The World Breaking Free Frightened the Security Councils of Every Western Nation

The security councils of the historical colonial empires were horrified to observe that not only were populations on the periphery of empire who provided their cheap resources taking the rhetoric of democracy seriously and breaking free, but the empires were also losing traditional allies.

After WW II, a Soviet system of government was installed in all but Hungary and Czechoslovakia when Hitler’s armies were driven from Eastern Europe. The security councils of all major Western nations were traumatized as:

1 Hungary and Czechoslovakia, with diplomatic pressure from the Soviet Union but still of their own choice, quickly slipped into the Soviet orbit and labor now governed half of Europe.[1]

2 In Greece, only an alliance with Hitler’s puppets, massive repression, and massacres of the partisans who had kept two-thirds of the country out of Hitler’s control throughout WW II kept the Greek nation in the Western orbit (this first battle of the Cold War started before WW II ended and was fought strictly against our former allies; the awakened workers of Greece).[2]

3 Through nonviolent protest, Gandhi freed India from Britain.

4 In spite of large expenditures of money and arms, military advisers, and the United States transporting Chiang Kai-shek’s troops back and forth across China, one-fifth of the world’s population was lost to the West: China was suddenly free to chart her own destiny.

5 World opinion forced the dictation of the U.S. presidential “white paper” that would return Taiwan (Formosa) to China.[3]

6 South Korea was having massive riots, over 100,000 killed.[4] The collaborationists of the United States installed Dictator Syngman Rhee, who before elected had spent 20 years in exile in Hawaii, were overwhelmingly voted out of parliament, “several crack South Korean military units [had] defected to leftist forces,” and South and North Korea were rejoining as one nation outside the control of imperial capital.[5]

7 Japan, Germany, and Italy, being far from friends with their recent conquerors, made it uncertain if the facade of democratic control of those populations would hold, and France was equally insecure.[6]

8 Workers in all nations of Europe were developing a political consciousness and not only were the Western economies not picking up as planned, they were moribund. The beacon of capitalism, the receptacle of power for the descendants of the old First and Second Estates and philosophical foundation for their imposed belief systems, was not shining brightly enough to claim the loyalties of the world’s intellectuals or that of the stirring masses.

The Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe and retain its loyalty went forward at full speed and only by expenditure of tens of millions of dollars in the Italian and French elections, a practice which lasted two decades in France and four decades in Italy, were those two countries kept within the system of allied imperial centers of capital.

9 Virtually the entire colonial world was breaking free, their resources would be turned to the care of their own people, and those resources could no longer be siphoned to the old imperial centers of capital for a fraction of their value.

10 China and Eastern Europe were now allied with the fully federated Soviet Union. If the world’s former colonies continued to take the rhetoric of democracy seriously and form the nonaligned bloc as they were planning, over 80% of the world’s population would be independent or on the other side of the ideological battle. And, if Japan, Germany, Italy, and France could not be held, it was far from sure they could be, that would leave only the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia, about 10% of the world’s population, still under the old operational philosophies, and even there the ideological hold would be tenuous at best.

After all, if there were no countryside under the firm control of an imperial center, the entire neoliberal-neo-mercantilist philosophical system will have disappeared.

What Western nations were observing, of course, was the same potential loss of resources and markets, their “countryside,” as the city states of Europe had experienced centuries earlier. “National security” and “security interests,” which citizens were coached, propagandized, to believe meant fear of a military attack, really meant maintaining access to the weak, impoverished world’s valuable resources.

The “domestic prosperity” worried about was only their own. The “constantly expanding trades” were unequal trades maintaining the prosperity of the developed world and the impoverishment of the undeveloped world as the imperial centers of capital siphoned the natural wealth of their “countryside” to themselves.

A Crisis of Overproduction had to be averted

With industrial capacity increased 50% during WW II, U.S. industry was calculated to be twice what was necessary for America’s needs and almost enough to produce for the entire world at its pre-war level of consumption.[7] One of the primary tenets of capitalist market economics is much smaller production surpluses than that leads to an economic depression.

The eighth conclusion of NSC-68, the master plan for the Cold War, states: “There are grounds for predicting that the United States and other free nations will within a period of a few years at most experience a decline in economic activity of serious proportions unless more positive government programs are developed than are now available.”

In a democracy, the legitimacy of both ideology and leaders are judged at the ballot box by how well its citizens are cared for. Every leader in the developed world still remembered how near the world was to a ballot box revolution during the Great Depression; a market for excess productive capacity was crucial.

In short, the waste of building arms and covert and overt wars was both to protect the existing trade structure and to be a Keynesian infusion of money into the economy to prevent a replay of the Great Depression and the threat of a ballot box revolution.

But the post-WW II stirring of the masses worldwide was a more immediate concern. Noting the threat to their commerce and wealth as the entire world was taking the rhetoric of freedom and democracy seriously, corporations, through control of policy of the one remaining wealthy nation, America, and the devastated nations of Europe and Japan, made the same decision as the free cities of Europe centuries earlier. Threatened with loss of their cheap, but valuable, resources and profitable markets, they had to reclaim control of their countryside:

Fostering a world environment in which the American system can flourish … embraces two subsidiary policies. One is a policy which we would probably pursue even if there was no Soviet threat. It is a policy of attempting to create a healthy international community. The other is a policy of “containing” the Soviet system. These two policies closely … interact with one another.[8]

Of course, the “healthy international community” Secretary of State Dean Acheson, one of the primary architects of the Cold War, had in mind as he was justifying NSC-68 was only from the perspective of those who watch the wealth of others roll into their vaults.

A healthy community as enforced by the Free cities of Europe 800 years ago meant wealth to them and poverty for the defeated countryside and neighboring cities. A healthy international community, from the perspective of corporate imperialism, means wealth for the developed corporate world and poverty for the formerly colonized, still defeated, and re-colonized undeveloped world.

Control had to be re-established. Although done in the name of peace, freedom, justice, rights, and majority rule, all frameworks of orientation (propaganda, perception management), the fundamental goal of the forming IMF-World Bank-GATT-NAFTA-WTO- MAI-GATS-FTAA-CAFTA-military cartel and the covert actions authorized by NSC-68, and many lesser Security Council directives both before and after that master plan, was a super-cartel reclaiming and maintaining control over valuable resources and profitable markets and the very negation of the principles so loudly touted as their rationale.[9]

The real fear was people taking democracy seriously, deciding their own destiny, and corporations losing access to those cheap resources and valuable markets.

Under such threats American became a full fledged Empire and we turn to that story

Those crucial 170 words describing an honest, efficient, capitalist economy. Does anyone have the ear of President Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Team?

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[1] Certainly there was repression within Hungary and Czechoslovakia as the Soviet Union suppressed the political elements who wished to ally with their cultural and religious cousins in the West. But, as will be demonstrated in the next chapter, the repression exercised to maintain the Eastern European bloc pales alongside the massive repression required worldwide to suppress the many attempted breaks for freedom from imperial capital.

[2] Lawrence Wittner, American Intervention in Greece (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), especially pp. 162, 283; Kati Marton, The Polk Conspiracy: Murder and Cover-up in the case of Correspondent George Polk, (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1990); C.M. Woodhouse, The Rise and Fall of the Greek Colonels, (New York: Franklin Watts, 1985); Stephan Rosskamm Shalom, Imperial Alibis (Boston: South End Press, 1993) pp. 26, 26; William Blum, CIA: A Forgotten History (London: Zed Books, 1986), pp. 31-36; David Leigh, The Wilson Plot (New York; Pantheon, 1988), pp. 17-18; William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream (New York: Bantam Books, 1990), pp. 433-43; Michael McClintock, Instruments of Statecraft (New York: Pantheon, 1992), pp. 11-17.

[3] Eric Wolf, Europe and the People Without History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982), pp. 99-100.

[4] One has to research deep to find the true level of South Korean massacres of civilians. These slaughters of dissidents to maintain control of South Korea and prevent its rejoining the North were still going on as late as 1980 (Lee Jai-eui, Kwangju Diary: Beyond Death, Beyond the Darkness of Age. (Los Angeles: University of California, 1999).

[5] Ibid, pp. 99-100; I.F. Stone, The Hidden History of the Korean War (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1952); Chalmers Johnson, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of the American Empire (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 2000), chapter 4.

[6] Ibid, chapter 3, pp. 43, 61, 97, 108, 110, 119; Gabriel Kolko, The Politics of War (New York: Pantheon, 1990), chapters 3-4.

[7] Sidney Lens, Permanent War (New York: Schocken Books, 1987), pp. 20-21;William Appleman Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, (New York: W.W. Norton, 1988), pp. 208, 235.

[8] Arjun Makhijani, From Global Capitalism to Economic Justice (New York: Apex Press, 1992), pp. 25-26, quoting a memorandum on NSC-68.

[9] The meaning of cartel is “A group of parties, factions, or nations united in a common cause; a bloc. That is a perfect description of both the city states of Europe controlling resources and the wealth producing process 800 to 1,000 years ago, as addressed in chapter Two, and the control of resources and the wealth producing process after WW II by the imperial centers of capital. All history between those two eras, when honestly written, will show that control of wealth and power are the causes of most wars, both internal and external.

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