CURRENT COMMUNIST GOALS (1958)
1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.
2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.
3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.
4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.
5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.
6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.
7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.
8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.
9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.
10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.
11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)
12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.
13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.
14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.
15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.
16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
18. Gain control of all student newspapers.
19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.
20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.
21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.
22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms."
23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art."
24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.
25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.
26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy."
27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch."
28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state."
29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man."
31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture--education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.
34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.
36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.
38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].
39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems.
43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.
44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.
45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.
Thoughts? If you had to measure our current progress....where are we at?
Here's a PDF copy
“A global economy requires a global currency.”
— Paul Volcker, former Chair of the US Federal Reserve.
“The great struggle of history has been for the control over money. It is almost tautological to affirm that to control the production and distribution of money is to control the wealth, resources, and people of the world.”
— Jack Weatherford, anthropologist and author of The History of Money.
“The control of money and credit strikes at the very heart of national sovereignty.”
— A.W. Clausen, President of Bank of America, in a response to the suggestion of a global central bank. [Clausen later became the President of the World Bank].
“Once a nation parts with control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes that nation’s laws.”
— W.L. Mackenzie King, [former Prime Minister of Canada].
1969: “Let me turn from digging away at the opposition to something more positive, and start with the best and worst of international monetary systems. The first-best, in my judgment, is a world money with a world monetary authority.”
— Charles P. Kindleberger, [Professor of Economics, MIT], speaking at a Federal Reserve Bank of Boston conference.
1984: “I have put forward a radical alternative scheme for the next century: the creation of a common currency for all the industrial democracies with a common monetary policy and a joint Bank of Issue to determine that monetary policy…This proposal is far too radical for the near future, but it could provide a ‘vision’ or goal which can guide interim steps...”
— Richard N. Cooper [Harvard professor], speaking at a Federal Reserved Bank of Boston conference.
1998: “…the transition to a single currency for the entire world could come with a speed that might surprise many. The world might easily move from having almost 200 currencies today to having one within a decade, and twenty-five years from now, historians would wonder why it took so long to eliminate the Babel of currencies which existed in the twentieth century.”
— Bryan Taylor, Chief Economist at Global Financial Data.
2001: “When VISA was founded twenty-five years ago, the founders saw the world as needing a Single Global Currency for exchange. Everything we’ve done from a global perspective has been about trying to put one piece in place after another to fulfill that global vision.”
— Sarah Perry, Director of VISA’s Strategic Investment Program.
2004: “…if the global market economy is to thrive over the decades ahead, a global currency seems the logical concomitant.”
— Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator for the Financial Times, former senior economist at the World Bank.
Benn Steil, the Director of International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote that national money systems should be abandoned, “Since economic development outside the process of globalization is not longer possible…” Stated even more succinctly, “Monetary nationalism is simply incompatible with globalization.” And, “In order to globalize safely, countries should abandon monetary nationalism and abolish unwanted currencies…”
All of this underscores a strategic reality that can be summed up in three words: Crisis equals opportunity. As banking mogul A.W. Clausen once said, “new comprehensive politico-economic systems across peoples almost always arise out of conquest or common crisis…”
Robert Mundell, “the father of the euro,” and one of the world’s most respected economists, also views crisis as the starting point for change. In a May, 2007 lecture, Mundell related, “International monetary reform usual becomes possible only in response to a felt need and the threat of a global crisis.”
This Nobel Prize winner also pointed his finger to the possible trigger event, saying that the “global crisis would have to involve the dollar,” and that a world currency should be viewed as “a contingency” to a global dollar disaster.
Morrison Bonpasse, President of the Single Global Currency Association (SGCA), a group of economists working towards a world currency, answers that question, “The monetary unions of the twenty-first century, and those which survived the twentieth, are the milestones on the path to the future, and to the Global Monetary Union.”
Bonpasse elaborates on this point further,
“Thanks to the success of the European and other monetary unions, we now know how to create and maintain the 3-Gs: a Global Monetary Union, with a Global Central Bank and a Single Global Currency.”
“The world is ready to begin preparing for a Single Global Currency, just as Europe prepared for the euro and as the Arabian Gulf countries are preparing for their common currency. After the goal of a Single Global Currency is established by countries representing a significant proportion of the world’s GDP, then the project can be pursued like its regional predecessors.”
Simply put, the regional model becomes the steppingstone to a one-world currency. However, the problem of nationalism prevails. Discussing this “problem,” Bonpasse writes,
“The task can be stated quite simply: how to move from the current 147 currencies to 1. Developing the political will to overcome the residual strength of nationalism is the major challenge for the movement to a 3-G world. As with the implementation of the euro, the economics and politics of monetary union are inextricably bound together; and the logic of both point toward the 3-G world.
The question now is not whether the world will adopt a Single Global Currency but When? and How smooth, inexpensive, and planful OR rough, costly and chaotic will the journey be?” [Italics and capitals in original]
To the internationalist, national sovereignty is the overriding obstacle. In order for a Global Central Bank and world currency to exist, some other political arrangements will have to be formed. Robert Mundell understood this political problem when giving a lecture in 2003 titled, “The International Monetary System and the Case for a World Currency.” His response was frank: “a global single currency could not be achieved without a global government. To enforce a single currency would involve big problems of organization.”
But will all of this “help the farmer in Africa,” or bring wage equality to the worker’s of the world?
Probably not: it will, however, give unprecedented powers to an international banking cartel, the likes of which has never been seen or experienced before. As a critic of global banking once wrote, “Money is money, and banking is banking, and neither recognizes any allegiances that don’t bear compound interest.”
It has been popularly said that religion is responsible for the majority of the world’s conflicts. Posted on a BBC News Talking Point discussion board on the relevance of religion, one commentator boldly asserted, “Just look around the world today. Religion is the cause of all war and hate.”
Expounding on this line of thinking is an internet petition seeking “world peace” by the outright banning of “organized religion.” This petition, which needs to be viewed for what it is – an exercise in dissent – makes it very clear that organized religion “in all it’s factions, is responsible for most of the worlds wars and the entire ‘War on Terrorism’.” A number of petition signers, some showing immense tolerance by resorting to obnoxious and crude language, repeat the mantra “Religion is the cause of all wars.”
On a more serious note, Ken Wilber, a contributor to BeliefNet.com writes,
“Throughout history, religion has been the single greatest source of human-caused wars, suffering, and misery. In the name of God, more suffering has been inflicted than by any other manmade cause…for every year of peace in humankind’s history there have been fourteen years of war, 90% of which have been fought either because of, or under the banner of, God by whatever name.”
Has religion really inflicted “more suffering” than any other manmade cause? Is this assumption, one shared by a large segment of society, an accurate notion? Certainly it’s a position that’s well ingrained. Demonstrating the imbedded nature of this popular impression, history professor Pat Johnson writes, “I challenge my classes to comment on the following statement: Organized religion has caused more suffering, wars and violence than any other cause. Almost all the students raise their hands in agreement.”
Logically, if religion has been the major cause of the world’s wars and death, then religion should shoulder the burden of responsibility towards making peace. Today, this rationale underscores much of the global interfaith movement, including the recent United Nations Conference on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace.
But can the finger of guilt really point to religion as the primary cause of war and strife?
The Killing Century
In analysing this hypothesis of religion’s global war guilt, let’s examine the role of religion as the primary killing factor in the bloodiest century of all time – the last one hundred years. As Winston Churchill explained during the MIT Mid-Century Convocation,
“Little did we guess that what has been called the Century of the Common Man would witness as its outstanding feature more common men killing each other with greater facilities than any other five centuries together in the history of the world.”
So was religion the prime death factor, the “single greatest source” of war and suffering, for this very cruel and brutal century?
In order to understand the answer to this question, we need to chart the major wars and human-caused genocides that occurred during this time frame. And in order to do this in the space allotted for this short article, we need a lower stop-limit number – let’s say 1.5 million as a minimum death total.
Please bear in mind that this chart will not be able to list or separate-out all examples. Some, such as the death figure for World War II, could be broken down into holocaust tabulations, single battle totals, etc – but we’ll try to keep it simple.
Furthermore, it’s important to note that many historical conflicts and killings lack accurate death tabulations, and in some instances – such as killings done under Stalin and Mao – the numbers given in our chart may actually be too low.
Other problems arise from the lack of concrete death totals. For example: the Mexican uprisings of 1910-1920 variably runs between 750,000 and 2 million dead, likewise the decades-old Rwanda/Burundi conflict falls into this statistically difficult range. Because of the variance in accounting up to the 1.5 million mark, I will leave out these two examples, along with many others that display complex numerical discrepancies up to the 1.5 million figure.
However, the following death-inventory will suffice for our brief review. Notice how many of these mass-killing events had classical religion as its central cause.
Link to chart:
Congo Free State
Control of colonial profit and power base.
Turkish purges(cross-over with the Russian struggle and World War I)
Ottoman Empire collapse. Political control struggle. Islamic/ethnic factors play an important role.
First World War
Balance of power.
Russian Civil War
Soviet Union, Stalin Regime
China Nationalist Era
Second World War
Balance of power. Expansionism.
Political control. Ethnic and religious issues.
Post-WWII German Expulsions from Eastern Europe
Post-war policies. Retributions/Soviet and Eastern European control.
Chinese Civil War
People’s Republic of China (Mao Zedong)
North Korean Regime
2,800,000 (figures vary)
Second Indochina War
Political control. Ethnic issues came into play.
Political/economic, and social control over East Pakistan. Islam and Hindu ethnic/religious issues.
Political control. Soviet expansion. Islamic issues.
Second Sudanese War
Historical ethnic struggles. Islamic religious issues play a key role. Resource control and usage.
Political control and debasement. Ethnic strife. Resource control.
The sheer horror and brutality of mankind throughout the twentieth century cannot be properly demonstrated in a simplistic chart. However, it’s more than apparent that the principal causations of the majority of these awful events – especially those with death numbers more than five million high – cannot be laid at the feet of classical religion.
Remember Professor Johnson and his statement, “Organized religion has caused more suffering, wars and violence than any other cause”? Professor Johnson just baited his students, and as the good professor tells us, “Almost all the students raise their hands in agreement.”
“I then demand that they provide dead bodies as evidence. They usually mention the Crusades and one or two other religious wars they might have heard of but in none of their examples can they come up with a million deaths…I then point out that most of the people who have died as a result of war, have done so in the Twentieth Century and that most of the killing was done in the name of secular ideologies. I then ask them who is the ‘baddest’ of them all. Most guess Hitler. I then tell them that he is rated #3. Some then guess Stalin and I inform them that most scholars place him at #2 with 20 million killed. Almost no one gets #1 who, of course, is Mao who starts with an estimated 40 million. I then point out that the top two were Communists and Hitler was a radical proponent of Social Darwinism. All of these ideologies are based on atheistic systems.”
Clearly, this “world faith for world peace” assumption is also lacking in credibility. However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise; after all, this flawed unity concept is designed around the first fabrication – the guilt of war.
It can never be said that a House of Truth is built on lies, yet the perfect dream of world peace is being constructed on that very foundation. Waving the flag of tolerance and solidarity, religion is looking to re-invent itself to a new level of “planetary responsibility” – devoid of truth, logic, and reality.
Indeed, as Man sacrifices truth in the pursuit of peace, the only peace gained will come at the sacrifice of liberty. Why? Because such a system, misdirected from the onset, can only coerce and enforce. And whenever Man imposes a utopian peace design – that is, the “creation of peace” at the expense of reality – it inevitably becomes a “bloody utopian dream.”
Paradoxically, by its nature, a “world faith”- world peace structure may actually become a type of self-fulfilling prophecy, ultimately raising the terrifying banner; “Peace is the destruction of all opposition.”
Another contemporary of Muller, William D. Hitt, wrote in his book The Global Citizen, "As global citizens, we will need a new type of thinking." (21)
This is the crux of global social change: a "new type of thinking" that bridges international education, global ethics, world political unity, and the emergence of a "planetary spirituality." It is the desire to shape and mold man according to man's image. It is the desire to re-cast history and human endeavor to conform with a centralized-utopian version of a "world society" - a society shaped by propaganda, planetary-correctness, and a faulty and exalted image of man and nature. And finally, when contemplating the move towards this world society and the propaganda role of "international education," consider the words of Scott Nearing, an avid socialist and proponent of world government,
"The conversion of a continent of localists into a continent of nationalists in a few generations must rank as one of the outstanding achievements of modern times. Indoctrination works. Human loyalties can be and are speedily shifted by experience coupled with propaganda.
"Worldizing processes are building up a great number and variety of world experiences. Millions of human beings, responding to these experiences, are already world conscious, world minded and prepared to function as citizens in a world society. Such human beings have passed through and graduated from the school of nationalism. They are wordlists. They wait with impatience for the emergence of a world commonwealth." (22)
As the line between education, "political correctness," and propaganda becomes increasingly blurred, it is essential that we navigate this global maze with sobriety, clear thinking, and an understanding of the forces that are shaping our 21st century.
To ensure that global sustainable development initiatives achieve fruition, the WEEEC recognized the importance of using public education as an agent for world change. Dennis Chisman and Jack Holbrook, members of the ICASE executive board, presented a chapter in the World '90 report entitled "The Future Direction of Sustainable Development in the Curriculum." In it they explained,
"The role of the teacher will inevitably have to change. They will become more involved in facilitating changes of attitudes and guiding students to gain values rather than merely teaching factual knowledge." 
Chisman and Holbrook further revealed, "The overall strategy is to design courses so as to prepare for a 'sustainable development' literate society." 
What would learning encompass in the academic world of Chisman and Holbrook? Expanding on the concept of sustainable education, the ICASE board members shared on the importance of global "values" for education, including "population control and support," "intercultural tolerance," "the transfer of appropriate technology," and "environmental literacy."  All of these items would eventually make their way into the Rio Earth Summit two years later.
Disturbing as the WEEEC educational platform was, the most insidious aspect of World '90 was the presentation on creating a "Global Green Constitution." Presented by a Greengrass Institute delegate, the theme of creating a world constitution based on sustainable development principles was given an entire chapter in the WEEEC final report. Spouted as being "a global perestroika," it was explained that this "revolutionary" global green political machine would encompass a form of "human rights." 
"Popular or not, green governments will oppose any culture if it proves to be prejudicial by means of gender, age, colour, race, religion, belief, sexual orientation, mental or physical condition, marital status, family composition, source of income, political belief, nationality, language preference or place of origin." 
The concept of framing a global "green" constitution was directly linked to national education contributions aimed at furthering this new world agenda. As explained in the report, uncooperative nations would not be tolerated,
"Each nation's degree of dedication to educating the people would be the first indication of green government. The education process would centre on the need for a Global Green Constitution...Eventually, a public referendum would be held in each nation state with the objective of obtaining a simple majority in favour of enshrining a Global Green Constitution. Those nation's governments where a majority have declared for a Global Green Constitution in a referendum vote would indicate that they are prepared to attend a Global Green Constitution Congress...Every nation's government would ultimately be a signator to the Global Green Constitution. Obligation to do so would come from grass roots pressure within democratic societies. Less democratic nations or dictatorships would be brought on side through sanctions." 
Specifying more drastic measures yet, World '90 literally called for a global police state to ensure the complete success of the "New World Agenda,"
"The issues are not about if a global politics is necessary. The question is how do we achieve binding agreements in Law complete with effective programs for applying sanctions against non-compliance that would oblige each nation, regardless of size, to abide by a set of principles that are required to guarantee the survival of life on this earth. Perhaps we will find that there is no other alternative to a system of rigid controls that some would equate to a police state. Unfortunately, in order to save the planet from biocide, there have to be very powerful constraints from doing the 'wrong' things. The constraints must transcend national boundaries, be world-around and enforceable. There would be a need for an agency for preventing eco-vandals from acting unilaterally.
Enforcement agencies would need the power to act without being invited by the offending nation. Therefore, there needs to be an agency that is acceptable to all nation states on the planet. We can probably accept the fact that there will always be one or more nations that will not go along but there must be effective sanctions in place. If sanctions do not work, then physical occupation and the installation of a World Trusteeship would be imposed upon the offending nations." 
Posted below is a comparison of the original ten planks of the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx in 1848, along with the American adopted counterpart of each of the planks...
1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rent to public purpose.
The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State "income" taxes. We call it "paying your fair share".
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
We call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
We call in government seizures, tax liens, Public "law" 99-570 (1986);
Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of "terrorists" and those who speak out or write against the "government" (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process.
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
We call it the Federal Reserve which is a credit/debt system nationally organized by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the State.
We call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver's licenses and Department of Transportation regulations.
7. Extention of factories and instruments of production owned by the State, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
We call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture. As well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Evironmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.
8. Equal liablity of all to labor. Establishment of Industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
We call it the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two "income" family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920's, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Fedral Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
We call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public "law" 89-136.
10. Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. etc.
People are being taxed to support what we call 'public' schools, which train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based "Education".
An interesting looking into the brainwashing methods...
A New Era Begins
By Sam Webb, National Chair, CPUSA
(From a speech delivered at a Peoples Weekly World forum in Cleveland, Ohio, January 31, 2009)
I was standing on the Washington Mall on Inauguration Day, alongside nearly two million other people, and proudly watched the first African American take the oath of office in our nation’s history. That alone made the day deeply memorable, joyful, and historic. But I couldn’t help but think – and I’m sure that millions of others had the same thought – that the transfer of power from Bush to President Obama not only tore down a barrier that once was thought near impenetrable, but also signified the fading away of one era and the beginning of another.
It was hard not to think on that cold day in our nation’s capital that the worst of the past 30 years of right-wing extremist rule is behind us and that an era of progressive change is within reach, no longer an idle dream.
Just look at the new lay of the land: a friend of labor and its allies sits in the White House. Larger Democratic majorities control Congress. A feeling of renewal and hope is in the air. Public opinion polls show a high favorability rating for our new President. And the labor and people’s movement that was so instrumental to the election’s outcome, after a short holiday pause, is off and running.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party, notwithstanding its efforts to distance itself from arguably the worst president in our history, is on the defensive. Its grassroots constituency is dispirited. And, its governing philosophy of “free markets”, minimal government, fear, and division, and especially racist division, is discredited.
Now no one expects that the going will be easy in the coming months and years. There is, after all, eight years of extreme right-wing misrule to clean up. The multinational corporations and banks haven’t gone into hibernation. Right-wing Republicans, while badly weakened, still retain enough influence in Congress and elsewhere to block or slow down progressive measures. And the challenges facing the Obama administration are immense, and none more than the economic crisis.
If there were such a thing as an economic tsunami, I would say we are experiencing it. Not since the Great Depression has the economy been in such bad shape, which leads many economists to predict that the downturn will be L-shaped, that is, deep and prolonged.
Furthermore, the economic contraction is worldwide. No country or region will escape its pain and long reach. Nor can any national economy, ours included, hope to make a full recovery without global coordination and cooperation. In an integrated global economy, we either swim together or sink together.
A new New Deal
Given this situation, the Obama administration faces daunting challenges. Nevertheless, the new President, in my view, is off to a quick start. In less than two weeks he has:
* Issued an order to close Guantanamo prison and end torture - a practice that stains our image, violates our constitution, and endangers our troops in the field.
* Signed the Lilly Ledbetter bill that would give much greater scope to workers’ discrimination claims as well as a bill that would extend health care to millions of children.
* Released funds to clinics that serve women’s heath care needs in developing countries.
* Expressed support for higher fuel efficiency standards for motor vehicles—something the United Autoworkers Union (UAW) also supports.
* Opened up a greatly needed dialogue with the Muslim and Arab world.
* Dispatched George Mitchell to the Middle East in hopes of mediating the Palestinian-Israeli conflict—a conflict that cannot be solved by military means, but only by negotiation between the Israeli government and the representatives of the Palestinian people with aim of establishing an independent and viable Palestinian state and the right of both states live peacefully and within secure borders.
* The President met with military generals to map out a withdrawal plan for Iraq.
Of course, the Obama administration’s immediate challenge will be to revive the economy. And the overarching question is: from where will the economic recovery come from in the near term? The only answer is: through the massive injections of money from the federal government into the economy, into the hands of people who will spend it. Lagging demand for goods and services is the problem.
In this regard, the President's stimulus bill passed this week in the House should be welcomed and supported. Despite what Republicans say, it is a good bill that will ease the pain of this crisis, create jobs, and begin to re-inflate the economy. Some economists, like Paul Krugman, say that it isn’t enough, that a trillion dollars plus and additional infrastructure spending would be better. I would agree with Krugman, but I also see the current bill as a first installment of the administration’s recovery plan. In fact, Krugman may have the economics right, but the politics wrong.
President Obama in my opinion would make a mistake if he proceeded like a bull in a china shop. He’s the president of the country, not an op-ed writer for the New York Times, and thus has a different set of considerations and pressures. On the other hand, if the President agrees to too many concession demands from the Republican side it will water down the bill’s stimulus potential and come back to bite him later on.
I would further add that even if Obama had introduced and passed a bigger stimulus package, there is no guarantee that a full-blooded and sustained recovery of the economy will follow. According to conventional wisdom and mainstream economists, high growth rates, near full employment, and healthy profit rates are the normal condition of a capitalist economy. Departures from this norm, it is said, are only passing moments during which capitalism removes barriers to future growth and creates the conditions for a new expansion that surpasses old peaks in production, employment and profits.
There is considerable evidence to question this view. Indeed, one has to wonder what the long-run prospects of U.S. and world capitalism are. Was the “golden age” of U.S. capitalism from 1945-1973, during which economic growth rates, investment levels and living standards steadily increased, the norm or the exception to the norm? Will the last thirty years of sluggish and lopsided growth continue, but at a significantly lower level?
If the answer is that U.S. capitalism is entering a period of long-term stagnation then the economic recovery plan must include not only a sizeable and sustained economic stimulus, but also far-reaching political and economic reforms in order to restructure the economy along new lines. One without the other is not enough. Both economic stimulus and political-economic restructuring are necessary if U.S. economy is to have any chance of resuming a developmental growth path that is robust, sustainable (in a double sense: economically and environmentally) and favors the interests of the working class and its allies.
If this is the case, the Obama administration and the broad coalition that supports him will almost inevitably have to consider—and they already are—the following measures:
* Public ownership of the financial system and the elimination of the shadow banking system and exotic derivatives.
* Public control of the Federal Reserve Bank.
* Counter-crisis spending of a bigger size and scope to invigorate and sustain a full recovery and meet human needs—something that the New Deal never accomplished.
* Strengthening of union rights in order to rebalance the power between labor and capital in the economic and political arenas.
* Trade agreements that have at their core the protection and advancement of international working-class interests.
* Equality in conditions of life for racial minorities and women.
* Democratic public takeover of the energy complex as well as a readiness to consider the takeover of other basic industries whose future is problematic in private hands.
* Turning education, childcare, and healthcare into “no profit” zones.
* Rerouting investment capital from unproductive investment (military, finance and so forth) to productive investment in a green economy and public infrastructure.
* Changing direction of our nation’s foreign policy toward cooperation, disarmament, and diplomacy. We can’t have threats, guns and military occupations on the one hand and butter, democracy, goodwill, and peace on the other.
* Full-scale assault on global warming.
* Serious and sustained commitment to assisting the developing countries, which are locked in poverty and misery.
New model of economic governance needed
Or to approach the same issue in another way: Will the political-economic reforms be modest, or will they be radical in nature, and when taken together, constitute a new model of political-economic governance at the state and corporate level—a new New Deal? By that I mean a reconfiguring of the role and functions of government and corporations so that they favor working people, the racially and nationally oppressed, women, youth, seniors, small business people and other social groupings.
Such a model would draw from the New Deal experience, but in the end it has to be shaped by today’s conditions and requirements for political and economic advance for the broadest sections of the American people as well as people across the globe.
The new model of governance wouldn’t be socialist, but it would challenge corporate power, profits and prerogatives.
Depression conditions prompted President Franklin Roosevelt and his advisers—albeit with a mighty assist from a powerful all-people’s coalition led by the industrial unions and the multiracial working class—to reconfigure the role and functions of the state to the advantage of the ordinary people. This reconfiguration wasn’t easy or done in a day.
Indeed, it was a hard-fought struggle that combined unity of the Roosevelt-led coalition at every turn, mass mobilization, and a good dose of experimentation. The broad people’s movement would do well to study the New Deal experience, not in a mechanical way, but with an eye to gaining insights for today’s struggles and challenges.
A little piece of communist history...