Topic Of Discussion
The Circle Gathering, June 7, 2003
THE MEANING OF TIME AND THE BIRTH OF THE COMING AGE
IT WAS FUN WHILE IT LASTED
Martin Reese, author of "Our Final Hour," says that the world as we know it has only a 50-50 chance of surviving the 21st century...
See, I have (indeed) set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil...(Deuteronomy 30:15). (Choose LIFE)
...Humans are a recent addition to the cosmos. If the whole 10-billion-year projected lifetime of the sun were compressed into one year, Reese writes, all of recorded history would take up less than a minute, and the 20th century would amount to less than a third of a second.
The unspoken assumption behind it all, is that we as a life-form are just getting started, and that bigger, mightier things lie ahead.
But it might be, Reese suggests, that the future of humanity is as slender a thread as its past. If we are alone in the universe, and whether we survive or not will determine whether there is a point to the rest of cosmic history. A New York Times Book Review.
The notion of whether there is a point to the rest of cosmic history grows out of the linear assumptions about time and space, and about history itself, that have gripped the thinking of the Western world since the time of Augustine. This line of reasoning, which does not suppose, or even suspect a structure and a pattern to historical events, falls under the academic (purely intellectual) headings of Preterism and Amillenialism. Preterists state that the prophetic events described in the books of Daniel and Revelation have already been fulfilled, basically between the time of the Christian revelation and the destructions of Jerusalem in the first and second centuries; that the Roman emperors were the antichrists and that history since that time is an open-ended affair. God might return to the world He created. There is no real indication or specific promise of it. Everything in the prophets is already fulfilled. In the meantime conquer and occupy.
Amillenialists likewise hold that the thousand years described in the Book of Revelation is purely symbolic (which it is, but for reasons amillenialists cannot imagine). It is the time running from the Cross of Christ to the next advent of Christ. This is the epic Day of the Lord. It will culminate, not in foreseen events but in an unforeseen time way out in the undetermined far-distant future, after the church-militant finally subdues the darkened elements of human nature and delivers the earth and all of its peoples back to God. This is the Augustinian world view, and goes so far as to suggest that God's kingdom will never be actually be realized here on earth at all, but only after death in the world beyond. This also leaves history as an open-ended affair, and in a sense up for grabs. It is up to those in power (by whatever social, economic and military means at their disposal) to sieze upon each moment in history as it unfolds in order to bend it in the direction that (ostensibly) the heads of western christendom say it should go. This world-view passed from Rome (where it failed) to America via the Reformation, and in every subtle way (un)informs the collective thinking of those who find themselves in charge of the American empire's present global agenda.
THE END OF HISTORY
By Francis Fukuyama (1992)
The distant origins of the present volume lie in an article entitled "The End of History?" which I wrote for the journal The National Interest in the summer of 1989. In it, I argued that a remarkable consensus concerning the legitimacy of liberal democracy as a system of government had emerged throughout the world over the past few years, as it conquered rival ideologies like hereditary monarchy, fascism, and most recently communism. More than that, however, I ARGUED THAT LIBERAL DEMOCRACY MAY CONSTITUTE THE "END POINT OF MANKIND'S IDEOLOGICAL EVOLUTION" AND THE "FINAL FORM OF HUMAN GOVERNMENT," AND AS SUCH CONSTITUTED THE "END OF HISTORY." (continued)...
The point that we made in response to this and the following articles and interviews is that:
THEY PAY NO HEED TO THE HIDDEN MEANING OF THINGS
They pay no heed to the real hidden meaning of things, but divert themselves instead with all kinds of (natural, three-dimensional thinking). They do not know the hidden meaning of what is actually taking place, nor have they ever understood the lessons of the past. Consequently they have no knowledge of what is coming upon them and have done nothing to save their souls from the deeper implications of present events.
This, however, will symbolize things for you. What is going to happen is, as it were, that all iniquity is going to be shut up in the womb and prevented from coming to birth. Wrong is going to depart before Right, as darkness departs before light. As smoke disappears and is no more, so will Wrong disappear for ever. But Right will be revealed like the Sun. The world will rest on a sound Foundation. All who cling to (iniquitous thinking) will cease to exist. The world will be filled with knowledge, and ignorance exist no more.
The thing is certain to come. The prophecy is true, and by this you may know that it will not be revoked: Do not all peoples hate wrongdoing? Yet is it not rampant among them all? Are not the praises of truth sung by all nations? Yet is there a single race or tribe that really adheres to it? What nation likes to be oppressed by a stronger power? Or who wants his property plundered unjustly? Yet, is there a single nation that has not oppressed its neighbor? Or where in the world will you find a people that has not plundered the property of another? The Triumph of God, Descriptions of the Final Age. The Dead Sea Scriptures, by Theodor H. Gaster, p.429.
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever...(Daniel 2:44).
(Fukuyama continues)....That is, while earlier forms of government were characterised by grave defects and irrationalities that led to their eventual collapse, liberal democracy was arguably free from such fundamental internal contradictions. This was not to say that today's stable democracies, like the United States, France, or Switzerland, were not without injustice or serious social problems. But these problems were ones of incomplete implementation of the twin principles of liberty and equality on which modern democracy is founded, rather than of flaws in the principles themselves. While some present-day countries might fail to achieve stable liberal democracy, and others might lapse back into other, more primitive forms of rule like theocracy or military dictatorship, THE IDEAL OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY COULD NOT BE IMPROVED UPON...
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage...(2 Peter 2:19)
The wicked walk on every side, while the vilest men are exalted...(Psalm 12:8).
And they worshipped the dragon (the collective lower Self--the natural mind) which gave power unto the beast (the political order), saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?...(Revelation 13:4).
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage...(Galatians 5:1).
...The original article excited an extraordinary amount of commentary and controversy, first in the United States, and then in a series of countries as different as England, France, Italy, the Soviet Union, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, and South Korea. Criticism took every conceivable form, some of it based on simple misunderstanding of my original intent, and others penetrating more perceptively to the core of my argument. Many people were confused in the first instance by my use of the word "history." Understanding history in a conventional sense as the occurrence of events, people pointed to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Chinese communist crackdown in Tiananmen Square, and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait as evidence that "history was continuing," and that I was ipso facto proven wrong.
And he said unto me, measure the time diligently in itself, and when thou seest part of the signs past which I have told thee before.
Then shalt thou understand that it is the very time, wherein the Highest shall begin to visit the world which he made.
Therefore when there shall be seen earthquakes and uproars of people in the world.
Then shalt thou well understand that the Most High spake of these things from the days that were before thee, even from the beginning.
For like as all that is made in the world hath a beginning and an end, and the end is manifest,
Even so the times also of the Highest have plain beginnings in wonders and powerful works, and endings in effects and signs...(2 Esdras 9:1-6; Ezekiel 12:21-23).
...And yet what I suggested had come to an end was not the occurrence of events, even large and grave events, BUT HISTORY. THAT IS, HISTORY UNDERSTOOD AS A SINGLE, COHERENT, EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS, WHEN TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE EXPERIENCE OF ALL PEOPLES IN ALL TIMES. This understanding of History was most closely associated with the great German philosopher C. W. F. Hegel. It was made part of our daily intellectual atmosphere by Karl Marx, who borrowed this concept of History from Hegel, and is implicit in our use of words like "primitive" or "advanced," "traditional" or "modern," when referring to different types of human societies. For both of these thinkers, there was a coherent development of human societies FROM SIMPLE TRIBAL ONES BASED ON SLAVERY AND SUBSISTENCE AGRICULTURE, THROUGH VARIOUS THEOCRACIES, MONARCHIES, AND FEUDAL ARISTOCRACIES, UP THROUGH MODERN LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AND TECHNOLOGICALLY DRIVEN CAPITALISM. This evolutionary process was neither random nor unintelligible, even if it did not proceed in a straight line, and even if it was possible to question whether man was happier or better off as a result of historical "progress." (continued)...
"It would be a mistake to suppose that the writers of the Scrolls and the men of Qumran were inspired only by recollections of things past or that they chose their way of life simply because they were unsettled by political turbulence or disgusted by the venality of the Jerusalemitan priests. They were swept also by other winds. ONE OF THESE WAS THE WIDESPREAD AND WELL-ATTESTED CONTEMPORARY BELIEF THAT THE GREAT CYCLE OF THE AGES WAS ABOUT TO COMPLETE ITS REVOLUTION. This belief was based on a conception, which can in fact be traced to remote Indian antiquity, that existence consists not in linear progressive development--that is, in 'history'--but in a constant cyclic repetition of primordial and archetypal events. WHEN MAJOR UPHEAVALS OCCURRED, IT WAS PROMPTLY SUPPOSED THAT THE CYCLE WAS NEARING ITS END, THAT THE GREAT YEAR WAS AT HAND, AND THAT THE COSMOS WAS ABOUT TO REVERT TO CHAOS (before it returned to order again...Jeremiah 4:23). The primal elements, restrained and regulated at the beginning of the world, would again be unleashed; all things would dissolve in an overwhelming deluge (War) or be burned in that everlasting fire which rages in the depths of the earth. THEN THE CYCLE WOULD BEGIN AGAIN; A NEW WORLD WOULD BE BROUGHT TO BIRTH." The Dead Sea Scriptures, by Theodor H. Gaster, p.8.
(Fukuyama)... Both Hegel and Marx believed that the evolution of human societies was not open-ended, BUT WOULD END (BEGIN) WHEN MANKIND HAD ACHIEVED A FORM OF SOCIETY THAT SATISFIED ITS DEEPEST AND MOST FUNDAMENTAL LONGINGS. Both thinkers thus posited an "end of history": for Hegel this was the liberal state, while for Marx it was a communist society. This did not mean that THE NATURAL CYCLE OF BIRTH, LIFE, AND DEATH would end, that important events would no longer happen, or that newspapers reporting them would cease to be published. IT MEANT, RATHER, THAT THERE WOULD BE NO FURTHER PROGRESS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES AND INSTITUTIONS, BECAUSE ALL THE REALLY BIG QUESTIONS HAD BEEN SETTLED...
Of course, Fukuyama has left out the final synthesis of thought, the one that emerges from the great ideological conflicts of the 20th century (and now the 21st); the one that transcends the notions of Liberal Democracy altogether; the one that is subject to no other authority but the truth; the one that in turn submits itself willingly and wholeheartedly to the truth--one that is still laboring to be born:
Who hath heard such a thing? A voice of noise from the temple (from the heart of man), a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompense to His enemies.
Before she travailed she brought forth. Before her pain came she was delivered of a child.
Who hath heard such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a Nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed she brought forth her children.
Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord. Shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith the Lord...(Isaiah 66:6-10).
(Fukuyama)...The present book is not a restatement of my original article, nor is it an effort to continue the discussion with that article's many critics and commentators. Least of all is it an account of the end of the Cold War, or any other pressing topic in contemporary politics. While this book is informed by recent world events, its subject returns to a very old question: WHETHER, AT THE END OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, IT MAKES SENSE FOR US ONCE AGAIN TO SPEAK OF A COHERENT AND DIRECTIONAL HISTORY OF MANKIND that will eventually lead the greater part of humanity to liberal democracy? The answer I arrive at is yes, for two separate reasons. One has to do with economics, and the other has to do with what is termed the "struggle for recognition."
It is of course not sufficient to appeal to the authority of Hegel, Marx, or any of their contemporary followers to establish THE VALIDITY OF DIRECTIONAL HISTORY. In the century and a half since they wrote, their intellectual legacy has been relentlessly assaulted from all directions. The most profound thinkers of the twentieth century have directly attacked the idea that history is a coherent or intelligible process; indeed, they have denied the possibility that any aspect of human life is philosophically intelligible. We in the West have become thoroughly pessimistic with regard to the possibility of overall progress in democratic institutions. This profound pessimism is not accidental, but born of the truly terrible political events of the first half of the twentieth century TWO DESTRUCTIVE WORLD WARS, THE RISE OF TOTALITARIAN IDEOLOGIES, AND THE TURNING OF SCIENCE AGAINST MAN IN THE FORM OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE. The life experiences of the victims of this past century's political violence from the survivors of Hitlerism and Stalinism to the victims of Pol Pot would deny that there has been such a thing as historical progress. Indeed, we have become so accustomed by now to expect that the future will contain bad news with respect to the health and security of decent, liberal, democratic political practices THAT WE HAVE PROBLEMS RECOGNISING GOOD NEWS WHEN IT COMES.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; SEE THAT YE BE NOT TROUBLED: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows...(Matthew 24:6-8).
I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a Child is born into the world...(John 16:20-22).
AND YET GOOD NEWS HAS COME. The most remarkable development of the last quarter of the twentieth century has been the revelation of enormous weaknesses at the core of the world's seemingly strong dictatorships, whether they be of the military-authoritarian Right, or the communist-totalitarian Left. From Latin America to Eastern Europe, from the Soviet Union to the Middle East and Asia, strong governments have been failing over the last two decades. And while they have not given way in all cases to stable liberal democracies, liberal democracy remains the only coherent political aspiration that spans different regions and cultures around the globe. In addition, liberal principles in economics the free market have spread, and have succeeded IN PRODUCING UNPRECEDENTED LEVELS OF MATERIAL PROSPERITY, both in industrially developed countries and in countries that had been, at the close of World War II, part of the impoverished Third World. A liberal revolution in economic thinking has sometimes preceded, sometimes followed, THE MOVE TOWARD POLITICAL FREEDOM AROUND THE GLOBE...
Be very aware that when these men speak of political freedom around the globe, they imply the freedom to be producers and consumers of material things and nothing more. They imply the freedom to take part in the present Western world-view which is in turn rooted deeply in the ideas of commerce, the unbridled production of wealth, the continued exploitation of the world's natural resources and unceasing development and desecration of its sacred spaces.
And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
He that is faithful in that which is the least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?...(Luke 16:9-15; Luke 12:41-59).
Go to now ye rich, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you...Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days...
Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and have been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter...
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord...for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh...(James 5:1-8).
...All of these developments, so much at odds with the terrible history of the first half of the century when totalitarian governments of the Right and Left were on the march, suggest the need to look again at the question OF WHETHER THERE IS SOME DEEPER CONNECTING THREAD UNDERLYING THEM, or whether they are merely accidental instances of good luck. BY RAISING ONCE AGAIN THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THERE IS SUCH A THING AS A UNIVERSAL HISTORY OF MANKIND, I am resuming a discussion that was begun in the early nineteenth century, but more or less abandoned in our time because of the enormity of events that mankind has experienced since then. While drawing on the ideas of philosophers like Kant and Hegel who have addressed this question before, I hope that the arguments presented here will stand on their own...
Quite fittingly, and how ever-so-simplistically, George W. Bush said that Jesus Christ was his most consulted philosopher.
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know it is the last time.
They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us...(1 John 2:18,19).
Verily I say unto you, He that entereth not by the Door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber...
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, to kill, and destroy: I am come that they may have life, and that may have it (not wealth, but Life) more abundantly...(John 10:1-15).
(Fukuyama)... This volume immodestly presents not one but two separate efforts to outline such a Universal History. After establishing in Part I why we need to raise once again the possibility of Universal History, I propose an initial answer in Part II by attempting to use modern natural science as a regulator or mechanism TO EXPLAIN THE DIRECTIONALITY AND COHERENCE OF HISTORY. Modern natural science is a useful starting point because it is the only important social activity that by common consensus is both cumulative and directional, even if its ultimate impact on human happiness is ambiguous. The progressive conquest of nature made possible with the development of the scientific method in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries has proceeded according to certain definite rules laid down not by man, BUT BY NATURE AND NATURE'S LAWS.
The unfolding of modern natural science has had a uniform effect on all societies that have experienced it, for two reasons. In the first place, TECHNOLOGY CONFERS DECISIVE MILITARY ADVANTAGE ON THOSE COUNTRIES THAT POSSESS IT, and given the continuing possibility of war in the international system of states, no state that values its independence can ignore the need for defensive modernisation. Second, modern natural science establishes a uniform horizon of economic production possibilities. TECHNOLOGY MAKES POSSIBLE THE LIMITLESS ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH, AND THUS THE SATISFACTION OF AN EVER-EXPANDING SET OF HUMAN DESIRES. This process guarantees an increasing homogenisation of all human societies, regardless of their historical origins or cultural inheritances. All countries undergoing economic modernisation must increasingly resemble one another: they must unify nationally on the basis of a centralised state, urbanise, replace traditional forms of social organisation like tribe, sect, and family with economically rational ones based on function and efficiency, and provide for the universal education of their citizens. Such societies have become increasingly linked with one another through global markets AND THE SPREAD OF A UNIVERSAL CONSUMER CULTURE. Moreover, the logic of modern natural science would seem to dictate a universal evolution in the direction of capitalism. The experiences of the Soviet Union, China, and other socialist countries indicate that while highly centralised economies are sufficient to reach the level of industrialisation represented by Europe in the 1950s, they are woefully inadequate in creating what have been termed complex "post-industrial" economies in which information and technological innovation play a much larger role. (Continued)...
MONOCULTURES OF THE MIND
Ours is the first culture in history to have moved inside media--to have largely replaced direct contact with people and nature for simulated versions on TV, sponsored by corporations. Now it is happening globally, with grave effects on cultural diversity and democracy.
The ultimate goal of economic globalization is that every place on earth should be more or less like every other place else. Whether in the U.S., Europe, Africa or Asia, all consumers should have the same franchise fast-food, the same films and music, the same jeans, shoes and cars, the same urban landscape, and the same personal, cultural and spiritual values, MONOCULTURE. Such a model serves the marketing and efficiency needs of global corporations...
There is also the crucial role of television, which carries the "homogenization mandate to another level entirely--directly inside people's brains." By its ability to speak identical imagery to billions of people on earth, TV is capable of unifying thoughts, feelings, values, tastes and desires to match the needs of the institutions who send these images. These are giant corporations, whose ideals of Utopia are invariably commodity-oriented, urban, technology-oriented, AND INDIFFERENT TO NATURE. The net result is the homogenized mental landscape that nicely conforms to the franchise, freeways, suburbs, highrises and clearcuts of an homogenized physical world. The process really began a generation ago in the U.S. when TV became ubiquitous...
Americans spend more time watching TV than doing anything else in life besides working, sleeping or going to school. TV has replaced community life, family life and the environment. Ours is the first generation to have essentially moved inside media; to have replaced direct contact with people and nature for simulated versions. Television was the original "virtual reality."...
Even in places on earth where there are still no roads--tiny tropical islands, icy tundras of the north, or in the mountains of the Himalayas--people are sitting in their grass houses or log cabins watching Americans in Dallas driving sleek cars, or standing around swimming pools drinking martinis, plotting ways to do-in one another...
The question is, Who sends these images:
Most alarming about global TV is how few corporations operate it. The degree of concentration of media ownership rivals that of the oil industry. A small number of huge companies dominate global TV, as well as films, newspapers, books, cable systems, music, theaters, advertising et al....Now we see a fierce round of global acquisitions and mergers in this field, making the bigger corporations even bigger. We may soon see the day when the same few companies dominate all media, and thus effectively control information dissemination everywhere on the planet. Turning Point Project, Washington, D.C.
TRUST IN MILITARY HEIGHTENS FOR BABY BOOMER'S CHILDREN
By Robin Toner
The topic in John Sunderdick's leadership class at Mount Hebron High School in Ellicott City, Md., was the military. The first task was word association. "Just write down the first word that pops into your head" connected to the military, Mr. Sunderdick, 25, said. The results would have gladdened the heart of any recruiter.
"Strong," "bravery," "proud to be an American," "service," "Bush," "really hard workouts" and "heroes." A few students wrote negatives like "blood" and "imperialism." But by and large the class of 18 sophomores and juniors voiced a striking degree of confidence in the military...Americans trust and confidence in the military has soared, even as it has declined in other institutions like corporations, churches and Congress...
The positive image is striking among the children and grandchildren of baby boomers, said David C. King, co-author of "The Generation of Trust: How the U.S. Military Has Regained the Public's Confidence Since Vietnam." (American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research).
These generations have come to "trust the government, and especially the U.S. military, more deeply than their baby boomer parents ever have," Professor King said. "The idea of nationality, being a nation is important to people shaped by 9/11. This is a generation that knows nations really matter. They trust government. The New York Times.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thine soul, and with all thy might.
And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes (see Revelation 13:16,17).
And it shall be when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into (the State of Mind) which He sware unto thy fathers, To Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildest not.
And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggest not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plandests not: when thou shalt have eaten and are full.
Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage...
Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you.
(For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the (the Nations) be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth...(Deuteronomy 6:5-15).
(Fukuyama)... But while the historical mechanism represented by modern natural science is sufficient to explain a great deal about the character of historical change and the growing uniformity of modern societies, it is not sufficient to account for the phenomenon of democracy. There is no question but that the world's most developed countries are also its most successful democracies. But while modern natural science guides us TO THE GATES OF THE PROMISED LAND OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY, IT DOES NOT DELIVER US TO THE PROMISED LAND ITSELF, for there is no economically necessary reason why advanced industrialization should produce political liberty. Stable democracy has at times emerged in pre-industrial societies, as it did in the United States in 1776. On the other hand, there are many historical and contemporary examples of technologically advanced capitalism coexisting with political authoritarianism from Meiji Japan and Bismarckian Germany to present-day Singapore and Thailand. IN MANY CASES, AUTHORITARIAN STATES ARE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING RATES OF ECONOMIC GROWTH UNACHIEVABLE IN DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES...
Be aware, these are the very ideas that are guiding the world view of the neo-cons (the neo-fascists) and policy makers of the Reagan-Bush administartions.
Our first effort to establish the basis for a directional history is thus only partly successful. What we have called the "logic of modern natural science" is in effect an economic interpretation of historical change, BUT ONE WHICH (unlike its Marxist variant) LEADS TO CAPITALISM RATHER THAN SOCIALISM AS ITS FINAL RESULT. The logic of modern science can explain a great deal about our world: why we residents of developed democracies are office workers rather than peasants eking out a living on the land, why we are members of labor unions or professional organisations rather than tribes or clans, WHY WE OBEY THE AUTHORITY OF A BUREAUCRATIC SUPERIOR RATHER THAN A PRIEST, why we are literate and speak a common national language.
But economic interpretations of history are incomplete and unsatisfying, because man is not simply an economic animal. In particular, such interpretations cannot really explain why we are democrats, that is, proponents of the principle of popular sovereignty and the guarantee of basic rights under a rule of law. It is for this reason that the book turns to a second, parallel account of the historical process in Part III, an account THAT SEEKS TO RECOVER THE WHOLE OF MAN AND NOT JUST HIS ECONOMIC SIDE. To do this, we return to Hegel and Hegel's non-materialist account of History, based on the "struggle for recognition."...
For where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty...(2 Corinthians 3:17).
For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
AS FREE, and not using your liberty as a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God...(1 Peter 2:13-21).
For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those who were clean escaped from them that live in error...
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of this world through the knowledge of the Lord...they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter ened of them is worse with them than the first...(2 Peter 2:18-20).
...According to Hegel, human beings like animals have natural needs and desires for objects outside themselves such as food, drink, shelter, and above all the preservation of their own bodies. Man differs fundamentally from the animals, however, because in addition he desires the desire of other men, that is, he wants to be recognised. In particular, he wants to be recognised as a human being, that is, as a being with a certain worth or dignity. This worth in the first instance is related to his willingness to risk his life in a struggle over pure prestige. For only man is able to overcome his most basic animal instincts chief among them his instinct for self-preservation for the sake of higher, abstract principles and goals. According to Hegel, THE DESIRE FOR RECOGNITION initially drives two primordial combatants to seek to make the other "recognise" their humanness by staking their lives in a mortal battle. When the natural fear of death leads one combatant to submit, the relationship of master and slave is born. The stakes in this bloody battle at the beginning of history are not food, shelter, or security, BUT PURE PRESTIGE. And precisely because the goal of the battle is not determined by biology, Hegel sees in it the first glimmer of human freedom.
The desire for recognition may at first appear to be an unfamiliar concept, but it is as old as the tradition of Western political philosophy, and constitutes a thoroughly familiar part of the human personality. It was first described by Plato in the Republic, when he noted that there were three parts to the soul, a desiring part, a reasoning part, and a part that he called thymos, or "spiritedness." Much of human behaviour can be explained as a combination of the first two parts, desire and reason: desire induces men to seek things outside themselves, while reason or calculation shows them the best way to get them. But in addition, human beings seek recognition of their own worth, or of the people, things, or principles that they invest with worth. The propensity to invest the self with a certain value, and to demand recognition for that value, is what in today's popular language we would call "self-esteem." The propensity to feel self-esteem arises out of the part of the soul called emos. It is like an innate human sense of justice. People believe that they have a certain worth, and when other people treat them as though they are worth less than that, they experience the emotion of anger. Conversely, when people fail to live up to their own sense of worth, they feel shame, and when they are evaluated correctly in proportion to their worth, they feel pride. The desire for recognition, and the accompanying emotions of anger, shame, and pride, are parts of the human personality critical to political life. According to Hegel, they are what drives the whole historical process.
By Hegel's account, the desire to be recognised as a human being with dignity drove man at the beginning of history into a bloody battle to the death for prestige. The outcome of this battle was a division of human society into a class of masters, who were willing to risk their lives, and a class of slaves, who gave in to their natural fear of death. But the relationship of lordship and bondage, which took a wide variety of forms in all of the unequal, aristocratic societies that have characterised the greater part of human history, failed ultimately to satisfy the desire for recognition of either the masters or the slaves. The slave, of course, was not acknowledged as a human being in any way whatsoever. But the recognition enjoyed by the master was deficient as well, because he was not recognised by other masters, but slaves whose humanity was as yet incomplete. Dissatisfaction with the flawed recognition available in aristocratic societies constituted a "contradiction" that engendered further stages of history.
Hegel believed that the "contradiction" inherent in the relationship of lordship and bondage was finally overcome as a result of the French and, one would have to add, American revolutions. These democratic revolutions abolished the distinction between master and slave by making the former slaves their own masters and by establishing the principles of popular sovereignty and the rule of law. The inherently unequal recognition of masters and slaves is replaced by universal and reciprocal recognition, where every citizen recognises the dignity and humanity of every other citizen, and where that dignity is recognised in turn by the state through the granting of rights...
For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for?
And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?...(Deuteronomy 4:7,8).
This Hegelian understanding of the meaning of contemporary liberal democracy differs in a significant way from the Anglo-Saxon understanding that was the theoretical basis of liberalism in countries like Britain and the United States. In that tradition, the prideful quest for recognition was to be subordinated to enlightened self-interest desire combined with reason and particularly the desire for self-preservation of the body. While Hobbes, Locke, and the American Founding Fathers like Jefferson and Madison believed that rights to a large extent existed as a means of preserving a private sphere where men can enrich themselves and satisfy the desiring parts of their souls, Hegel saw rights as ends in themselves, because what truly satisfies human beings is not so much material prosperity as recognition of their status and dignity. With the American and French revolutions, Hegel asserted that history comes to an end because the longing that had driven the historical process the struggle for recognition has now been satisfied in a society characterised by universal and reciprocal recognition. NO OTHER ARRANGEMENT OF HUMAN SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS IS BETTER ABLE TO SATISFY THIS LONGING, AND HENCE NO FURTHER PROGRESSIVE HISTORICAL CHANGE IS POSSIBLE...
There appeared a great wonder in heaven; a Woman (our Divine Mother) clothed with the Sun, and the moon under Her Feet, and upon Her head a Crown of Twelve Stars;
And She being with Child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered...(Revelation 12:1,2).
As a woman with child in her Ninth month bringing forth her child, within two or three hours of her birth great pains encompass her womb, which pains, when the child cometh, they slack not a moment.
Even so shall the plagues not be slack to come upon the earth, and the earth shall mourn, and sorrows shall come upon it on every side.
My people, hear my words; make you ready to the (spiritual) battle, and in those evils be as pilgrims upon the earth...(2 Esdras 16:35-40; Ephesians 6:10-17)
...The desire for recognition, then, can provide the missing link between liberal economics and liberal politics that was missing from the economic account of History in Part II. Desire and reason are together sufficient to explain the process of industrialization, and a large part of economic life more generally. But they cannot explain the striving for liberal democracy, which ultimately arises out of thymos, the part of the soul THAT DEMANDS RECOGNITION. The social changes that accompany advanced industrialization, in particular universal education, appear to liberate a certain demand for recognition that did not exist among poorer and less educated people. As standards of living increase, as populations become more cosmopolitan and better educated, and as society as a whole achieves a greater equality of condition, PEOPLE BEGAN TO DEMAND NOT SIMPLY MORE WEALTH BUT RECOGNITION OF THEIR STATUS. If people were nothing more than desire and reason, they would be content to live in market-oriented authoritarian states like Franco's Spain, or a South Korea or Brazil under military rule. But they also have a thymotic pride in their own self-worth, and this leads them to demand democratic governments that treat them like adults rather than children, recognising their autonomy as free individuals. Communism is being superseded by liberal democracy in our time because of the realisation that the former provides a gravely defective form of recognition.
An understanding of the importance of the desire for recognition as the motor of history allows us to reinterpret many phenomena that are otherwise seemingly familiar to us, such as culture, religion, work, nationalism, and war. Part IV is an attempt to do precisely this, and to project into the future some of the different ways that the desire for recognition will be manifest. A religious believer, for example, seeks recognition for his particular gods or sacred practices, while a nationalist demands recognition for his particular linguistic, cultural, or ethnic group. Both of these forms of recognition are less rational than the universal recognition of the liberal state, because they are based on arbitrary distinctions between sacred and profane, or between human social groups. For this reason, religion, nationalism, and a people's complex of ethical habits and customs (more broadly "culture") have traditionally been interpreted as obstacles to the establishment of successful democratic political institutions and free-market economies.
But the truth is considerably more complicated, for the success of liberal politics and liberal economics frequently rests on irrational forms of recognition that liberalism was supposed to overcome. For democracy to work, CITIZENS NEED TO DEVELOP AN IRRATIONAL PRIDE IN THEIR OWN DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS, and must also develop what Tocqueville called the "art of associating," which rests on prideful attachment to small communities. These communities are frequently based on religion, ethnicity, or other forms of recognition that fall short of the universal recognition on which the liberal state is based. The same is true for liberal economics. Labor has traditionally been understood in the Western liberal economic tradition as an essentially unpleasant activity undertaken for the sake of the satisfaction of human desires and the relief of human pain. But in certain cultures with a strong work ethic, SUCH AS THE PROTESTANT ENTREPRENEURS WHO CREATED EUROPEAN CAPITALISM, or of the elites who modernised Japan after the Meiji restoration, work was also undertaken for the sake of recognition. To this day, the work ethic in many Asian countries is sustained not so much by material incentives, as by the recognition provided for work by overlapping social groups, from the family to the nation, on which these societies are based. This suggests that liberal economics succeeds not simply on the basis of liberal principles, but requires irrational forms of thymos as well.
The struggle for recognition provides us with insight into the nature of international politics. THE DESIRE FOR RECOGNITION THAT LED TO THE ORIGINAL BLOODY BATTLE FOR PRESTIGE BETWEEN TWO INDIVIDUAL COMBATANTS LEADS LOGICALLY TO IMPERIALISM AND WORLD EMPIRE. The relationship of lordship and bondage on a domestic level is naturally replicated on the level of states, where nations as a whole seek recognition and enter into bloody battles for supremacy. Nationalism, a modern yet not-fully-rational form of recognition, has been the vehicle for the struggle for recognition over the past hundred years, and the source of this century's most intense conflicts. This is the world of "power politics," described by such foreign policy "realists" as Henry Kissinger.
But if war is fundamentally driven by the desire for recognition, it stands to reason that the liberal revolution which abolishes the relationship of lordship and bondage BY MAKING FORMER SLAVES THEIR OWN MASTERS should have a similar effect on the relationship between states. Liberal democracy replaces the irrational desire to be recognised as greater than others with a rational desire to be recognised as equal. A world made up of liberal democracies, then, should have much less incentive for war, since all nations would reciprocally recognise one another's legitimacy. And indeed, there is substantial empirical evidence from the past couple of hundred years that liberal democracies do not behave imperialistically toward one another, even if they are perfectly capable of going to war with states that are not democracies and do not share their fundamental values. Nationalism is currently on the rise in regions like Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union where peoples have long been denied their national identities, and yet within the world's oldest and most secure nationalities, nationalism is undergoing a process of change. The demand for national recognition in Western Europe has been domesticated and made compatible with universal recognition, much like religion three or four centuries before.
The fifth and final part of this book addresses the question of the "end of history," AND THE CREATURE WHO EMERGES AT THE END, "THE LAST MAN."...
And then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even to the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power...
And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly; such are they also that are heavenly...(1 Corinthians 15:24, 46-49).
In the course of the original debate over the National Interest article, many people assumed that the possibility of the end of history REVOLVED AROUND THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THERE WERE VIABLE ALTERNATIVES TO LIBERAL DEMOCRACY VISIBLE IN THE WORLD TODAY. There was a great deal of controversy over such questions as whether communism was truly dead, whether religion or ultranationalism might make a comeback, and the like. But the deeper and more profound question concerns the goodness of Liberal democracy itself, and not only whether it will succeed against its present-day rivals. Assuming that liberal democracy is, for the moment, safe from external enemies, could we assume that successful democratic societies could remain that way indefinitely? OR IS LIBERAL DEMOCRACY PREY TO SERIOUS INTERNAL CONTRADICTIONS, CONTRADICTIONS SO SERIOUS THAT THEY WILL EVENTUALLY UNDERMINE IT AS A POLITICAL SYSTEM? There is no doubt that contemporary democracies face any number of serious problems, from drugs, homelessness and crime to environmental damage and the frivolity of consumerism. But these problems are not obviously insoluble on the basis of liberal principles, nor so serious THAT THEY WOULD NECESSARILY LEAD TO THE COLLAPSE OF A SOCIETY AS A WHOLE, AS COMMUNISM COLLAPSED IN THE 1980s...
And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, AND DOETH THEM NOT, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; AND IT FELL: AND GREAT WAS THE FALL OF IT...(Matthew 7:26,27).
Writing in the twentieth century, Hegel's great interpreter, Alexandre Kojève, asserted intransigently that history had ended because what he called the universal and homogeneous state what we can understand as liberal democracy definitely solved the question of recognition by replacing the relationship of lordship and bondage with universal and equal recognition. What man had been seeking throughout the course of history what had driven the prior stages of history was recognition. In the modern world, he finally found it, and was completely satisfied. This claim was made seriously by Kojève, and it deserves to be taken seriously by us. For it is possible to understand the problem of politics over the millennia of human history as the effort to solve the problem of recognition. RECOGNITION IS THE CENTRAL PROBLEM OF POLITICS BECAUSE IT IS THE ORIGIN OF TYRANNY, IMPERIALISM, AND THE DESIRE TO DOMINATE. But while it has a dark side, it cannot simply be abolished from political life, because it is simultaneously the psychological ground for political virtues like courage, public-spiritedness, and justice. All political communities must make use of the desire for recognition, while at the same time protecting themselves from its destructive effects. If contemporary constitutional government has indeed found a formula whereby all are recognised in a way that nonetheless avoids the emergence of tyranny, then it would indeed have a special claim to stability and longevity among the regimes that have emerged on earth...
How art thou (now) fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the Morning! how art thou cut to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will also sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High...(Isaiah 14:12-14).
But is the recognition available to citizens of contemporary liberal democracies "completely satisfying?" The long-term future of liberal democracy, AND THE ALTERNATIVES TO IT THAT MAY ONE DAY ARISE, depend above all on the answer to this question. In Part V we sketch two broad responses, from the Left and the Right, respectively. The Left would say that universal recognition in liberal democracy is necessarily incomplete because capitalism creates economic inequality and requires a division of labor that ipso facto implies unequal recognition. In this respect, a nation's absolute level of prosperity provides no solution, because there will continue to be those who are relatively poor and therefore invisible as human beings to their fellow citizens. Liberal democracy, in other words, continues to recognise equal people unequally.
Who shall live...(Ezekiel, chapter 18).
The second, and in my view more powerful, criticism of universal recognition comes from the Right that was profoundly concerned with the leveling effects of the French Revolution's commitment to human equality. This Right found its most brilliant spokesman in the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, whose views were in some respects anticipated by that great observer of democratic societies, Alexis de Tocqueville. Nietzsche believed that modern democracy represented not the self-mastery of former slaves, but the unconditional victory of the slave and a kind of slavish morality. The typical citizen of a liberal democracy was a "last man" who, schooled by the founders of modern liberalism, gave up prideful belief in his or her own superior worth in favour of comfortable self-preservation. Liberal democracy produced "men without chests," composed of desire and reason but lacking thymos, clever at finding new ways to satisfy a host of petty wants through the calculation of long-term self-interest. The last man had no desire to be recognised as greater than others, and without such desire no excellence or achievement was possible. Content with his happiness and unable to feel any sense of shame for being unable to rise above those wants, the last man ceased to be human.
Following Nietzsche's line of thought, we are compelled to ask the following questions: Is not the man who is completely satisfied by nothing more than universal and equal recognition something less than a full human being, indeed, an object of contempt, a "last man" with neither striving nor aspiration? IS THERE NOT A SIDE OF THE HUMAN PERSONALITY THAT DELIBERATELY SEEKS OUT STRUGGLE, DANGER, RISK, AND DARING, AND WILL THIS SIDE NOT REMAIN UNFULFILLED BY THE "PEACE AND PROSPERITY" OF CONTEMPORARY LIBERAL DEMOCRACY? Does not the satisfaction of certain human beings depend on recognition that is inherently unequal? Indeed, does not the desire for unequal recognition constitute the basis of a livable life, not just for bygone aristocratic societies, but also in modern liberal democracies? Will not their future survival depend, to some extent, on the degree to which their citizens seek to be recognised not just as equal, but as superior to others? And might not the fear of becoming contemptible "last men" not lead men to assert themselves in new and unforeseen ways, EVEN TO THE POINT OF BECOMING ONCE AGAIN BESTIAL "FIRST MEN" ENGAGED IN BLOODY BATTLES, THIS TIME WITH MODERN WEAPONS?
I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, AND THAT THEY MAY SEE THAT THEY THEMSELVES ARE BEASTS...(Ecclesiastes 3:18).
This books seeks to address these questions. They arise naturally once we ask whether there is such a thing as progress, and whether we can construct a coherent and directional Universal History of mankind. Totalitarianisms of the Right and Left have kept us too busy to consider the latter question seriously for the better part of this century. But the fading of these totalitarianisms, as the century comes to an end, invites us to raise this old question one more time.
Therefore my people are gone into captivity,
because they have no Knowledge...(Isaiah 5:13).
FUTURE SHOCK and THE THIRD WAVE
By Alvin and Heidi Toffler
Is it possible that your understanding of "power" enslaves you, blinds your vision and makes you an unhappy person?
Alvin Toffler's understanding of power as three aspects 1) Wealth 2) Authority 3)Knowledge. This can become a useful model for application within organisations. Too often people associate "power" with "authority" only e.g. CEO with institutionalised authority has "power to change things, to make things happen", ignoring other more enduring power :"Knowledge". This leads to conclusion and slogan in management literature that "CEO must be committed (implying he has the power, which is actually the authority, to implement change). Much opportunities are lost in the pursuit of organisation excellence, generating stress and frustration, WHEN LITTLE ATTENTION IS MADE ON "KNOWLEDGE" AS AN ENDURING SOURCE OF POWER. "Knowledge" needs not necessary reside in those with institutionalised authority. Illustration of "Knowledge" power on a societal scale that causes power-shift by Alvin Toffler's certainly gives us the right focus in our quest for excellence or quality life the organisation that we live in.
From Future Shock to The Third Wave to his new book "War and Anti-War," Alvin Toffler has been shocking us with his descriptions of the future.
By Peter Schwartz
For twenty-five years, Alvin Toffler has been shocking us with his descriptions of the future. From Future Shock to The Third Wave, Toffler has argued that we are involved in nothing less than a change of civilization - as profound as that from hunter-gatherer to agricultural, from agricultural to industrial. Now back with a new book, War and Anti-War, Toffler is as provocative as ever, as he examines the increasingly bloody consequences of cultures in collision as the Digital Revolution gathers force.
The most successful futurists don't predict the future. THEY MAKE THEIR FORTUNE BY INTERPRETING THE PRESENT IN A NEW WAY - a way that makes more sense and seems more conventional the farther into the future one goes. Alvin Toffler made his fortune by explaining the strange dread people were beginning to feel about rapid technological change in the late 1960s. The official future was supposed to be groovy, but few felt that way. In 1965, Toffler called the dread "future shock" and then so christened his soon-to- be best-selling book in 1970. A decade later Toffler followed up with another best-selling study of the present time, called Third Wave. It painted a portrait of a world being reconstructed by information. Powershift appeared the next decade - which late 1980s Toffler saw in a new global perspective where knowledge begot the Haves while ignorance begot the Have Nots.
It's now 1993. Change has accelerated and Toffler has published his once-a- decade blockbuster book three years into the decade. Called War and Anti- War, it is co-authored by his wife, Heidi Toffler, who also co-authored the earlier books. Their new book is about learning from war, AND ABOUT HOW WE CAN ENGINEER PEACE WITH THE SAME TECHNOLOGY WE ARE USING TO MAKE MONEY AND WAR.
Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity: wasting and destruction are in their paths.
The ways of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace...(Isaiah 59:7,8).
At one time, both Heidi and Alvin Toffler worked in grimy factories and on assembly lines in the Midwest. This, they said, "provided a graduate course in reality after our university years." Since the success of their earlier books, they have had access to most of the world's leaders. Late this past summer Alvin Toffler spoke to futurist Peter Schwartz on assignment from Wired. Schwartz, co-founder of the Global Business Network, advises the Pentagon and large corporations on how to adapt to the new realities of an information-based world. Toffler, quiet but confident, listened as much as he talked. As he tried to describe this moment in history, he seemed to always have in mind Joe and Jane Sixpack, confused by the present and worried about their jobs. - Kevin Kelly
PETER SCHWARTZ: You've been writing publicly about the future for a quarter of a century. It's almost exactly 25 years since Future Shock. I recently had my 25th college reunion, and I was asked to give the speech. So I looked back and asked, "What did we expect was going to happen, but didn't?" If you look back now, what were the important things that really surprised you? I mean, the really big things that you didn't anticipate?
ALVIN TOFFLER: When we go back to Future Shock, the central errors that we can find are (a) it was not radical enough, although it was seen as extremely radical at the time, and (b) we made the mistake of believing the economists of the time. They were saying, as you may recall, we've got this problem of economic growth licked. All we need to do is fine-tune the system. And we bought it.
We said, quite correctly, that the period we are moving into is not the period of the crisis of communism or the crisis of capitalism, but the general crisis of industrialism. We were right. However, we did not yet see the tremendous economic upheavals that implied. We thought, okay, we've got that problem solved, let's go on to other problems. We were young, and still willing to listen TO LINEAR ECONOOMIC EXTRAPOLATIONS.
I'm not sure everybody got the basic argument of Future Shock. We were not only saying that ACCELERATED CHANGE is hard to adapt to, but that acceleration itself has effects on the system. The ability to adapt isn't dependent entirely on whether you're going in what you would regard as a happy direction or an unhappy direction. It's the speed itself that compels a change in the rate of decision making, and all decision systems have limits as to how fast they can make complex decisions. That takes us to the computer. The early assumptions were that the giant brain was going to solve our problem for us, that it was going to get all this information together and that therefore life would be simplified. What it overlooked was the fact that computers also complexify reality. And of course this was a great disappointment to the Soviets because they were going to centrally plan their thing with a big computer.
PS: There were three big things that surprised my reunion class: the collapse of the Soviet Union, the rise of the role of women in society, and the fact that powerful computers became personal computers...
AT: I once had a class of 15-year-old high school kids and I gave them index cards, and I said, "Write down seven things that will happen in the future." They said there would be revolutions and presidents would be assassinated, and we would all drown in ecological sludge. A very dramatic series of events. But I noticed that of the 198 items that they handed in, only six used the word "I." So I gave them another set of cards, and I said, "Now I want you to write down seven things that are going to happen to you." Back came, "I will be married when I'm 21," "I will live in the same neighborhood, I will have a dog." And the disjuncture between the world that they were seeing out there and their own presuppositions was amazing We thought about this, and concluded on the basis of just guesswork that the image of reality that they're getting from the media is one of high-speed rapid change, and the image that they're getting in their classrooms is one of no change at all.
The collapse of the Soviet Union was not among the big surprises for us. The economist Ludwig von Mises wrote in the 1920s THAT THE ACHILLES HEEL OF SOCIALISM WAS WHAT HE CALLED THE PROBLEM OF "CALCULATION," WHICH WE WOULD TRANSLATE TODAY TO MEAN INFORMATION OR KNOWLEDGE. Basically he was saying it was not possible for them to know everything they needed to know to centrally plan the economy. The early stage of industrialization - which usually involves heavy investment and the production of capital goods - is the easy part. The hard part comes when you've got to distribute the goods. For that you need more and more information, but the Soviets created a system which guaranteed the falsification of the information they received. Statistics coming in from every industry in the Soviet Union were a pack of lies.
Marx said that a "revolutionary situation" arose in a country when its political and property relations stifled economic and technological progress. And that was exactly what was happening in the Soviet Union. Which is why, as early as 1982 or 1983, we said that the Soviets faced a revolutionary crisis.
PS: If you were sitting here 25 years from now, what do you think would really surprise you? You would look back, you'd say, "OH MY, I WISH WE'D SEEN THAT."...
AT: I think that our existing political and moral structures are going to explode. There's nothing that remotely prepares us to cope with say, armies equipped with genetically engineered, race-specific weapons or, for that matter, governments capable of practical eugenics. It's going to be a strange world.
PS: My wife runs the egg-donor program for in vitro fertilization at Alta Bates Hospital. She plays God every day. She picks women to provide eggs to recipients, and determines their kids from that point.
AT: How about the South African grandmother who bore the eggs of her daughter? So she is grandmother and mother of the same child. That just begins to give a pale hint of the possibilities.
AT: Information, including misinformation, will change the world militarily and economically. If we look at global power, in the broadest sense, the most basic division in the world was not between East and West, but between industrial and nonindustrial powers. Between first wave or agrarian countries, and second wave or industrial countries. That two-way split in world power has dominated the planet for 300 years. WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW IS A PROCESS OF WHAT WE CALL TRISECTION. THE WORLD IS SPLITTING INTO THREE PARTS - THREE DIFFERENT LAYERS OR TIERS - OR MORE ACCURATELY THREE DIFFERENT CIVILIZATIONS.
Of course, you'll continue to have agrarian countries and you'll continue to have the mass-manufacturing cheap-labor suppliers, at least for a transitional period. But we are also rapidly developing a chain of info- intensive countries whose economics depend not on the hoe or the assembly- line but on brainpower. The people reading Wired are children of THIS THIRD WAVE OF CHANGE. IT IS AN ENTIRELY NEW CIVILIZATION THAT IS STILL IN ITS INFANCY.
We call it a civilization because it's not just the technology that's changing. THE ENTIRE CULTURE IS IN UPHEAVAL. ALL THE SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS DESIGNED FOR THE SECOND WAVE - FOR A MASS PRODUCTION, MASS MEDIA, MASS SOCIETY - ARE IN CRISIS. The health system, the family system, the education system, the transportation system, various ecological systems - along with our value and epistemological systems. All of them.
AND THE EMERGING THIRD-WAVE CIVILIZATION IS GOING TO COLLIDE HEAD-ON WITH THE old first and SECOND CIVILIZATION. One of the things we ought to learn from history is that when waves of change collide they create countercurrents. When the first and the second wave collided we had civil wars, upheavals, political revolutions, forced migrations. The master conflict of the 21st century will not between cultures but between the three supercivilizations - between agrarianism and industrialism and post- industrialism.
Alvin Toffler is full of second wave assumptions. The newly emerging third-wave (spiritual) civilization will embrace the old first-wave civilization. Second-wave thinkers (the super globalists, industrialists and militarists--the present leaders of the Western world) are trying to ride this wave into the future. They have forgotten their lessons, Pharaoh's forces didn't make it across.
Each of these have different interests. They need different resources. They view reality from different perspectives. Even their conceptions of time, and of history, differ. We live in an accelerating, almost real-time environment, and it's hard to comprehend the attitudes of the Serbs, say, or the Jews and the Arabs still fighting about wars that took place a thousand years ago.
PS: Or the guys who burned the mosque in Amritzar who said, "Well, we finally got even for the Moguls "
AT: YEAH, THE CONCEPTION OF TIME IS VERY IMPORTANT, and it's related to the shifts from agrarianism to industrialism and now to third-wave civilization. The reason we chose the phrase "third wave" rather than saying "the information age" or "the computer age," or "the space age," or whatever, is that the changes we denominate as third wave are changes in every aspect of the civilization...
And I saw the Holy City, NEW JERUSALEM, coming down from God out of heaven...(Revelation 21:2).
And in the THIRD DAY he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight...(Hosea 6:1-3).
We thought that by saying "computer age" or "digital age" we'd be focusing on a single parameter. The second thing about waves is, you can have more than one wave of change moving through a society at the same time. And, if you then extend that idea you can find many countries today in which you see multiple waves moving through simultaneously. The primary example is Brazil, where, on the one hand, they're still killing off tribal populations to make room for agriculture. So the agricultural revolution of the first wave is still playing itself out, residually, in Brazil. You also see tremendous traditional smokestack development, and you even see the beginnings of the third wave.
It is not conceivable to me that the revolution we're now going through - which is in my view even deeper, and faster, than the industrial revolution - is going to occur smoothly. It cannot. Therefore there is a high potential for conflict between interests with stakes in the different waves, just as the rising industrial, commercial bourgeoisie came into conflict with the feudal, land-based power.
PS: I found the title of your new book intriguing: War and Anti-War?
AT: The thesis is very simple. The way you make war is the way you make wealth. If you change the way you make wealth, you inevitably change the way you make war. And if you change the way you make war, you ought to be thinking about changing the way you make peace.
War was initiated by the agrarian revolution, or in our terminology "the first wave of change." With the coming of the industrial revolution, particularly the French Revolution and Napoleon, you begin to get mass production, you begin to get mass conscription. You begin to get machine guns for the machine society. With mass production, you get mass destruction - industrialized warfare. And if we are now in the process of transforming the way we create wealth, from the industrial to the informational, or call it whatever you wish, there is a parallel change taking place with warfare, of which the Gulf War gives only the palest, palest little hint. The transition actually started back in the late-1970s, early-1980s, to a new form of warfare based on information superiority. It mirrors the way the economy has become information-dependent.
An important part of this will be what we call "knowledge strategies" - social knowledge strategies, national knowledge strategies, and so on. In military terms there will be attempts to coordinate all the knowledge- intensive activities of the military from education and training to high- precision weaponry to espionage to everything that involves the mind - propaganda - into coherent strategies.
PS: What about anti-war?
AT: The same thing has to happen to the way we make peace. More and more peace will depend on the acquisition, processing, dissemination, and control of knowledge. Whether we're talking about satellite surveillance of troop movements, or brain drains of nuclear scientists, or more refined sensors, knowledge is at the heart of peace. Here's just one example. It took two years for the United States to decide it ought to set up Radio Free Serbia. Instead of debating whether the world should send ground troops to the Balkans, or whether to use airstrikes, we should have been using information and information technology to strengthen the peace forces and moderates that exist in Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia - but who have no access to the media.
PS: So, instead of airdropping food, we ought to be airdropping -
AT: We ought to be dropping receivers Transmitters. Laptops. Fax machines. Camcorders. Tape. We could have parked a transmitter right off the coast and bombarded the countryside with peace propaganda or at least moderating information. Or just plain news. Indeed, the question is, where the hell was CNN? Where the hell was NHK? Where was BBC? If they just broadcast into there -
PS: Sure. Back in '87 I was interviewing Gorbachev's chief science advisor, Velakoff, and he was saying that his most important priority was getting enough satellite dishes distributed around the Soviet Union so that when the inevitable coup came, Moscow could no longer control the airwaves. And that is exactly what happened Exactly what happened. On the day of the coup in Moscow, they went for the TV station but it didn't matter any more. 'Cause you could get CNN everywhere. But there's another side to all this, though, in terms of the war/anti-war issue. If you look around the world today, you can list approximately 51 significant conflicts going on somewhere at any given time. US military forces are active in about five places. But big conflict, big war seems to be a thing of the past. Are we in a new era of lots of persistent low-level conflicts, what could be called the "era of chaos wars"?
AT: Well, look at it this way. We're going through a structural transformation - which you can call postmodern, post-industrial, "the third wave," whatever - and one of the characteristics of that change is the demassification of production. We go from "everything has to be the same" to custom production, small-run niche production. If you look at the marketplace, we go from mass distribution and mass markets to niche markets. And if you look at war we're going to niche economies and niche warfare.
PS: But then if you carry the idea of niche wars further -
AT: But, let me say we do not accept the idea that that means big wars are finished. And we do not accept the common assumption that there is a kind of zone of peace - that democracies don't fight. First of all, who says they stay democracies? And second of all, democracies in the past have fought and democracies could fight in the future.
PS: But, let's carry the metaphorical line of niche wars that you've laid out there a little further. One of the phenomena we see with the advent of information technology and markets is the ability to deal with smaller and smaller and smaller niches until we have what we think of as the segment of one.
AT: That's right And that segment of one will have his own nuke.
PS: Well, so my question is, do we end up going the other way in the sense we won't target a country, we won't target a division, but we do target a military leader?
AT: Exactly That's exactly what we say we didn't do vis-a-vis Saddam, but what we will do. In fact there is a kind of dialectic here. We've always believed that many of the changes that we identify as carrying us into a third-wave civilization, or whatever, actually re-create preindustrial conditions on a high-technology basis. And what you then see is individual assassination. That's the way the Medicis did it It creates a scary world, certainly not a serene and stable world. And it does look a lot more like chaos theory than it does like equilibrium.
One of the key concepts which should give every member of Congress and the President pause is the dominant belief that the US is and will remain the sole global military superpower. After the Gulf War it looked as though the US would have a 10- to 15-year lead. But the fact is, the more knowledge- intensive military action becomes, the more nonlinear it becomes; the more a small input someplace can neutralize an enormous investment. And having the right bit or byte of information at the right place at the right time, in India or in Turkistan OR IN GOD KNOWS WHERE, could neutralize an enormous amount of military power somewhere else. So it is no longer necessary to match battalion with battalion, tank with tank, in order to neutralize the other guy.
PS: But that implies a level of sophistication on the part of the governments, the intelligence and military organizations, even the media organizations involved, that in most countries is rare.
AT: Don't think in terms of countries. Think in terms of families. Think in terms of narco-traffickers. And think in terms of the very, very smart hacker sitting in Tehran.
PS: Well, as you know, the Pentagon has become concerned with information war, but I think they've defined it fairly narrowly.
AT: Yes, that's our thesis. But there is an untold history here. If you look at all of our big companies, they're trying to restructure like crazy. Not terribly many have been dramatically successful in going from demoralization to peak performance, but the US military has. It's gone from the pits of post-Vietnam, drug-drenched, corrupt, bloated bureaucracy into an elegant force. The Revolt of the Rich
PS: My company [GBN] just completed a major study on the future of Asia. And one of our conclusions was that China figures so largely in whatever happens, you can't understand the future of Asia without understanding the future of China.
AT: If that is the case, I think the future is very dire.
Mr. Brzezinski is the Author of:
The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives
The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the 20th Century
Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the 20th Century
Power and Principal: The Memoirs of the National Security Advisor
How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen
Interview of Zbigniew Brzezinski Le Nouvel Observateur (France), Jan 15-21, 1998,
Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?
Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?
Brzezinski: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?
Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.
Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.
The above has been translated from the French by Bill Blum author of the indispensible, "Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II" and "Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower" Portions of the books can be read at: <http://members.aol.com/superogue/homepage.htm>
A War in the Planning for Four Years
HOW STUPID DO THEY THINK WE ARE?
by Michael C. Ruppert
Zbigniew Brzezinski and the CFR Put War Plans In a 1997 Book -
It Is "A Blueprint for World Dictatorship," Says a Former German Defense and NATO Official Who Warned of Global Domination in 1984, in an Exclusive Interview With FTW
"THE GRAND CHESSBOARD - American Primacy And It's Geostrategic Imperatives," Zbigniew Brzezinski, Basic Books, 1997.
These are the very first words in the book: "Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago, Eurasia has been the center of world power."- p. xiii.æ Eurasia is all of the territory east of Germany and Poland, stretching all the way through Russia and China to the Pacific Ocean. It includes the Middle East and most of the Indian subcontinent. The key to controlling Eurasia, says Brzezinski, is controlling the Central Asian Republics. And the key to controlling the Central Asian republics is Uzbekistan. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Uzbekistan was forcefully mentioned by President George W. Bush in his address to a joint session of Congress, just days after the attacks of September 11, as the very first place that the U.S. military would be deployed.
As FTW has documented in previous stories, major deployments of U.S. and British forces had taken place before the attacks. And the U.S. Army and the CIA had been active in Uzbekistan for several years. There is now evidence that what the world is witnessing is a cold and calculated war plan - at least four years in the making - and that, from reading Brzezinski's own words about Pearl Harbor, the World Trade Center attacks were just the trigger needed to set the final conquest in motion.
FTW, November 7, 2001, 1200 PST (Revised Jan. 21,2001) - There's a quote often attributed to Allen Dulles after it was noted that the final 1964 report of the Warren Commission on the assassination of JFK contained dramatic inconsistencies. Those inconsistencies, in effect, disproved the Commission's own final conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone on November 22, 1963. Dulles, a career spy, Wall Street lawyer, the CIA director whom JFK had fired after the 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco - and the Warren Commission member who took charge of the investigation and final report - is reported to have said, "The American people don't read."
Some Americans do read. So do Europeans and Asians and Africans and Latin Americans.
World events since the attacks of September 11, 2001 have not only been predicted, but also planned, orchestrated and - as their architects would like to believe - controlled. The current Central Asian war is not a response to terrorism, nor is it a reaction to Islamic fundamentalism. It is in fact, in the words of one of the most powerful men on the planet, the beginning of a final conflict before total world domination by the United States leads to the dissolution of all national governments. This, says Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member and former Carter National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, will lead to nation states being incorporated into a new world order, controlled solely by economic interests as dictated by banks, corporations and ruling elites concerned with the maintenance (by manipulation and war) of their power. As a means of intimidation for the unenlightened reader who happens upon this frightening plan - the plan of the CFR - Brzezinski offers the alternative of a world in chaos unless the U.S. controls the planet by whatever means are necessary and likely to succeed.
This position is corroborated by Dr. Johannes B. Koeppl, Ph.D. a former German defense ministry official and advisor to former NATO Secretary General Manfred Werner. On November 6, he told FTW, "The interests behind the Bush Administration, such as the CFR, The Trilateral Commission - founded by Brzezinski for David Rockefeller - and the Bilderberger Group, have prepared for and are now moving to implement open world dictatorship within the next five years. They are not fighting against terrorists. They are fighting against citizens."
Brzezinski's own words - laid against the current official line that the United States is waging a war to end terrorism - are self-incriminating. In an ongoing series of articles, FTW has consistently established that the U.S. government had foreknowledge of the World Trade Center attacks and chose not to stop them because it needed to secure public approval for a war that is now in progress. It is a war, as described by Vice President Dick Cheney, "that may not end in our lifetimes." What that means is that it will not end until all armed groups, anywhere in the world, which possess the political, economic or military ability to resist the imposition of this dictatorship, have been destroyed.
These are the "terrorists" the U.S. now fights in Afghanistan and plans to soon fight all over the globe.
Before exposing Brzezinski (and those he represents) with his own words, or hearing more from Dr. Koeppl, it is worthwhile to take a look at Brzezinski's background.
According to his resume Brzezinski, holding a 1953 Ph.D. from Harvard, lists the following achievements: Counselor, Center for Strategic and International Studies Professor of American Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins University National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter (1977-81); Trustee and founder of the Trilateral Commission; International advisor of several major US/Global corporations; Associate of Henry Kissinger; Under Ronald Reagan - member of NSC-Defense Department Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy; Under Ronald Reagan - member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board; Past member, Board of Directors, The Council on Foreign Relations; 1988 - Co-chairman of the Bush National Security Advisory Task Force. Brzezinski is also a past attendee and presenter at several conferences of the Bilderberger group - a non-partisan affiliation of the wealthiest and most powerful families and corporations on the planet.
The Grand Chessboard
Brzezinski sets the tone for his strategy by describing Russia and China as the two most important countries - almost but not quite superpowers - whose interests that might threaten the U.S. in Central Asia. Of the two, Brzezinski considers Russia to be the more serious threat. Both nations border Central Asia. In a lesser context he describes the Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Iran and Kazakhstan as essential "lesser" nations that must be managed by the U.S. as buffers or counterweights to Russian and Chinese moves to control the oil, gas and minerals of the Central Asian Republics (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan).
He also notes, quite clearly (p. 53) that any nation that might become predominant in Central Asia would directly threaten the current U.S. control of oil resources in the Persian Gulf. In reading the book it becomes clear why the U.S. had a direct motive for the looting of some $300 billion in Russian assets during the 1990s, destabilizing Russia's currency (1998) and ensuring that a weakened Russia would have to look westward to Europe for economic and political survival, rather than southward to Central Asia. A dependent Russia would lack the military, economic and political clout to exert influence in the region and this weakening of Russia would explain why Russian President Vladimir Putin has been such a willing ally of U.S. efforts to date. (See FTW Vol. IV, No. 1 - March 31, 2001)
An examination of selected quotes from "The Grand Chessboard," in the context of current events reveals the darker agenda behind military operations that were planned long before September 11th, 2001.
"...The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as a key arbiter of Eurasian power relations but also as the world's paramount power. The defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union was the final step in the rapid ascendance of a Western Hemisphere power, THE UNITED STATES, AS THE SOLE AND, INDEED, THE FIRST TRULY GLOBAL POWER... (p. xiii)
"... But in the meantime, it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book. (p. xiv)
"The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (pp 24-5)
"For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia... Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia - and America's global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained. (p.30)
"America's withdrawal from the world or because of the sudden emergence of a successful rival - would produce massive international instability. It would prompt global anarchy." (p. 30)
"In that context, 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 Africa's subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world's central continent. About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world's GNP and about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources." (p.31)
It is also a fact that America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America's power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But 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." (p.35)
"Two basic steps are thus required: first, to identify the geostrategically dynamic Eurasian states that have the power to cause a potentially important shift in the international distribution of power and to decipher the central external goals of their respective political elites and the likely consequences of their seeking to attain them;... second, to formulate specific U.S. policies to offset, co-opt, and/or control the above..."æ (p. 40)
"...To put it in a terminology that harkens BACK TO THE MORE BRUTAL AGE OF ANCIENT EMPIRES, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together." (p.40)
"Henceforth, the United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America's status as a global power." (p.55)
æ"Uzbekistan, nationally the most vital and the most populous of the central Asian states, represents the major obstacle to any renewed Russian control over the region. Its independence is critical to the survival of the other Central Asian states, and it is the least vulnerable to Russian pressures." (p. 121)
Referring to an area he calls the "Eurasian Balkans" and a 1997 map in which he has circled the exact location of the current conflict - describing it as the central region of pending conflict for world dominance - Brzezinski writes: "Moreover, they [the Central Asian Republics] are of importance from the standpoint of security and historical ambitions to at least three of their most immediate and more powerful neighbors, namely Russia, Turkey and Iran, with China also signaling an increasing political interest in the region. But the Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region, in addition to important minerals, including gold." (p.124) [Emphasis added]
"The world's energy consumption is bound to vastly increase over the next two or three decades. Estimates by the U.S. Department of energy anticipate that world demand will rise by more than 50 percent between 1993 and 2015, with the most significant increase in consumption occurring in the Far East. The momentum of Asia's economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea." (p.125)
"Uzbekistan is, in fact, the prime candidate for regional leadership in Central Asia." (p.130)
"Once pipelines to the area have been developed, Turkmenistan's truly vast natural gas reserves augur a prosperous future for the country's people. (p.132)
"In fact, an Islamic revival - already abetted from the outside not only by Iran but also by Saudi Arabia - is likely to become the mobilizing impulse for the increasingly pervasive new nationalisms, determined to oppose any reintegration under Russian - and hence infidel - control." (p. 133).
"For Pakistan, the primary interest is to gain Geostrategic depth through political influence in Afghanistan - and to deny to Iran the exercise of such influence in Afghanistan and Tajikistan - and to benefit eventually from any pipeline construction linking Central Asia with the Arabian Sea."æ (p.139)
"Turkmenistan... has been actively exploring the construction of a new pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea..." (p.145)
"It follows that America's primary interest is to help ensure that no single power comes to control this geopolitical space and that the global community has unhindered financial and economic access to it." (p148)
"China's growing economic presence in the region and its political stake in the area's independence are also congruent with America's interests." (p.149)
"America is now the only global superpower, and Eurasia is the globe's central arena. Hence, what happens to the distribution of power on the Eurasian continent will be of decisive importance to America's global primacy and to America's historical legacy."æ (p.194)
"Without sustained and directed American involvement, before long the forces of global disorder could come to dominate the world scene. And the possibility of such a fragmentation is inherent in the geopolitical tensions not only of today's Eurasia but of the world more generally." (p.194)
"With warning signs on the horizon across Europe and Asia, any successful American policy must focus on Eurasia as a whole and be guided by a Geostrategic design." (p.197)
"That puts a premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America's primacy..." (p. 198)
"The most immediate task is to make certain that no state or combination of states gains the capacity to expel the United States from Eurasia or even to diminish significantly its decisive arbitration role." (p. 198)
"In the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but it is also likely to be the very last." (p.209)
"Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat."æ (p. 211) [Emphasis added]
The Horror - And Comments From Someone Who Worked With Brzezinski
Brzezinski's book is sublimely arrogant. While singing the praises of the IMF and the World Bank, which have economically terrorized nations on every continent, and while totally ignoring the worldwide terrorist actions of the U.S. government that have led to genocide; cluster bombings of civilian populations from Kosovo, to Laos, to Iraq, to Afghanistan; the development and battlefield use of both biological and chemical agents such as Sarin gas; and the financial rape of entire cultures, it would leave the reader believing that such actions are for the good of mankind.
While seconded from the German defense ministry to NATO in the late 1970s, Dr. Johannes Koeppl traveled to Washington on more than one occasion. He also met with Brzezinski in the White House on more than one occasion. His other Washington contacts included Steve Larabee from the CFR, John J. McCloy, former CIA Director, economist Milton Friedman, and officials from Carter's Office of Management and Budget. He is the first person I have ever interviewed who has made a direct presentation at a Bilderberger conference and he has also made numerous presentations to sub-groups of the Trilateral Commission. That was before he spoke out against them.
His fall was rapid after he realized that Brzezinski was part of a group intending to impose a world dictatorship. "In 1983/4 I warned of a take-over of world governments being orchestrated by these people. There was an obvious plan to subvert true democracies and selected leaders were not being chosen based upon character but upon their loyalty to an economic system run by the elites and dedicated to preserving their power.
"All we have now are pseudo-democracies."
Koeppl recalls meeting U.S. Congressman Larry McDonald in Nuremburg in the early 80s. McDonald, who was then contemplating a run for the Presidency, was a severe critic of these elites. He was killed in the Russian shootdown of Korean Air flight 007 in 1985. Koeppl believes that it might have been an assassination. Over the years many writers have made these allegations about 007 and the fact that someone with Koeppl's credentials believes that an entire plane full of passengers would be destroyed to eliminate one man offers a chilling opinion of the value placed on human life by the powers that be.
In 1983, Koeppl warned, through Op-Ed pieces published in NEWSWEEK and elsewhere, that Brzezinski and the CFR were part of an effort to impose a global dictatorship. His fall from grace was swift. "It was a criminal society that I was dealing with. It was not possible to publish anymore in the so-called respected publications. My 30 year career in politics ended.
"The people of the western world have been trained to be good consumers; to focus on money, sports cars, beauty, consumer goods. They have not been trained to look for character in people. Therefore what we need is education for politicians, a form of training that instills in them a higher sense of ethics than service to money. There is no training now for world leaders. This is a shame because of the responsibility that leaders hold to benefit all mankind rather than to blindly pursue destructive paths.
"We also need education for citizens to be more efficient in their democracies, in addition to education for politicians that will create a new network of elites based upon character and social intelligence."
Koeppl, who wrote his 1989 doctoral thesis on NATO management, also authored a 1989 book - largely ignored because of its controversial revelations - entitled "THE MOST IMPORTANT SECRETS IN THE WORLD." He maintains a German language web site at www.antaris.com and he can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As to the present conflict Koeppl expressed the gravest concerns, "This is more than a war against terrorism. This is a war against the citizens of all countries. The current elites are creating so much fear that people don't know how to respond. But they must remember. This is a move to implement a world dictatorship within the next five years. There may not be another chance."
THE NEOCONS AND WOODROW WILSON
By PHILIP GOLD
Sunday, May 11, 2003. I know from neocons. Midge Decter, the movement's grande dame, introduced me to journalism in 1981. She and neocon"godfather" Irving Kristol helped get me the grant for my first book. Throughout the '80s and much of the '90s, while living in Washington, D.C., I worked with neocons, wrote for them, attended their conferences, appeared with them on panels and occasionally drank their whiskey. I still read their stuff and, for the most part, I like them as people. But I also know that, in three critical ways, Joshua Muravchik's description elides some unflattering truths.
First, neoconservatism is a multigenerational movement that has never really been conservative or fully accepted by the mainstream, let alone the fringes. At its best, it was a valuable aberration. Today, it's maligned. Second, although the younger neocons, the Boom X generation, are Republicans, THEY DRAW THEIR DEEPEST SPIRITUAL INSPIRATION FROM WOODROW WILSON. That's a dangerous liaison. And third, there's the matter of neocon "influence" -- an issue that, sadly, cannot be divorced from the tawdry subject of anti-Semitism and its present real and/or alleged reinvigoration.
NEOCONSERVATISM, as Muravchik notes, AROSE IN THE 70s AS A REACTION TO THE 60s. IT WAS AT FIRST A NEW YORK PHENOMENON AND MOSTLY, though far from entirely, JEWISH. It reflected the sensibilities of a unique generation of intellectuals, often starting out as the poor children of immigrants, who made the long march from Brooklyn and City College of New York and FDR for some and Trotsky for others, to that literary section of Manhattan where they take their politics and their cocktail parties -- and their book reviews -- very, very seriously. These were people of ideas, always articulate and often brilliant, who'd also known depression, war, discrimination and lives of unrelenting effort. They had struggled and succeeded. They were, in short, full dues-paying members of the Greatest Generation.
And neoconservatism was as much their personal journey, their midlife crisis, as a political movement. Irving Kristol, a founder of "The Public Interest," and Norman Podhoretz, former editor of "Commentary" and author of "Making It," have written movingly of this. THEIR BREAK WITH THE LEFT WAS PAINFUL AND COMPLEX, BOTH A FAREWELL TO THEIR OWN GENERATION AND A REPUDIATION OF THE 1960s NEW LEFT EXCESSES that their former friends' children had wrought. The children they chided for their tantrums and immaturity, the parents for their excessive tolerance and flaccidity in the face of barbarisms both foreign and domestic.
Midge Decter's "Liberal Parents, Radical Children" can still be read with profit here. Indeed, many saw liberalism's greatest failure AS A MATTER OF "WILL" AND "NERVE," two favorite neocon value-words, especially when dealing with communists and kids. AND WHEN THEY TOOK UP RONALD (WILSON) REAGAN, it was his steady anti-communism that they found most attractive. All in all, they were the right people at the right time. THEY HELPED FASHION THE "WILL" AND THE "NERVE" THAT BROUGHT THE SOVIETS DOWN.
Nor are their children lacking in will, certainly not in the chicken hawk sense -- an unfair epithet, but not entirely inapt, APPLIED TO THOSE WHO URGE WAR and pander to bellicosity BUT NEVER SERVED, OR WILL SERVE, THEMSELVES. What they are lacking is their parents' depth and life experiences. And perhaps it is not too much to suggest that the current leadership of the movement shows more than a trace of the arrogance imputed to Boomer and Generation X left radicals, and of the infatuation with their own theories that only those who've never been smacked upside the head by reality (poverty, unfriendly fire, hard bigotry) can indulge.
What theories? Today, the Boomer/Generation X neocons invoke icons of steadfastness such as Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, even Winston Churchill. But neocon writer and former Wall Street Journal editor Max Boot caught it best some months ago WHEN HE DESCRIBED THEIR PREFERRED FOREIGN POLICY AS "HARD WILSONIANISM"-- making the world safe for democracy, THIS TIME WITH THE WILL AND THE NERVE AND THE POWER TO MAKE IT STICK. Whatever else this may be, it is not conservatism, which holds these truths to be self-evident:
History does not begin anew with us. We cannot force people to be free. Evil is real and, therefore, best we take a modest, exceedingly modest, view of our ability to change human nature. And speaking of human nature, power corrupts. It corrupts those who wield it. And it corrupts those who seek to influence those who wield it. WHEN WOODROW WILSON SAILED FOR THE VERSAILLES PEACE CONFERENCE IN 1919, HE TOOK WITH HIM A TRAVELIING THINK TANK KNOWN AS "THE INQUIRY." He exhorted these young intellectuals, some of whom wrote for and most of whom read The New Republic: "TELL ME WHAT'S RIGHT AND I WILL FIGHT FOR IT!"
WE'RE STILL TRYING TO CLEAN UP THE MESS THOSE INTELLECTUALS MADE. And in some ways, from "The New Republic" then to "The Weekly Standard" now, not that much of a change.
Which brings us to the subject of influence. Muravchik is right. Some of President Bush's policies "resemble things advocated by neocons," but "Who knows how Bush decides?" (Does Bush always know?) And anyway, as Midge Decter wisely warned me, influence can never be claimed. It can only be bestowed by those who are influenced. What is bestowed can be taken away. Even the appearance of influence can lead to an unpleasant backlash.
And if you're Jewish, and high-visibility, and associated with controversial policies and perilous actions, if your name is Kristol (Irving or son Bill) or Podhoretz (Norman or son John) or Kagan or Perle or Wolfowitz or Frum, backlash can get ugly. Is this happening? It's hard to say. It's expected that the Arab press would run articles headlined, "PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF NEOCON." It's not surprising when neocons such as David Brooks complain in print about anti-Semitic e-mails and phone messages. It's business-as-usual when segments of the far right and the farther left find themselves accused of bigotry masquerading as anti-Zionism, or anti-neoconism. But it's something else entirely to hear, as I have, military officers speak openly and contemptuously of "the Likudniks in the E-Ring" (Likud being Ariel Sharon's party, the E-Ring the Pentagon corridor where the senior leadership hangs out).
And it's scary to realize that the United States has undertaken to remake the Islamic world in our own image and to our own satisfaction, by military conquest and occupation and the making of examples, in order to encourage the others. And harder still to know that the most prominent advocates of THIS NEW WILSONIAN IMPERIALISM are a small group of public intellectuals with no significant political or cultural base and scant knowledge of the nation beyond the Beltway or the world beyond their abstractions. And it would be tragic, were a movement that did some good once, to be remembered -- mostly for its part in marching the nation toward folly.
Philip Gold is president of Aretéa, a Seattle-based policy and cultural affairs center. He can be reached at aretean@ netscape.net.