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Posts Tagged ‘revolution’

World cannot survive without a revolution

Posted by msrb on June 11, 2009

Not Just the US, world cannot survive without a revolution

Consider this:

1. About 92 percent of all economic activity goes toward maintaining a system that is destroying the very world our lives depend on.

2. Between us and a possible future stands a tiny minority that actively destroys our chances of getting there.

It’s time for a second American revolution in the spirit of perestroika

Mikhail Gorbachev
June 10, 2009

Years ago, as the Cold War was coming to an end, I said to my fellow leaders around the globe: the world is on the cusp of great events, and in the face of new challenges all of us will have to change, you as well as we. For the most part, the reaction was polite but sceptical silence.

In recent years, I have often told listeners that I feel Americans need their own change – a perestroika, not like the one in my country, but an American perestroika – and the reaction has been markedly different. Halls filled with thousands of people have responded with applause.

Some have reacted with understanding. Others have objected, sometimes sarcastically, suggesting that I want the United States to experience upheaval, just like the former Soviet Union. In my country, particularly caustic reactions have come from the opponents of perestroika, people with short memories and a deficit of conscience.

Our perestroika signalled the need for change in the Soviet Union, but it was not meant to suggest a capitulation to the US model. Today, the need for a more far-reaching perestroika – one for America and the world – has become clearer than ever.

The need for change in the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s was urgent. The country was stifled by a lack of freedom, and the people – particularly the educated class – wanted to break the stranglehold of a system that had been built under Stalin.

We opted for free elections, political pluralism, freedom of religion and an economy with competition and private property. We sought to effect these changes in an evolutionary way and without bloodshed. We made mistakes. Important decisions were made too late, and we were unable to complete our perestroika. Nevertheless, perestroika won, because it brought the country to a point from which there could be no return to the past.

In the West, the break-up of the Soviet Union was viewed as a total victory that proved that the West did not need to change. Western leaders were convinced that they were at the helm of the right system and of a well-functioning, almost perfect economic model. Scholars opined that history had ended. The dogma of free markets, deregulation and balanced budgets at any cost was force-fed to the rest of the world.

But then came the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, and it became clear that the new Western model was an illusion that benefited chiefly the very rich. Statistics show that the poor and the middle class saw little or no benefit from the economic growth of the past decades.

The global crisis demonstrates that the leaders of major powers had missed the signals that called for a perestroika. The result is a crisis that is not just financial and economic. It is political, too.

The model that emerged during the late 20th century has turned out to be unsustainable. It was based on a drive for super-profits and hyper-consumption for a few, on unrestrained exploitation of resources and on social and environmental irresponsibility.

But if all the proposed solutions and action now come down to a mere rebranding of the old system, we are bound to see another, perhaps even greater upheaval down the road. The current model does not need adjusting; it needs replacing. I have no ready-made prescriptions. But I am convinced that a new model will emerge, one that will emphasise public needs and public good, such as a cleaner environment, well-functioning infrastructure and public transport, sound education and health systems and affordable housing.

Elements of such a model already exist in some nations. Countries such as Malaysia and Brazil have achieved impressive rates of growth. China and India have pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. By mobilising state resources, France has built a system of high-speed railways, while Canada provides free health care. Among the new democracies, Slovenia and Slovakia have been able to mitigate the social consequences of market reforms.

The time has come to strike the right balance between the government and the market, for integrating social and environmental factors and demilitarising the economy.

Washington will have to play a special role in this new perestroika, not just because the United States wields great economic, political and military power, but because America was the main architect, and America’s elite the main beneficiary, of the current world economic model. That model is now cracking and will, sooner or later, be replaced. That will be a complex and painful process for everyone, including the United States.

However different the problems that the Soviet Union confronted during our perestroika and the challenges now facing the United States, the need for new thinking makes these two eras similar. In our time, we faced up to the main tasks of putting an end to the division of the world, winding down the nuclear arms race and defusing conflicts. We will cope with the new global challenges as well, but only if everyone understands the need for real, cardinal change – for a global perestroika.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, heads the International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies, a Moscow-based think tank.

Source: SMH

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Posted in cabal, demilitarizing economy, ecosystems collapse, endless wars, US Stalinist System | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

China on the brink of mass unrest

Posted by msrb on January 6, 2009

China: A New Revolution May Be in the Making

Out with the old corrupt regime; in with the young new visionaries

Outlook (Liaowang) Magazine, produced by the official Xinhua news agency, warned this week that weakening economic outlook could result in large scale unrest by millions of disparate migrant workers and university graduates without jobs.

“‘Without doubt, now we’re entering a peak period for mass incidents,’ a senior Xinhua reporter, Huang Huo, told the magazine, using the official euphemism for riots and protests.” Reuters reported.


Migrant workers wait to board a train back home at the waiting room of a railway station in Taiyuan, Jiangxi province December 16, 2008. Rising unemployment and a widening income gap are the two issues of most concern to Chinese people, an annual report released on Monday by the Chinese Academy of Social Science said, China Daily reported. REUTERS/Stringer (CHINA). CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA. Image may be subject to copyright.

“In 2009, Chinese society may face even more conflicts and clashes that will test even more the governing abilities of all levels of the Party and government.” Huang Huo said.

“The candor about these problems reflects the severity of the unemployment problem. It’s meant to attract the attention of all levels of government,” said Mao Shoulong, a professor of public policy at Beijing’s Renmin University.

“The government wants to show that stability is at the top of its agenda.”

“The biggest threats to China’s social fabric will come from graduating university students, facing a shrinking job market and diminished incomes, and from a tide of migrant laborers who have lost their jobs as export-driven factories have shut.” The report said.

“Factory closures, sackings and difficulties paying social security had already unleashed a surge of protests, the report said. Officials in provinces that have provided tens of millions of low-paid workers for coastal factories have reported a leap in the number returning to their farm homes without work.”

The authorities estimated that there were about 10 million jobless rural migrant workers, the magazine said.

A total of 7 million university and college graduates, including the ones who are still jobless since graduating in 2008, would be hunting for jobs this year, Huang estimated.

Based on its 8 percent GDP growth target, the government could probably generate about 8 million new jobs for the whole country this year, he added. Bearing in mind that in 1989,  the core of the pro-democracy protests comprised of university students.

“If in 2009 there is a large number of unemployed rural migrant laborers who cannot find work for half a year or longer, milling around in cities with no income, the problem will be even more serious,” said Huang.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said: “We have the ability and the confidence to ensure the Chinese economy’s stable and relatively fast growth and to ensure social stability.”


The Morning After. Victims of Tiananmen Massacre-Beijing, June 4th, 1989.  More horrific images available at source.

The Outlook report said that the protests were “increasingly politicized, making it harder for officials to douse them by force or cash hand-outs.”

“Social conflicts have already formed a certain social, mass base so that as soon as there is an appropriate fuse it always swiftly explodes and clashes escalate quickly,” said Huang. Source

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Posted in Beijing, Renmin University, riots, Tiananmen massacre, Xinhua | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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