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The New World Order

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Editor' s note : Last monthNoam Chomsky delivered thefollowing lecture at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Detroit. Chomsky, a professor in the Department of Philosophy and Linguistics at MIT, is regar ded as the father of modern linguistics but is also well Icnownfor his trenchant criticism of U.S. policy and big-picture analysis of global affairs. In addition to his bookon Central America, "Turning the Tide," Chomsky has authored works rangingfrom the Vietnam War to the Middle East. His most recent book is titled, "Deterring Democracy." The speech, "Central America in the New World Order," was sponsor ed by the Detroit Central America Solidarity Committee (CASC) and transcribed by AGENDA staff. The use ofquotation marks in the text represents our best guess as to where quotes actually begin and end. Hatin America has faced more than its share of troubles, ever since its liberation from Spanish rule, and one of the most grave of these was in fact emphasized by the liberator Simón Bolívar himself . He said that there is at the head of this great continent a very powerf ui country , very rich, very warlike and capable of anything. Central America and particularly the Caribbean have suffered from the proximity to what down South is called the "colossus of the North" and their place in the new world order - the topic of this discussion - will be determined to an overwhelming extent by what happens within our own society, pretty much as has been the case in the past. So this kind of discussion is not an academie seminar on the lives of the Sumerians or even the current tribulations of Sri Lanka, but its a bit more like a discussion, had this been possible, about the fate of Eastern Europe in the Soviet Union 20 years ago. There is a spectrum of opinión on how we ought to deal with Central America, Latin America generally. You can get a picture of one extreme from this moming's New York Times, which has an interesting memorandum from 1984 by the next head of the CIA in which he outlines his proposals as to how we should deal with Nicaragua. It's worth reading. The basic thesis, as he puts it, is we have to rid the continent of this regime and we should do it any way that's required. He doesn't think covert action, covert terrorism, or international terrorism is going to succeed, so therefore we ought to go on to economie strangulation (his advice was quickly followed by the embargo). He calis for direct bombing, although he suggested that might be politically unacceptable. But basically, we have to do anything that's required to rid ourselves of this regime, he says, if we're still committed to the Monroe Doctrine (which he interprets as a kind of early variant of what used to be the Brezhnev Doctrine), namely that we rule this continent and if there is something in it that we don't like we get rid of it by whatever means are required. Well that's one extreme. And it will be interesting to see - hardly left to see it's so obvious - if a person who is so openly committed to blatant violation of international and domestic law, not the secret violation that everyone is committed to, but open, blatant violation, is confirmed for head of the CIA. At the opposite extreme of the spectrum you get the liberal thugs who are usually the most interesting. They define the outer limits of permissible thought and therefore are revealing. Maybe the best of these in this case is Robert Pastor, a Latin American scholar who was a major advisor on Latin America to the National Security Council in the Carter administration (the job Elliot Abrams eventually had with Reagan). Pastor is about as far toward the liberal extreme as you can imagine being in American political or intellectual life and still be kind of on the map. And he has an interesting book about U.S. policy toward Nicaragua (worth reading), and in it he reviews U.S. policy over the years and says: "The United States did not want to control Nicaragua or other nations in the región, but it also did not want to allow developments to get out of control. It wanted Nicaraguans to act independently, except when doing so would affect U.S. interests adversely." So, in other words, they should be completely free to do what we want them to. And if they use their freedom unwisely, then of course, what can we do? We have to rid the continent of this regime, I suppose. Anyway, those are the two extremes. Again turning to the hawkish extreme, as we move back on the seesaw, you get people like John Foster Dulles, who happened to be talking about the Middle East in this quote. He says that we should grant the countries of the Middle East "plenty of latitude as long as they don't get out of control." That's the spectrum. At one extreme we allow them the latitude until they get out of control. And at the other extreme we allow them to act independently until they get out of control. And between those two extremes - that's the political spectrum. John Foster Dulles also explained his fears in interesting internal documents that have been declassified, especially about communism. He is talking about Central America here. He says "the problem is," (this is a private conversation he had with his brother, Alan Dulles, who was head of the CIA when Foster was Secretary of State under Eisenhower), "the communists' ability to get control of mass movements, something we had no capacity to duplícate. The poor people are the ones they appeal to and they have always wanted to plunder the rich." Eisenhower was president at the time and he agreed. He complained that unlike us, "the communists could appeal directly to the masses." And that's kind of like an unfair advantage. (see New World Order, page 13) (FROM PAGE ONE) Characterizations like that are pretty common and they are more or less accurate. But they have one problem, namely they stand the theory on its head. It's not that the communis ts appeal to those who want to plunder the rich. Rather it's that those who work for the interests of the poor are communists by definition, whether they're following the preferential option for the poor of the La tin Ameri - can bishops or any other method for plundering the rich. Having done that, they are communists and then they're out of control, and they're working in a manner adverse to our interests and then we have a right to rid the continent of them, in f act, rid the world of them. These are central themes to the old world order - when you talk about a new world order you kind of presuppose an old world order - and they are go ing to remain central themes of the new world order. What is the new world order? The phrase was used about a year ago in quite an important study (a study worth reading) called "A Challenge to the South." It's a study of the nongovemmental South Commission, headed by former President Nyerere of Tanzania which includes leading economists, ministers of development, and such folks from various countries of the South and the third world. It has quite a conservative cast, actually, if you look at it, like the Minister of Planning from Kuwait. They give a rather accurate description of what's called the NorthSouth conflict - that's the latest euphemism for imperialism in recent years - and how the South is being treated and what the problem is. And they end up the description with a cali for a "new world order that will respond to the South's plea for justice, equity, and democracy in a global society," after just having gone through a couple hundred pages showing how its going exactly in the opposite direction and why. Well, the South's plea for justice, equity, and democracy, from another point of view, is a cali to plunder the rich. A couple of months later, Óiat term, "new world order," was appropriated by George Bush as part of a rhetorical background for his war in the Gulf. So there's two versions of what the new world order is. The guys with the guns establish the rules and they also determine the meaning of the rhetoric that's used to disguise them, and therefore it will be George Bush's new world order and not the new world order of the South Commission that will prevail. Unless, that is, there is a virtual social and cultural revolution among the wealthy and the privileged. And that is for us to determine. What about the question of the place of Central America within this new world order? Here I think that if we try to think through this we really want to move to a slightly higher level of abstraction and ask two broader questions within which this one fits. One is the question of how the new world order differs from the old and what kind of continuities there are with the old. And the second question is the one that the South Commission had confronted: What's the role of North-South conflict within the world order, new or old? Recalling that the phrase North-South conflict is just a euphemism for what we might cali the European conquest of the world which has been going on for 500 years. And which has in fact been, you could argue, the dominant theme of the old world order with various manifestations as the years and centuries passed. Elsewhere in the world they have different names for this 500-year phenomenon. It's sometimes called the Vasco Da Gama era of world history, or the Columbian era of world history, or the Year Reich," to use a phrase, the title of a book on the topic that was just published in Germany (except its' publishers wouldn't allow the title to be used, they had to change it). Whatever you want to cali it - 500-year reich, European world conquest - this era was initiated with two colossal episodes of genocide, virtually wiping out the population of the Western Hemisphere and probably decimating África through the slave trade. Next year, as everyone knows, is the 500th anniversary, which we either celébrate or we moum - depending on which side we place ourselves in this international raceclass war - that's been going on ever since. I'm using the phrase Europe, of course, as a metaphor: Europe includes and in f act is led by the former European colonies in the Western Hemisphere and Asia. And of course Europe now includes Japan, which we may regard as honorary Europeans. So that's what we mean by Europe. And of course the situation is more complex. It's not just Europe versus the world. So for example, the U.S., which is the richest and most powerful state of the North, from Europe in a sense, is also moving to wards a society with notable third world characteristics. It is detectable everywhere. I'm sure it is in Detroit. If you go to a country like Brazil, or Mexico, or any third world country, African countries, whatever - they're typically very sharply twotiered societies. There is a sector that is quite wealthy, maybe wealthy and live in a sort of Westem-European style. They would be quite happy in Paris or in London or in New York where they spend a lot of their time and their money. That's a small sector, the ones who run the branch offices for the foreign corporations and the local oligarchs. And then there is a huge mass of the populationwhichliveskindoflike Central África. In Brazil, for example, there is maybe five to ten percent of the population in the first group and 75% of the population in the second group, with modulations in between. The U.S. is a rich industrial society, so the proportions are different but the characteristics are similar. And what's more we are moving towards it. I think you all know that and I won't go into it. So the situation is more complex than just a North-South conflict but with all the qualifications it still makes sense to think of the NorthSouth conflict as a central theme of the old world order as it will be in the new world order. So what was the nature of the North-South conflict in the old world order? Well, there is a lot of inf ormation here if you want to leam about this . Because this is a very free society by world standards there's a ton of documentary information that has been released. And it tells you exactly the thinking that was going on over the years about how to establish the old world order, the one which essentially was run by the U.S. since the Second World War. Going back to the origins of the European conquest of the world, the third world itself was assigned a certain role, and that role was a service role, quoting from the wording of George Kertnan's policy planning staff at the State Department, which in the late 1940s was very influential in planning and designing the post-war world order: "The South must fulfill its main function as a source of resources and raw materials and cheap labor for the North. The South is supposed to be there to service." They provide resources and, as Kennan put it, "we have to protect our resources." It happens to be in their country but because they're "our resources," we have to protect them over there. And they have got to provide the resources, the raw materials, the cheap labor, the markets, the investment opportunities, and nowadays the opportunities for export of pollution. That's what they're for. That's the function of the South. Given that, when you start looking through what the planning documents say about Latin America, certain things follow. It follows that the main threat to our interests are what are called nationalistic regimes or what is sometimes called ultranationalism. And that means regimes that are getting out of control. Nationalism, or ultranationalism, or sometimes radical nationalism, is defined in a National Security Council document as "regimes that are responsive to the pressures from the mass of the population for improvement in the low living standards and diversification of production for domestic needs." Now that is a threat to our interests, adverse to our interests in a classical sense because our interest, remember, is to keep them in the service role. And if they're responsive to the needs and pressures of their own populations they're not responsive to our needs - which is the dominant principie - so then they 're outof control and we've got to do something about them. Or, quoting from the same top-secret document: "The problem is that these nationalistic regimes interfere with the creation of a climate conducive to private investment and repatriation of a reasonable return on foreign investmenL" That's critical, of course, because it's harmful to the protection of our resources and that's unacceptable. The basic problem with this is going to be democracy, democracy in anything but a formal and meaningless sense. Any govemment that is responsive to the pressures from the mass of the population - that's going to be more true to the extent that there is more meaningful democracy and popular organiza ti on - is a major threat which has to be stopped. Therefore it follows, you would expect, and you discover, that the U.S. has been extremely hostil e to democracy unless the democracy is just a purely formal matter. Take the last elections in Honduras for example. George Bush made some speeches about how it was an inspiring ex ampie of democracy in our hemisphere. There were two candidates. One of them was a wealthy landowner. The other was a wealthy industrialist. They had exactly the same program. The campaign, like the American campaign at the same time, had no issues - just insults and slander. One of them was elected, the other wasn't The rule is that the military had been always supported by the U.S . In the weeks leading up to the election there was an increase in state tenor - bodies on the side of the road, torture, and so on and so forth. During this decade of democracy which we are so inspired by, the level of poverty - which was already extreme - got worse. Dispossession of land got worse. Ownership by foreign corporations got better. So it's an inspiring example of democracy. That was 1989. That kind of democracy is okay. But the kind of democracy that might lead to governments which are responsive to the needs of the population for improvement of their living standares - that's not okay. In fact, that's a threat that has to be stopped. If those tendencies get out of control we 've got to move in. And that's expliciL You'll fmd it all the time. Just a couple of months ago there was a seminar called "The Pentagon On U.S.-Mexican Relations," with academie specialists and all sorts of other people. And they concluded that U.S. relations with Mexico were unusually favorable - completely untroubled by endemic torture, stealing elections, death squads, harsh repression of labor, grotesque conditions of working, maquiladora industries - no problem with that. They were extraordinarily favorable. But there was a problem. The problem was that what they called the "democracy opening" in Mexico might threaten the current favorable relations for the usual reasons. It might lead to a govemment more responsive to pressures from the mass of the population to do something about their own problems rather than the problems of American investors. And that's intolerable, that's getting out of control, that's plundering the rich. Things become worse if these nationalistic regimes actually give some indication of some success, that is if independent development begins to be successful in responding to the needs of the mass of the population. In that case a new rhetorical framework is introduced. These countries become "viruses" that are going to "infect" the región. They become rotten apples that are going to infect the barrel. That's the standard rhetoric in public. We've really got to do something about it because it's becoming dangerous. We have to prevent the virus from spreading and infecting the región and getting others to try to plunder the rich and to interfere with foreign investment and proper repatriation profits, and our raw materials, etc., etc. And when that begins to happen, then the retribution is savage. Indochina is a case in point. Guatemala is a case in point. Nicaragua is a recent case. The popular movements in El Salvador are another case. All of them are viruses. They're trying to plunder the rich. They exert pressure for meaningful democracy not the formal meaningless kind. And at that point there is no room for soft pardons. Especially if the virus threatens to spread. To quote again and again back in the late '40s, "there is no room for vague idealistic slogans about human rights and democratiza tion and raising of the living standard, rather we have to use straight power concepts, preferring pólice States to liberal governments that are too relaxed and indulgen! towards communists," (where the term "communist" again means the people who are trying to plunder the rich and who are organizing). A good deal of modern history f alls within the framework that I just sketched out, which happens to be unusually well documented and also is, much more significantly, illustrated quite consistently in practice. In fact, wilhin this framework, I think we can also place a good part of what's called the EastWest conflict - the Cold War. That is usually described in quite different terms, but at least in my view it's more accurate to describe the EastWest conflict as a kind of special case of the North-South conflict. I think it's always been that and I think that's now becoming clearer than it was before. What do I mean by that? This is a contentious view, so think about it. It seems to me a reason for believing that if we look at cold war over time and ask how it fits into the old world order, to me, that is just exactly what emerges. Recall that before 1917, before the Bolshevik Revolution, what is now the Soviet Union was part of the third world. It was a typical third world, two-tiered, extremely impoverished society, but with sectors of wealüï, and sectors of industrializaüon. These were usually foreign-controlled or foreign-owned and tied into the much more restrictive transnational corporations at the time. It was a country developing yet falling continually behind the West at that time. It was basically a quasi-colony of Western Europe. That was essentially the status of Russia at that time. Now before 1945 that was also the status of a good part - not all - but a good part of Eastern Europe. Czechoslovakia, for example, waspartof the industrial West But a large part of, say Bulgaria, was very much like that. In Bulgaria in 1 939 about half the peasants were still using wooden instruments. And that reflects the deeply third world character of much of this part of the world. It was the service area for Western Europe in the usual sense with the usual third world amenities which I mentioned. These regions separated - Russia in 1917, the parts of eastern central Europe conquered by the Red Army in 1945 - they followed an independent path. They feil under what was called "ularanationalism," when you talk about the third world. They pursued a form of independent development interfering with the service function. They were not a service area for Western Europe, a quasicolonial area. And what's more, they did provide a model that was not without appeal to the third world. In fact, it had considerable appeal, especially in the earlier stages. And if you look at what happened to the third world during that period you can understand why. In the West, the standard rhetoric is to compare Western Europe and Eastern Europe and to pat ourselves on the back and say how wonderful we are. But that's a meaningless comparison. Western Europe and Eastern Europe haven't been alike for probably a thousand years. Certainly in historical memory they've never been alike. A meaningful comparison would be to take Eastern Europe and compare it with the domains of Western capitalism - the South. In other words to compare Russia to Brazil or Poland to Guatemala or something like that. And when you make that comparison things look a Hule different. It's a tricky issue but that would be the right comparison to make, one that might be meaningful. And that comparison was' not lost on the third world intellectuals and economists. And there ' s jus t no doubt that the Sov iet Union was regarded as the kind of a model that offered something that they might think about compared with their own lives under capitalism. They were a virus providing a model others might follow. And the reaction was therefore exactly what it's like when this happens in any third world country. The reason is the same whether it's a speek in the Caribbean or a huge región like Russia and later its empire. And that's the way it's looked at by mainstream scholarship - by liberal, well-respected scholarship. One of the most important, maybe the most important contemporary diplomatic historian, rather on the liberal side is John Lewis Gaddis, who has an important book about the Cold War which he calis "Long Peace." And he discusses the Western interv ention in Russia in 1917. He said it was justified. "It was a defensive intervention," I'm quoting, "in response to the potentia intervention of Bolsheviks everywhere, namely the revolution's challenge to the very survival of (see NEXT PAGE) (FROM PAGE 13) the capi talist order." So, in other words, there was a change in the social order in the Soviet Union interfering with the service function and theTe was a declaration of revolutionary intentions which amounted to a potential intervention in the West which would if it ever took place challenge the very survival of the capitalist order and therefore it's justified for us to invade them to prevent that threat to us. It's defense. You change your social order, and you say you would like to have changes elsewhere, we have a right to destroy you. That's the logic - and I am not talking about the media - but of the scholarship on the kind of liberal side. And that contention goes without criticism. Butwhatdoesthatmeanthatweareallowedto "defend" ourselves when somebody else changes their social order because that's a potential challenge to our privilege? The implications of that are pretty clear and they're not very different from what I just quoted from Robert Gates' memorandum of 1 964. In f act the reasoning is the same. We cannot tolérate such challenges because we rule the world, the rich deserve their wealth, and if anyone threatens to plunder them anywhere, if a government is getling out of control, then the usual mechanisms have to go into effect And exactly as in the case of other virases, it was taken very seriously . Western intervention in Russia in 1917 and 1918 was no laughing matter. For example, the British - we now know from declassi fied British records - used poison gas and in f act the British military command attributed its early successes on the northern front to its use of poison gas. Remember, this is right after World War I when poison gas was the ultímate atrocity. But they really used poisonous gas, exactly as they used poisonous gas against what were called "uncivilized tribesmen" - namely Kurds and Afghans - in the Mesopotamian area as was recommended by one of the great héroes of the West, Winston Churchill in 1919, who feit that it was right to use poisonous gas against "uncivilized tribesmen." Andhe condemned thesqueamishness of those who did not want to use the methods of modern science to establish order in these remote regions. Well, that' s whathe responded to - challenges, and it's right because it's defensive. After all, we're defending ourselves from a potential challenge, namely a challenge to the survival of the system of privilege and power - the capitalist order. The same was true in the past couple of years. One of the f amous govemmentmedia hoaxes was the "revolution without borders" allegedly declared by the S andinistas. Well, as I say, that was a media hoax, known very quickly though it continued to be presented. But there was a truth lying behind the hoax. The declaration of revolutionary intentions, that is, the declaration to establish a society which would be a model for others carne from a speech by Thomas Borgé in which he said, "Other people have to carry out their own revolutions, but we want to be a model that others will follow ." And that was the source of the phrase used by the State Department, then transmitted by the media. That's an unacceptable challenge. That's a potential intervention everywhere and we have a right to rid the continent of that regime by any method possible. And on that, there is essential unanimity. You won't find much controversy over that in the mainstream, only controversy over how to do it. Do you do it by strangulation; do it by murder and terrorism? Do you do it by invasión? That' s the hawkdove spectrum, but outside that spectrum there's essentially nothing. This point about the threat of communism, incidentally, is pretty well understood even in academie circles. If you look carefully they don't talk about plundering the rich, the way the Dulles brothers do, but they put it in bigger words. For example, there was a quite important study called "The Political Economy of American Foreign Policy"backin 1955 - a big study by the National Planning Association - run by a major Harvard political scientist named William Yandell Elliot. And they discussed what they called the threat of communism. And they say that the main threat of communism is "the unwillingness or inability of the communist powers to complement the industrial economies of the West" In English that means they're refusing to play the service function. They're not complementing us. They're not providing what we need - cheap labor and investment opportunities and so on. And that's the problem that's equivalent to plundering the wealth and we 've got to do something about it. Going back to the Cold War, at its core is a classic North-South conflict. A sector of the third world, and in this case a few sectors, pulled itself out and started going on an independent course and furthermore was declaring revolutionary intentions and was regarded as outside of the models worth looking at. That's the typical, unacceptable effect, from Grenada to the Soviet Union - opposite extremes of power - the same reason applies and the same reaction takes place unreflexively, without too much thought And it's natural. It's kind of logical the way it follows some basic assumptions which you find in the planning record. You find it justified in scholarship and you find it setting the framework for discussion in the media, the intellectual community, and so on. Basically it doesn't get questioned because it's a deep commitment. It's a commitment to prev enting things from getting out of control and making sure that the South (meaning most of the world) performs its service function just as internal to the domes tic society, most of the population perform their service function for the intemal wealthy and privileged. That's a given. They don't discuss those things. That's the international raceclass war with its domestic analog. It just happens to be the same in the United States for example. It is a class war that's fought quite consciously and viciously, but only by one side. There is only one group that recognizes themselves as a class, the business class, and they do and they carry out the class war and they're serious about it. That threat in the case of the Soviet Union was enhanced by things which we usually don't find in the third world. Even in the days when Russia was effectively a colony of the West, it did have a powerful military force (that goes way back, into the 18th and 19th century). Russia was a very backward society but powerful from a military point of view, quite different from Nicaragua or Vietnam or Grenada. And that power was a real problem particularly in the post-war period because of its deterrent effect. The Soviet power constrained the use of U.S. power to keep the world under control. There was always a concern that you might run into a confrontation with the Soviet Union and that's just too dangerous. There's various ways of saying that. One way of saying it, for example, is when speaking about the war in Indochina. It is said that die U.S. had to fight with one hand tied behind its back. That's a big complaint about the war in Indochina - we fought with one hand tied behind our back. It wasn' t f air, and so on and we lament about it again and again. What that means is that we could attack South Vietnam with complete impunity, bomb and destroy the dams, use chemical warfare and massive B-52 bombing of heavily populated areas. That was all free - no one hand there. And in the southern areas of North Vietnam we could turn the place into a moonscape, which is what happened. And in Laos we could just carry out huge destruction and devastation, the heaviest bombing in history of a scattered peasant society, soon to be exceeded by the bombing in inner Cambodia, which killed ahundred thousand people apparently, completely unconstrained. AU of that was free, no one hand tied behind our back. But in the northern parts of North Vietnam we had a problem. If we carried out unconstrained military action we might run into the Chinese or the Russians and it's like an axiom of statesman - ship that you don't fight anybody who can shoot back. It's the understood criterion for being a statesman that you never attack anyone who might shoot back. And that's what's caïled deterrence, except we use the term only for half of the story, for part of the story, in fact the smaller part. Namely our deterrence of an alleged Soviet attempt to conquer the world, which incidentally American planners never believed in. So, for example. President Eisenhower was always strongly in favor of NATO, but because, as he said, NATO will give the Europeans strength and courage to respond to the political challenge of the communists, not their conquest of the West, their political challenge. But that's what's called deterrence theory and it's real except that it worked the other way. It's the view that the Russians were rotten enough in their o wn domains, but their domains were limited and there they acted with complete brutality. We acted essentially the same way everywhere because we 're a global power and were deterred, we had to fight with one hand behind our back because at some points there might have been a threat that we would run into a big power. So that was the deterrent effect which made the Soviet challenge even more serious than a normal third world challenge. Another crime of the Russians was that they gave aid and assistance to targets of U.S. attack. If the U.S. was targeting somebody for destruction, the victim country could sometimes turn to Russians for support, and they'd give them some help. And that combined with the deterrent effect amplified normal North-South conflict into even bigger dimensions. The East-West conflict was kind of a big version of the North-South conflict. Different because of the scale, but potentially the same in terms of reasons. As the Soviet system collapsed, you see all this coming out. So by the late 1980s American strategie analysts and others were explaining, some quite publicly, that one of the major benefits of the Soviet collapse is that it frees the United States to use military power without constraint. For example, in December of 1988 in anop-ed summarizing whathappened in thatyear, Dmitri Simes, who's a senior associate and Soviet expert at the Carnegie Institution for International Peace, described the various dangers and advantages to us. The major advantage to us, he said, is that this frees the United States to use its military force without concern that there might be a problem of conflict with the Russians. That's good, we can now use military force freely. When the U.S . invaded Panama, Elliot Abrams, then the Latin American advisor to the Reagan Administiaüon, pointed out that this was the first time the United States was able to carry out a third world interv ention, meaning an invasión of some country, without any concern that there would be a Soviet reaction anywhere. So we were much more free to use force than before. And during the Gulf War this was standard. Lots of people pointed out what was in f act obvious, that now the U.S. was free to use force. We didn't have to fight with one hand tied behind our back. It wasn't like the northem part of North Vietnam. Now we could do anything we want because there is no deterrent. You can find that today in the New York Times. There is a discussion of Bush sending war planes to S audi Arabia and they say the Democrats don' t have any objection. Fine. Then they quoted a Democratie policy adviser who says "It's fine. There is no cost involved. There is no concern that there might beasuperpowerconfrontation."That's the only possible cost. The only possible cost would be a cost to us. That's the meaning of cost. And now there is no such problem. Because nobody is going to respond. The U.S. is no longer deterred. It is now capable of us ing force wherever it wants. Ten years ago the British and the Americans couldn't send half a million troops to the desert because it was just too dangerous. You know, there is a big force out there, we might get in trouble with them, they can shoot back. Now there is no problem. Now we can do what we like. The other aspect to deterrence has to do with the aid to targets of U.S. attack. And that's a problem that's also going to be disappearing. And again there is much crowing about that. Throughout the late '80s there were constant discussions of what's called Gorbachev's new thinking. You could read the editorials in the Washington Post which would say "well, we really don't know if he is serious about this but the test for Gorbachev will be if he stops giving aid to people we are trying to overthrow and destroy." They didn't use these words but that is what it amounts to. The test of Gorbachev's new thinking will be does he withdraw assistance from the S andinistas, that regime that we are trying to rid the continent of, to return it to the Central American mode as the Washington Post put it, and get it to observe regional standards. If the Russians really let us do this freely without getting in our way by giving them aid and assis tance, then we will know that the new thinking is serious. In other words they've got to leave the third world free and subject to our whims. In that case we will know that they are serious, that the new thinking is real and maybe we '11 pay some attention to them. Meanwhile the fact that we have an absence of deteirence means we can use forcé freely, as we wish. That's the Soviet new thinking, and incidentally it is not to be matched by any new thinking on our side. We continue with old thinking. It's just that we are now more free to do it than before because the deterrent is gone and the dangerous tendency to give aid to our victims is gone, and the spreading virus effect is gone, so we are more free than before to carry out the old thinking. And the old thinking is in fact quite old and its worth bearing in mind that its themes are very resilient. Coming back to the Central America and the Caribbean, let's take the next obvious victim, Cuba. The U.S . has a long relationship with Cuba and it basically had the same theme all the way through. Thomas Jefferson feit that we ought to annex Cuba but couldn't do it at that time. The British then had a tum but there was a problem because the British Fleet couldn't get there without being shot at So we couldn't carry out the annexation of Cuba although it was the natural thing to do. John Quincy Adams argued that we ought to wait "until the fruit is ripe" - and that was the common idiom that was used for a long time - "and then it will fall into our hands by the laws of political gravity." In order to make sure that happens, it is necessary to prevent the liberation of Cuba. So the U.S. was strongly opposed to the liberation of Cuba. This was the kind of comment that elicited the statement by Simón Bolívar. One problem was that the liberation movement in Cuba had dangerous democratie tendencies. I think it was calling for the abolition of slavery and for equal rights for all Blacks. And that was unacceptable, it was that virus effect again. So plainly the liberation of Cuba was not a good idea. By the end of the century, finally the laws of political gravitation worked, and the U.S. conquered Cuba in the guise of liberation and tumed it into what amounted to a colony and that ' s the way it stayed until 1959 at the time of the Castro takeover. That elicited an almost immediate hostility. It didn't take very long. CIA actions to destabilize Cuba began within a few months. The basic policy was explained in a secret planning document, now declassified, of March, 1960(that's virtuallyright away). And it called for "replacement of the Castro regime with one more devoted to the trae interests of the Cuban people" (which of course we would determine for them), and "more accept - able to the U.S." So we've got to rid the continent of this regime, a standard thing, to replace them with one more devoted to the true interests of the Cuban people and more acceptable to the U.S. And bear in mind that this was at the time when CIA studies and others were talking about the tremendous popularity of the Castro regime - its gro wing popularity because of its national character. But that didn't matter. Only we understand their true interests . And futhermore, the document continúes, "this must be done in such a marmer as to avoid any appearance of U.S. intervention." Why is that important? Well, because we've got these kind of crazy people in Latín America to worry about and they don't like the appearance of U.S. intervention so we have to make it seem as if it's just the laws of political gravitation. That is the policy from early 1960 and the policy that has been followed since. There were problems. One problem was the Soviets posed a deterrent to our direct attack and they also were giving them aid before new thinking and that prevented the ripe fruit from falling into our hands. But now that's gone. We've got new thinking. The Soviet Union is refusingto give any sustenance to the parties of our attack and there is no longer any deterrent. So now there is a good deal of cro wing about ho w finally we can rid the continent of this regime and satisfy the true interest of the Cuban people and our own. But, of course, remember this has to be done, according to a March 1960 document, "in such a marmer as to avoid any appearance of U.S. intervention." So that means that if the U.S. is going to achieve its long standing goal which goes back to Thomas Jefferson then the media and ideological institutions have to play their part. And that part requires a few conditions and you'll notice that they are being met with great consistency. It's necessary and crucial to suppress the record of aggression and the vast campaigns of terror against Cuba. Since the Kennedy administration it has been subjected to more international terrorism than probably the whole world combined: economie strangulation, cultural quarantine, intimidat ion of any body who might try to disrupt the ban, and in fact all the other devices that are available to a superpower who is dedicated to the true interes ts of the Cuban people. All of this has to be suppressed. Cuba's plight, which is real enough, has to be attributed solely to the regime of Castro, or maybe the failed ideology of socialism. "They alone," Fm now quoting from the New York Times, "bear full responsibility for the poverty , isolation, and humbling dependence ori the Soviet Union." "Solely their fault," a New York Times editorial says on September 8th: "The Cuban dictator has painted himself into his own corner" - no help from us - "by doctrinal necessity." We have to make it clear that it's all his own doing. That's the way we satisfy the policy goal of avoiding any appearance of U.S. interv ention. "Castro's reign deserves to end in homegrown failure, not martyrdom." Notice by taking that position the New York Times lines up on the dovish side of the spectrum. It's opposed to the tough guys who say we should just invade and overthrow them. Rather we should continue to rid this hemisphere of the regime but without appearance of U.S. intervention, in other words by using economie strangulation, by intimidation, by economie embargo, or by terrorism if necessary, but in such a way as to make it look like it's all their own fault In order to do that you suppress the entire record of what has been happening as we have been doing quite successfully for about 30 years. That's standard, predictable, and in fact, that's the record that is to be played until the ripe fruit drops in our laps or maybe is pulled from the tree. These are all the themes of the old world order which just continue. Now we can apply them more freely than before. The end of the Cold War does lead to changes, no doubt. So, this big area of the third world that had separated itself in 1917, and more extensively in 1945, is now moving back in. So the West is imposing the standard principies that we impose on the third world, what is called liberalization, structural adjustment, free markets, all that kind of stuff. Notice that no industrial society ever accepts that for itself for the very simple reason that there is no way to achieve economie development if you follow those rules. If you look at the history of economie development from England right through to South Korea you find that, as f ar as we know, 100% of the time it has been achieved by violating those rules. The development of England, the fïrst modem industrial society, really began with the Navigation Act of 1651, which closed off the British empire and made it a controlled area subjected to British domination, by kicking out the Dutch and the Spanish, and carrying out capital accumulation through the slave trade and the robbery of the colonies and later the rape of India. All of that state acti vity finally leads to a point where you have take-off and then you can impose free trade. Free trade is a doctrine of those who know they are going to win. If you know you 're going to beat your competiüon then you're in favor of free trade. On the other hand if you have to develop your own economie system you're not in favor of it. And, in fact, every later developing country followed the same prescription. The United States did not follow the principies we 're imposing on the third world. Never has. If we had done so we would probably still be pursuing our comparative advantage of exporting furs to England and importing steel from them. We wanted a steel industry, and an auto industry, and that sort of thing, so we acquired huge protective tariffs, closed off the system so we could deal with the much cheaper and more efficiënt British industry and prevent them from stopping our own development. This goes right up to the present. The Reagan administration was one of the most protectionistic administrations in American history. It virtually doubled the percentage of imports subject to duties of one kind or another. The Pentagon itself is a massive state tion in the economy. From an economie view, the Pentagon is just a system by which the state insures the viability of high technology industry. It's the system by which the state forces the taxpayer to pay the cost of research and development for high-tech dustry, and to provide a state-guaranteed market to produce unsellable waste. That's massive state interv ention. In f act every sector of the American economy which functions internationally is protected in the same way . Take agriculture. It doesn' t mean peasant farmer, itmeans capital-intensive agibusiness. It functions through massive taxpayer subsidy plus by forcing the products onto the third world. Take a look at the history of development. That's the way it works. Countries that pursue that path have some chance maybe to develop, otheTS don'L Structural adjustment, free markets, that's a prescription for robbery by the rich. Take Germany for example. Their subsidies to industry are estimated by the Economie Commission of Advanced Countries as amounting to about 30% tariff. We would never permit any third world country to do anything like thatbecause they have a service function. They are supposed to serve the rich, not develop. Now that is all being imposed on the former Soviet domains which means that large parts of them are very likely to undergo a process of Latin Americanization. They will probably move towards something like Brazil or Mexico. There will historical differences and so on and there will be diversity within the regiem, üke Czechoslovakia will probably become apart of the industrialized West again. But for much of it the prospects are something like Latin Americanization. And you can see it when you look at, say Poland. Remember that in a Latin Amencan-style or African-style third world country there is a rich sector. And there will be one there too. Somebody is going to be running the local franchises of the transnational corporations, running the McDonald' s franchise or whatever. As very likely that will be the old Communist Party. Those are the guys who know the ropes. And those are the guys who the Western countries want to deal with because they know there way around and they have contacts and so on. And you can see that developing too. Take a look at Eastern Europe and see that, not universally but to a large extent, those are the people who are still in the managerial roles but now subordinating themselves to the interests of the West, and are therefore quite acceptable. So one part of the new world order is very likely to be a reversion of substantial parts of the former Soviet empire to something like the traditional role of the service area for the West. Now that's not a real gain for the United States. In f act the U.S. is kind of ambivalent about all of that And the reason is very simple. We are not ahead in that competition. It's Europe that's ahead in that competition. Europe means German-led continental Europe. They are way ahead. The U.S. economy suffered a severe blow in the ReaganBush administrations . It's capital-short and deeply indebted. Germany and Europe on the other hand have investment capital, and furthermore they are close by and have traditional relations. So they are way ahead of us in the game of robbing the former Soviet domain. Furthermore the Japanese are just sitting there on the opposite side, capital-rich, with their eyes on Siberia. They are waiting until it becomes profitable but sooner or later they will move and the U.S. is still kind of out of that game. So that's not good. In fact the U.S. is responding to that as best it can by strengthening the U.S . control over the Western Hemisphere. That' s called a free trade agreement - first with Canada. Canada has a role in this systern. It's supposed to provide resources which it has aplenty and skilled labor, but of course it has to handle all the disruptions like the welfare system and unions and all of this stuff that interferes with the devices for ing the rich. And that's happening. In two years of firee Crade Canada, according to Canadian labor unions, has lost about a quarter of a million jobs with lots of capital fl ight. Mexico is supposed to come in next Mexico offers many advantages. The maquiladora industries in northem Mexico are very attractive. That's the reason for that euphoria I mentioned before from the planning commission. There is very cheap labor, some of the cheapest in the world; essentially no environmental protection so that you can pollute at will; and large profits. That's another part of the world order as the U.S. tries to shore up its own domains as the other powers stake their positions. Well that's one part of the growing new world order. Another part is at the kind of rhetorical level. It's necessary to find new pretexts for interventions. From 1917 until the mid '80s there was a reflexive justificaüon for interv ention. We were doing it in defense against the Russians. It didn't matter how absurd the pretext was, you could alway s pull it out. The purpose of these pretexts is to frighten the domestic population so they will go along with policies they don't approve of. And that was always frightening: Russians were brutal and vicious and had missiles and power. Woodrow Wilsonneeded a different pretext in 1916 when he sent the Marines to invade the Dominican Republic of Haiti, the consequences they stillhaven'tescaped from. AndGeorgeBush needed a new pretext when he invaded Panama in 1989. That reflexive jusüfication was gone. And that's a problem. In f act this problem of the vanishing pretext was recognized right from the '80s and that led to efforts to compénsate for it, you know, international terrorists. narco-traffickers, crazed Arabs and nuclear madmen, etc. But none of them really live up to the image of the Soviet Union. So that's an increasing problem. The third feature of the new world order, as I mentioned, is there is no deterrent and no aid to the victims of U.S. attack. The third world is quite aware - there is a lot of concern about this issue whaich was very much enhanced by the Gulf War. It's hard to get a sample of third world opinión in the U . S . but if you look I think you will fmd a good deal of consistency. The general mood is expressed rather well by Cardinal Paolo Evarista Ams of San Paulo, who wrote recently that "the mood throughout the third world is one of hatred and fear. When will they invade us and under what pretext?" And that looks pretty accurate. You find responses like that, especially to the Gulf War, throughout Latin America, África, and in the other parts of the third world and it's quite unders tandable. They can unders tand what is happening before their eyes, that this lawless violent power is now free to do what it wants, at least militarily. These are all basic elements of the new world order. Letme makemention that this Soviet collapse is just part of a much more general change, a crisis in the '80s. Around 1980 there was amajor global economie crisis. Germany and Japan sort of pulled out of it but they never resumed earlier growth rates. By Germany I mean German-led Europe. The U.S. partially pulled out but only in a sort of a fake way . There is enormous indebtedness sucking in capital from the outside, and sharp deterioration of infrastructure as we move to ward a third world society. As far as the third world is concemed, the domains of Western capitalism were just completely devastated by the crisis. The 1 980s were a tremendous setback to virtually all the domains of Western capitalism except for the sectors right on top - West Germany, Japan, and to a limited extent the U.S. (at least the richer parts of it). The Soviet Union was hit by that as well, less severely than the third world, but badly , and that combined with the growing stagnation, the protests against a tyrannical sy stem, and that led to the deterioration of the Soviet system. Parts of the third world escaped this. The called Newly Industrialized Countries escaped. South Korea and Taiwan were hitby the economie crisis but unlike the rest of the third world they escaped. They are quite different from Latín America. It's interesting to look at the differences to learn something about what's going on. Up until about 1980, Latin America and these East Asian countries were developing more or less equally. From about 1980 they diverge very sharply. Central America, all of Latin America went way downhill, hit very hard. South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore kind of pulled out. What was the difference? One of the major differences is if you look at the crisis of Latin America, a large part of it reflectó the openness of Latin America to international capital markets. They suffer from the free market Which means that if you're a wealthy person in Latin America and U.S. interest rates go up you will send your capital out to the U.S. to make money.That's what , capital is for. And there was a huge capital flight from Latin America. In fact throughout the third world there has been an enormous drain of capital to the North. The big flow of capital from the south to the north, which kept the U.S. economy floating, very seriously harmed the third world. In fact a large part of the Latin American debt is accounted for justby the fact they can't control their own wealth. That didn't happen in South Korea for a very simple reason. In South Korea the state is not only powerful enough to discipline labor in the usual situation but it's also powerful enough to discipline capital. So there is no problem with capital flight in South Korea because you can get the death penalty for it. In short, South Korea insulated itóelf from international markets and therefore it didn't suffer the way more open societies did, the ones that were more subject to liberal free market problems. There is much more to it than that but that ' s a good part of the story and it's worth remembering. And let me just stress again that the developed economies have never been willing to accept these rules themselves in the past - that's why they're successful economies - and they certainly don ' t no w, including crucially, the U.S. Another major element central to the new world order is the changes within the North. And those changes go back about 20 years, and the Vietnam War was a major factor. By about 1970 the U.S. had lost its domination of the international economie system. That was symbolized in 1971 when Richard Nixon essentíally destroyed the international economie system that had been established after of World War ü, a reflection of the fact that the U.S. couldn't domínate it any longer. And from that point on the rich parts of the world have been moving towards what in those days was cali trilateralism, now sometimes called a tripolar economy, various terms that mean there are three major sectors of economie power - the German-based European sector, the Japan-based Asian sector, and the U.S.-based regional sector which incorporates, Canada, Mexico and so on." That three block system is more complex than it used to be because the notion of a nation doesn't have the meaning that it once had. With the intemationalization of capital it's hard to decide where a Corporation is from if it has an executive office in New York and another one in Zurich and an assembly plant somewhere else. Where is it? Well it isn't anywhere particularly. It's a transnational Corporation and that interpenetration has developed to such a point that the conflict among the three blocks doesn't have the same kind of status that it had before. That's the developing new world order. The various players have theirown interes ts. Germany and Japan don 't necessarily have the same Ínterests as the United States. For the South and for the growing third world at home the prospects are not at all auspicious unless there are major social changes and a kind of cultural awakening here and in other rich countries. Now to try to carry that out is not an easy task but it never has been an easy task and it's a task that has of ten been confronted under conditions that few of us can even dream about. And in fact it is being confronted under horrify ing conditions right now in Central America, for example in El Salvador, and not only there. And ' those are factó that we should keep in the forefront of our attention as we think about these problems.


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