Since Sep 14, 2004
THE WORLD ON FIRE
When Communism was "defeated" and the Cold War ended, many believed a great future was at hand for all mankind. US State Department official Francis Fukuyama went further when he concluded that the end of the Cold War meant an end of history; since history was nothing but humanity's struggle for the right ideology, now, no veritable alternative to a capitalist democracy existed.
After the "defeat" of communism free men around the world felt safe. The "victorious" American enjoyed a false sense of prosperity and freedom. However, a new frustration began to surface, one reflected in a short paragraph that appeared in the press:
Joe Smith awakes having set his alarm clock (made in China), shaves with his electric razor (made in Hong Kong), puts on a shirt (made in Sri Lanka), designer pants (made in Singapore) and tennis shoes (made in Korea), prepares his breakfast in an electric skillet (made in India) and sits down with his calculator (made in Mexico) to work on his budget. After setting his watch (made in Taiwan) to the radio (made in India), he drives his car (made in Japan) and continues his search for the American job. At the end of a disappointing day he relaxes by putting on his sandals (made in Brazil), pouring himself a glass of wine (made in Chile), turning on his TV (made in Indonesia) and then wonders why he cannot find a job in America.
Economist Paul Craig Roberts writes: "American communities are losing manufacturing jobs. Americans who used to make things for a living now have part-time jobs at Wall-Mart selling items made abroad...and maintain their consumption by spending the equity when refinancing their homes. In the past five years, mortgage debt has risen 55 percent. Total personal debt now stands 100 percent of personal income. The United States has made the transition from the accumulation of wealth to the consumption of wealth." (Conservative Chronicle, February 22, 2003).
What is true for the individual in the above case is also true for the country. Massive U.S. trade deficits are being financed by the transfer of American assets to foreign lands. Everyday Americans hand over a billion dollars in treasury and corporate bonds, real estate, and corporate equities to foreigners. How long will the illusion of prosperity and peace endure before Americans (living it up importing inexpensive products paid by large trade deficits), realize that the merchandise they purchase is no longer easy on the pocketbook and their dollar continues to lose its value? How long will it take before trade deficit in America (once the world's greatest creditor and now the world's greatest debtor) affects the living standard of every citizen? Publicist Pat Buchanan has concluded that as Congress votes for tax cuts, spends billions to bail out deadbeat countries and assists decaying international banks, Americans will face a serious economic crisis.
While apostles of globalization, such as Thomas Friedman, believe that exporting the idea of free markets and political democracy increase prosperity and peace throughout the developing world, Professor of International Trade at Yale University Ama Chua argues the opposite. In her book World on Fire, researched and experienced as a Chinese brought up in the Philippines, Chua concludes that instead of peace and increased prosperity free market brings about ethnic conflict and ugly violence in developing countries. In Asia, Africa, Russia and Latin America a free market has created above all a new class of immensely rich plutocrats who are mainly members of a minority groupChinese in the Philippines, Croatians in the former Yugoslavia, whites in Latin America, Indians in East Africa, Jews in postcommunist Russia.
Chinese speaking citizens make up only 1 to 2% of the Philippine population, yet own the majority of the country's business assets and live secluded in a luxurious world fenced off from the indigenous majority whom they hold in contempt. The same situation existed in Indonesia. The Chinese made up 3% of its vast population, yet owned the great majority of all businesses. The dictator Suharto and his family had lucrative ties to the Chinese community. When his government fell in 1998, democratization set off a vicious pogrom against the Chinese. When most of them fled to Singapore, the new Indonesian government expropriated $58 billion of their assets.
In other words, the market dominant minorities in the Third World become targets of envy. Adding democracy to this violent mix unleashes suppressed ethnic hate and brings to power ethno-nationalistic governments that pursue aggressive policies of confiscation and revenge.
Ex-communists around the world take delight at such developments. They see capitalism digging its own grave. Marxists define America as imperialistic. She controls the sources of the world by neo-colonization, i.e., she exploits former colonies and backs corrupted regimes resulting in favorable conditions for an inevitable "Second World Socialist Revolution." Communists behind the former Iron and Bamboo Curtains--from the Czech Republic to the Peoples' Republic of China--have never been defeated. They have only retreated to take a deep breath to acquire Western technology and develop new tactics toward the conquest of the world. In the Czech Republic, for example, an agreement was made with dissident Vaclav Havel to vote him in as President of the republic, orchestrate their "velvet revolution" and establish their phony postcommunism. Thirteen years later the communists again were decisive in the election of Vaclav Klaus as the second Czech president.
A comparable situation exists everywhere in "postcommunism" where communists govern as capitalists and democrats as is the case in Poland with Kwasniewski, in Ukraine with Kuchma, in White Russia with Lukashenka, in Azerbaijan with Shevardnadze and in China with Hu Jintao.
In the rest of the world, where communists and their collaborators are not fully in power, it is the socialists who prepare the ground for revolution. Europe is already under their spell. The bureaucratic European Union will complete their absolute rule. In South America, the continent is on fire with strikes, terror, and bankruptcies. Narcotic trade financed guerillas carry out battles with bourgeois governments. Southern Asia impassioned by class and territorial conflicts and armed with weapons of mass destruction smolders before exploding. The Near East, the gas station of the world and the permanent arena of Arabs and Jews, is the source of world terrorism as witnessed by the destruction of thousands of lives in New York's World Trade Center and Washington's Department of Defense. As Lenin claimed a century ago, the object of history is nothing but "who gets whom."
History continues. The world is on fire.
Prof. Dr. Ing. Libor Brom
Libor Brom is an emeritus professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures and director of Russian Area Studies at the University of Denver. He is the author of nine books and a great deal of studies in the field of Slavic culture and civilization. In addition, he has lectured at numerous institutions of leaming and before many civic and religious groups on education, literature, and inrernational relations. He has appeared on three continents and often on radio and television. A native Czechoslovakian, Dr. Brom is an American citizen. He received his education at the Czechoslovak Institute of Technology, School of Economics, the Charles University of Prague, School of law, the San Francisco State University, and the University of Colorado. In Europe, Dr. Brom served as an economist and lawyer in International Business and as the chief planner in the research development, and normalization of Czechoslovak river shipbuilding. As a professor in the United States, he was selected by the Modern Ianguage Association of America as the Teacher wih Superlative Performance, named The American by Choice in Colorado, and received a National Americanism Medal. In the College Book by the Ballantine Books of New York, '984 he is named Denver University's best professor. Dr. Brom served in the leadership of many national and international organizations and was imprisoned by both the Nazis and the Communists. He is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.