WORLD GOVERNMENT, READY OR NOT!, CHAPTER 16
"WHO OWNS THE WORLD?"
Nation-State System an Anachronism
Thus it seems fairly obvious that a major if not the major problem in translating the theory of the human species as an economic reality into realizable fact is the necessity to reject a priori the notion of the absolute exclusive sovereignty, i.e., supreme authority, of the nation-state and its now anachronistic and suicidal system.
Economic analysts from hard-line socialists to monopolist capitalists and all grades in between operating from within the nationalistic framework stop far short of the obvious and vital relationship between global politics and global economics. While analyzing today's deteriorating economic situation as "crisis-ridden," with its soaring inflation, exorbitant interest rates, stagnating industrial productivity, ballooning national deficits,6 wobbling and absurd "floating exchange rates," rising unemployment, shortages of critical materials and parts, exponential increase in bankruptcies in both business and nations themselves, and monstrous, futile and suicidal armament budgets in the midst of agonizing human misery and need, they myopically reject a world political government as "impractical," "utopian," or simply "irrelevant." 7
The World Revolution
During the first half of the century, little awareness percolated through either the public or official consciousness of the greatest revolution in history:
"It is not surprising that man, burdened with obsolete `knowledge'--his spontaneous reflexing conditioned only by past experience, and as yet unable to realize himself as already a world man--fails to comprehend and cope logically with the birth of Universe Man." 8
Yet the dynamic relationship between economic failure and political failure is becoming highly visible even to those who still hold political power. National candidates for political office must address themselves, albeit somewhat mystically, to global economic problems speaking grandly and inconsistently of an "interdependent world economic order." Their very political framework, however, precludes realistic legislation capable of regulating such an "order" which could not exist in the first place without such legislative apparatus.
National governments are inadequate when it comes to dealing with the planet's necessities, and we may legitimately wonder whether the importance of nation-states isn't greatly exaggerated and whether politicians deserve star status.9
"Established" economists, pretending to be experts in the dismal science, with rare exceptions, are beyond redemption, holding fast to antiquated and obtuse, even whimsical ideas, partial, grounded in scarcity, and basically unmindful of either political or moral realities.10
Yet, while hopelessly divided as to solutions, most economists are by now agreed, if only by sheer necessity, that world recession has reached a crisis stage where draconian and wholesale measures are necessary if total collapse is to be averted.
No less an expert than Lenin spelled out the consequences of unbridled inflation's consequences to citizens:11
By a continuous process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. And as the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disorganized as to be almost meaningless.
(...To Be Continued.)
6 A 1982 study by the National Taxpayer's Union reveals that the U.S. Government is saddled with a "Taxpayer's Liability Index" (TLI) of over $11.6 trillion, a hidden burden of approximately $145,000 on each taxpayer. According to the report, there are now only an estimated 80 million real taxpayers left in the U.S. This TLI includes the public debt of $1,050 trillion, accounts payable, $167 billion, undelivered orders, $487 billion, long term contracts, $21 billion, loan and credit guarantees, $360 billion, insurance commitments, $2,227 billion, and annuity or pension programs, $7,281 billion. Interest payments alone on the "official" Federal debt of 1980 cost taxpayers an estimated $57 million, six times the Federal interest costs in 1960 and $14 billion more than the total Federal budget in 1950.
7 Third-world nation debt is now over $500 billion, up from roughly $100 billion a decade ago. Over 60% of that debt is owed to Western banks. Mexico is 60 billion in debt, Brazil, $87 billion, and Poland, $26 billion. With regard to African nations according to the Christian Science Monitor (February 3, 1983, p. 13), "What is significant about Africa's foreign indebtedness is not its size, but the rapidity of its growth--from under $20 billion in 1975 to almost $45 billion in 1979 (reflecting the impact of the rise in oil prices), to $56 billion in 1981, and $66 billion in 1982." The debt problem threatens to overwhelm the world economic system. . . ." (Christian Science Monitor, January 25, editorial.)
9 Axel Madsen, Private Power, (Wm. Morrow & Co., NY, 1980), p. 11.
10 In a January 31, 1983 U.S. News & World Report article, "How To Get The Country Moving Again," six Nobel Prize economists, Milton Friedman, Paul Samuelson, George Stigler, Lawrence Klein, Kenneth Arrow and James Tobin expose their grasp of fundamental economic realities by ignoring: 1) the gross inequality of ownership of wealth-producing machines not only in the United States but in all other countries; 2) the dynamic relationship between war economy, i.e., the nation-state, and today's global recession; 3) the interdependence of all national economies implying that economic solutions must be wholistic or global to be realistic; 4) the imperative need for a world political order as concomitant to a world economic order.
11 J.M. Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, 1923.