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What would it take for Russia to be #1?


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#3561 woj1@cyberonic.

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Posted 14 August 2004 - 09:53 AM

The Progress M-50 ship docked automatically with the orbiting station on schedule at 9:01 a.m. Moscow time bringing food, water, fuel and other items to the two-man Russian-American crew,.
The ship had lifted off from Russia's Baikonour cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday. The trip to the station normally takes two days, but Russian space agency officials had said the cargo ship would take 24 hours longer than usual as part of an experiment to try to save fuel.
Padalka and Fincke arrived in April for a six-month stint at the station, whose assembly has been on hold since the U.S. space shuttle Columbia disaster in February 2003.
Russia and the United States agreed to split the costs of sending men and material to the space station, but only Russian spacecraft have been used since the shuttle disaster. The Progress is the third Russian resupply ship sent this year. http://story.news.ya..._space_station:)
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#3562 donquijote

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Posted 14 August 2004 - 11:26 AM

Originally posted by woj1@cyberonic.
Wrapping up; International Coops have no chance for grow because nationalism is very strong feeling and tight people regardless their place on social scale.
And this is very positive thing for saving nations as a group. It means that Globalization will be terminated and central power eliminated.
Future is very bright. Slavs unite!:)



Even if for competitive reasons, America shows that all races can get along and prosper. I don't see why we can't get along on cooperation as well. One thing, the lion is absolutely internationalist. His only ideology is money.

But Internationalism is also a law of communism, an ideology you claim to espouse sometimes.:confused:
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#3563 donquijote

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Posted 14 August 2004 - 06:46 PM

"identifying the world's principal problems as systemic"

Bader, tomorrow there's the vote in Venezuela. What is the world to gain either way? The jungle will continue...:confused:

"The Venezuela that could have been: Neither Banana Republic nor Cuba"

More like Norway, perhaps better, exploring different means to empower
the people directly: THE COOPERATIVE... Regrettably, our politicians
are sold, and our caudillismo, too strong...

But is there HOPE? That's exactly what I propose, going back to what it should have been...;)

***

Dilemmas of Social Democracies

The Venezuela That Might Have Been

This chapter will suggest, and seek to put on the agenda
for further discussion, a way to advance the construction of social
democracy. It would have been especially effective in Venezuela in
the middle of the 1970s, when that country enjoyed a bonanza in oil
revenue. Like Norway, Venezuela has had unusual opportunities to
build social democracy because of oil. No matter how much
international competition pushes wages down, rents derived from the
extraction of a natural resource, in this case oil, are still
available to subsidize social improvements. Much depends on which
improvements are deemed to be worthy of being subsidized. Budget
becomes philosophy.

(snip)

Among those who, unlike AD and COPEI, are less often
accused of having simply abandoned radical social analysis and
accepted capitalism, one might list the following:

Those for whom radicalism implies violence. It is supposed that if
one believes that one social class has power over the means of
production, and another does not, then, given that "no social class
has ever given up power voluntarily" the only way to achieve the
fulfillment of the founding ideals of social democracy is by force.
In Venezuela such ideas have sometimes been associated with the
concept that it is fruitless for the working class to form
anti-imperialist electoral alliances with a national bourgeoisie, in
part because according to the argument, no national bourgeoisie
exists. Venezuela is thoroughly integrated into the global capitalist
system.[7]

Those for whom radicalism implies class-identification with workers
and/or the marginalized unemployed or underemployed. The measure of
radicalism becomes the extent of commitment to solidarity with the
victims of the system. Sometimes too, such "radicals" are those
particularly unwilling to form alliances or to compromise.[8]

Those for whom radicalism is mainly anti-imperialism. It is supposed
that at this stage in history, the CIA, the American military machine,
and the transnational businesses it protects, are the concrete
embodiments of global class rule. The political goals of the
impoverished masses become identified with the goals of third world
nationalism.

(snip)

If one regards the core of the problem as "alienation," and the core
of the solution as "de-alienation," then it is possible to see how
social democracy can solve the problems that structural obstacles make
it hard to solve--while agreeing with Karl Popper that the only
legitimate use of violence is to use it to defend democracy and the
rule of law, i.e., to defend nonviolence; while promoting a program of
social peace, justice, and sustainability that actually serves the
long-term best interests of the rich, even though the principal
impetus for it can be expected to come from the poor, who would be its
principal beneficiaries; while identifying the world's principal
problems as systemic (as caused, as Emile Durkheim would say, by
institutions in which conventional roles persist while the persons who
fill them come and go)[9] without blaming the problems on CIA agents,
Americans, managers of corporations, military officers, terrorists, or
any other persons or groups of persons; and while appreciating without
exaggerating the positive contributions of religions and other
pre-modern and non-modern belief systems.

more...

http://www.west.net/.../dilemmas14.htm
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#3564 Guest_{pdX}Roboc_*

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Posted 14 August 2004 - 09:54 PM

YOU DONT WANNa BE #1 IT AINT WORTH THE HEADACHES!.....
see how happy the swiss are?
stay small and neutral that is the best policy.
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#3565 woj1@cyberonic.

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Posted 14 August 2004 - 11:52 PM

{pdX}Roboc: @YOU DONT WANNa BE #1 IT AINT WORTH THE HEADACHES!.....@

Battle of Copenhagen
(April 2, 1801)
British naval victory over Denmark in the Napoleonic Wars.
The armed-neutrality treaty of 1794 between Denmark and Sweden, to which Russia and Prussia adhered in 1800, was considered a hostile act by England. In 1801 a detachment of the British navy was sent to Copenhagen. After a fierce battle in the harbor, Adm. Horatio Nelson, ignoring orders to withdraw from the fleet commander, Sir Hyde Parker, instead continued to destroy most of the Danish fleet. Danish losses amounted to some 6,000 dead and wounded, six times those of the British. Denmark subsequently withdrew from the neutrality treaty.http://www.britannic... danish war&ct=

You have to be very well armed to be neutral country or be very well protected by rich and famous of the world like Swiss which helps to funnel the money .:)
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#3566 donquijote

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 02:24 AM

Originally posted by {pdX}Roboc
YOU DONT WANNa BE #1 IT AINT WORTH THE HEADACHES!.....
see how happy the swiss are?
stay small and neutral that is the best policy.



Howdy Roboc
We have been basically discussing three models: Scandinavian, Coops and the Swiss. Good point that Switzerland offers a model of neutrality. As for the charge of Woj--that they are the bankers of the world--we could make the same charge to America, and yet it's not invested wisely, certainly not in military adventures. Another thing, Switzerland protects first and foremost her own citizens--nuclear shelters, etc--while in America you're basically on your own. Coops can work simultaneously with either model as they are independent from the government. Regarding the Scandinavian model, Finland can offer a lot to Russia, being #1 in a number "quality of life" rankings--this is what I mean by Russia #1--while providing the greatest economic freedom, lowest corruption and best freedom of the press in the world. Of course, the fact of having some common history and having common borders can only help it.

Yet it's not the classic welfare state...;)

(Note this is the REVERSE of what Russia is doing, moving away from welfare as it did recently with the elderly.)

Social Welfare and Health Care Services in Finland

Finnish social and health policy has always stressed the equal availability of services. The intent has been to provide services to all regardless of social group, income or place of residence. Finland uses, for example, less than 8 % of its GDP on health care* (OECD 1997) with 75 % of money coming from public sources. The goals of the Finnish social and health policy in the future are to ensure that all population groups have even better access to social and health care services which are effective and of high quality; to stress the priority of open care services; to support smooth co-operation between primary care and specialised care and also between social and health care services; and to give municipalities increased influence over the provision of services (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 1997).

Nordic prosperity has its roots in rapid economic growth, which has necessitated the mobilisation of the total potential work force, including the mothers of young children, into the labour market. This has created the need for developing a day care system for children and also other social services. From the year 1996, every child under school age in Finland has been entitled to a municipal day care place. The high percentage of full-time employed women has also necessitated the development of a comprehensive care system for the elderly. Elderly people are only seldom taken care of by their full-time employed children.

Municipalities bear the main responsibility for the provision of social welfare and health services. Most provide their social welfare services independently while their health services are provided through their own multi-professional health centres and health centre hospitals - the smallest municipalities form joint municipal authorities for this purpose. For the provision of specialised care, the country is divided into 21 hospital districts with several hospitals in each district, although in this respect Helsinki University Hospital constitutes a hospital district of its own. A major part of the primary health care services for people of working age are provided by the occupational health services. Finland has also well-organised private health care services for both primary and specialised health care. These are partly financed by the Social Insurance Institution. Roughly 42 % of all health care expenditure was spent on in-patient services and 35 % on out-patient care. Finns have yearly about 1.3 hospital days per person in specialised care and 1.5 in primary care. Each Finn has a mean annual average of 1.1 specialist consultations and 4.5 primary care consultations in public sector and 0.6 in private sector (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 1997).

http://info.stakes.f... statistics.htm

*America's expenditure on healthcare is 14%.
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#3567 donquijote

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 02:44 AM

You don't want to live in Baghdad, you want to live in Zurich...;)

Mercer Human Resource Consulting
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#3568 donquijote

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 03:33 AM

http://engforum.prav...4927#post984927
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#3569 donquijote

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 05:23 AM

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Uragan
Large Government Controlled Industries with small private service companies.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Coops, coops and more coops...;)

Anarchism tomorrow
from http://www.redpepper...h/xanarchy.html

Derided as dreamers by mainstream parties, anarchists have been given a bad press. But, says Colin Ward in the second of our series on alternatives for the left, the rise of DIY politics shows that anarchism's self-help philosophies are proving attractive to many who feel alienated from the state - and sometimes it has been successful

In Winifred Holtby's 1930s' novel South Riding, a county councillor reflects that we begin by demanding world revolution, and end thankful to have achieved a new sewage treatment works. The gulf between aspirations and realities is an aspect of all political ideologies, but all through the 20th century anarchists have been pitied by supporters of the Labour Party, the Fabian Society, the Communist Party and various other Marxist groups for their lack of political realism, as well as for their ultimate irresponsibility in declining to vote. But what has become of 'the socialist sixth of the world' as an English cleric described the Soviet Union? What has become of the nationalisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange as the essential programme of the Labour Party? What, even, has become of the 'gas and water' socialism of the Fabian Society? A crude mid-Victorian worship of market forces has overtaken them all. But even worse, the politicians have even ceased to believe in the palliative effect of redistributive fiscal policies. They have persuaded themselves, as JK Galbraith observed, that lower incomes will encourage the poor to work harder, while higher incomes will have the same effect on the rich. We might very well conclude that socialism will have to be re-invented. But what kind of socialism? In Britain the dedicated efforts of a hundred years of advocacy of social democracy has resulted in total subservience to capitalist values. In those countries where populations have had to suffer the horrors of rule by self-declared Marxists, the result has been a cruder, rougher version of the same. Perhaps it is simply despair or disillusionment after the experience of state socialism that will lead to the re-invention of anarchism.

Definitions

Early in the 20th century, the best known propagandist for anarchism, Peter Kropotkin, was asked to write the account of it for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. It is, he wrote: 'the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilised being.'

The state-fixated political left has ignored the self-management by the populace that Kropotkin saw as the basis of anarchism, despite the growth of self-help and mutual aid in our society after the industrial revolution.

Urbanised peasants, displaced by rural enclosures and herded into the overcrowded slums of the new manufacturing towns, put aside pennies to set up sick clubs, coffin clubs, provident and friendly societies of every kind as well as penny banks, penny schools and penny doctors.

They subscribed to building societies and mechanics' institutes, and in the course of the 19th century built up the huge federated networks of the co-operative movement and the trade union movement.

But the politicians of the left, whether Liberals, Fabians or Marxists, instead of encouraging the extension and universalisation of these networks of self-help and mutual aid, sought to replace them by direct provision by the state. Users of services have no role in them except to pay, and arbitrary changes are continually imposed by government.

At the time when the Liberal government of 1911 was introducing old age pensions and national health insurance, Kropotkin was writing a book on Modern Science and Anarchism in which he argued that 'we will be compelled to find new forms of organisation for the social functions that the state fulfils through bureaucracy', and that 'as long as this is not done, nothing will be done'. The political right has of course followed its private enterprise version of this precept. The political left is so devoted to the concept of the state that it finds it meaningless.

http://www.circlealp...ism_future.html
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#3570 woj1@cyberonic.

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 10:06 AM

Donq; Return to the present

The world cannot continue to wage war like physical giants and to seek peace like intellectual pygmies.

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#3571 Bader

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 10:32 AM

I have never heard anything so incredible Woj.

and
"Bader; not Stalin but Queen Victoria"

what are you referring to?

"This is what I say the US is an extension of the English culture"

The postings I referred to on the last poll regarding the US media was about the domination of Jewish interests/input into the
America culture they are exporting to the world. How do you get English out of it?
The Christian and Anglo-Saxon influence has
been largely replaced: pop/now/amoral/nothing right /nothing wrong/no history/no future/materialistic/dumbing down/corporate feeding consumption of humanity.
It used to known as Judeo-Christian which in real terms is an oxymoron, but today is in my view mainly "Jewish" which also has become a bastardised label that has very little relation to its original meaning. I have mentioned before labels are virtually meaningless. On that note perhaps you might give me a definition of "English".
I have given you detailed information to show the Internationalists you refuse to acknowledge have brought down the British and made them subject to their current darlings the US. Rather than make statements to the extreme opposite, how about showing some detail to substantiate what you claim?

Can you imagine Stalin entertaining both Churchill as representing Britain and Roosevelt also representing Britain? I cant. I dont like what I have read about him but to suggest he was a twit as you have doesnt register with me. On the other hand he was smart enough to realise that Mr Roosevelt, who he own intelligence systems would have told him was very much under zionist and Wall St bankers influence, offered him Eastern European countries and the vacuum left by the retreating British
later in the Middle East, AFrica and South east Asia, plus a lot more, that it wasnt a British trick, because he would have been well aware of the Internationalist especially of so called "Jewish"
label that was such a prominant part of the creation of the
Communist state- now poised to become an international empire under his control.
Stalin cooperated with the Third Reich in the early thirties allowing them to have military training operations in Russia because it was forbidden by Britain and France, perhaps you would like to claim that was part of the British plot that simpleton Stalin couldnt see through.

"There has been some correspondence recently in the London press concerning Neville Chamberlaine's role in the Munich crisis. But the events of Munich itself is the matter of crucial importance. Prior to Munich, the British Socialists were pacifists, an attitude which was largely responsible for allowing the re-armament of Germany (financed by the Bank of England) to proceed to a point where either the capitulation of Britain or war with Germany was inevitable. The Socialists in this, as always, were obeying their internationalists masters voice, in the main proceeding from Washington. After Munich, and almost with the celerity with which subsequently Soviet Russia signed a non-agression pact with Germany, the Socialists began to howl for war. ..................
"Thus Munich for practical purposes marks the emergence into the open of ultimate Socialist policy, epitomised in the Fabian political and Economic Planning (P.E.P.) statement: 'Only in war or under threat of war will any British government embark on large-scale planning."
July 13, 1968
The Social Creditor, English Magazine

The socialists are your lot Woj. Your connection, historical-British is my connection. Poland is suffering from the internationalist policies just as Britain, probably worse. What do you owe them?

The Fabians were the British division of International Socialists, of which the London School of Economics represent, into which the German Jew Sir Ernest Cassells poured finances.
Sir Harold Wilson, Prime Minister for most of the 1960s was the L S of Economics most famous son. He finished doing to Britain what the PEP started, destroying British economic culture by
restructuring Britain to make it dependant on joining the liberal version of the Soviet trans-national super-state'- the UE today. Capitalism and communism had the same masters who ruled through debt and used the right-wing and left wing parties to achieve their goal of One World Govt which the NWO preceeds.
You might note Woj the financial/economic gauntlet that the Russians have had to run since 1990, just as Britain after World War 1, inspite of the keys to world give through Roosevelt to become an empire. Should Russians think that the privilege of eventually ruling the world govt was going to be given to them?
No doubt there is an elite of insiders who expect to be involved, as in many countires.
Two other significant outcomes of the First World War, were the
key to Palestine given to the International Zionist Movement,
which was about as old as Stalin, who created the zionist state of Israel not Stalin, and the other was the creation of the bolshivist govt, which no doubt was tied up with the other in the dealing of the war behind the scenes.
The Second World War was crucial for the creation of Israel and the extention of the Soviet State into an empire/built on the demise of the British and french empires,
which was related to the running of the cold war.
"Glubb Pasha, as Sir John is more widely known, recalls that within hours of the ending of the British mandate in Palestine, the the US and Russia recognised the State of Israel, and that during the U.N. truce in the Israel-Arab war "an aerial ferry was working constantly between Czecho-Slovakia and Isarel, bringing in more arms from behind the Iron Curtain". When Israel's victory was assured, Russian consoled the Arabs with (unfortunatedly, well based) propoganda that their defeat was due to England and the USA who under the UN truce embargoed arms supplies to the Arabs." (from the March 1968 issue of
The Social Creditor- quoting fromSir John Glubbs book- "A Soldier With The Arabs" He commnaded The Arab Legion from 1939 to 56.)
The situation was then exploited by the same internationalists through the Soviet Union, Israel and the US. The Soviets played the role of the Arab defender which was used to gain the coldwar support of free finance and military materials to poor little Israel against the communist monster that was going to take over the oil and squeeze the capitalist world by the proverbials untill we turned to pink then to red. At the same time the US sorted out thir own Arab support while making the state of Israel sustainable as it was the Soviet Union.
Who is in gaining the most today WOj, (why obviously the British?),
and the US looks next in line to follow the British and Russians down the tubes. Who's hands is the oil falling into? The British?
The Russians? Who will be installing their own powerbase within Iraq as they have in the US for the day when the US have to leave- Britain?
who is going to dominate a Middle East Market? Britain?
It will be like NAFTA and FTAA, a big wheel inside bigger wheel-a one world wheel. Ruled by Britain? Russia? Poland? Fiji? Brazil?
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#3572 woj1@cyberonic.

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 10:33 AM

Donq; What would be the Best Model for Russia?

DEFENSE AND ANTITERRORISM SPENDING TO INCREASE SHARPLY IN 2005...
Speaking during a 12 August meeting in the Kremlin with security and economics advisers, President Vladimir Putin announced that defense and security expenditures will be sharply increased with the 2005 federal budget,. Putin noted that salaries and benefits for service personnel will be raised considerably. State defense orders will be boosted by 40 percent, or 70 billion rubles ($2.3 billion), and remuneration for service personnel will be raised by 50-120 percent compared with 2004. Defense Minister Ivanov told the meeting that the number of volunteer servicemen will be increased by 25,000 in 2005 and will reach a total of 50,000. Deputy Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Klimashin said that the government next year will launch a new program called "Antiterror," using funds allocated to the FSB, the Federal Protection Service, and the Defense and Interior ministrieshttp://www.rferl.org/newsline/1-rus.asp

Model for the Russia has to be flexible , responding to the world situation. :)
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#3573 woj1@cyberonic.

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 10:38 AM

Bader; "Bader; not Stalin but Queen Victoria"

what are you referring to?

Not Stalin but Queen Victoria supported Jewish interest.
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#3574 woj1@cyberonic.

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 12:01 PM

Bader; @....that it wasn
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#3575 donquijote

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 06:21 PM

<Whatever the case may be, there's no doubt that journalists generally understand critical words about Israel to be hazardous to careers. "Rarely since the Second World War has a people been so vilified as the Palestinians," comments Robert Fisk, a longtime foreign correspondent for the London-based daily Independent. "And rarely has a people been so frequently excused and placated as the Israelis.">

Sure. But you are talking about oligarchs, some of whom are Jew, or American or Russian or whatever. You must realize though that some Jews see their own lion, and we must see ours.

You must know that in the political jungle there's a lot of camouflage, and those who most denounce the Jewish lion, may be hiding their own trail. And those who repeat their arguments in good faith may as well have become their puppets. At most the Jewish lion is the one that manipulates the other little lions, but THE LION IS INTERNATIONAL.;)

This hard-hitting article comes from "Tikkun"-meaning "to transform the world"--a Jewish magazine (I highly recommend it)...

"Oligarchy and democracy are incompatible."

The Oligarchs
Oligarchs shape politics, not only in Russia but also in the U.S. and Israel
Uri Avneri | 08.01.2004

The Oligarchs
Or: How the Virgin became a Whore

This is a TV series about Russia. But it could have been about Israel. Or about the United States. It is entitled The Oligarchs and is now being screened on Israeli television.
Some of its episodes are simply unbelievable or would have been, if they had not come straight from the horses mouths: the heroes of the story, who gleefully boast about their despicable exploits. The series was produced by Israeli immigrants from Russia.
The oligarchs are a tiny group of entrepreneurs who exploited the disintegration of the Soviet system to loot the treasures of the state and to amass plunder amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars. In order to safeguard the perpetuation of their business, they took control of the state. Six out of the seven are Jews.
In popular parlance they are called oligarchs from the Greek word meaning rule of the few.
In the first years of post-Soviet Russian capitalism they were the bold and nimble ones who knew how to exploit the economic anarchy in order to acquire enormous possessions for a hundredth or a thousandth of their value: oil, natural gas, nickel and other minerals. They used every possible trick, including cheating, bribery and murder. Every one of them had a small private army. In the course of the series they are proud to tell in great detail how they did it.
But the most intriguing part of the series recounts the way they took control of the political apparatus. After a period of fighting each other, they decided that it would be more profitable for them to cooperate in order to take over the state.
At the time, President Boris Yeltsin was in a steep decline. On the eve of the new elections for the presidency, his rating in public opinion polls stood at 4%. He was an alcoholic with a severe heart disease, working about two hours a day. The state was, in practice, ruled by his bodyguard and his daughter; corruption was the order of the day.
The oligarchs decided to take power through him. They had almost unlimited funds, control of all TV channels and most of the other media. They put all these at the disposal of Yeltsins reelection campaign, denying his opponents even one minute of TV time and pouring huge sums of money into the effort. (The series omits an interesting detail: they secretly brought over the most outstanding American election experts and copywriters, who applied methods previously unknown in Russia.)
The campaign bore fruit: Yeltsin was indeed reelected. On the very same day he had another heart attack and spent the rest of his term in hospital. In practice, the oligarchs ruled Russia. One of them, Boris Berezovsky, appointed himself Prime Minister. There was a minor scandal when it became known that he (like most of the oligarchs) had acquired Israeli citizenship, but he gave up his Israeli passport and everything was in order again.
By the way, Berezovsky boasts that he caused the war in Chechnya, in which tens of thousands have been killed and a whole country devastated. He was interested in the mineral resources and a prospective pipeline there. In order to achieve this he put an end to the peace agreement that gave the country some kind of independence. The oligarchs dismissed and destroyed Alexander Lebed, the popular general who engineered the agreement, and the war has been going on since then.
In the end, there was a reaction: Vladimir Putin, the taciturn and tough ex-KGB operative, assumed power, took control of the media, put one of the oligarchs (Mikhail Khodorkovsky) in prison, caused the others to flee (Berezovsky is in England, Vladimir Gusinsky is in Israel, another, Mikhail Chernoy, is assumed to be hiding here.)
Since all the exploits of the oligarchs occurred in public, there is a danger that the affair might cause an increase in anti-Semitism in Russia. Indeed, the anti-Semites argue that these doings confirm the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a document fabricated by the Russian secret police a century ago, purporting to reveal a Jewish conspiracy to control the world.
Moving from Russia to America the same thing happened, of course, in the US, but more than a hundred years ago. At the time, the great robber barons, Morgan, Rockefeller at al., all of them good Christians, used very similar methods to acquire capital and power on a massive scale. Today, it works in far more refined ways.
In the present election campaign, the candidates collect hundreds of millions of dollars. George W. Bush and John Kerry both brag about their talent for raising enormous sums of money. From whom? From pensioners? From the mythical old lady in tennis shoes? Of course not, but from the cabals of billionaires, the giant corporations and powerful lobbies (arms dealers, Jewish organiztions, doctors, lawyers and such). Many of them give money to both candidates just to be on the safe side.
All of these expect, of course, to receive a generous bonus when their candidate is elected. There is no such thing as a free lunch, as the right-wing economist Milton Friedman wrote. As in Russia, every dollar (or ruble) invested wisely in an election will yield a ten- or hundred-fold return.
The problem is rooted in the fact that presidential candidates (and all other candidates for political office) need ever increasing amounts of money. Elections are mainly fought out on TV and cost huge sums. It is not a coincidence that all the present candidates in the US are multi-millionaires. The Bush family has amassed a fortune from the oil business (helped by its political connections, of course.) Kerry is married to one of the richest women in America, who was once the wife of the ketchup king, Henry John Heinz. Dick Cheney was the chief of a huge corporation that has garnered contracts worth billions in Iraq. John Edwards, candidate for Vice President, has made a fortune as a trial lawyer.
From time to time there is talk in America about reforming election finances, but nothing worthwhile ever comes of it. None of the oligarchs has any interest in changing a system that enables them to buy the government of the United States.
In Israel, too, talk about Money and Power is now in vogue. Ariel Sharon and one of his two sons have been suspected of accepting bribes from a real estate magnate. An indictment was blocked by the new Attorney General who happened to be appointed by the Sharon government at the height of the affair. Another investigation into Sharon and his sons is still pending. It concerns millions of dollars that reached his election coffers by roundabout routes, crossing three continents.
Shimon Peres connections with multi-millionaires are well-known, as are the huge sums poured out by American Jewish multi-millionaires for extreme right-wing causes in Israel. One of the Russian oligarchs is the part-owner of the second biggest Israeli newspaper.

to be continued...

http://www.tikkun.or...rticle/255.html
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#3576 donquijote

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 06:26 PM

continued...

A political scandal concerning the Israeli Minister for Infrastructure has mushroomed into an affair involving giant multi-national corporations competing for contracts for supplying natural gas to the Israeli Electricity Company, an affair of billions in which underworld figures, politicians and private investigators play their parts. This disclosure has made it clear to Israelis that here, too, politicians of the highest rank have long ago been acting as mercenaries for powerful financial interests.
These facts must alarm everybody who cares about democracy in Israel, Russia, the United States and elsewhere. Oligarchy and democracy are incompatible. As a Russian commentator in the TV series said about the new Russian democracy: They have turned a virgin into a whore.

In popular parlance they are called oligarchs from the Greek word meaning rule of the few.
In the first years of post-Soviet Russian capitalism they were the bold and nimble ones who knew how to exploit the economic anarchy in order to acquire enormous possessions for a hundredth or a thousandth of their value: oil, natural gas, nickel and other minerals. They used every possible trick, including cheating, bribery and murder. Every one of them had a small private army. In the course of the series they are proud to tell in great detail how they did it.
But the most intriguing part of the series recounts the way they took control of the political apparatus. After a period of fighting each other, they decided that it would be more profitable for them to cooperate in order to take over the state.
At the time, President Boris Yeltsin was in a steep decline. On the eve of the new elections for the presidency, his rating in public opinion polls stood at 4%. He was an alcoholic with a severe heart disease, working about two hours a day. The state was, in practice, ruled by his bodyguard and his daughter; corruption was the order of the day.
The oligarchs decided to take power through him. They had almost unlimited funds, control of all TV channels and most of the other media. They put all these at the disposal of Yeltsins reelection campaign, denying his opponents even one minute of TV time and pouring huge sums of money into the effort. (The series omits an interesting detail: they secretly brought over the most outstanding American election experts and copywriters, who applied methods previously unknown in Russia.)
The campaign bore fruit: Yeltsin was indeed reelected. On the very same day he had another heart attack and spent the rest of his term in hospital. In practice, the oligarchs ruled Russia. One of them, Boris Berezovsky, appointed himself Prime Minister. There was a minor scandal when it became known that he (like most of the oligarchs) had acquired Israeli citizenship, but he gave up his Israeli passport and everything was in order again.
By the way, Berezovsky boasts that he caused the war in Chechnya, in which tens of thousands have been killed and a whole country devastated. He was interested in the mineral resources and a prospective pipeline there. In order to achieve this he put an end to the peace agreement that gave the country some kind of independence. The oligarchs dismissed and destroyed Alexander Lebed, the popular general who engineered the agreement, and the war has been going on since then.
In the end, there was a reaction: Vladimir Putin, the taciturn and tough ex-KGB operative, assumed power, took control of the media, put one of the oligarchs (Mikhail Khodorkovsky) in prison, caused the others to flee (Berezovsky is in England, Vladimir Gusinsky is in Israel, another, Mikhail Chernoy, is assumed to be hiding here.)
Since all the exploits of the oligarchs occurred in public, there is a danger that the affair might cause an increase in anti-Semitism in Russia. Indeed, the anti-Semites argue that these doings confirm the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a document fabricated by the Russian secret police a century ago, purporting to reveal a Jewish conspiracy to control the world.
Moving from Russia to America the same thing happened, of course, in the US, but more than a hundred years ago. At the time, the great robber barons, Morgan, Rockefeller at al., all of them good Christians, used very similar methods to acquire capital and power on a massive scale. Today, it works in far more refined ways.
In the present election campaign, the candidates collect hundreds of millions of dollars. George W. Bush and John Kerry both brag about their talent for raising enormous sums of money. From whom? From pensioners? From the mythical old lady in tennis shoes? Of course not, but from the cabals of billionaires, the giant corporations and powerful lobbies (arms dealers, Jewish organiztions, doctors, lawyers and such). Many of them give money to both candidates just to be on the safe side.
All of these expect, of course, to receive a generous bonus when their candidate is elected. There is no such thing as a free lunch, as the right-wing economist Milton Friedman wrote. As in Russia, every dollar (or ruble) invested wisely in an election will yield a ten- or hundred-fold return.
The problem is rooted in the fact that presidential candidates (and all other candidates for political office) need ever increasing amounts of money. Elections are mainly fought out on TV and cost huge sums. It is not a coincidence that all the present candidates in the US are multi-millionaires. The Bush family has amassed a fortune from the oil business (helped by its political connections, of course.) Kerry is married to one of the richest women in America, who was once the wife of the ketchup king, Henry John Heinz. Dick Cheney was the chief of a huge corporation that has garnered contracts worth billions in Iraq. John Edwards, candidate for Vice President, has made a fortune as a trial lawyer.
From time to time there is talk in America about reforming election finances, but nothing worthwhile ever comes of it. None of the oligarchs has any interest in changing a system that enables them to buy the government of the United States.
In Israel, too, talk about Money and Power is now in vogue. Ariel Sharon and one of his two sons have been suspected of accepting bribes from a real estate magnate. An indictment was blocked by the new Attorney General who happened to be appointed by the Sharon government at the height of the affair. Another investigation into Sharon and his sons is still pending. It concerns millions of dollars that reached his election coffers by roundabout routes, crossing three continents.
Shimon Peres connections with multi-millionaires are well-known, as are the huge sums poured out by American Jewish multi-millionaires for extreme right-wing causes in Israel. One of the Russian oligarchs is the part-owner of the second biggest Israeli newspaper.
A political scandal concerning the Israeli Minister for Infrastructure has mushroomed into an affair involving giant multi-national corporations competing for contracts for supplying natural gas to the Israeli Electricity Company, an affair of billions in which underworld figures, politicians and private investigators play their parts. This disclosure has made it clear to Israelis that here, too, politicians of the highest rank have long ago been acting as mercenaries for powerful financial interests.
These facts must alarm everybody who cares about democracy in Israel, Russia, the United States and elsewhere. Oligarchy and democracy are incompatible. As a Russian commentator in the TV series said about the new Russian democracy: They have turned a virgin into a whore.
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#3577 donquijote

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 07:09 PM

A Platform for Love...and Generosity
From the Editors of Tikkun Magazine
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Despite the urgency of this electoral season, the official party platforms of the Democrats, the Greens, and other opposition parties are likely to do little more than rehash tired old visions of the past. In fact, no one expects a party platform to be inspiring or to give strategic direction. No one even bothers to read the platforms anymore because the candidates themselves are not seriously committed to using the platforms as their guide for what they will do in office. Instead, the party platform has become a model of political hypocrisy, the place where traditional constituencies are reassured that their concerns have not been forgotten even when all involved know that the candidate has no intention of raising these concerns and will most likely not address them even if elected.

The platform has become a dead document. However, the idea of the platform still captures the imagination. This hidden power offers grassroots activists an important opportunity. We can grasp the power of this dead form and bring it back to life by offering a visionary statement of what can be.

Like our publisher who imagines himself in an episode of The West Wing giving advice to the president, this section is written for John Kerry and his advisors, to the delegates at the Democratic National Convention, to the insiders in Washington D.C., and to the cynical realists in the media. It provides them with a fundamental challenge to their way of thinking about politics and how to win a national election. Just as the late Ronald Reagan and his entourage challenged the fundamental assumptions of politics in 1980 and managed to initiate a right-wing revolution that still shapes contemporary discourse, so we urge liberal and progressive insiders to rethink their uninspiring attempts to win through copy-cat ideas, and instead to break on through to the other side--by speaking to the deepest needs of the American people. In the following articles we show how.

http://www.tikkun.or...cle/040711.html
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#3578 donquijote

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 07:33 PM

OK, let's once again allow Tikkun do the talking. Of course, I agree with it 100%...;)

A Winning Strategy for Kerry

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The need for transformative thinking is especially acute for the Kerry campaign now, when the understandable obsession with ousting President Bush from the White House has devolved into an "Anyone But Bush" mentality, pushing the Democrats toward increasing intellectual incoherence and cowardice. Guided by political analysts who have convinced the Democratic leadership that the vast majority of people on both sides will stick with preexisting proclivities, and that the party must move to the center to capture a small group of centrist swing voters, candidate Kerry has avoided taking any stands that might http://www.tikkun.or...dex.cfmpossibly "rock the boat." Instead of offering a real alternative, he has increasingly offered himself as "Bush lite."

In foreign affairs, Kerry has been unwilling to critique the foundations of the Bush policy in Iraq; instead, he has merely proposed ways to make the Bush policy more effective. Equally troubling, he has embraced the "Axis of Occupation" that was affirmed by President Bush when he gave Ariel Sharon the green light to incorporate into Israel significant parts of the West Bank.

At home, Kerry's criticisms of Bush's anti-terror strategy and the Patriot Act have been tepid. He has offered no new remedies for our ailing health care system or the looming Social Security shortfall, nor has he provided a non-isolationist alternative to outsourcing. Even the notoriously cautious campaigner Al Gore talked more about these issues in 2000 than John Kerry has, and he was a much more explicit advocate for environmental sanity besides.

Perhaps Kerry's resolute centrism will work. At the moment, the president's popularity is waning due to the disillusionment generated in part by the mounting deaths and casualties inflicted upon U.S. troops by Iraqi rebels (now labeled "terrorists"), and also by revelations of torture and sexual humiliation that have been part and parcel of U.S. attempts to suppress the rebels. Yet Kerry's decision to lay low discounts the incredible power of the president to set the national agenda. All Bush needs to do is start the trial of Saddam Hussein in the fall, capture Bin Laden, begin armed conflict with Syria or North Korea, and/or (if you are a conspiracy theorist) allow terrorists to pull off yet another attack inside the United States, and he will stir up a mass psychology of fear and patriotic fervor that will make swing voters less likely to switch horses mid-stream.

The focus on reaching the undecided middle is based upon a mistaken perception of politics. Though it is certainly true that there is a group of undecideds in the middle, it is also true that 40 to 50 percent of the electorate regularly decides not to vote at all. Some of these people are content with the status quo, while others are so alienated by our government's policies that nothing would convince them to exercise their democratic rights. But there are also millions of potential voters--far and away enough to shift an election--who do not vote because they have not been moved by anything they've heard, have not felt that their vote could connect them with something they really believe in, and have not met people in their community who are fired up with a passionate belief that their candidate embodies a chance for substantive healing and transformation of this world.

We know these citizens can be mobilized by a Kerry campaign that breaks through the tired and predictable rhetoric that the Democratic Leadership Council and the Washington insiders have been urging on him. This very large group of potential voters can be mobilized only through a strategy that fires the imagination and speaks to the most hopeful instincts in every American.

Such a campaign cannot be conducted in a superficial way: the candidate must truly believe that a politics based on kindness, love, and generosity is possible. Of course there are obstacles to building such a politics, but putting forward a vision that embodies a different way of thinking about the world, while acknowledging the obstacles, could bring a huge payoff. A candidate who managed to hold his normal Democratic Party base constituency (by speaking to the traditional issues), but who also went beyond that base to speak in a visionary way, could achieve remarkable popularity.

In what follows, we articulate some of the content of such a vision, which we call a "Politics of Love and Generosity," or a "Politics of Meaning," or an "Emancipatory Spirituality." However it is labeled, it is certain to provoke some degree of skepticism and resistance. Each of us has internalized a voice of cynicism and despair, based on previous experiences in which we dared to hope and were disappointed or hurt, so anything calling upon us to open ourselves up to love and generosity can remind us of those disappointments and make us feel wary that we might get humiliated by allowing ourselves to hope once again. And yet, each of us also retains some of that hope, so deeply at odds with what we have been repeatedly told is "realistic" in contemporary politics, and it is only by touching that hope that Senator Kerry can break through the despair that leads so many people to a cynical or depressive indifference--which in turn leads them to not even bother voting.

Our task is to argue otherwise--that love and generosity must be at the center of any politics. We acknowledge that each of us tends to think inside the box and fears asking ourselves what kind of a world we really want. Yet we all know that we will never get the world we want unless we explicitly articulate its dimensions and build strategies to achieve it.

"Let us not speak falsely now, the hour is getting late." For many of us, it is too late for a politics that lacks this visionary potential. Nor should we delay. A visionary, even "utopian" politics might be the most practical way of mobilizing forces to uphold and extend the progressive politics that have been on the defensive for the past thirty years.

The platform that follows makes no attempt to cover every issue. Instead, we offer a way to think about what a platform of love and generosity would be, hopeful that in doing so we will stimulate some of you to bring these ideas directly to the candidates and to the media, and to begin a conversation with political leaders and policy makers who might be in a position in the coming years to implement some of the approaches we're breaking ground with here. We do not repeat here our support for inclusion of all those who have been left out of the material well-being of American society; we do not confront racism, sexism, and homophobia; we do not detail our support for civil liberties, environmental sanity, and an extension of human rights; nor do we lay out our ideas on economic justice beyond the Social Responsibility amendment to the Constitution. This is not because we don't care about these issues (we very much do), but we have dealt with them at length in Tikkun for the past eighteen years and believe that existing liberal and progressive organizations will do a fine job of bringing them into the public arena. Our task, as we see it, is to offer new thinking in those critical areas where we present a unique perspective. Below, you will read a vision of American foreign policy (both global and in regard to Israel), health care, legal reform, and education that shows how we can implement, today, a New Bottom Line of love, generosity, kindness, gratitude, and celebration of the grandeur of the universe.

other articles follow...;)

http://www.tikkun.org/
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#3579 donquijote

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 03:23 AM

Yep, the things that the lion goes through to secure oil for him and his partners: a war here, some politics there...:confused:

Israel's pipe dream: getting oil from Iraq

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Archive
By SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN, Times Senior Correspondent
Published August 15, 2004

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There's an old joke Israelis like to tell on themselves: Their ancestors followed Moses around for 40 years and he led them to the only place in the Middle East without any oil.

More than three millennia later, Israel's energy outlook has barely improved. Although it is in a region awash with oil, the Jewish state must import most of its supplies from Russia because Arab oil producers refuse to deal with it.

Assuring Israel of an adequate oil supply has long been a goal not just of Israel itself, but also of pro-Israel factions in the United States. Thus emerged a controversial plan that is still kicking around even though its chief booster, Ahmad Chalabi, could soon be behind bars.

Once the Pentagon's choice to lead the "new" Iraq, Chalabi promised to reopen an old British-built pipeline from Kirkuk in northern Iraq to the Israeli port of Haifa. The plan impressed Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and other conservatives influencing Bush administration policy toward Iraq in the lead-up to last year's war.

The idea also drew enthusiastic response from Israel.

"The pipeline would be a dream," Yosef Paritzky, Israel's minister of infrastructures, said as reported by Salon.com. "We'd have an additional source of supply, and could even export some of the crude through Haifa. But we'd need a treaty with Iraq . . . to build the pipeline."

Once Chalabi assumed a position of influence in the new Iraqi government, Israel would get its treaty, the neoconservatives were assured. The pipeline was by no means the only reason for going to war, but it could well have been one reason.

After the invasion, though, Chalabi began to slide from U.S. favor when it became apparent his Iraqi National Congress provided faulty intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. A rival, Iyad Allawi, became Iraq's new interim prime minister, and an arrest warrant issued last week accuses Chalabi of counterfeiting Iraqi currency.

As Chalabi's bubble deflates, so has the idea of the Kirkuk-Haifa pipeline. But does a pipeline even make sense? Yes and no, experts say.

A direct pipeline from Iraq might reduce Israel's energy costs, now inflated by the cost of shipping oil from Russia. Because the pipeline might cross Jordan, that struggling country could reap lucrative transit fees. And the United States, a close ally of both Israel and Jordan, would benefit from better access to the rich Iraqi oil fields, thereby reducing U.S. dependence on Saudi Arabia.

All reasons why the pipeline is such a political hot potato.

"Even the suggestion is going to create trouble because it fuels all Iraqis' suspicion that their country was invaded for Israel's benefit," says Jeremy Binnie, Middle East editor of Jane's Sentinel.

He and other experts note Iraq already has several outlets for its oil, including terminals on the Persian Gulf and a major pipeline through Turkey. The big problem is not a shortage of outlets but protecting the ones it has.

The pipeline through Turkey is frequently sabotaged, and Iraq temporarily stopped pumping oil from its southern fields because of violence in the region.

"Until you can secure an existing pipeline it may not make sense to build another one," says Jim Burkhard, director of oil market analysis for Cambridge Energy Research Associates in Massachusetts.

Another expert questions Israel's claim it could save 20 percent on energy costs by getting oil from Iraq instead of Russia.

"Given the near-perfect price arbitrage in oil markets, this is quite implausible," economist Thomas R. Stauffer writes in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. "Only two interpretations suggest themselves.

"First, the Russian oil mafia has succeeded in bilking the Israelis - a formidable task. Or, second, the Israelis and their allies in the Bush administration presume that they can force Iraq to sell oil into the line at a steep discount."

Even if the pipeline never materializes, Israel has an ace in the hole. Under a 1975 memorandum of understanding, the United States guarantees virtually all Israel's oil needs in the event of a crisis - even if it means reducing the amount of oil available to Americans.
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#3580 donquijote

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 04:18 AM

Great. I don't think anyone in Russia--outside the profiteers--would like to see those communist bosses running the very capitalist sweatshops they got in China...:(

Mao's promised land ends in sweated labour
China Labour Bulletin appears in the following article. Copyright remains with the orginal publisher.

As China's Prime Minister arrives today to meet Tony Blair, Jonathan Watts in Beijing examines how its economic miracle is built on employers who fail to pay wages, ignore safety rules and discard workers at will

Sunday May 9, 2004
The Observer

Overworked, underpaid and about to lose his job, Huang Zungkun must wonder how the socialist revolution in China ended up creating one of the world's most ruthlessly capitalist states.

Not that he has any time for reflection. Like many of the 100 million workers who have powered China's spectacular economic growth, Huang spent his days from dawn to dusk on a construction site for less than 30p an hour.

But - just as typically - the 37-year-old carpenter was laid off, victim of a labour market so overflowing that employers wait months to pay wages, ignore safety regulations and discard workers at will.

In a sign of the transformation that has enriched - and unbalanced v the world's most populous nation, Huang's last day at work was May Day, once a celebration of the peasant movement that propelled the Communists to power in 1949.

This month, president Hu Jintao visited a factory to praise 'model workers' for their contribution to China's development. But the party's roots are increasingly belied by a divided society closer to Engels's reports of sweatshop industrialisation in 19th- century Britain than Mao's vision of a proletarian utopia.

Huang left his wife and three children to work in Beijing because he could not support them as a farmer in Henan, one of China's poorest provinces. For seven years he has moved from job to job, helping to build luxury apartments designed for foreigners and China's middle class, many the families of party officials.

He earns 14 renminbi (RMB 'People's currency'), equivalent to less than £1, for each square metre of woodwork he completes. If he wakes at 4am and finishes late, he can earn about 56 RMB. If he avoids a gap between jobs, he can make about 9,000 RMB (£600) a year, the national average wage.

China is a labour buyer's market, with an estimated 94 million migrant labourers. Next year, 24 million people will come of age into a workforce where eight million are already registered jobless. In the countryside, where 800 million people live, it is estimated 80 per cent of men are underemployed.

On the construction site where Huang works, labourers have no contracts or monthly wages. They are promised money at the end of the year, before which they have to borrow from their bosses for lodging in a disused factory where 20 are crammed into each small, fetid room, sharing wood-slatted beds and lining up with cups and bowls for rice, soup and sometimes meat, for which they pay the bosses 33p a day.

There is a risk that wages, accumulated over months, even years, may never be paid, because developers run out of money or fail to find tenants. Mao Yushi, director of the Unirule Institute of Economics, estimates that delayed payments run into billions of dollars.

'When workers fail to get their salaries on time, they have little choice but to keep working in the hope that the money will come,' he said.

Every revision of the constitution since the start of free-market reforms 25 years ago has shifted the balance to capital. In 1982, the right to strike disappeared on the grounds that everyone was employed by the state, which represented the people.

This year, the National People's Congress recognised property rights for the first time and enshrined former president Jiang Zemin's 'Three Represents' theory, which acknowledged entrepreneurs. The party still claims to represent workers so says unions are unnecessary. But the official unions do not want to upset contractors, who often have ties to Communist Party officials.

The result gives tycoons all the freedoms of a Western nation to pursue profits, but none of the democratic restraints from unions, free press or accountable government. Lured by cheap, unregulated labour, foreign investment has flooded into China while domestic entrepreneurs are ramping up production at such a pace that the government fears the economy will overheat.

The United Nations has commended China for lifting 400 million people out of poverty, but the 'iron rice bowl' of secure state employment has been smashed, peasants have no health insurance and the government has warned of a breakdown of public order if the economic growth rate falls below 7 percent.

'In theory, the laws to protect workers are sufficient, but there is a gap between law and reality,' said Gao Zhisheng, a labour lawyer. 'In Western countries, there is a lack of balance between the power of capital and labour, but in China, that balance is far greater.'

With no means of collective bargaining, labourers must resort to petitioning the government, expensive lawsuits or - increasingly - violence. While rarely reported by the domestic media, illegal industrial protests are rising. Last week, 10 factory workers were arrested in Guangdong province for turning over a car and destroying company property after their Taiwanese bosses ordered them to move to an 11-hour day with less overtime. In February, nine arrests were made after 1,000 laid-off workers in Suizhou City, Hubei Province blocked a train line and occupied their bankrupt textile factory.

'There has definitely been an increase in these kinds of cases. We hear about them almost daily,' said Robin Munro of the China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based group. 'Workers have no one to turn to because they cannot organise and settle grievances peacefully. It is very short-sighted of the government.'

The alternative is to petition the government. This has less than a one in 100 chance of success, but that does not stop aggrieved peasants seeking justice in this traditional way.

Zhang Liying has been petitioning outside the government offices in Beijing for five years. He was laid off in 1996, when his state-run paper factory was privatised, migrant labourers replacing the old workforce. The union was closed and the local government never honoured its promise to pay him compensation. 'As workers, we surely need more laws and policies to protect our rights,' said the 35-year-old. 'But, even if the rules were changed,local officials would ignore them.'

Petitions and violence may not succeed, but the effect has ben to alarm the authorities. After two decades of pursuing growth at all costs, the government appears ready to accept that runaway capitalism must be reined in.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has called for 'balanced development' that places a greater priority on social justice, the rule of law and the need to address the growing gulf between the urban haves of the wealthy Western seaboard and the have-nots of the impoverished rural interior.

His government has eased permit regulations and police crackdowns, as well as pumping billions of dollars of investment into the poorer inland regions.

But the sheer weight of China's 1.3 billion population means that economic growth overshadows social justice. So, in a quirk of history, China's Communist Party finds itself aiding, abetting and participating in an exploitation of workers on an unprecedented scale; it is certainly not a triumph of the labour movement.

http://www.china-lab...Bulletin in the<br%20/>%20News
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