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We the People: Toward a Just and Fair Society and How to Get There

In 1991, after over 30 years of research and original thinking, I published my theory of the future democratic society titled “Technological Democracy: A Humanistic Philosophy of the Future Society”, and presented its more refined structure in my later publications cited below. The global economic crises, political uprisings and recent revolutions have been forcing people to look for a new, just and fair societal system to replace the existing corporate dominated representative system as well as political dictatorships. To assist those seeking freedom and democracy, I decided to publish a simplified and short version of my theory, in a manifesto form of only 64 pages for general public as a guide for taking action toward changing the existing corrupt, suppressive authoritarian systems, including that of ours, to a just and fair way of life. I firmly believe the theory presented below is the system of the future world which will materialize within this century. It will save many lives and opportunities if we understand it now and take action to materialize it before it gets too late to stop wide-spread violence and bloodshed.

As a whole, in a technological democracy, the social goal and common purpose, for which society is to be organized, concern itself in providing equality of opportunity for everyone in every aspect of life. The following outlines some characteristics of such society. If it appeals to you then you will pay more serious in understanding the essence of the theory while reading it. In technological democratic society:

1. Everyone starts life from the scratch at the age 15. There are neither rich nor poor under the present meaning of the terms.

2. Everyone receives 12 years of free general education by the age of 15. Not only it is totally free but no obstacle can be created to hinder it.

3. Everyone starts to work part-time at age 15, starts full-time at the age 22, and works until retirement. The individual may face minor fluctuations in wages but never faces unemployment.

4. Everyone continues his/her education full-time after the age of 15, while working part-time, and continues studying part-time after the age of 22 when he or she starts full-time work, as a part from his/her work program, until retirement. Such education consists of a balanced combination of technical-professional, liberal arts, and humanities subjects. This part-time education consists of two courses on each subject per year after the age 22, when the worker assumes full-time position.

5. Everyone receives free health and preventive care for life.

6. Everyone, starting from zero, gradually becomes a part owner of production of goods and services. These ownership shares, which replaces the present Social Security system but fully privatized, are destined for the support of the owner after his/her retirement, and thus are not transferable.

7. Everyone works full-time for at least 30 years or equivalent of it.

8. Equivalent to one-fifth of the working hours are allocated to

education. Accordingly, for a 40 hours per week work, the person works for 32 hours and studies for 8 hours.

9. The work and pay system are classified nationwide. At every level of work, the worker gets the same responsibility and pay as prescribed regardless where he or she works.. Promotion is based on the level of education and years of experience, liberal art education having the same importance as the technical or professional.

10. To guarantee a comfortable retirement life, no capable person works for less than 25 years full-time before retirement. The general retirement occurs after 30 years of full-time work.

11. After retirement, which more likely occurs when an individual is in his early 50s, he or she has enough non-transferable assets accumulated to bring him or her returns sufficient for a simple but comfortable living standards. In addition, through his or her personal savings, he or she has other transferable assets under his or her full control.

12. All elective public positions:

a. Require very high qualifications relating to education and experience.

b. Are temporary and no one is elected for the same office for more than one term. Besides other benefits, this also allows opportunities to a greater number of well qualified retired citizens to hold public office and serve the people.

c. These two requirements would allow a better chance of being elected to retired individuals since they are better educated and well experienced and are not looking for a permanent position. They are still young, but matured and capable of fruitful participation in the public policy-making process and public service.

13. As a result of democratic norms and technological developments, family life is transformed from its traditional form into a democratic unit; parents being responsible, though in a different manner, for upbringing of the children up to the age of 15, after which the child, who is considered an adult, enters the labor market and is considered independent.

14. By the time of retirement, the family, more likely, has no children to take care of; and free from this responsibility, the couple, if they desired to remain together, has many years of economically secure, fruitful, still productive, dynamic, and enjoyable life.

15. After death, a substantial part of an individual’s wealth, according to the principle of equality of opportunity, is returned to society, through the Public Consumption Fund, to sustain free services such as health care and education for the new generation which is also to start from the scratch.

16. Though some individuals accumulate more wealth than others, the difference is not so great to cause class distinction. Furthermore, such difference is only for the life of the person and disappears upon his death. In reality, this is a classless society with minor variations in material ownership.

17. An individual’s obligatory relationship is within the family and the workplace. Outside these areas, the individual remains free to enjoy life with a great many things and means accessible to him or her in an infinite variety of combinations.

18. In its narrow application, equality of opportunity does not allow individual competition where the intention is to take opportunity from someone against whom the individual is competing. However, equality of opportunity not only allows but encourages each individual to compete against himself or herself to become better than what he or she already is. This is quite different from competing against a designated person even it may cause the same result.

19. Open competition is the backbone of the democratic market operation, but, it is free of fraudulence, propaganda, and false commercials. Self competition should be the motto of production here as well. It causes the production of better goods or services resulting in marketing success The exact specifications of the products are stated and left to the consumers to make the choice. Unlike the present situation where commercials are forced on the people by being inserted into television , radio or other electronic programs, no one is forced, through any means, to watch or listen to commercials.

20. The wealth of a society is the sum total of individual wealth plus all natural and other resources which belong to the society as a whole. However, the important part of the wealth of a society is not economic and material, but technological in the form of knowledge, experience, and means which is the way of doing things.

21. More important than the production of wealth is its equitable distribution among the working class, subject only to the level of knowledge, and experience. Each worker starts with the minimum wage and gets more as he or she climbs the ladder to higher positions or becomes better educated and more experienced. By the time of retirement, each worker is a high ranking official in his or her firm regardless of type of work he or she is assigned to perform. Accordingly, every worker receives nearly the same amount of income in the full period of his or her work as the others. There will be some differentiation but it will not be so remarkable to upset equality of opportunity. .

22. In a democratic system, there is no class structure or class distinction. Differentiation is only at the work place, based on the level of knowledge, experience, and expertise. Working class refers to all working individuals including members of the board of directors, chief executives down to the lowest level.

23. The proper function of government is to establish, maintain and periodically revise the standards required by the principle of equality of opportunity, particularly relating to division of labor and compensation. The national government has no domestic line functions except some supervisory authority in the areas relating to the national consumption fund such as education, healthcare, and corresponding standards. Government is reduced to its minimum functional size.

24. Private wealth totally belongs to the individual for life. It is a wealth initiated, created, and accumulated through his/her own labor, use of his/her assets and not through profits by exploiting others.

25. Public wealth mainly constitutes of the society’s natural resources. They belong to the society as a whole, and therefore, net proceeds created by its use belong to the people. Equality of opportunity does not allow any private ownership of natural resources such as oil, gas, minerals, and forests. Such resources may be leased to specific firms to operate. Whatever is left after paying for all expenditures, goes to Public Consumption Fund and used for public benefit.

26. The electoral system is managed by the Technodem, which is a self controlled electronic system supervising the whole operation of democracy. The only thing a candidate needs to do is to enter his or her name for the office he or she seeks to be elected, into the Technodem’s list of candidates for that office. No additional information is needed, because the Technodem knows all about each individual in the society. It will present each individual’s qualifications in three categories: personal, educational, and experience, and rank each candidate in each category. However, each candidate may have his or her own electoral website and may place in it additional information he or she may think beneficial for his or her campaign. No voter is obligated to vote for Technodem’s first choice, Each voter selects his or her candidate from this list and votes for him or her, through the Technodem’s electoral website, on the elections day.

27. Political parties as we know of them today are eliminated since there is no need or justification for their existence. The same applies to hundreds of other organizations working or raising money for electoral purposes. The electoral process is electronic, simple, and abuse free; during the election day, each qualified individual opens the Technodem’s electoral website, inserts his or her electronic ID card into the computer, it is checked against his or her background. If qualified he or she votes from anyplace in the world for the candidate of his or her choice for the national, state or local office.

28. There is a total private ownership of the means of production of

goods and services. This ownership is highly dispersed with no concentration of any kind in the hands of a few.

29. Giant corporations are automatically disintegrated into several smaller institutions once the workers take over the management. Huge overhead expenditures are saved.

30. A new free market economy is established with fair and open competition based on equality of opportunity.

31. No individual taxes, no property taxes, and no social security taxes.

32. There is protection of environment, preservation of natural resources, and meaningful use of them for public benefit and keeping them in proper shape for the future generations as the principle of equality of opportunity requires.

33. A marvelous outcome of this system is the disappearance of all economic, political and social interest groups. There won’t be any need or requirement for their existence. People, for the first time become free of all pressures, demands, and restriction of thousands of such organizations that exist today including all charitable organizations. What a wonderful freedom this alone would bring.

Morality Under Technological Democracy

The moral boundaries of technological democracy are very broad based on the principle of equality of opportunity. No conceivable common ethical code can be comprehensive enough to cover nearly boundless domain of these moral possibilities relating to such values as honesty, integrity, humility equality and freedom. It is impossible for any mind to comprehend the infinite variety of individual freedoms and good deeds ensuing from this foundation of morality. Whether one’s interests center around his or her own well-being, or the welfare of others, regardless how broad and expanded these interests may be, the end that the individual may be concerned with, is always only an infinitesimal fraction of what could be possible under this democratic system. It is within these nearly limitless confines that the individual strives for his life liberty and pursuit of happiness.

The Theory of Technological Democracy

The economic concept presented here is a part from a new scientific theory of technological democratic society which is thought, sooner or later but ultimately, to replace the present two centuries old chaotic and outdated system of, so called, representative democracy. People in nearly all developed and some developing countries are earnestly looking for a modern but just and fair system to replace it.. The total and detail structure of this new societal system, which is presented in three books (over 1000 pages), obviously cannot be properly presented here. The reader needs to have this in mind when some questions arise. However, understanding it with a little use of logic and reasoning is quite simple, since the scientific base of the theory rests on the application of a single principle of equality of opportunity.

Our Constitution literally covers the principle of equality of opportunity but suppose, to clarify it, we pass an amendment to our constitution recognizing equality of opportunity as an individual right in every aspect of daily life. This immediately expands democracy to cover the whole system of the societal life: economic, political, as well as social. Let’s see what happens to the economy of the country and along with it to individual liberties, political process, social order, employment rights, and equality regardless of race, gender, culture, and religion. Here is a very brief account of it..

The Economy Under Technological Democracy

The manner by which property is produced, owned, and used, determines the economic structure of a society and, to a substantial degree, its social and political characteristics. A necessary condition for economic democracy is the equitable distribution of capital among the people and dispersed control over its use.

The Principle of Unjust Enrichment

The principle of equality of opportunity prescribes that every person has full authority of control and management of whatever he or she owns during his lifetime, but no one in a technological democratic society is allowed to gain opportunity over others through accumulation of wealth by profits achieved by exploitation and subjugation of others, or by free transfer of assets. This principle is known as “prohibition of unjust enrichment.” Such accumulation is allowed only through individual’s own labor. Thus, no one can be enriched through inheritance or receiving property or assets without a comparable compensation. The reason is that such enrichment will disturb equality of opportunity by increasing one’s opportunity, without his personal efforts, over those of others. Inheritance is allowed only to the extent that it does not affect equality of opportunity. Profit is another form of unjust enrichment since the capitalist receives it through exploitation of workers as well as consumers. It unjustly enhances the opportunity of the capitalist against workers and others. However, a nationally specified amount of return from the use of capital is justified. (See Figure 3, p. 47, We the People cited below).

Capital and Capital Accumulation

While capital is still one of the main forces of production, its characteristics is quite different with that under capitalism or socialism. Besides the capital accumulated through savings from a worker’s own earnings, in order to attain equality of opportunity, each worker has also another source of capital accumulation. It is a determined number of shares of his employer’s firm he receives every month along with and as a part from his salary. This process gradually and peacefully transfers capital from the capitalist to the worker allowing him or her increasing voice in the operation of the firm. A unique and fantastic result is attained by this process of transition; the distinction between the capitalist and working class disappears and both join together into one. It is important to note that the working class under this theory embodies anyone working in any production process from its top managers to its least qualified one.

The accumulated capital by the workers under this stocks acquisition program is non-transferable, but it remains under the ownership and control of the worker. It replaces the present Social Security system, providing him or her with income sufficient for a modest but comfortable living standards after retirement. Like Social Security, after the death of the owner, this non-transferable capital reverts to a public organization known as the Public Consumption Fund responsible for providing free health care and free education for all. However, in order to diversify his or her non-transferable holdings, the worker may exchange part of his or her firm’s non-transferable stocks with non-transferable stocks of other companies in the stock market. In reality, these stocks are a part from the social capital in circulation providing a variety of beneficial functions, all under individual and private control. In addition, of course, the worker has capital accumulation by savings from the salary, income from capital investments in production firms, income from nontransferable stocks, and inheritance. The worker has full control over all these assets during his or her lifetime.

The Working Class, Shared Opportunity and Employment Right

The application of equality of opportunity creates a new mode of production eliminating exploitation and gradually making the worker a full participant in production and distribution process. At the workplace, it creates different opportunity levels based on each individual’s education and experience.

Under equality of opportunity, employment is an individual right because there is no such equality present between those employed with those unemployed within the same level of competence. Each institution must provide employment for any applicant corresponding to his or her level of competency through the use of the principle of “shared opportunity” derived from the equality of opportunity principle. It requires that each employed person within the firm at the same level of competency as those unemployed applicants, to give up a small portion of his employment opportunity (e.g. 1-4 hours out of 40 hours per week) to provide the same employment opportunity for the applicants. The concept of supply and demand at each level of opportunity stabilizes the employment market for this and any other level of work nationwide. Shared opportunity causes full employment and lifetime job security for anyone desiring to work.

Work, Education, and Pay System

The general level of compensation is determined by a general position classification at the national level calculated and established by the National Economic and Production Council (NEPC) by the assistance of the Technodem, which is a national independent, self controlled electronic system and indispensable instrument in proper application of equality of opportunity, also known as the people’s best and trusted friend. (See Fig. 4, p. 47, We the People ).The Technodem by having access to prices of all goods and services and the cost of living, calculates and reports to NEPC the amount of minimum wage required for a minimum living standard. The NEPC designs a model position classification and pay system accordingly. This is fed to the Technodem equipped to supervise its application in every institution hiring workers. Each production firm then, following the national model, establishes its own position classification and pay system and feeds it into the Technodem which instantly compares it with the national model, and reports back discrepancies, if any, to be corrected. The position classification within each firm does not have to be exactly the same as the national model but it has to fit into the range specified by that model.

Education

In technological democracy, after twelve years of general education, the work system and education merge together. ( See Fig. 6, p. 49, We the People) Everyone is required to complete the general education program. It consists of four years of preschool education starting at age three up to seven; four years of elementary and four years of secondary education. It contains a condensed curricula from grade one through twelve. After completing this educational program, the person who is about fifteen years old, begins to work part-time while starting his higher education full-time. His study program is equally divided between general-humanistic and professional-technical parts. The first part, develops him as a democratic person, deeply devoted and committed to the principle of equality of opportunity. However, the core part of his humanistic education is achieved through his or her 12-year of general education. By the age of 22, he or she achieves the knowledge level over an MA degree under our present system, and starts to work full-time and continues his studies part time for the rest of his working years. Every worker at the time of retirement, which arrives at his early 50s after 30 years of work, accumulates knowledge, far beyond the Ph.D. level, the highest degree in higher education offered today. This higher level of knowledge is required and necessary, 4-5 decades from now, in a highly scientific and technological and ever-changing life environment at work as well as at home. This part-time education is a part from the worker’s required working hours; for a 40 hour-per-week work program, he works 32 hours and studies 8 hours. Everyone starts the life from scratch at the age 15 and gradually moves to a high position and high income by the time of official retirement. There remains still two or more decades of active life left for each individual after retirement to enjoy life without worry spending it in leisure, art, music, travel or other creative and desired ventures.

The Government

The technological democratic society is based on the concept of the least government being the best. Accordingly, the national government has no domestic line functions. All national departments except for defense and State, all regulatory agencies and welfare programs are discarded. ( See Fig. 5, p. 49 and Fig 7, p.51, We the People). The state governments are down-sized by about 40 percent ( See Fig.8, p. 51); while the size and responsibilities of local governments are increased by about 20 percent (See Fig.9, p. 51). The Technodem, production firms and local social organizations carry out most of the needed public functions. Under this system there is an incredible expansion of individual rights and freedoms, free education, fee health care, employment rights, and old age benefits all under full individual and private control.

The Transition Process

The transition has to be through a peaceful process, thus, it needs to be gradual stretching from three to five decades. The following is the process proposed here subject to replacement or modification if better ways are found.

The first and immediate step is to legalize the principle of equality of opportunity through a constitutional amendment, if it fails, then through a national constitutional convention. Immediately after its passage, establish a temporary National Economic and Production Council(NEPC) ( See We the People, Fig. 5, p.49). Its first task is to create a temporary national position classification and pay system based on a minimum wage calculated by the Technodem. For example, at $8.00 per hour minimum wage and 5 percent annual increase, the minimum annual pay will start from $16640 at the age 15 rising to about $100,000 at the age of retirement at 53. This is the highest executive pay any worker may receive at the time of retirement. It must be noted that under the new system there is no individual income tax, or other taxes such as Social Security and Medicare. Thus, these incomes are equivalent to the real income at the present after all deductions for taxes.

All employers are required to classify their employment and pay system according to the national model established, and feed it into the National Economic and Production Council’s computer. This is the initial creation of the Technodem which plays essential role in supervising and sustaining the democratic system. As the production firms prepare their own position classification and pay system, following the national model and feed them into the NEOC computer, the Technodem progresses in its information storage and capability in taking over the supervision of the application of the principle of equality of opportunity at the workplace and ultimately its application in political and social aspects of daily life.

The period of transition will not be an easy one. There will be a need for good and sharp thinkers to smooth out the process. If Congress refuses to propose the equal opportunity amendment to the Constitution or obstacles are created by the national and state governments in calling for a National Constitutional Convention, the people will have no choice but resort to a general strike, as defined by the French philosopher George Sorel, until it succeeds. The nation may need a temporary commission composed of highly qualified individuals to put into effect the new system, supervise its progress, make necessary adjustments for its proper operation, and eliminate the old departments and agencies when they become irrelevant, including the Congress and presidency when it becomes appropriate to install the new National Legislative and Coordination Assembly and the National Executive Council. This must be the people’s commission and its members chosen by the people or their chosen representatives.


References

The following books and articles explain in detail a somehow complex theory of a humanistic future society. Some 30 years of the author’s time has been spent in its development. The readers are requested to be patient and deeply conscious in its comprehension and interpretation. After Karl Marx’s theory of communism which ended up to be utopian and not actually applicable, this is the second scientific societal theory based on reason and logic; it is also pragmatic and practical. For the author’s brief biography and books cited below and some relevant articles see his website

 Technological Democracy: A Humanistic Philosophy of the Future Society, 1990,Technodemocratic Economic Theory: From Capitalism and Socialism to Democracy, 1991.Passage to a Just Society: Secrets of Democratic Life, Leisure and Happiness.We the People: Democracy as a System, a Humanistic Philosophy of the Future Society,

This book is a very brief and simple presentation of the theory to the general public and a guide for a national movement and action including the general strike. For those interested in forming a successful movement or action, reading the author’s article about the General Strike and some writings from the French philosopher George Sorel concerning his theory of general strike are recommended.

It must be noted that when the first two books were published in early 1990s, Vice President Al Gore had not yet invented the Internet. The Technodem which was invented at the time by the author, is still more advanced than all electronic technologies developed up to the present.

Dr. Reza Rezazadeh (B.S.M.E., LL.B., J.D., LL.M., Ph.D., S.J.D.)

Professor Emeritus and Fulbright Scholar

University of Wisconsin

 

 

1. Grossman, Lev, “The Singularity Is Near,” Time, Feb.11, 2011, p. 44.

2. Rezazadeh, Reza, “Meditation Made Easy: How to Meditate for Transcendence,” 2009,

 

 

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The Iranian Revolution and the Islamic Renaissance

Iran as the Pillar of the Middle East Power Play

The recent surge in Islamic fundamentalism has been a source of worry and discomfort not only to the Western powers but nearly to all the regimes in the Middle East. This has been particularly true in the case of countries which have vital interests in the area and whose technological development and daily life heavily depends on the availability of energy derived from petroleum. These vast oil resources are controlled in the Middle East by Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia has the largest petroleum reserves followed by Iran and Iraq. Iran possesses the second largest gas reserves in the world, estimated to last for 1,200 years under the present level of global consumption. It has the most literate (82.3 percent adult population) and highly educated population of 71.2 million, much exceeding those of all the others combined. Its remarkable Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 286 billion with an impressive 6.9 percent (2002-2006) annual growth rate of real GDP, despite all international economic sanctions against it. [The Economist, Pocket World in Figures, 2010 Edition, p. 263.]

Iran is also a large country (1,648,000 sq km) most strategically located in the Middle East, having an extended border with the countries of ex-Soviet Union in the north, with Iraq and Turkey in the west, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east, and the Persian Gulf and sea of Oman in the south with control over all northern shores of both. Consequently, Iran considers itself the legitimate authority as the guardian of the Persian Gulf and views the presence of foreign powers as an infringement on its legitimate right. Iran believes that the Persian Gulf should be governed by the countries bordering it, the major authority being vested on Iran because of some 40 percent of shores and Straight of Hormuz, the only exit from the Gulf, under its control. During the last decade, Iran has been in the process of developing political and ideological influence among all countries bordering it plus those of Central Asia.

This unique strategic position of Iran has always attracted the attention of great Western powers such as Great Britain, France, Germany, the old Russia and then the Soviet Union, and for the last six decades, the United States. Presently both Russia and China have established friendly relations with Iran. France, England and Germany are trying to recover their pre-Revolution positions, though not their influence. The point is that there cannot be any plan to stabilize the region with the exclusion of Iran. This country has been and is the pillar of the Middle East diplomacy. It is a country that has kept its independence for nearly 3,000 years and by high cultural and intellectual heritage has been able to assimilate temporary conquerors into its culture and transform them. It has always resented outside influence and reacted until it is eliminated. Here are two recent examples: The nationalization of oil industries, controlled for over four decades by British interests and ousting them in the late 1940s. Ousting of Americans by the Islamic Revolution of 1979, who had come to the position of influence in 1953 by ousting the democratic government of Prime Minister Dr. Mossaddegh and reestablishing the dictatorial regime of Mohammad Reza Shah.

The point is that in any policy affecting Middle East, the position of Iran must be given central and prime consideration. Presently, Iran is governed by theologians who place importance in following the teachings of the Islamic religion as envisioned by them. The extent of these interpretations vary, sometimes substantialy, because Islam is rich in this regard since it is not only a set of religious principles but a way of life encompassing from individual self development and purification to social interactions extending to the process of government. In reality, Islam in essence is a system of democratic socialism in which there is no religious hierarchy similar to those in Christianity. It is based on the individual’s own relation with the Creator, where human beings have important individual value yet are parts from the community and responsible for its well being.

Any kind of government that fits these characteristics of Islam is welcome by the Muslim society where individuals find the government and its policies in harmony with their own religious directions and beliefs. They feel at home and comfortable. This has been the secret of endurance of the Islamic regime in Iran despite its autocratic leadership. The support for the regime comes mainly from the farmers, lower and middle class, which altogether constitute some 85 percent of the electorate. The system is comforting to Iranians to see that their rulers do not live in castles with luxuries and privileges, but live like any other middle class citizens in a modest house and among them. There are no apparent corruption among these theocratic leaders in sharp contrast with those under the previous regime of the Shah.

A regime guided by Islamic traditions is also strongly against foreign influence in internal affairs of the nation. This policy is very strongly supported by overwhelming majority of the population. These elements plus other fundamental principles of general welfare such as free education, national health care, anti-poverty programs, all together make the Islamic Republic quite attractive to ordinary citizens in Iran and understandably in many other Muslim societies.

The successful Iranian Revolution and establishment of an Islamic republic has caused an Islamic Renaissance all over the Muslim world from Philippine Islands, Indonesia to the whole Middle East and Africa. It has resulted in a surge of activism in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Algeria, Turkey and Central Asian countries. So far Islamic fundamentalists have succeeded in democratic elections in Algeria then outlawed and deprived from taking over the government; they have also succeeded and rule in Turkey despite the imposition of some restrictions imposed by military and conservative forces.

Accordingly, the Islamic world will not be the same and apparently with increased rigor will resent to be influenced or controlled by the Western powers, the United States in particular. As a result of its mistaken policies, the United States is considered the worst enemy of Islam by many Muslim societies, if not by their government. Even the new friendly approach by President Obama, expressed in his recent speech in Egypt may not affect this adverse feeling until strongly supported by action on the ground, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, strong support and friendly relations with harsh dictators like the President of Egypt and the Saudi Arabia‘s king. In any policy affecting any Muslim nation this intention of solid support of the people’s interests must be taken into consideration.

It is a grave mistake to think that any Islamic fundamentalist regime that may succeed in establishing itself in any country will be under the influence of, or even be friendly with Iran. Islamic fundamentalism is an ideology based on Islamic principles. It does not belong to, or favor any Islamic society. It is similar to representative democracy applied in many countries of western Europe and the United States, yet, none is under the influence or control of any other, Each has a specific national interests and its policies are made to accomplish them. Each country is free to oppose others if there is any conflict in policy. The same will apply to the countries with Islamic fundamentalist regimes. Relationship between Iran and turkey, both ruled by the Islamic fundamentalists, is a good and vivid example. On this ground, it is a mistake to think that if Iraq is ruled by the Iraqi Shi’its it will fall under the influence of Iran. Iraqi Shi’its are Arab with different culture and historical background and quite devoted to the independence of their country and its national interests. However, after Iraq is stabilized, it is likely that it will tend to establish friendly relations with Iran, Syria and Turkey. Nothing better than this could happen for the stability of the Middle East. If the autocratic unelected theocratic rulers, such as the Supreme Leader and his entourage, are eliminated, the Iranian Islamic Republic system is the best socialist-democratic model not only for Muslim societies but for all other developing countries as well. Iranians are not happy by being ruled by a non-elected ruler which makes their long fought democratic system look ridiculous. As evidenced in the past, a new movement is on the way in Iran to remove this obstacle from the regime. It may take a while, it may be quite bloody, but it will succeed. [ Iran in turmoil: The Beginning of the End, The Economist, January 2, 2010, pp. 8-9.] When the Supreme Leader and his instruments of control are eliminated, the regime will restore its democratic nature and substance. President will be the highest authority sharing power with the parliament. Individuals like President Ahmedinejad will not have chance to rule. So, the term Islamic Republic refers to a democratically represented  government without an autocratic ruler on its summit, with free health care and educational system, anti-poverty programs and old age benetits.

It needs to be noted that it is unduly baseless any concern about Iran’s modernized and sizable military force. Iran had a devastating experience with the invasion by Iraq and ensuing eight years of war which made Iran conscious of its military weakness. The present modernization and expansion of its military forces, considering its size, long borders with different countries, extended seashores, and large population, seems quite nominal compared to those of the neighboring countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Any thought that Iran may invade its neighbors is groundless. Iran with its rich humanistic cultural heritage has shown no desire to invade another country. Its history of the last two centuries is the best evidence. During this period it has never invaded any country while has almost continually been forced to defend itself against invasions by Russia, Ottoman Empire, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, United States and recently Iraq.

Accordingly, Iran has created a much more effective force than military or nuclear weapon working in its favor with no cost or danger to its people. It is the success story of the concept of Islamic Republic and the birth of the Islamic Renaissance. So far, Iran has not even attempted to export it to other countries. Many groups in different countries, taking Iran as a vivid example of an Islamic republic, are proceeding on their own. The Islamic Renaissance has taken root and will continue to grow all over the Muslim world and beyond to non-Muslim developing countries enmeshed in poverty and ruled by autocratic regimes, mostly because of attractiveness of the Islamic republic system its democratic equalitarian nature and welfare programs.

A wise foreign policy by any advanced country including the United States has to consider this inevitable transformation rather than oppose or disregard it. It is an enormous force moving unavoidably, toward political domination. Regarding Iran, the American government needs to remember the grave mistake it made, in 1953, by overthrowing Dr. Mossaddegh’s democratic and pro-western government and returning Mohammad Reza Shah to throne. It deprived Iranians from continuation of their newly gained democracy and subjected them to 25 years of harsh dictatorship costing tens of thousands of lives. The Shah was finally ousted by a general strike and mass uprisings of the people resulting in the 1979 Revolution resulting in total exclusion of the United States from the Iranian scene and an accumulated hatred toward its government.

Because of its highly appealing components to the people in developing and poor countries, the idea of Islamic renaissance is expanding inevitably among the Muslim societies. It would be impossible for the Western powers or dictatorial regimes to stop or suppress it. It is a political phenomenon deeply attached to socio-cultural values of Islam that others must cope with. Countries like Germany, France, and Russia with long experience in the region have already understood the importance of this movement and have been forerunners in establishing good relations with Iran. To this list one may add also China. Islamic renaissance movement has been developing in countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Azerbaijan and nearly all the Central Asian countries.

More likely, as mentioned above, Iraq, after becoming stabilized, will tend to have friendly relations with Iran. This is essential to the stability in the whole region. Iran, Iraq Syria and Turkey can form the pillars of the regional stability. The Western powers and the United States should not spend so much time and efforts in trying to deprive Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran is in a position to have such weapons sooner or later and enormous time and efforts devoted to deprive it, will go waste. Two centuries historical background of Iran clearly shows that Iran has never attacked any country but has been repeatedly attacked by other countries including the United States. Having this prolonged historical background in mind, it is quite reasonable to assume that any atomic weapon, if produced by Iran, will not be used against any country but, to Iranians, it is needed to deter others from taking military action against them. The vital importance of the alliance of these four countries becomes further clear when one perceives the likelihood of near future instability in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The developing trend of Islamic renaissance in these countries clearly points out to unavoidable future political turmoil and transformation.

From a global viewpoint, it is a serious mistake to underestimate the importance and effect of the Islamic Renaissance exemplified by Iran. According to statistics, Islam is the most rapidly growing religion in the world. For every one person being converted to Christianity, seven accept Islam. Being essentially a socialistic, equalitarian and democratic religion, Islam has become highly attractive to depressed, suppressed, deprived and poor which comprise nearly 80 percent of the world population. Islamic revitalization is in progress now with dynamic forces behind it, The present consciousness is induced by historical facts of an advanced religion which created a great civilization with the most scientific and artistic achievements for seven centuries; a civilization that extended from Spain, North Africa eastward to the Middle East, Central Asia, India to Indonesia. This consciousness is also enlightened and fortified by the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in establishing a socialistic and democratic Islamic republic. Islam is also an individualized world wide religion with no central power and authority, based on equality of societies and brotherhood, and and highly tolerent, officially recognizing the validity of all major religions with a holy book.

In conclusion, the point to be stressed by all these developments is that the Western powers must take into consideration Islam, its influence, its revitalization by the Islamic renaissance, Iran as its main actor in international arena, with its super strategic position, military and economic resources and its ever increasing political influence in Islamic world. This seems to be the only policy direction if the purpose is to create an stable, harmonious, balanced and peaceful situation in the region. Now, is a perfect time for the Western powers to reevaluate their national interests in the light of the realities in the region along with their long range objectives. Dictatorial Islamic systems like Saudi Arabia and Egypt and brutally aggressive country against Muslims like Israel are walking into shaky grounds. On this ground, it seems vital for Israel to establish a fair and just peace and recognize the Palestinian state. It should remember that it had a quite friendly relationship with Iran for decades since its establishment in late 1940s until the 1979 Revolution. Jews, and other religious minorities with a holy book are given equal political power as Muslim citizens by the Iranian constitution. They have a unique and exceptional at large representation in the Iranian parliament proportional to their numbers in the country, while in nearly all Western countries, claiming representative democracy, the struggle continues for minority political rights. The Iranians as a whole are not against Israel but its unjust policies toward Palestanians. The proper resolution of the conflict will be enormously beneficial to Israel, its security and welfaret before it becomes too late.

Dr. Reza Rezazadeh

Professor Emeritus and Fulbright Scholar

University of Wisconsin

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Coming Lower Living Standards, Lower wages, A Modest But More Equitable Way of Life

There is no doubt that, in the long run, globalization will benefit more people than it will hurt in the United States and abroad. It is certain that it will also create new challenges, oftentimes quite painful though temporary. Today’s harsh economic situation seems to be an example. It has caused a deep economic slowdown already affecting tens of millions Americans with no recovery in sight. Capitalistic globalization has a lot to do with this situation.

Consider the housing bubble which was fueled by extraordinarily cheap money provided by lenders. It caused the prices paid for the property free of any connection to real value of the property in relation to rent or market supply and demand. The abundance of cheap money didn’t come from Americans since they haven’t been saving for years. It came from other countries known as the “global saving glut,” amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars made available in the U.S. market. With money available to borrow, people bought overpriced houses far beyond their financial capability to pay monthly mortgage payments or sell for the price paid for. It is quite clear that without the global saving glut, America couldn’t have a housing bubble or the resulting housing collapse.[1]

Employment and jobs have taken also a very important global dimension. The most significant effect seems to be the opening of a huge global labor market. Along with millions of Americans looking for work, millions of job seekers around the world are able now to compete for tens of thousand jobs offered by the American firms within the country as well as abroad. What is devastating for American workers is the presence of millions of substantially lower-priced foreign workers with the same skills. Even if they are not hired, they hold down the wages of high-priced American workers. Yet worse, instead of creating jobs at home, this immense pool of cheap labor relentlessly induces employers to create new jobs wherever workers with required skills are available for substantially lower wages. In reality, the main problem is not so much the outsourcing of jobs, which is relatively small, but creating them abroad rather than at home. [2]

Under the global free trade agreements, globalization has been causing an enormous societal upheaval— economic, political and social— approaching an inevitable global peaceful revolution tending to substantially upset the status quo in both developed and developing countries. It is causing downward slide in living standards in the advanced countries and upward moves of the same in developing ones. No one country or group of states can control or stop this phenomenal transformation which is taking shape and strength. At the most, any contrary effort by a state may only cause some minor delays in progress which would actually be detrimental to its economy rather than beneficial. The reality is that the world market needs cheap and abundant goods and services and to provide these, producers need cheap labor and favorable environment to maximize profits under a keen and unavoidable competition in global market.

How is this transformation affecting the United States? Let’s see first how much of America is owned by foreigners. The following few examples well illustrates the situation: Mining, 27%; information, 24%; manufacturing, 20%; professional, scientific, and technical services, 20%; and finance, 11%. But these statistics include all production firms large and small, if we look at the major and key firms, the foreign ownership picture is quite alarming. For example, foreign capital controls sound recording industries by 97%; commodity contracts dealing and brokerage by 79%; motion picture and sound recording industries by 75%; metal ore mining by 65%; database directory, and other publications by 63%; cement, concrete, lime, and gypsum products by 62%; engine turbine and power transmission equipment by 57%; rubber product by 53%; nonmetallic mineral products manufacturing by 53%, plastic and rubber products manufacturing by 52%; boiler, tank, and shipping container by 50%; coal mining by 48%, nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying by 47%.[3]

Now, let’s look at the percentage of Americans annual consumption of foreign imports. These are goods that come from abroad instead of being produced at home. Here is just a few examples from 2005 showing the percentage and value in billions of dollars: Footwear, 92% [$17.590]; audio and video equipment, 90% [$40.967]; computer equipment, 70% [$78.404]; Apparel, 75% [$68.576]; miscellaneous manufactured commodities, 57% [$63.467]; communication equipment, 53% [$47.137]; semiconductors and other electronic components, 51% [$68,349]; motor vehicles, 39% [$142,842]; pharmaceuticals and medicines, 32% [$5.613]; motor vehicle parts, 32% [$71.066]; iron and steel and ferro alloy, 29% [$27.443]; basic chemicals, 24% [$35.011]; medical equipment and supplies, 23% [$16.290], a total of $733.8 billion.[4]

Then there is no wonder that according to a senior administration official, the federal budget deficit for 2008 will set a record high close to $490 billion [6] which the government has to borrow from certain sources abroad more likely from the so called “global saving glut.” by issuing government treasury bonds. Considering the past behavior of the lending countries, a good part of this huge amount will be spent to buy more of the American production and communication means, increasing foreign influence over extraction of the natural resources, production of goods and services. According to Fortune Magazine ( February 18, 2008, p. 58) foreign buyers set a record in 2007 by purchasing $414 billion of American assets. Many of the biggest deals were made by Asian or Middle Eastern buyers. Our annual trade deficit remains massive amounting to hundreds of billion dollars each year. It is this enormous amount of money spent abroad that comes back to acquire our means of production, transportation and communication. This trend is troublesome more so now than ever before. ‘According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the rest of the world currently owns way more of America (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.) than America owns of the rest of the world, by margin of $2.6 trillion. ... Where it leads is grim: As a nation we eventually cease to be capitalists and become simply wage earners.... a country that goes too far down this road can be ‘colonized by purchase rather than conquest.’”[5]

One would expect “Americans, in a period of falling home prices, a wobbly stock market and an ongoing war, to be less than satisfied with the direction of the country. It’s natural. But Americans are not simply dissatisfied. They are very unhappy. O.K., deeply, pessimistically unhappy. Un-American Dreamy : 85% of respondents in an exclusive TIME/Rockefeller Foundation poll believe that the country is on the wrong truck.” [6]

Americans are increasingly feeling that they have become the losers. A majority of 68% of the respondents in a Fortune Magazine survey indicate that free trade benefits the most the U.S. partners rather than the Americans. They fear about jobs lost overseas and wages reduced by global competition and now worsened by the failure of giant financial institutions, housing crisis and credit crunch. It is felt that globalization so far is undermining the middle class and enriching only the economic elite. As opinion polls demonstrate, this disparity seems to be a reason for unprecedented concerns about inequality in income distribution as well as upward economic mobility. According to a Gallup poll nearly 70% of Americans think that there should be a more even distribution of wealth. The earning gap between the highly skilled workers and the rest of the labor force has been widening since 1980s. Particularly, in the last few years the top few percent has seen an accelerating gain while the rest have stood still or fallen back. A huge number of Americans, 80% of them, think it is harder to maintain a middle-class lifestyle now compared to five years ago.[7]

Putting aside the housing crisis, let’s see why is this happening to the working class in the United States? The basic reason is globalization of capital, production as well as marketing during the last decade. Availability of cheaper labor abroad, and far favorable production environment such as minimum or no requirements for health care or retirement benefits, minimum or no regulation regarding the work environment, and harshly competitive global market, all together have been causes for strong inducement for American firms to move their production of goods and services abroad. This process is still going on with an increasing pressure to be enlarged further. The first effect of this surge is imposing a cap or reducing wages. This is being seen all over the country from the airline pilots all the way down in nearly all firms involved in global trade. As demonstrated by the studies mentioned above, wages as well as middle class family income has remained nearly the same during the last five years.

Based on the character of the globalized trade and keen competition it creates in global market, the production firms have been pushed to resort to any means which would bring down the cost of production. Unavoidably, when the cost of production at home, despite of all possible reductions, cannot compete in international market, the firms are obliged to move their operation where the cost of labor, health care, retirement benefits put all together leaves some ground for competition and expectation of profits. The outcome has been an accelerating outsourcing the production.

Consequently, based on all the facts presented above, This process of stagnation in domestic production, reduced wages, health care and retirement benefits with increased unemployment, will impose unavoidable pressures on the middle and lower income families to cut down in their spending. As the process continues, these families will end up spending only in basic necessities, trying at the same time to save some for their health care and old age, if at all possible. Purchasing luxury or multiple items such as cars, television sets, cameras, many shirts, pants, shoes and dresses will be gradually reduced to basic needs. As the domestic production of goods and services along with consumer spending declines, so do the government revenues while its expenditures particularly in welfare programs, such as unemployment compensation, food stamp, antipoverty, Medicare, Medicaid etc., increases. There will be no other way but substantial tax increase to balance the budget. Because, we won’t be able to borrow money to sustain these programs, as we have been doing for years. Presently, we are borrowing $2 billion a day to balance our budget and paying over $700 million interest daily on the accumulated national debt of over $10 trillion. Since our projection of lover living standards as presented above is about a decade or two away, and if the level of budget deficit stays around $3 to $5 hundred billions per year, the nation will approach to the brink of bankruptcy by then and the United States will lose credibility to borrow particularly that our creditors will be foreign financial institutions as they are now. The imposition of any tax increase, specially a substantial one, would be a great but inevitable burden on the impoverished taxpayers.

The huge unemployment in addition to the new young workers entering the tied job market, will push the nation for substantial transformation in the workplace. One possible and democratic way would be to guaranty equality of opportunity at work place. The concept would require the production firms to hire anyone looking for job in their area of competence. If there is no open positions then those who are employed must let go an hour or two per week of their weekly work to the extent that it will provide employment for everyone. It will cut c3rtain amount from the weekly or monthly pay of some but will provide work and income for those who were unemployed.. This process will guarantee full employment all the time.[8]This concept is not easy to implement but well possible. For details of the theory see the author’s Technodemocratic Economic Theory: From Socialism and Capitalism to Democracy and his other books and articles on the subject at <www.democractwhere.com> .

Since people will work several hours less per week, they will have more time for leisure, enjoyment of life and self-fulfillment. Individual attention to exercise, art, music, poetry and literature will flourish. It necessarily result in creation of thousands of new and meaningful positions.

While this process of lower living standards taking place in advanced countries, developing countries also go through a quite different transformation. This process has already started in many developing countries where wages are extremely low and requirement for a healthy work environment, health care and retirement benefits are minimal. It has already caused outsourcing the production from the advanced societies and an urge from the part of the global production firms to establish production firms in these countries rather than in their own. China and India are two major beneficiaries. Such development of production of goods and services in these countries will gradually cause increase in wages and workers demand for a better working environment, health care and retirement benefits. It will eventually result in a higher living standards in these societies. Ultimately, the income level will be modified in both developed and developing societies and the living standards reach a comparable level under a global standards tending toward a more equitable way of life. However, these standards will be much lower than what they are in developed countries today.


References

1. Geoff Calvin, “A Recession of Global Dimension?” Fortune, February 4, 2008, p18.

2. www.economyincrisis.org/content/ownership and www.economyincrisis.org/content/consumption July 28, 2008.

3. Andrew Taylor, “Budget Deficit Nearing $490 Billion,” JULY 28, 2008. www.time/nation/0.8599.1827084.00html

4. Geoff Calvin, “America for Sale,” Fortune, February 18, 200 8, p.58.

5. Bill Sporito, “85% of US Unhappy With Economy,”

 www.time.com/time/printout/0.8816.1823668.00html

6. “Workman’s Blues,” The Economist, July 26, 2008, pp.33-36.

7. This concept is not easy to implement but well possible under a more advanced electronic communication system. For details of its application see the author’s Technodemocratic Economic Theory: From Capitalism and Socialism to Democracy and his other books and articles relevant to this subject by visiting www.democracywhere.com and www.ezinearticles.com/?expert=Dr._Reza_Rezazadeh

Dr. Reza Rezazadeh

Professor Emeritus and Fulbright scholar

University of Wisconsin

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The Theory of General Strike and we the People

This theory was developed by the nineteen century French philosopher George Sorel (1847-1922).. As it has been historically demonstrated, anytime it has been employed it has reached its goal. It is a highly effective way to bring down any government or corporate elite regardless of its power and strength.

In the late 19th century, although the Marxist socialism was a dominant ideology among workers, syndicalism was still widely preferred in France, Spain, and Italy. It grew out of trade unions association that espoused the utopian vision of one day controlling their industries and, eventually, the government. The strike became the central weapon of syndicalism. However, it was the concept of general strike that made syndicalism revolutionary. Many hundreds of strikes in Europe, toward the end of 19th century, presented the potential of one mighty united strike, resulting to total work stoppage that would ruin capitalism and dismantle the government.

George Sorel wrote his treaties of syndicalism in 1908. He considered general strike as a mythic belief, a wide spread acceptance of which would prompt collective action by workers, at the same time softening employers resolve against concession. He believed that the movement of revolted masses must be represented in such a way that the soul of the revolutionaries may receive a deep and lasting impression capable of evoking as an undivided whole the mass of sentiments which corresponds to the different manifestations of the struggle undertaken by the people against the controlling system.

The movement concentrates in dream of general strike; there is no longer any place for reconciliation of the issues at stake. Everything is clearly mapped out, so that only one interpretation of the new order, namely a democratic and just society, is possible. This idea has all the advantages which integral knowledge has over analysisim, a way that it will be nearly impossible to cite another example which would so perfectly demonstrate the value of the goal subject for this action.

The possibility of the actual realization of the general strike has been much discussed. To the people who think of themselves as cautious, practical, and scientific, the difficulty of setting general masses of the workers in motion at the same time, seems prodigious. Its realization is considered a popular dream and an illusion of youth, soon to be discarded. But the experience shows otherwise, that the framing of a future, in some indeterminate time, when it is done in a certain way, may be very effective, with very few inconveniences. It happens when the anticipation of the future take the form of those myths, which embodies all the strongest inclinations of the people; inclinations that recur to the mind with the insistence of instincts in all circumstances of life; and which gives an aspect of complete reality to the hopes of immediate action by which, more easily than by any other method, people can reform their desires, passions, and mental activity.

The thought of general strike by itself in the course of a movement, preparation for a revolution, or a general uprising, creates a great element of strength, if it embraces all the aspirations of a democratic and just society and if it has given to the whole body of this concept a precision and rigidity which no other method of thought could have given. All that is necessary to know is, whether the planned general strike contains everything that this concept of a new society expects of the working class. At this point, the idea of general strike is so admirably adapted to the workers mind that there is a possibility of its dominating them in the most absolute manner, thus leaving no place for the desires which the legislative and executive branches are able to satisfy. The general strike is so effective as a motive force that once it has entered the mind of the workers, they can no longer be controlled by the system.

The truth about this approach and its definite successful results are found in numerous past occasions with no space here to refer to them. To demonstrate the actual operation of a general strike, the reference is made here to one very recent and totally successful action by the Iranian people in 1979 which resulted in bringing down their government which was considered the most militarized and powerful in the region. The course of events started in 1953 but took over twenty five years of bloody struggle by the Iranians to unite in general strike.

Operation Ajax was set up by the CIA, in 1953, to overthrow the Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeg’s democratically elected government and reinstall the Shah to the throne of Iran. [1] Under Dr. Mossadeg’s leadership, the Iranian oil industry was nationalized in 1951 ousting the British Petrol (BP) which had claimed and appropriated around 85 percent of the profits accrued from it since its creation in 1908. The British Petrol (BP) allied with the American oil companies by the assistance of both governments decided to oust the Prime Minister in order to repossess the Iranian oil industries. The CIA led by Kermit Roosevelt, a grandson of Theodor Roosevelt, initiated a coup in Iran to remove the democratically elected and extremely popular Prime Minister from the office. The US led coup was successful.

The royal monarch Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was brought back to the throne who became a virtual dictator. American advisers were brought into the government apparently to modernize it. Fearing popular uprising, his government assisted by the CIA, created the Iranian SAVAK, a vicious secret police to suppress any dissent. Reprisals took strength in early 1960s but were brutally put down. Many gave their lives and scores injured and tortured. But the movement did not die; the struggle continued and reached its summit in 1979, when all dissenting groups united behind one purpose, the overthrow of the regime. The concept of general strike had taken over. It had the difficult task of confronting the most powerful government in the Middle East, strongly supported by the United States.

First students poured on the streets nationwide, then oil industry workers stopped working. Revenues from the oil industries comprised some 80 percent of the government revenues. Soon work stoppage spread to other sectors of the economy, then civil servants and finally the lower ranks of the military and solders. The economy broke down in weeks, forcing the Shah to flee this time with no place to seek refuge including the United States. A new democratic system of government was established with a total exclusion of Americans from the country.

Unfortunately, a year later the government was taken over by Ayatollah Khomeini. The secular oriented democratically elected president had to flee the country. Under the direction of Ayatollah Khomeini a new constitution was written and ratified under a controlled voting process. The new constitution established a theocratic and absolute dictatorship by one man, who had to be an attested Muslim scholar, and rule as the Supreme Leader, having veto power over any policy made by the government. He has also power over a dual military forces: the regular armed forces, and the Revolutionary Guard created to counterbalance the former. However, the constitution also created a popularly elected President as the chief administrator, and a welfare state with free education, free health care, anti-poverty provisions, subsidies to rural farmers and old-age benefits.

It is interesting to note that during the Shah’s reign, the US government cooperated with his government in developing nuclear energy known as the “Atom for Peace” program and extended a full cooperative hand to Iran in developing of two dozens nuclear energy plants. All were stopped after the 1979 revolution. The United States turned against Iran and backed and assisted Saddam Hussein after his invasion of Iran for eight years causing hundreds of thousands of Iranians to be killed. It even supplied him with chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction which he effectively used even against his own people..

At the same time, Iranians never have been happy with kind of theocratic dictatorship they have become subjected to. Despite all governmental efforts to suppress dissension, opposition groups are active, though mostly underground. The likelihood is that based on their successful overthrow of the monarch in 1979, they may get united for another general strike to bring down the present dictatorial regime and establish a democratic one. In fact, recently, President Ahmadinejad, for the purpose of reducing the deficit, imposed 70 percent tax increase on the merchants and shopkeepers in bazaars. This comprises a major part of small business in the country but extremely important since religious leaders rely for their livelihood on these devout Sheet bazaaris who give one fifth of their disposable income to the clergy. Despite this fact the bazaaris have threaten to declare a general strike similar to one which helped to bring down the Shah’s government in 1979.[2] Historically speaking, no country in the Middle East is more prepared culturally and socially to accept a democratic way of life than Iran. As observed by the late Justice William O. Douglas the Iranian local life has been traditionally highly democratic. However, no new regime in Iran would be friendly with the American government, justifiably so, for what this government has done to the Iranian people since 1953.

Today, the economic, political and social life is so dire in advanced societies operating under the control and influence of the corporate elite that there seems neither hope nor chance for substantial reforms. Actually, under capitalism, particularly in the United States, the economic, political and social systems have become so corrupt and remote from the public interests that they cannot be reformed and need a total transformation to a new system of a fair and just society. With tremendous power of control that the elite enjoys in having the government, military, police and intelligence agencies on its side, any violent uprising can be easily put down. The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that something drastic need to be done to return the government back to the people. To succeed they must know what kind of a system should replace the present one. One known choice is socialism. But this regime, as shown in several countries which have tried to establish it, has transformed itself to dictatorship to be ruled by a political elite. Fortunately, there are new theories of a futuristic technological democracy developed which can replace the present system returning the government, and socio-economic systems to the people. [3] While the corporate elite and the government are equipped and ready to crash any violent anti-capitalist uprising, the general strike, through a peaceful and non-violent movement, is the only way to succeed.


References

1. For details see Kermit Roosevelt, Operation Ajax, Also http://CIA. Operation Ajax

2. See Maziar Bahari, “Iran Closes Shop” Newsweek, July 28, 2010, p.6.

3. See Reza Rezazadeh, We the People: Democracy as a System, Frederck, Massachusetts: Publish America 2010. www.publishamerica.com/wethepeople

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Globalization and the End of Capitalism

Based on my years of study and research concerned with social and economic developments in a variety of societies, it is my deep belief that  more equitable standards of living and a democratic capitalism has been a dream rather than reality and the capitalism as it is practiced has reached the point of its own destruction moving the world toward a free and noncapitalistic market system quite distinguished from other systems such as socialism or communism. 

Two factors are prominent in this incredible, irreversible, and unavoidable process. These are the electronic information and communication system particularly the Internet and the rapid development of free trade or globalization process. These have created a tremendous disequilibrium in production and marketing of goods and services in the world market. While hourly pay for a skilled worker in the United States is around $20.00, the equivalent of the same labor is about $0.80 per hour in China and around $1.80 in India, two massive communities with a combined population of 2.4 billion with advanced technology and millions of skilled workers and professionals. These countries are now capable to overtake the process of production of goods, services , and marketing for a fraction of their cost in the United States and Europe. They produce the same quality of goods even in some cases better than those produced elsewhere.

Considering only the labor cost, an enormous pressure is already imposed on production firms operating in the global markets. Jobs are being rapidly outsourced to developing countries with ample skilled resources, to China and India in particular. Besides cheap labor, there are other substantial benefits inducive to movement of production to these countries. For example, there is a minimal or no health care cost, particularly in those countries with national health care programs, whereas this is a very significant cost of production in the United States; there is no or a little government regulation of the production particularly concerning the work environment, hours of work, and child labor; there is no or a minimal, often loosely regulated retirement benefits imposed on producers.

Consequently, advanced countries have to reduce the labor cost by reducing pay per hour, improve automation and lay off workers in order to remain competitive in the global market. We are already seeing such moves in some industries in the Unites States such as airlines, car, electronic and textile industries, each with plans of cutting down its work force by tens of thousands during the next five years. Now developing countries particularly China and India are rapidly advancing in the global market. $1.00 stores are now all over the United States. Consumers can practically find most of their needs in these stores. Nearly all goods sold are made in developing countries particularly China. A set of pliers which is about $8.00-12.00 if made in the United States you can buy for one dollar, nearly the same quality, but made in China. The same goes for a wrist watch-calculator or ladies and men's hair coloring. I recently bought magnifying classes for reading for $1.00. Not only it fit my eyes perfectly, it was also beautifully and professionally designed and produced. The price, of course, included the material and production cost, transfer overseas from China to the United States, the middleman's profit, and finally the retail store profit. Looking at the glasses I wondered how in the world this could be possible even with $0.24 per hour labor cost!

However, the effects of free trade and globalization, despite being harsh on middle and lower classes in developed countries, is promising for the rest of the world. It will force advanced countries of the West and Japan, first to cut the production cost and then reduce the domestic volume of production. The major items in production cost are wages, health care services and retirement benefits. In order to stay competitive in the world market, the cost in all these three areas has to be cut down continually and ultimately substantially. Gradual reduction in wages and other benefits will place some 90% of the American families in precarious conditions. The purchase of, so called, luxury items will be sharply reduced and a part of the income will be channeled to necessary items such as health care and some savings for retirement. Purchase of multiple items now practiced nearly in every family such as two or more TV sets, cameras, particularly clothing will be brought to a minimum. As a result, the volume of consumption nation-wide will substantially decrease forcing the producers to cut production accordingly. The living standards will come down to a modest level leading toward a more equitable life. Reducing workforce will not solve the problem when a substantial number of workers would be out of job. The only way these countries can peacefully and democratically survive would be through a democratic employment process by the application of the principle of equality of opportunity at work place, resulting in total elimination of the layoff or firing of the workers. The outcome would be substantially reduced pay, but full employment, yet, submission to a much lower and more modest standards of living .

In developing countries, on the other hand, based on gradual advancement in societal consciousness, there will be an increasing demand for better wages and benefits. Wages will gradually go up, work environment will improve, health and retirement benefits will be established. As a result, the standards of living will improve toward a modest level for most of the citizens particularly for those  working in production of goods and services for global market.

The global keen market competition, particularly between the United States, Europe,Japan, China, India and Brazil while would require continuous cutting the cost of production and marketing, will also necessitate continual cutting of the profit margin in order to be able to compete in a very tight market. Ultimately, it will be a matter of survival for all production firms. Producers will be satisfied if they come out even with no profits and no losses. The production firms will then tend to be and act like non-profit organizations. Income from the production would offset the wages, benefits and other costs. Though the capitalistic profit motive will still persist, but opportunities for profit will be hard to come by. That will be the end of capitalism as we have known. The alarming fact for the capitalists is that, because of world free trade market, this process of change will be irreversible and will not take too long. I believe it will not go beyond four or five decades. Imposing tariffs on imports by developed countries will not help the employment or profit situation but would accelerate the decline. 


References

Detailed discussion of globalization, disappearance of capitalism and democratization of the market in the author's writings particularly in:

Tchnological Democracy: A Humanistic Philosophy of the Future Society (1990);

Technodemocratic Economic Theory: From Capitalism and Socialism to Democracy (1991), and

Passage to a Just Society: Secrets of a Democratic Life, Leisure and Happiness (2002).

http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Dr._Reza_Rezazadeh or the author’s website http://democracywhere.com

and read “We the People: Toward a Just and Fair Society and How to Get There.” and “The Theory of General Strike and We the People Power.”

 

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Egypt, Tunissia and Success of General Srike; What Comes Next

A while ago, I wrote an article titled “The theory of General Strike and We the People Power.” It was primarily intended to the people of Iran and its opposition groups which had risen after the last presidential election and were brutally put down by the instruments of the theocratic and dictatorial ruling regime of Ayatullah Khamenei. The intention was to remind them of what they had done so bravely in 1979 Revolution in bring down the most powerful dictatorial regime in the region, that of Mohammed Reza Shah. If they were able to succeed then, they could do the some now by getting all diversified groups together and start the implementation of the general strike by inducing people to stop working and joining the strike.

At the time this article was published, there were no major uprising in any country in the Middle East or North Africa. Now, surprisingly in a very short period of time in two countries, first Tunisia and then Egypt, people by the use of the general strike have been able to bring down their dictatorial system just in a few weeks. Besides the 1979 Iranian revolution, these two cases prove in a definite manner the effectiveness of the theory of general strike, prescribed by the French philosopher George Sorrel and modified by this author by insertion of the social network system, in bringing down any dictatorial regime regardless of its strength.

Yet, more important than ousting a regime is what kind of a new system to put in its place. Choosing of that replacement is now the most urgent, important and determinant decision to make for the Egyptian and Tunisian people. The 1979 Iranian Revolution is an example of what may happen after a true revolution when after its success evil forces may enter the scene and totally destroy its objective for which thousands of lives were sacrificed. In Iran, shortly before his departure, the Shah was obliged to appoint as Prime Minister the leader of the opposition group Shapoor Bakhtiar the founder of the Second National Front and a top official from the 1950s Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq’s government, to form a government and restore order. The new Prime Minister promptly dissolved SAVAK the hated and feared secret police, freed political prisoners, allowed peaceful mass demonstrations, promised free elections and invited Khomeini supporters and other revolutionaries to join in forming a national unity government. With a socialist ideological orientation, he started to lay foundation for a democratic welfare state but soon his ideas of government by the people clashed with the rules and the Islamic conception of the state envisioned by the religious leaders headed by Ayatollah Khomeini who had been triumphantly brought back to Iran from his years of exile abroad. Unable to overcome the powers aligned against his government by the clergy he was obliged to flee the country for his life. Because of his popular background and followers in Iran he was later assassinated in France by the regime’s elements. Ayatollah Khomeini taking over the power, changed the constitution according to which he became the sole ruler of the regime with power over military, national guard which he created as a counter wailing power against the military and power to veto any decision made by other state instruments. A total and absolute theocratic dictatorship was established continued up to the present The following quotes from Khomeini shows the extent of autocratic mentality of a religious fundamentalist leader.

Aiming to oust Prime Minister Bakhtiar, Khomeini appointed his own interim prime minister Mehdi Bazargan and commanded Iranians to obey Bazargan as a religious duty.[1] ”through the guardianship [Velayat] that I have from the holy lawmaker [the Prophet]. I hereby pronounce Bazargan as the ruler, and since I have appointed him, he must be obeyed. The nation must obey him. This is not an ordinary government. It is a government based on Sharia. Opposing this government means opposing the Sharia of Islam. Revolt against God’s government is a revolt against God. Revolt against God is blasphemy.”[2]

Shortly after the election of the constitution writing assembly, several dozen newspapers and magazines opposing Khomeini’s idea of theocratic rule were shut down. When protests were organized by the National Democratic Front, Khomeini angrily denounced them saying “we thought we were dealing with human beings. It is evident we are not,” “… After each revolution several thousand of these corrupt elements are executed in public and burnt and the story is over. They are not allowed to publish newspapers.”[3]

Thinking of the Egyptian successful revolution on February 11, this is what I consider the most and determinant time for the Egyptian people in deciding what system they are going to put in place which would be democratic and more importantly, would guarantee its endurance and continuation. The Iranian situation after the Revolution and its betrayal in less than a year later, should be a factual warning for the Egyptian people to be conscious and careful in reforming their constitution and selecting the system of government to rule. There is a period of letdown, relaxation with the unavoidable joy of victory after the success of every revolution causing the people to lower their fences and allow opportunities for evil and often well organized forces to enter the arena and stab the hard gained revolution in the back. With all due joys, this should be the period of utmost carefulness and conscious concentration on the vital issues affecting the future of the nation and due attention of not being stabbed from the back. Muslim Brotherhood should be carefully watched but with tolerance about its unfavorable background. The Brotherhood is an old well experienced, well administered and smart organization. It may well decide that their success depends on the extent of supporting democratic change with no theocratic incisions. It is well organized and more likely can rule effectively in materializing people’s wishes but it must be watched over for improper deviations. Those looking for the most modern theory of a just and fair society, the materials cited in the reference section is strongly recommended. Some ideas embodied in the theory may be useful in planning a new system for Egypt or Tunisia.

Egyptian people should especially be mindful of influences from other nations such as the United States and Israel, both with close friendship and strongly supportive of ex-President Mubarak and its suppressive regime. What may the appearances show of any change in policy and relations, the real interests of these two countries more likely will remain the same, which would be the safety of their own national interests in the region including Egypt. The United States in particular would continue, as usual, its policy of bribing for favors since people in none of the countries in the region, maybe except Israel, has a favorable view toward its self serving and adverse intentions in the area.


References

Those looking for new and futuristic ideas for the new societal system are guided to the relevant books and articles found in in the author's website www.democracywhere.com

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American Democracy: A Brutal Dictatorship in Disguise

The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton stated recently that the Chinese government is "scared" of the Arab Spring. They're worried, and they are trying to stop history which is a fool's errand."[1]. Shouldn't we also, for the same reason, be worried and scared of uprising of our own people demanding a just and fair societal system?

It is time to have a serious look into the reality of our undemocratic situation and problems facing our technological society in order to find a way to rescue our troubled system and move toward a democratic economy and to its corresponding social order.

The more we look into the history of American Revolution and the formation of its constitutional government, the more we become astonished about the depth of knowledge, dedication, and sincerity of the few men who led this nation from colonialism to independence and beyond. The Federalist Papers alone are indicative of tremendous wealth of knowledge, wisdom, an intelligence of those who laid down, so carefully and so wisely, such a radically liberal foundation for the political system of this country. It is further astonishing how, after over 200 years of advancement, leaders with the caliber and philosophical influence of the founding fathers have disappeared from our society and narrow-minded specialists and uncivilized, socio-politically ignorant business executives and bureaucrats have taken their place. Those individual rights and liberties for which the founders so persistently preached and violently fought for, have been overshadowed today by authoritarian and undemocratic economic processes and capitalistic norms imposed by monopolies and oligopolies of the economic elite. However, there is a consolation. What the revolutionaries did fight for has not been banished but only suppressed. It is at the foundation of American society, at the grassroots, that we find honesty and integrity still strong and prevalent. It has been molested but not destroyed. Erosion and corruption have moved in and firmly established themselves primarily in the upper echelon of our society, fostered by unethical norms taken root by what is variously known as "corporate state," or "military-industrial complex." Our representatives and leading bureaucrats are mostly a part of, or heavily influenced by this cooperative power of financial giants, industry and military. None of these dominating economic factors existed in the early years of our independence, nor were they imaginable to this extraordinary dominant extent until after the World War Two.

President Eisenhower was the first president to warn the American people, in his farewell address, of the dangers of the military-industrial complex to our society. The result has been the suppression of individual rights and freedoms, particularly since 1960s, and extraordinary privileges granted to big business, and effective control of our socio-economic and political system by this very small privileged economic group consisting of only 0.4 of one percent of American household.[2]

From all the investment assets, 1% is owned by the $5,000-$9,999 income group, 7% by the $10,000-$24,999 group, 11% by the $25.000-$49,000 group, 15% by the 50,000-$99,999, or 34% in all. The rest, 66% is controlled by a small elite.[3] Another study shows that in 2007, of all personally held assets the top 1% owned 34.6%, the next 19% owned 50.55% and the bottom 80% owned only 15.05%. Even worse and more disturbing, from all financial wealth owned by the American households, the ratio was 42.7%, 50.3% and for the bottom 80% it was only 7.05% [4] In 2009, the bottom 60% of American income earners received only 4% of the total subsidies while the top 20% received 84% of the $400 billion subsidies. And in 2005, the top 1% paid 27.7 of tax share while receiving 45% of the subsidies[5]. These facts, with no doubt illustrate that there is much that is wrong with American democracy. The events of the past four decades have demonstrated the enormity and variety of the problems that plague this society and its economy. These problems take different forms for different people. Some people suffer much more than others and no one remains unaffected.

Corruption, hypocrisy, suppression, alienation, racism, crime, destruction of the environment, waste, exploitation of our natural resources, foreign wars, and extreme brutality toward other people are just a few of our major problems. They are the result of our neglect and lack of interest in developing a just social and political system, in contrast to our zeal and drive in developing our economic system and accumulation of individual wealth. Thus, we have created an imbalanced society - highly developed scientifically and economically, remaining quite backward and outmoded socially and politically.[6] The combined effect has been not only to oppress a great many people at home and abroad, but to generate a widespread sense of anxiety among those who do not perceive themselves to be oppressed.

America outside its borders is perceived to be a democratic society, and because of this perception it is admired and desired by many foreigners. American citizens, a majority of them, also think of the system as being democratic. But the reality is that what both foreigners and Americans see is a facade of democracy. The foreigners have no opportunity to understand the real autocratic operation of the system behind this facade, and what the citizens see, they are conditioned to think so by continuous propaganda supported and orchestrated by the capitalist elite and being conditioned and indoctrinated as such from the childhood.

American democracy has been carefully designed, in an evolutionary process of some 200 years, by the economic elite, to satisfy, provide for, maintain and protect the capitalist needs for an stable, delicately but firmly controlled, and economically productive society. In this regard, the American society has three basic, complex and perplexing components, quite difficult to be understood by ordinary citizens or outsiders except for some experts in the fields of social sciences. These three components are individuals, private organizations, and public institutions within a highly materialistic society.

 

Individual

As an individual, an American has two standards: ideal and real. He believes in equality of opportunity for everyone, with incredible 90%, but nearly always desires to be considered more equal than others. It seems that this reality is the result of keen competition for materialistic success which is the basic ingredient of the American daily life. In reality, everything is evaluated in terms of dollars and cents. The other important but non-material aspects of life become marginal in this process of evaluation. This feeling is often so intense that it becomes difficult for an American to stop, truly relax and enjoy the life. In general, an American works very hard not only to achieve economic security but to accumulate wealth. As a result of this strained lifestyle he encounters all kinds of dangerous ailments, ulcers, heart problems, blood pressure, depression and other mental illnesses. In his drive for a better life and accumulation of wealth an American never stops. He always think of enjoying life sometime in the future, a dream which rarely materializes. Then one day he has a stroke or heart attack and dies. The strange observation in American psychology is that those who take over the accumulated wealth don't learn the lesson but follow exactly the same course of action of the deceased from whom they had inherited the wealth. This seems to be the main characteristic of the lower middle class, middle and upper middle class Americans which constitute some 70% of the population. The bottom 30% who suffer at the expense of the rest, sincerely believe in equality of opportunity but find nearly all the doors shut on their face. The elite considers them as social garbage yet among these we may find the best "humane" Americans. There is always a growing discontent among this group as well as the lower middle class work force. The worsening situation is carefully watched by the elite elements. When it approaches the point of uprising and violence then certain welfare legislation is passed to stabilize the situation.

Individualism is another ideal belief of ordinary Americans, yet, every day more and more they want the government to take care of the social and economic ills and discomforts. As a result of this demand the United States has, gradually, become an expanded welfare state spending hundreds of billions of dollars in an array of welfare programs. The money for these exuberant expenditures, does not come from the rich elite class but through revenues received by heavily taxing the middle class. So, in America the middle class, constituting the majority, supplies expert knowledge and technology to the elite through the production process and pays to quiet the lower class in order to stabilize the environment for steady production and maximization of profits. Consequently, the American capitalism has persisted in its dynamic operation because of special arrangements by the elite, when necessary, through the passage of special welfare legislation tending to stabilize the society.

A third peculiar characteristic of the Americans is their ideal thoughts about democracy on the one hand, and their lack of interest in putting it into effect by a democratic process on the other. It might be quite surprising to outsiders, who have a rosy picture of the American democracy, and a great many Americans themselves, that only a little over 50% of eligible Americans participate in presidential elections; 30 to 40% participate in congressional elections which is the major policy-making body of the nation; and 10 to 20% vote in local elections where most of the regulations affecting their daily life are decided. Thus, ideally, Americans strongly favor political equality, freedom of political expression, and democratic electoral process, yet overall, the majority of them do not bother to vote nor actively participate in democratization of highly corrupt and abused electoral system.

Americans believe in free market economy, yet, they strongly resent its consequences such as the concentration of wealth and power in a few corporations ruled by the super rich elite and the huge amount of profits made by them. Overwhelmingly believing in equality of opportunity, they witness the rich getting richer while the poor getting poorer. They want both equality of opportunity and capitalistic prosperity despite the tensions and incompatibilities that exist between these two concepts. Capitalistic opportunities lead to unequal economic rewards causing ever expanding class stratification. Economic rewards and resources accumulated by the wealthy are then converted into political resources creating political disparities destructive of democratic electoral process and unrivaled opportunity to shape public policies.

However, there is one strong positive factor in favor of the individual and American public as a whole. Social consciousness about the basic ideal of equality of opportunity carries comparatively heavier weight than the public perception of the capitalistic economy and resulting social and political inequalities. But capitalistic indoctrination through childhood education and continuing blitz of propaganda has left very few unaffected in holding their social consciousness and the ideal of equality of opportunity. There are, however, indications of a slow but steady increase in their number.

 

Private organizations

Let's now proceed with consideration of the private organizations and the public institutions, the other two components of our society. Economic organizations are the subject of our main consideration. This is where the heart of problem rests as far as it relates to democracy and equality of opportunity. Under the domain of monopoly and oligopoly capitalism, which is the main feature of American economy, as concluded by one reliable study, a few thousand super rich (a little over 7,000) control or at least highly influence not only the economy of the country but also its essential political and social institutions such as the media, education, and health care.

Control of information system is vital to the economic elite in order to control or influence public attitude about justification of capitalism as well as major domestic and foreign policies. Freedom of thought and speech is essential to a democratic system. There must be a free expression and competition of ideas and symbols. This essential freedom is guaranteed to Americans by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In modern society the interchange of information and expression of ideas is to be achieved through the mass media. The American mass media constitutes of about 19,000 radio and television stations, 1,700 daily newspapers, 7,000 other newspapers, 9,000 periodicals, over 4,300 film producers and distributors, and 1,300 publishing companies.[7] But, the elite, through a few business and financial firms controls the three major television and radio networks - ABC, NBC, CBS - and 34 subsidiary stations, 201 cable television systems, 62 major radio stations, 59 magazines, including Newsweek and Times, 58 major newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times, and 41 publishing companies.[8] 75% of the stocks of the three major television networks, where the American public receives most of its information, are owned by five major banks.[9] According to another study, in the long run, the mass media cater to elite individuals and elite institutions upholding their actions and policies. [10] Besides the information system, the elite group, consisting only of 0.4% of one percent of households, controls the economy and government This control is effectuated through the top one-fifth of the population who are the supporters of the elite family and its beneficiaries.

Consequently, the richest one-fifth of the population owns about 77% of all personally held wealth and have control over 97% of privately owned corporate stocks. Thus, the richest one-fifth has three times as much wealth as the remaining 80% of the population and full control of all major business and economic institutions. Through the control of the governmental process the elite rips off the American taxpayers by the means of government subsidies and subsidy-like aid, much of it hidden or disguised. The cost of tax subsidies alone to big business in 2010 was $363billion [11].

The government's outstanding loans to private business- direct, guaranteed, and insured- came to about $250 billion in 1973, and $713.4 billion in 2010 [12], six times the outstanding credit advanced to business by all commercial banks. The figures may go much higher at the present. The big business gets the big bite mostly away from public attention. The exploitive benefits appropriated by the economic elite amounts to about $380 billion a year or an annual rip-off of $1,700 from every man, woman and child in the country. Many rich people, thanks to laws passed to protect their income, either don't pay any tax or pay a very nominal amount compared to the size of their annual income. To show just an example, according to an Internal Revenue Service report, of 529,460 couples and individuals who reported total annual income above $200,000 on their tax returns, 595 paid no taxes while their income averaged $600,000 and two out of every three had capital gains averaging 490,000. Another 33,805 having incomes over $200,000 paid only 15% tax, typically less than a middle class family, and 3,000 paid less than 10%.[13].

 

Public Institutions

The third component of a democratic society is its public institutions. The United States is praised and admired by the foreigners as well as most of its citizens for its political democracy. This perception is not the result of a true representative democracy but the effect of propaganda and conditioning of Americans through the mass media and educational systems influenced and controlled by the elite. A few who are expert in American political system and process and have impartially studied the system would find this claim of democracy far from the truth. They will attest that there is no democracy in the United States consciously supported by the majority of the voting population. The so called "democracy" a facade, a pretentious process created by the elite to sustain its status as well as the stability for its authoritarian capitalistic operation and maximization of profits.

To elaborate on this statement we may start, first, with the two major political parties which control all the national and state governments. Both parties are strong supporters of capitalism and are controlled by the capitalist elite. Apparent differences are only cosmetic. Through the control of state governments both parties together have been able to establish harsh conditions for development and success of any third party; and by establishment of single, rather than proportional, representation districts, they have been able to monopolize the electoral system excluding any hope of success for any minor third party. In any case that these protective devices do not work, the parties uniting their governmental authority act to outlaw the upcoming third party and officially destroy it. This is what exactly happened in the1920s when the Socialist Party developing strong, was able to capture the government of many cities and gain representation in state legislatures. The party was declared illegal, its leaders were arrested, its offices were destroyed and its funds in banks were frozen. It was not until the 1970s that under the Freedom of Information Act the party had access to government archives, sued the government and was granted damages.

Second, mainly because of the control of the two major parties by the elite and their commitment to the capitalistic economic system, people have moved away from these parties ever increasing the size of independent voters, doubling its size during the last 30 years. Presently, more than one-third of the eligible voters consider themselves as independent and the electoral success of any of the two major parties depends on each party's ability to attract more independent voter. Neither of the two parties has a long range objective and philosophically both are strongly capitalistic oriented. For this reason there is no ideological loyalty to the party, only 5% of the membership take active part in party operation, and members of one party voting for the candidate of another during different elections in not unusual.

Third, whether a party member or not, masses of voters do not bother to participate in the elections. The result has become the takeover of the electoral system and ensuing governmental functions by the elite and major interest groups supporting it. In actual sense, in the United States we do not have majority representation either at the national or state level.

Candidates are selected by a small minority of the eligible voters. For example, if a presidential candidate received 54% of popular vote, when only 52% of the eligible voters actually voted, he becomes elected by only 28.6% of the total eligible voters. He represents a small minority and not the majority of the voting population. For example, in 1980 Reagan received 51.6 % of the popular vote where only 54% of the eligible population voted. It was proper to assume that he received only 27% votes of the total eligible voters. For his second term, he received 59% of the popular vote amounting only to 29% of the total voting population. For the same token, in the 1988 election Bush received 54% or 27% of the total voting population. In 2000 and 2004 elections Bush received 25% and 26% of the total eligible voters respectively. The situation is more tragic in the case of congressional members and local officials.

Fourth, constitutionally, states have control over the electoral process including those pertaining to the national offices. Therefore, states are where all antidemocratic activities rest. Financing the elections, particularly the campaign expenditures by the candidates is mainly controlled by the elite through direct or institutional contributions. In general this is handled by each party in a way that ordinarily over 95% of the House representatives and 86% of senators are continually reelected. Nearly all of them serve the elite family. At the time of any social unrest this Congress passes appropriate welfare legislation by which a few billion dollars is distributed among the poor and lower working class or small farm operators in order to quiet down the situation and maintain stability for the proper operation of the elite institutions. Another serious problem relates to the process of voter registration which is more or less and at times highly corrupt in favor of one party or the other. The money for such programs, presently amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars, does not come out from the elite pocket but mainly from those of the middle and working class in the form of additional taxation. Another serious electoral problem relates to the process of voter registration in each state which is regularly abused in some states and manipulated in favor of one party or another. During a presidential elections this abuse is estimated to be in excess of two million votes. For example, the studies show that in 2000 presidential elections in Florida alone, tens of thousands of Afro-American voters, 90% of them expected to vote Democrat, were deprived from voting through registration abuses.[14]

With all these factual observations, one can easily conclude that there is no real democracy in the United States, at the national level in particular. The effect of such lack of democracy has placed the nation in over thirteen trillion dollars in debt the major beneficiary of which has been as always the economic elite, for which over $250 billion a year is paid in interest by taxpayers money. Realistically speaking, the U.S. President and Congress are both strong supporters and protectors of the economic elite and major interest groups which contribute to their electoral campaigns. The U.S. foreign policies are not based on international law or mutual respect to sovereignty of other nations, but to protect the U.S. capitalistic interests abroad. Any system not sympathetic to capitalistic values is not considered democratic. Such countries are considered not friendly to American policies, therefore, subject to pressure and change. For example, U.S. seceded Panama territory from Colombia in 1903 to build the Canal because of the Colombian government's rejection of the project. It has controlled the politics and economy of the country since. When General Noriega disobeyed, Panama was invaded in December 1989 and an "appropriate" obedient government was installed. Noriega, the head of a foreign country was captured, brought to the United States, tried, convicted and jailed. Granada was invaded in October 1983 to oust a Marxist oriented socialist government. An acceptable government was established under the U.S. occupation. Dominican Republic was invaded in April 1965. It was also occupied from 1916 to 1924. Troops were sent to Mexico in April 1914 to block arms shipments to Mexican revolutionaries. They stayed in Mexico for eight months. Haiti was invaded in 1915 and it remained under occupation til 1934. U.S. Marines were sent to Nicaragua in 1912 to protect the friendly government. Some Marines stayed there for 13 years. They were sent again in 1927 and stayed till 1933 when Samosa was established as the ruler. The Samosa family ruled until the Sandinista revolution in1979. U.S. troops landed in Honduras in three separate occasion, between 1912 and 1926, to protect American business interests. Starting in 1980 U.S. troops were regularly stationed in Honduras in order to protect Contra rebellion forces and impose pressure on Nicaraguan Sandinista government. Between 1898 and 1921 Marines were landed in Cuba on four occasions and remained there for a total of 12 years. U.S. established its present naval base at Guantanamo Bay in 1903. In early 1970s Chile democratically elected a Marxist government and chose Dr. Allende as President. This tended to destroy the U.S. government's theory of associating Marxism with dictatorship which was the basis of the Cold War policies. The Chilean government had to be overthrown. It was done by the CIA and millions of American taxpayers money.

This is just a regional example. The U.S. foreign policy has followed the same lawless, often utterly brutal and destructive of thousands of lives and properties, through overt and covert actions, in other parts of the world particularly in the Far East and the Middle East, anytime the American elite has shown a substantial economic or ideological interest. For example, the U.S. government efforts, in 1960s, to change the Marxist oriented socialist government of Indonesia, ruled since 1945 by Sukarno, and establish a new friendly system under the rule of Suharto caused a genocide by the new government of over 800,000 mostly innocent lives of men women and children. In just a few months in 1965 more than 200,000 people allegedly associated with Communist Party were slaughtered.[15] Since 2001, tens of thousands have died in Afghanistan War and, in Iraq, a small country with a population of about 30 million, according to new estimates, over one million have been killed as a result of war, over 95% innocent men, women and children, and 4.5 million have been displaced one half of them escaping to the neighboring countries and the rest becoming refugees in their own land.

Some decades ago the great American Philosopher John Dewey described the American system as follows: "the reactionaries are in possession of force, in not only the army and police, but in the press and the schools. The only reason they do not advocate the use of force is the fact that they are already in possession of it, so their policy is to cover up its insistence with idealistic phrases- of which their present use of individual initiative and liberty is a striking example.... It is absurd to conceive liberty as that of the business entrepreneur and ignore the imminent regimentation to which workers are subjugated, intellectual as well as manual workers." [16] The American Political democracy is not a true one. It is used carefully and skillfully as a facade to cover the ills of capitalism and actual control of the system by a very small elite. In reality, as evidenced by the facts presented above, it is a disguised brutal dictatorship,


References

1. Newsweek, May 23, 2011, p. 68.

2. Richard C. Edwards, et al, The Capitalist System: A Radical Analysis of American Society, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1972, p. 173.

3. Ibid., p. 174.

4. www.sociology.UCSC.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

5. www.dailycampus.com

6. Edwin Knoll and Judith N. McFadden, American Militarism 1970, New York: Viking Press, 1969, p, 2.

7. James Burns, J. W. Peltason and T. F. Cranin, Government by the People, 14th ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Perentice Hall, 1990, p. 279.

8. Ibid.

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid.m p. 302.

11. www.taxresearch.org.uk.results.

12. www.mindingthecampus.com/deaking_with_the_profits.html.

13. Associated Press,Washington, D.C. "Tax Dodge: Some Still Don't Pay U.S." Wisconsin State Journal,Sunday, Octobeer 22, 1989, p. 6A.

14. For detail documentation see Reza Rezazadeh, Electronic Electoral System: Simple, Abuse Free, Voter friendly,Xilibris, 2002, Chapter 2.

15. World Book, 2001,vol. 10, p. 238.

16. John Dewey, "The future of Liberalism," The Journal of Philosophy, vol.32, No 9, April 35, 1935. See also Carl Cohen, ed., Communism, Fascism and Democracy, 2nd ed.,New York: Random House, 1972, p.500.

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China Shall Be Number One:
Why, and How to Get There and Sustain Supremacy

As the country's change in leadership is set for late this year, two major and somehow surprising plans for social change are being carefully devised and, contrary to the general secrecy policy of the system, they are being presented to the public. In Guangdong province, the Communist Party chief, Wang Yang thinks that his more liberal style of governing the province might also offer a better way for running the country. It is called "Guangdong Model". According to the Economist, Nov. 26, 2011, p.50, the idea is that economic liberalism might be matched by greater political openness. Wang Yang, 56, a member of the ruling Politburo since 2007, knows well how to keep within the party's bounds. He rarely talks about his model, but among academics and commentators the idea has flourished.

The second plan is advanced by the party chief of Chongqing, Bo Xilai. It advocates the importance of the state owned enterprises, traditional socialist values, along with the inspirational force of the Mao-era songs. The Chongqing model and Mr. Bo are popular with the Maoist websites. Contrary to the past party practices, the models are being fought in open debate. It is important to notice that both Wang and Bo are likely to join the Politburo's standing committee this year, when seven of its nine members, including President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, are to step down.

How Enormous and Stable Is China?

In the political arena, one sensitive and serious concern for the Communist Party is the role of the trade unions According to Outlook Weekly, an official magazine, the Chinese courts handled over 280,000 labor disputes in 2008. As reported by China Daily, in Guangdong alone, a favorite place for foreign firms, there were at least 36 strikes in 44 days between may 25 and July 12, 2010. It must be noted that the authorities are far less likely to interfere in strike that occurs in a foreign owned firm than one owned by the state. A rational reason for this may be that as wages go up in those firms, their workers have more money to spend making the country's domestic market more lucrative. Foreign firms that come to the country because off cheap labor, are also induced to stay there for increase in consumption of their products. As a result China tends to become more of a producer for its own people and less for the world outside.

There were some 200 strikes last year in Pearl River delta involving workers of a Honda car-parts factory in Foshan, near Guangzhou, The workers claimed that their wages were disproportionately lower than their foreign managers. Wang Yang expressed sympathy with the workers' demands, and further encouraged state affiliated trade unions to be more active in representing their interests through collective bargaining. As reported by the Economist, July 31st, 2010, the recent strikes afflicting foreign factories on China's coast have shaken the popular image of the Chinese workers as being docile, diligent, and cheap. They have even caused the largest labor union in America, AFL-CIO, to applaud the courageous young workers in the Honda plant in Foshan for waging a successful strike demanding higher wages. The labor demand for wage increase is not new in Chinese. The labor cost tripled in a decade after 1995 resulting in corresponding increase in consumption. If it rises by 20 percent, it likely lead to an extra 25 billion of American exports to China, causing the creation of over 200,000 American jobs, many of them in manufacturing firms. This is what fears China the most. No wonder that these strikes are welcome by the American labor unions.

Foreign investment in China is substantial. It is estimated to be around 500 billion in China's capital stock The corresponding industries employ about 16 million Chinese workers. For a decade, this investment and cheap labor have dominated foreign manufacturing growth in China while exporting ever cheaper goods. Of its 200 major exporters in 2010, 153 were firms with a foreign stake. Obviously, the size and number of recent strikes and unrests, increasingly places Chinese labor at odds with foreign firms. This creates a serious problem for the state since it has the world's largest manufacturing workforce exceeding 112 million. The labor is still very cheap costing $0.81 an hour or just 2.7 percent of the same labor in the United States as reported by Judith Banister of the Conference Board which includes enterprises in China's towns and villages. According to this report, wages did increase by more than 9 percent a year in dollar terms between 2002 and 2006 in towns and villages and 11 percent in the cities. However, with the exception of foreign firms, elsewhere in the country ringleaders are commonly rounded up once strikes have been settled. Generally speaking, buying off strikes is still common in China. Unhappiness remains rife among the workers. Even Guangdong is no exception where dissatisfaction is wide spread among the more than 36 million migrants comprising one-third of the provincial population

One may wonder why the Communist Party call itself "communist" when it seems closer to the cut-throat capitalism of Victorian England. And, how it has stayed in power without facing any serious threat. In 1979 Deng Xiaoping, the pragmatic founder of the new China, answered it it in "four basic principles", the most important being the leading role of the Communist Party. For further clarification, Chen Yuan the hero of central planning has stated that "We are the Communist Party and we will decide what communism means." Flexibility has been essential as the party has led and adapted to necessary changes since 1979. People's voice is still effectively silenced because of the lack of free and fair elections. For example, in September 2011, Dadun, a locality in Guangdong, held an election for seats in the local legislature. Only its about 7,000 Cantonese inhabitants were allowed to vote while about 60,000 laborers from other provinces, who had mostly lived and worked in Dadun for years, were excluded.

Strongly affecting the whole situation in the workplace and the course of daily life is the status of woman's rights and ongoing struggles to gain them. According to the Economist, Nov. 26, Special Report, p. 14-16, women comprise of 49 percent of China's population, of which 46 percent is in labor force, a higher percentage than in many Western countries . It is believed that this is mainly due to the fact that Mao Zedong saw women as a resource and campaigned to get them to work away from home. China is viewed to be more open to women than other Asian countries. They expect to be taken seriously; as one Chinese woman investment banker in Beijing put it "we do not come across as deferential".

Scores of Young Chinese women leave the countryside and work in the electronic firms in the economically advanced costal areas. Though they lead a dreary and tough lives, but earn more money than their parents could ever dream of. Universities and other educational institutions are inundated by women and as a result it is thought that women in China already occupy a higher proportion of top management positions than in many Western countries.

In general, Chinese women have a very difficult life. Iris Kang, who heads the business unit for emerging markets at Pfizer, presents her case as an example of a woman with relentless self-improvement determination. After joining the private sector, already a medical doctor, she took an executive MBA at the highest rated China-Europe International Business School in Shanghai. She then added another MS in pharmaceutical medicine, all while supervising some 120 employees in her job with Pfizer. She thinks that to succeed as a woman in China, you need to be better than men.

According to Meng Xiaosi, vice president of All-China Women's Federation, beside those working in production and financial firms, China has some 29 million woman entrepreneurs of whom many have become millionaires and at least one a billionaire. However, the same harsh and competitive life applies to them as well. Fortunately, China is growing so fast that there are plenty of opportunities for start-ups and less red tape than in more advanced economies, and financing is less of a problem than in the West.

On the top of all these hardships facing women, their lives become still harsher when most Chinese men expect them to look after home and family almost single handed regardless whether they are holding a job. It is psychologically hard for many Chinese men to cope with high earning wives. For this reason successful women are often having difficulty finding a husband. According to Helene Zhuge, CEO of bon-tv, a private television network broadcasting from China, this has been a part from a broader movement over the recent years towards a greater social liberalism in China. Now, in large communities, a couple can live together without being married, divorce is common, and being gay is not a big deal.

Urgent Need for an Accelerated Democratization

Rapid developments of movements in nearly all advanced countries, apart from turmoil engulfing North Africa and the Middle East, indicate clearly that none of the existing societal concepts including capitalism, socialism, or communism is suited or able to accommodate demands for democratization by the awakened public. The exponential technological and scientific developments and the emerging new way of life, self prescribed for the people by the advanced technological environment, demand an accommodating just and fair societal system. Before getting deeply rooted in capitalism and entangled in its many economic, political, social, and cultural evil and undemocratic outcomes, China needs to develop and apply such a system.

The present worldwide awakening movements and desire for a just and fair way of life, democracy seems to be what is wished for. Even China itself is moving cautiously in that direction. As reported by the official Xinhua News Agency, when China's President, Hu Jintao opened the Communist Party's pivotal 17th National Congress on October 15, 2007, he used the word "democracy" more than 60 times in his speech. The Agency qualified the real meaning of the term stating that China will continue to develop democracy "with Chinese characteristics" under the "leadership of the Communist Party." Such official statements and rapidly changing socio-economic conditions have crystallized public determination not to allow hard-won gains in rights against the arbitrary power of the state to be rolled back or suppressed.

What kind of a new societal system should be envisioned? One such societal concept was developed by Karl Marx in 1800s after a lifetime efforts. It was a theory of communism, a perfect democratic society. Though scientifically correct, it turned out to be utopian in its essence and not possible in practice. Nearly a century later, in 1990, another such societal theory known as Technological Democracy: A Humanistic Philosophy of the Future Society, was published and followed by other relevant publications all found in the website: www.democracywhere.com . This is a scientific concept of the future society based on a single and simple principle of "equality of opportunity". Thus, unlike Marxism, it is easy to understand and reach a reasonable conclusion by the application of this principle to any situation of interest whether it concerns a moral value, certain human or societal relationship or the structure, operation of public institutions and the extent of their power. It is a concept of an equitable, just and fair society.

For example, let's take the project of social housing for the urban poor in China which has been the focus of attention of the national authorities in recent years. According to the Economist, Oct. 15, 2011, p. 50, under the direction of Li Keqiang, who is likely to become China's next prime minister, local governments have taken over building vast quantities of social housing for the urban poor. Official statistics show that these governments have been racing to meet their quotas for the year. In September, Guangdong reported an increase in its fulfillment of its quota for the year from 66 to 96 percent. In March the central government declared its goal of completing 36 million units by 2015, equivalent to building new housing for the combined population of Britain and Poland. On October 10th the central government declared that the starting of 10 million social housing for 2011 was 98 percent complete.

Under the new concept of technological democracy, the central government would have neither to plan nor supervise the implementation of such huge project. Every local community and its government will be responsible for implementation of the principle of equality of opportunity which will dete4rmine those in the need of housing. It will make planning accordingly and receive financing from the Public Consumption Fund. Under the present situation, local governments are well versed in frustrating central directives. This will not happen under the new system. Officials now find it difficult to assess who is qualified for the housing because many are disguising their true income, and some are even illegally turning their social housing into a money spinner. None of these will happen under the new system since everything will be assessed, planned, designed and built under the supervision of the local government and local community rather than by a remote central government.

Another example is the serious and complex problem preoccupying the state regarding the status of state-owned and operated production firms. It has turned out to be a particular and burdensome kind of state capitalism. In a score of industries that China deems most strategic, the government has been forcing consolidation, all held by the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC). It is the controlling shareholder of some 120 huge firms with over 3.7 trillion assets. According to the Congressional report, state-owned and state subsidized firms account for 50 percent of China's non-agricultural GDP. It demonstrates the enormous power of the Commission. Yet, official figures show the annual profits of only 129 billion for 2010. One main reason is that these firms must follow the state's goals which usually includes many other purposes beside making profits. The party regulations and political priorities must also be pursued. A study by the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in 2009 found that if state-owned industries were to pay a market interest rate like other firms, their profits would be entirely wiped out. Under the concept of technological democracy the government would have nothing to do with these huge and complex monetary, economic and regulatory problems. The whole responsibility would be automatically transferred to local communities.

Governing by the central system, while sustaining ultimate authority, will be much simpler, more effective, and far less complicated. The present Politburo will be replaced by he Presidents Commission consisting of seven members popularly elected, one member up for reelection each year. The senior member becomes the president of the nation who is responsible in making policies and executing them. The Commission rules, like the present policy making process in Politburo, by the majority opinion of its members. The president, who holds much more power than the present president and prime minister combined, has full power in dealing with foreign affairs whether political, economic, social or military. He has also supervision authority over the domestic regulation of economic, social and political matters set up on the basis of equality of opportunity, by the National Coordination and Legislative Assembly. The Assembly supervises four independent national councils responsible for setting up standards governing all domestic affairs. All the present welfare and other programs and their corresponding bureaucracies at the national and state level are discarded.

The application of equality of opportunity creates a just and fair society where everyone has the right to work and works until retirement. There is a sustained full employment, free health care, old age benefits, and free but required education for the working years. Big production and financial firms are automatically broken down into smaller units operated by the workers and their managers. People work less hours and have more time for leisure and recreation. After about thirty years of work, they retire at early 50s and have decades of free time to enjoy the life. They own their retirement assets and live comfortably from its income for life. The size of national and provincial governments is substantially decreased since many public functions are either eliminated or transferred to local communities and social organizations. The technological democratic society is a system all countries are moving towards. Whoever gets there first will dominate the situation. China has a better chance since it has not been yet contaminated by capitalistic norms as deep as the other developed countries. It is of tremendous importance for Chinese authorities and academics to study and understand this new theory of technological democracy, which if applied, will substantially accelerate China's development and advancement in reaching a just and fair democratic society. And, eventually, attaining and sustaining the number one position of power and prestige in the world.

China's number one position is not a future projection but it is based on the existing facts and statistics. China has already overtaken the United States in several key areas as number one: steel consumption (1999), mobile phone (2001), exports (2007), fixed investment (2009), manufacturing output, energy consumption, car sales and patents granted to residents (2010). It is estimated to overtake the United States in the areas of retail sales and imports (2014), GDP at purchasing power parity (2016), GDP at market rate (2018), stock market capital (2020), consumer spending (2021) and defense spending (2025). Further details are presented in economist.com/chinavusa.

In all these areas, the economic power is gauged by looking at absolute size rather than per person measures. In 2011 China exported about 30 percent more than the United States and spent some 40 percent more on fixed capital investment, and it is the world's biggest manufacturer. As a result it burns around 10 percent more energy and emits about 40 percent more greenhouse gases. The "World Competitiveness Report" by the World Economic Forum ranks China 31st out of 142 countries on the quality of its mathematics and science education, well ahead of the United States 51st place. Its external financial clout with a total net assets of $2 trillion definitely beats that of the United States facing a net debt of $2.5 trillion.

Even if China becomes the world's biggest economy by 2018, Americans would still be much richer, with a GDP per capita of four tomes that of China. At the same time, Rupert Hoogewerf, the founder of the annual Hurun Report on China's richest citizens, estimates for 2011 around 500 billionaire in china compared to some 400 in America as estimated by the Fortune Magazine. Being the number one economy in the world has its advantages. It allows military superiority, and gives the country more clout in determining international rules and policies. Historically also, the country with biggest economy has become the issuer of the main reserve currency. It would be a mistake for the United States or any other important economy to try to block China's rise. First, it will not succeed, second, China's rapid growth benefits global economy in many ways including the extension of job markets and increasing employment opportunities.

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Emperor With No Crown: Archduke Otto von Habsburg

Archduke Otto von Habsburg (1912-2011) was the son of the last Austro-Hungarian Emperor-King Charles. He was the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary from 1916 until 1918 when the empire was dissolved. At the time, the empire comprised of the modern day Austria, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and parts of Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. Accordingly, in 1922, after his father's death, he became the pretender to the former thrones, Head of the Imperial House of Habsburg and Sovereign of the Order of Golden Fleece.

As the oldest son of the last emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, and Queen Zita of Bourbon-Parma, Otto was born as third in line to the thrones with the formal title of His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke and Imperial Prince Otto of Austria, Royal Prince of Hungary and Bohemia. Since his father was never abdicated, Otto was considered by his family and many supportive Austro-Hungarians to be the rightful Emperor-King from 1922

Otto was exiled in 1918 from Austria, then under Nazi rule, and grew up mostly in Spain. His devote Catholic mother raised him according to Austro-Hungarian tradition, preparing him to become a Catholic monarch. She made him learn several languages because she believed one day he may rule over many nations. Consequently, Otto spoke fluently German, Hungarian, Croatian, English, Spanish, French, and Latin. Ultimately, he became the author of some forty books in German, Spanish, French and Hungarian. During his life in-exile he lived in Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, France and the United States. Finally, in 1954 he settled down in Bavaria, Germany, in the residence "Villa Austria" for the rest of his life. At the time of his death in 2011, he was a citizen of Germany, Austria, Hungary and Croatia.

Otto was born in Villa Wartholz in Reichenau an der Rax, Austria-Hungary on 25 November 1912, and baptized by the Prince-Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Franz Xaver Nagl, under the name of Franz Josef Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xavier Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius. In November 1916 he became the Crown Prince of the empire. However, in 1918, about the end of the First World War, the monarchies were abolished, the Republics of Austria and Hungary were founded and the family was forced into exile in Madeira. When Hungary became a kingdom again, Charles was never to regain his throne. In 1920 Admiral Miklos Horthy overthrew the Hungarian Republic and established a kingdom with himself as the regent for the Habsburgs and ruled as such until 1944 in a kingdom without a king. He made it clear that he did not wish the old king to take up his old position. After his father's death, Otto was the nominal king despite being still in exile. In the late 1920's when he became of age, there was talk for him to take his royal position. But on the advice of the Admiral he declined.

In 1922 when Otto's father died, he became the head of the "House of Habsburg" and inherited the titles of "Your Majesty" to the supporters, Emperor of Austria; King of Hungary and Bohemia, Dalmacia, Croatia, Slavonia, Calicia, and Lodomeria; King of Jerusalem; Archduke of Austria; Grand duke of Tuscany and Gracow; Duke of Loraine, Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, and Bukowina; Grand Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Silesia, Modena, Parma, Placensa, Guastalla, Aushewitz and, Zator,Teschen, Friaul, Dubrovnik, and Zadar; Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Gorizia and Gradisca; Prince of Trento and Brixen; Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia," and other minor titles.

Following the German annexation of Austria, Otto was sentenced to death by the Nazis. As ordered by Adolf Hitler, his personal property and that of the House of Hapsburg were confiscated and not given back after the war. The leading supporters of Otto were arrested by the Nazis and largely executed. His cousins were arrested by the Gestapo and sent to concentration camps. Fortunately, Otto with his entire family, were able to obtain visas from the Portuguese Consul-General in Bordeaux which saved their lives.

During his exile in the United States, Otto with his younger brother was in direct contact with President Roosevelt and the federal government by which he successfully tried to avoid the bombardment of Austrian cities, especially the capital Vienna. It was not until later in the war (1943) that Vienna was bombarded. He campaigned for postwar Austria to be free, independent and democratic, Rudolf Hess, a high official of the Nazi Germany, ordered that Otto be executed immediately if caught. After the German invasion of France the family left the French capital and fled to Portugal with a visa issued by Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese consul in Bordeaux. For his own safety, he left Europe and lived in Washington, D.C. (1940-1944) and was deeply active in postwar destiny of Europe particularly the eastern countries. In 1941 Adolf Hitler personally revoked the citizenship of Otto, his mother, and his siblings, and the imperial-royal family members found themselves stateless.

Beyond World War II
After the war Otto returned to Europe and lived in France and Spain. He remained stateless until in 1946 he was given a passport of the Principality of Monaco through the support coming from Charles de Gaulle of France. As a Knight of Malta, the Order also issued him a diplomatic passport. Later, he was also given a Spanish diplomatic passport.

In 1956 Otto was recognized as an Austrian citizen by the provincial government of Lower Austria. The Austrian Interior Ministry approved it if he shed all his royal titles and accepted the name of Dr. Otto Habsburg-Lothringen, becoming entitled to a passport valid in every country except in Austria. In May 1961, Otto renounced all claims to the Austrian throne.

In May, 1963 the Austrian Administrative Court found that Otto's statement was sufficient to meet the requirement. In 1965, along with his wife they were issued a Certified Proof of Citizenship. However, several elements in the country, particularly the Socialists, were opposed to welcoming back the heir of deposed dynasty. This touched off political infighting and civil unrest that almost precipitated a crisis of state which later became known as Habsburg Crisis. It was not until June 1966, after the People's Party won an outright majority in national election, that Otto was issued an Austrian passport, and was finally able to visit his home country in October 3, 1966, for the first time in 48 years when he travelled to Innsbruck to visit the grave of Archduke Eugen of Austria. It was not until July 5, 1967, that he visited Vienna.

Political life
Otto was active on the Austrian and European political scene from early 1930s in promoting the cause of Habsburg restoration as well as in supporting the idea of European integration. He was adamantly against nationalism, Nazism and communism which compelled him, in 1938 to flee to the United States. At Roosevelt's invitation he spent the war years in America. He became the Vice President of the International Paneuropean Union in 1957 and served as its President from 1973 until 2004; served as member of European Parliament from Bavaria (1979-1999); He was a major supporter of the expansion of the European Union from the beginning and particularly, of the acceptance of Hungary, Slevonia and Croatia; he played a central role in the revolutions of 1989 in Europe; was a strong supporter of EU membership of the central and eastern European countries. As a noted intellectual, Otto published books on historical and political affairs, and has been described as one of the architects of "European idea and European integration", along with Robert Schuman, Conrad Adenauer, and Alcide De Gasperi.

Death and funeral
When Otto's wife Regina died in 2010, he stopped public appearances. He died on July 4, 2011, at the age of 98, at his home in Pocking, Germany. It was reported that he died peacefully and without pain in his sleep. He was survived by his younger brother, Felix, 7 children, 22 grand children, and 2 great-grand children.

On July 5, his body was laid in the church of St. Ulrich near his home in Pocking, Bavaria, and a massive 13-day period of mourning started in several countries formerly part of Austria-Hungary. Otto's coffin was draped with the Habsburg flag decorated with the imperial-royal coats of arms of Austria and Hungary in addition to Habsburg family coat of arms. Following the Habsburg family royal tradition, Otto von Habsburg was buried in the family's crypt in Vienna, while his heart was buried in a monastery in Pannonhalma, Hungary.


References

Hpp://en. Wikipedia.Org/W/index.php?title=Oto_von_Habsburg&printable=yes.This was a substantial and valuable source of information in writing of this article.
"Otto von Habsburg" , The Economist, July 16, 2011, p.89.

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Keeping Assad in Power Is the Only Way to Peace in Syria

To understand the extent of complexity in the Syrian conflict, some of the views of Jamil Sawda, a Syria specialist, in his August 29, 2013 interview with ABC news are examined. [1] Who is supporting whom, and what comes next for the country.
Foreign countries, particularly some of those from the Gulf area, to compete for influence in Syria, are backing their own militant or political groups. At the same time, Syrian insurgents have increasingly dependent on foreign-sponsored support for their logistics that only foreign governments, not jihadi extremists, can supply. In this process, eager to maintain their own financial supporters, they end up to do other countries biddings which make extremely difficult the prospect of a unified Syrian opposition.
So far, the reason for the prominence and success of hard-line insurgents in 2012 and part of 2013 has been their superior material resources. Significant hard-line forces such as Ahrar al-Sham,a leading member of the Syrian Islamic Front and Free Syrian Army, an umbrella of various groups, have had a growing presence on the ground and on the front-line of most offensive attacks. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, with no doubt is ready to make a comeback to become a major player in Syria, mainly because secular opposition groups are highly divided while Islamists are highly organized.
More likely, the Muslim Brotherhood would support rebel groups .They have their own militia gathered under the Shields of the Revolution and the Committee for the Protection of Civilians. The complexity develops further because of the deep-seated division within the opposition forces themselves, each vying for power and dominance.
Developments favoring he government
According to Dr. Christof Lehmann, an independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution, a successful subversion of the Syrian government with militants becomes increasingly unlikely [2]. The Syrian military forces have inflicted heavy losses on the NATO and GCC backed insurgents. Also, a direct military intervention by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, or any of the NATO member states becomes increasingly unlikely, as Russia and China continue preventing another Libya-style intervention. Russia, Syria and Iran seem successful at conveying that a military aggression against Syria would have catastrophic regional and potentially global consequences. Meanwhile, the Syrian government has not only been very active, but very successful in molding opposition parties reform movements as well as religious and ethnic groups into a coherent and constructive alliance for peace, reconciliation and reform.
The Syrian strategy of inclusiveness and amnesty on one hand, and combating terrorism and armed subversion on the other, continues to pay peace dividends. The question is, how long time will it take and how many lives will be lost on both sides or injured, before international diplomacy begins constructive negotiations about the core issues that caused the crisis.
The national reconciliation process is beginning to gain momentum, according to Lehmann, as national Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar tours Syrian provinces to boost the implementation of the political program that has recently been approved by the Syrian government and representatives of opposition parties, religious communities, reform as well as youth movements, tribal and ethnic groups representatives, and others who are taking part in the program process.
A new initiative of the Syrian government focuses on repatriating those who went abroad to join the foreign backed subversion attempt. The Syrian Minister of Interior, Lt. General Mohammad al-Shaar stated that border crossing centers will offer all necessary facilities and assurances to all opposition forces which enter the country to take part in the national dialogue.
The latest initiative is a continuation of a successful strategy, which the Syrian government has consistently used since the onset of crisis, some two years ago. Several general amnesties have yielded results, giving those who initially have been misled or swept into the events by the power of the situation a possibility to return to a national life, and take actively part in the reform and reconciliation process. The general amnesties have especially given those who initially took up arms, but who became increasingly concerned about the influx of Salafist terrorist organizations a possibility to realign themselves with the peaceful reform process and the Syrian armed forces.
Up to the present, the armed forces of Syria have continued their crackdown on terrorist groups in Daraya,Douma, al-Husseineih, al-Bahdalieh, and al-Dhivabieh in the greater Damascus Region. The army has also confronted insurgents in the al-Fashoukh farms west of the city of Daraya, insurgrnts suffering substantial losses.
Clashes took also place on the Darab al-Hidad road to the National Hospital and at Shreida Square where the military confronted remnants of terrorist cells, and in several other locations throughout the country including the greater Aleppo region and Idlib, where an insurgent attack on the Central prison has been repelled in Hama and Daraa.
Speaking in Damascus in mid-August Assad praised recent gains by his military forces across the country and said "War is only way to end terrorism" "Syria can finish off insurgency within months if people fight with the army through a popular war." Unity between the army and people will terminate terrorism.
"Terrorism and politics are complete opposites," said Assad, who considers all rebel groups and many opposition figures fighting for his ouster as" terrorists." "There cannot be political action and progress on the political track while terrorism hits everywhere." Assad told prominent members of Syria's clergy, business, and arts community gathered for an "iftar" to break the fast during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. "No solution can be reached with terror except by striking it with an iron fist," he has said.
At the same time, the presence of foreign fighters has grown among rebel ranks and al-Qaida-linked groups have taken controle of some opposition-held territory worrying supporters of the opposition in the West and the Middle East. [3]
Israel wants to keep Assad in power
According to Jerusalem (AFP) May 22, 2013 - Middle East, the head of Israel's air force has indicated that unrest in the region increases the chance of Israel becoming embroiled in a surprised war. There are indications that Israel wants to keep Bashar al-Assad in power but suitably weakened because an Islamist regime taking over in Damascus would be much too dangerous.
Although Israel has not formally acknowledged mounting the airstrikes, there is little doubt which country in the Middle East could have carried them out. The targets were all Russian surface-to-air or Iranian surface-to-surface missiles, the Israelis say, were to be handed over to Hezbollah , the Iranian backed Lebanese Shiite movement whose forces are fighting by thousands alongside Assad's troops.
According to Abdul Qader Saleh, commander of the rebel al-Tawhid Brigade, the Syrian opposition was on the verge of taking over Assad's weapons caches, and that is why Israel attacked Syria. The assault was in support of Assad. He added that Israel is cooperating with Iran and Hezbollah - its two most dangerous enemies - to prevent the fall of Assad, who has defended Israel's borders for more than 40 years.
Efraim Halevy, the former director of Israel's Mossad intelligent service, gave some weight to the assertion that Israel doesn't want to see Assad gone. "Israel's most significant strategic goal with respect to Syria has always been a stable peace, which is not something that the current civil war has changed," he wrote in the May edition of Foreign Affairs.
"Israel knows one thing about the Assads, for the past 40 years they have managed to preserve some form of calm along the border ... Indeed, even when Israeli and Syrian forces were briefly locked in fierce fighting in 1982 during Lebanon's civil war, the border remained quiet."
However, it seems that a much profound line of thought regarding the strategic self-interest occupies the Israeli mind. Keeping Assad in power means Iran, which Israel's prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu considers as Israel's greatest enemy, will be tied down keeping its sole Arab ally and its only pass way to Lebanon in power. The same kind of interpretation is expressed by Thanassis Combsnis of the Century Foundation think tank in the Journal of Foreign Policy: "The conflict shows no sign of ending and as foreign aid to the rebels escalates, Iran will have to pour in more and more resources simply to maintain a stalemate." ]4]
In Conclusion, at the moment, Iran, Lebanon, and Russia are allies of Assad and assist him in his battle against terrorists which include also the insurgents. Israel strongly supports keeping Assad in power but somehow weekend. Assad's military is gaining ground nearly everywhere, and his programs of amnesty and reconciliation and allowing some provincial reforms places him in a dominant position. Some countries in the region and groups within Syria must choose the least of two evils, Assad or extremist Islamists.
Dr. Reza Rezazadeh (B.S.M.E., LL.B., J.D., LL.M., Ph.D., S.J.D.)


References

[1] Jamil Sawda previously worked on the Iraq Desk at the UN in New York. He holds a BA from Macquarie University, an MA on Middle East and Central Asian studies, an MA on Diplomacy and a Graduate Diploma on Strategic Affairs from the Australian National University. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the university of Canberra focusing on diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Syria.

[2] Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue to work as political consultant. He has been a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinian rights for self-determination in Palestine. He is also working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes including those committed by privileged nations. In 2011 he started his blog nsnbc and in 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper at nsnbc.wordpress@gmail.com

[3] For the text of this article see Reuters Report, "Syria's Assad: War Is Only Way to End Terrorism". Voice of America (VOA), August 5, 2013.

[4] For the text of the report see Space War Report , www.spacewar.com by ITT Technical Institute, "Israel Wants to Keep Assad in Power". Beirut, Lebanon (UPI) May 22, 2013.

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Undocumented Immigrants Rights in America

No one in government pays the slightest attention to the root of the undocumented immigrants' complaints and demands. None of the present reform efforts in Congress is relevant to or addresses the true cause of these immigrants' claims for legal rights as other Americans.

Consider you were walking home at night. A pickpocket, suddenly, jumps on your front with a gun pointed at you and demands your valet. Unwillingly, you surrender your valet and he lets you go. The valet contained all the money you owned. You hide in a corner and follow him to his resident. You know you cannot face him openly to get your valet back. You try to find a way to get in the house attempting to retrieve your valet or take some of his belongings in return. He catches you and calls the police. Police arrests you for your illegal breaking and entering into his house. The pickpocket denies your claim about your valet and you are taken away for attempted burglary. Leaving the house, you whisper to him that you will be back to get your money. As a result of your threat, the owner places bars on the windows and fortifies the entrance to the house to prevent happening of such incidents without thinking that the man he robbed had a legal right to his money which is now in his possession.

This is what we have been doing in regard to undocumented immigrants. All immigrants coming to the United States from any developing country, where the American corporations have or have had established business, have certain claim on the American wealth which was accumulated as a result of subjugation of that county's labor force where the workers received minimal survival wages, with no sick leaves, no meaningful retirement benefits or health care, and working long hours under excruciating work environment.

They are entitled to attain legal status,(1) social benefits such as health care and education for themselves and their children for which their present and previous generations of workers in their native country were entitled but were denied by their American employers.

The U.S. national and state governments are also responsible, financially and socially, to assist the undocumented immigrants in getting jobs, settling down, and receiving social benefits accorded to the U.S. citizens. This responsibility comes from the U.S. government's bloody hands in establishing influence and dominance in their native country in order to sustain stability and security for the operation of the U.S. corporate entities who ravaged the nation's resources and wealth, subjugated its working class and suppressed its people through a dictatorial government under American protection.

For example consider the power and influence of the American Fruit Company in Central and South America established and operated for decades at the cost of tens of thousands lives of innocent citizens whose only crime was to have control over their own land and national resources. The history is well illustrative of the American direct or indirect and often bloody suppression in countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq. In some of these countries the U.S. military operation had amounted to the level of genocide such as Vietnam where 2 to 4 million human lives were destroyed including total population of many villages; Indonesia, where by the help of the U.S. government the socialist government of Sukarno was overthrown and replaced by that of Suharto who slaughtered about 800,000 of his own people and an additional 250,000 in East Timor; Iraq where, according to a recent study, 625.000 lives have been banished so far, nearly 99 percent being innocent men, women and children.

It is interesting to notice that the American economic elite was much harsher on its own people before paying attention to the economic and human resources abroad. For over two centuries until the early twentieth century,this elite's sole objective was to sustain stability, often by force, and create means to maximize profits and accumulate wealth and power by enslaving the poor and working class with nearly total disregard to their welfare even essential needs. For example, "The economic crisis of 1857 brought the shoe busines to a halt and the workers of Lynn (Massachusetts) lost their jobs. ...Prices were up, wages were repeatedly cut, and by the fall of 1859 men were earning $3 a week and women were earning $1 a week, working sixteen hours a day."(2) That was 96 hours per week including Saturdays amounting to nearly 3 cents per hour for men and one cent per hour for wemen.

"A newspaper in North Carolina in August 1855 spoke of 'hudreds of thousands of working class families existing upon half-starvation from year to year'"(3) "in 1860s in New York City, girls sewed umbrellas from six in the morning to midnight, earning $3 a week from which employers deducted the cost of needles and thread. Girls who made cotton shirts received twenty-four cents for a twelve-hour day."(4) "The crisis was built into a system which was chaotic in its nature, in which only the very rich were secure. It was a system of periodic crisis -- 1837, 1857, 1873 (and later: 1893, 1907, 1919,1929) -- that wiped out small businesses and brought cold, hunger, and death to working people while the fortunes of the Asters, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Morgans, kept growing through war and peace, crisis and recovery."(5)

W. E. B. DuBois an Afro-American intellectual who came to teach at Atlanta University "saw the late nineteen century betrayal of the Negro as part of a larger happening in the United States, something happening not only to poor blacks, but to poor whites. In his book Black Reconstruction, written in 1935, he said:

'God wept, but that mattered little to an unbelieving age; what mattered most was that the world wept and still is weeping and blind with tears and blood. For there began to rise in America in 1876 a new capitalism and a new enslavement of labor.'"(6) Regarding the expantion of the American elite's operation abroad DuBois wrote later: "Home labor in cultured lands, appeased and misled by a ballot whose power the dictatorship of vast capital strictly curtailed, was bribed by high wage and political office to unite in an exploitation of white, yellow, brown and black labor in lesser lands..."(7)

More importantly, Americans who don't want Mexicans to immigrate, should remember or learn that Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase had doubled the territory of the United States, extending it to Rocky Mountains, bordering Mexico in the southwest, which had won its independence in a revolutionary war against Spain in l821. It was a large country which included Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, and part from Colorado. After agitation and aid from the United States, Texas broke off from Mexico in 1836 as the "Lone Star Republic" which was brought into the Union as a state by Congress in 1845. Then the United states decided to invade Mexico to occupy territories to the west of the Rocky Mountains, California in particular.(8)

Colonel Ethan Allen Hitchcok, commander of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, wrote in his diary: "Fort Jesup, La., June 30, 1845. Orders came last evening by express from Washington City directing General Taylor ... immediately to proceed with his whole command to the extreme western border of Texas and take up a position on the banks of or near the Rio Grande, and he is to expel any arm force of Mexicans who may cross the river."(9) The traditional border between Texas and Mexico had been the Nueces River, about 150 miles to the north, and both Mexico and the United states had recognized that as the border.(10)

General Taylor's visit to the tent of his aide Hitchcock to discuss the move is described by the latter in his diary: "He seems to have lost all respect for Mexican rights and is willing to be an instrument of Mr. Polk for pushing our boundary as far west as popssible."(11) The army progressed and arrived, March 28, 1846, in cultivated fields and hatched-roof huts hurriedly abandoned by the Mexican occupants, who had fled across the river to the city of Matamoros.(12) All that was needed was a military incident to begin the war that President Polk wanted. It came in April, when General Taylor's quartermaster, Colonel Cross, while riding up the Rio Grande, disappeared. His body was found eleven days later. It was assumed he had been killed by Mexican guerrillas. The next day (April 25), a patrol of Taylor's solders was surrounded and attacked by Mexicans, and wiped out: sixteen dead, others wounded, the rest captured. The Mexicans had fired the first shot. They had done what the American government wanted. It did not matter that they were defending their country against foreign occupation.

Colonel Hitchcock had predicted: "I have said from the first that the United States are the aggressors. ... We have not one particle of right to be here. ... It looks as if the government sent a small force on purpose to bring on a war, so as to have a pretext for taking California and as much of this country as it chooses, for, whatever becomes of this army, there is no doubt of a war between the United States and Mexico. ... My heart is not in this business ... but, as a military man, I am bound to execute orders."(13)

Accordingly, The Mexican people, have every right, historical, legal and natural, as part owners of the land taken away from them by brute force. They have right to come to the states which were part of the Mexican territory before the war. Those are their land and they have legal and natural right to be there. We are the aggressors, usurpers and occupiers. No country can take the territory from another by force and against the will of its people.

On August 2001 a study by North American Integration and Development (NAID) Center estimated that assumed 3 million undocumented immigrants from Mexico alone contributed $154 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2000 including $77 billion to the Gross State Product of California.(14) Using a higher estimate of 4.5 million, their contribution rose to 220 billion.(15)

Based on all these facts, Mexican people have every right to enter to parts from their motherland taken away from them by force and fraud and reside there as their own land. They may even try to take their land back not by force, which seems impossible, but by the weapon supplied to them by the U.S. Constitution, the ballot box. For this purpose they must be organized nationwide with a definit plan and coordination as how to take back their territory state by state. They would have important allies including Latino immigrants from other countries of South and Central America and a substantial number of those from the rest of the world. They would have also sympathizers from ordinary citizens which will vote for their candidate.

Based on the March 2002 Current Population Survey estimates, there are 34.5 million foreign-born population in the United states(16) of which 9.3 million are undocumented. Mexicans make up 57 percent of the total or about 5.3 million. 23 percent or 2,2 million are from other Latin American countries together constituting about 80 percent of all undocumented immigrants.(17)

Since World War II, forty-eight nations have been the subject of open U.S. military action or military assistance to a friendly dictatorial regimes and, at least, twenty two nations have been subject to covert operation, nearly all administered by the CIA, such as assassinations, military coups, bribery, all aimed to sustain dictators willing to protect American economic interests.

The presently claimed 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country are a very small part from the working people in developing countries subjugated, sppressed and exploited for decades by the American corporations resulting to accumulation of enormous wealth taken out of these countries amounting to trillions of dollars. In all fairness, American people owe them something substantial in return. They should be allowed to stay and be treated like citizens as a part payback from what we have taken from countries under our present or previous subjugation. The government's reform policy should also allow two to four million immigrants to enter our country each year to benefit from our social and economic resources while contributing to our social and economic well being.

If Congress is truly interested in solving the problem, this is the only rational and humane way to go. Building a protective wall, the National Guard watch, or other protective measures will not stop immigration as long as people of countries we have benefited from their labor and resources are conscious of their well documented subjugation by the American economic entities. They think they have a valid claim on American wealth which allows them a right to share in its prosperity which they have contributed to be materialized.

Immigration from developing countries to America will not last for long since the U.S. economy has started its downfall as a result of globalization and free trade.(18) Increasingly, the U.S. production of goods and services will be outsourced to countries with low costs of production and marketing, causing substantial decrease in domestic production, increasing unemployment, decreasing wages and other benefits. As this inevitable downhill trend continues, Americans will have no choice but accept low wage jobs now taken by the immigrants. All these changes will cause a decrease in immigration and the start of migration of Americans to countries where the jobs will be.

Consequently, the immigration reform as proposed above would be a temporary policy. It is estimated that by 2030 unemployment rate in the United States will rise above 12 percent. People will be happy if they could earn enough for a modest living standards. Luxury living standards will be history except for a very few super rich. Immigration will cease to be a problem.


References

1. Matt C. Abbott. "Undocumented Immigrants Should Be Given Legal Status"

2. Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States:1492-Present, New York: Harper Collins. p. 231

3. Ibid. p. 232

4. Ibid., p. 234

5. Ibid., p.242

6. Ibid., p.210

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid., p.149

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid., p.150

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid.

13. Ibid., p. 151

14. Matt C. Abbott. op. cit.; Eving Walter. "Immigration Policy for the 21st Century: The Case for legalization of Undocumented Immigrants"

15. Ibid.

16.

17. Ibid.

18. See "Globization and the End of Capitalism"

 

Dr. Reza Rezazade

Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin

B.S.M.E., LL.B., J.D., LL.M., Ph.D., S.J.D.

Wbsite: www.democracywhere.com

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Dangers of Underestimating Iran

Iran is not afraid of the United States because it has a better, more devastating weapon than the atomic bomb against the United States. It is obvious that Iran could be of no danger to the United states if it possessed such weapon because it has no delivery system and has no intention of invading its neighbors. It only fears Israel as the U.S. proxy. It may need atomic weapons for security reasons while it is surrounded by nations possessing such weapon. Iran is correct with its claim that its atomic energy establishments are for peaceful purpose. It may mean that if Iran possessed such weapon, it would not be for offensive purpose but for stopping intimidation by other countries such as Israel.

With this strategy in minds, Iran should not be pressured to stop its atomic energy research. After all, India, Pakistan and Israel were not pressured not to engage in such activities. If Iran is unjustly pressured by the United States and Europe, there may come a point that it may have no choice but to counteract. Iran is in a position of wrecking the American and European economies just in a matter of hours. If Iran is pushed against the wall or its installations are bombed, it may be obliged to bomb and deactivate the Saudi Arabia's famous oil refinery, the largest in the region, capable of refining some 10 percent of the world's oil. Iran can do this by launching a few of its long range missiles accurately directed to their targets.

Regardless of any counteraction against Iran by its enemies, the damage will be done. Iran may also threaten that any counteraction may oblige it to invade other oil installations in the region except those of Iraq. Ayatollah Khamnei recently clearly declared that in the case of American intervention, no American interest in the region will be spared.

It is estimated that restoring this refinery to its present level of production will require at least six months and this destruction alone will cause, also as estimated, the price of oil to rise to $6.00 in the U.S. and $10.00 in Europe. In the United States, the production cost and price of nearly all commodities will skyrocket, Many small and medium size businesses will go bankrupt; a significant part of the work force would become unemployed and the life will become hectic even for the middle class Americans. The government, already operating with some $500 billion deficit and with substantially reduced revenues, will not be able to respond to desperate conditions of the population or the protection of its global policies.

With all these easily possible actions, a wise decision for the West may seem to let Iran alone in its atomic energy endeavors in accordance with the nonproliferation treaty which allows member countries to do research and discoveries in the atomic energy field.

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