 2006:
http://news.pacificnews.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=eed74d9d44c30493706fe03f4c9b3a77

38 Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg, Rule by Fear or Rule by Law? The San Francisco Chronicle: February 4, 2008: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/02/04/ED5OUPQJ7.DTL


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