G7 In Their Own Words (and quite a lot of mine):

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 G7 In Their Own Words (and quite a lot of mine): 
 This article was originally posted for the G8-Live8 conference and protest concerts of  2005 and is reproduced here. 
 From The Untaught Syllabus. 11. 
 Brian Mitchell. 
 "Don't forget, there are two hundred million of us in a world of three billion. They want what we've got — and we're not going to give it to them!"
 (US President Johnson.)
 Among the hopes and dreams of those who attended the demonstrations hoping to put pressure on the G8 Conference and attended the Live-8 concerts of 2005 hoping for a better world, float questions: Will it make a difference? Will anything have been done? And most importantly, what can we do ourselves? 
 Well for one thing, as usual, not a word about how it happens that some are so rich and many are so poor was mentioned. Not a word about imperialism and our benefit from the plunder of the raw materials, cheap labour and economic wealth from the far away lands of other peoples for centuries – causing and continuing their poverty, then and today, will be mentioned. 
 Instead; buffoons, celebrities and pop stars, Knighted or un-Knighted, incredibly rich compared with the rest of us, graciously gave their precious time, were again exposed to lots more beneficial publicity, and again returned to their millionaire mansions and country estates with high walls, spikey railings, electronic security, domestic and security staff; cosseted and shielded from the real world, have resumed their luxurious lives; while the rest of us – the overwhelming majority of millions of us – had to traipse back home to the washing up and making the beds, and getting ready for work next morning; where we put on our hospital carer’s or porter’s uniforms, climbed into our white delivery vans, or carried on as usual selling Bob Geldorf records, and continued leading similarly exciting lives as supermarket check-outs – unless four of them can form a pop band and retire on the money in their twenties and be televised swanning around Africa telling us all about poverty and hard, miserable lives. Pictures of poor and dying people and children were again shown on television. Millions of well-meaning middle-class and generous poor working people, school children and pensioners donated any spare money they had. 
 I am not suggesting that such events have no purpose. They help to politicise people who perhaps would not otherwise be politicised. And in these times of the “Me” generations, this is very heartening for those of us who are on their seventh pair of protest marching shoes. But I do say, and not in any cynical vein, that many of us have seen it all before; having concerted, rallied, marched, demonstrated, been on strike and picketed, piled into and had our stomach jumped on in police vans, volunteered our private lives at the expense of leisure, relaxation, quality time with our families, and our health and fitness all our politically aware lives. 
 We have also had a lot of time to think. And of course read a lot of books you don’t find in mainstream bookshops or libraries. 
 Us and our forefathers know that large concerts, rallies, marches and protest are very good for morale. Protests attract more people into protest. More people means bigger protests. But when we think back to the history of protest in our lifetime and that of our forefathers; we also understand that in the long term in terms of the socio-economic gap between rich and poor, nothing socio-economically beneficial to us or our families changes. The gap has in fact been widening since Victorian times. It just looks different; much of it having been cleverly disguised, hidden and unreported. 
 Sure we have immensely socially and politically powerful choices – like thousands of ring tones and logos for mobile phones, and three meters of supermarket shelves of designer toothbrushes of every imaginable shape and colour. But we cannot choose our interest rate. Only the Bank of England with permission from the US Treasury can do that. Millions of us can’t even find anything to choose to put into a bank. 
 In these days of freedom, democracy and choice, do we have any more power or choice to change anything useful in our lives than our forefathers?
 It has been identified in social research in universities, and even official government social statistics when the books have been uncooked, that the UK poverty gap is now wider than it was 100 years ago. I remember during the 1984 miners’ strike, a radical theatre company was called “The 7/84 Theatre Company” and had red badges with 7/84 in large characters in the middle, and when you looked close, around the circumference was written in tiny characters “7 percent of the people of this country own 84 percent of the country’s wealth.” That the 93 percent majority of us have to scrabble in the dirt for the remaining miserable 16 percent of the national wealth. Is the ratio now 6/85? Perhaps more? 5/95? 
 Do we somehow have more real freedom now than our ancestors did? Our ancestors had access to the land in common and therefore the means of subsistence. It was all ours once. Who’s got it all now? Birds Eye? Rank Hovis MacDougall? Tescos? 
 "The law doth punish man or woman  That steals the goose from off the common,  But lets the greater felon loose,  That steals the common from the goose."
 (Anonymous, during the English land enclosures.)
 Have the generations of Jarrow and other marches against unemployment and poverty resulted in less unemployment, more job security, or any increase in the purchasing power of our wages in real terms? 
 Did the Poll Tax demonstration result in lower housing taxes? 
 Has a history of Trade Union action resulted in stronger unions or is the power of the unions now weaker? 
 After all the protest, has there been any increase in popular power? Or is it being continuously eroded? 
 After the massive demonstrations against Tory cuts in the NHS, do we now have a better health service?
 Have the massive peace demonstrations we all went on through the 60s to the 80s resulted in a safer world? 
 Is US global military power now drawing in its horns and becoming less threatening? 
 Bush and Blair scream freedom, democracy and free speech from the rooftops. But do we somehow have a voice, either in Parliament or Press? 
 As Tony Benn said long ago in my student days, freedom of speech means that anybody can stand on a box at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park and say what they like about the government to 25 other people, and Rupert Murdoch can buy the Sun (newspaper?) for £35 million and say what he likes through his compliant editors to 35 million other people. Just try saying something relevant at Speaker’s Corner and attract that many people and see how long before some excuse like public safety is invoked with armoured personnel carriers. 
 We now have the vote that we did not have a hundred years ago, but has that resulted in more popular political power? Can we vote for any useful or real political issues?
 We can vote for this or that front man for capital, but who pulls the puppet strings? 
 Are our elected leaders just fall guys for capital, expendable as soon as they fail to continue to take the majority of their public along the road of the World Bank, the IMF, the World Trade Organisation, the Trilateral Commission and the G8, supported by their shareholders and investors large and small? 
 We cannot vote for policies; only political parties; in which one can run capitalism better. The ballot sheet might as well list The Rothschilds, The Rockefellers and the Bilderberg Group. Or the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the World Bank or the WTO (World Trade Organisation)! It is they who control the world’s economic and therefore political power; ultimately it is they who have the helicopter gunships, the Cruise, Pershing and Cruise Missiles, the Military Industrial Complex’s chemical and biological warfare establishment, NATO, SEATO and every other global military treaty organisation.  
 Is global finance capital somehow less powerful after all our protest? 
 Aren’t we all a US Treasury percentage fraction away from being jobless and homeless? 
 Have the moneylenders fled the temple? 
 If we cannot achieve much for ourselves, what power do we have to change anything for a hungry child in the world? 
 I remembered that in my real world in the 1980s during the first televised mass famine in Ethiopia, I bought a tin of supermarket beans marked "Country of origin: Ethiopia." I was unemployed and had not earned a penny to get those beans; I had been given the money to buy them by my country's government. Ironically, outside the supermarket at the time was an Oxfam table with local volunteer friends collecting for Ethiopia. I put my tin of beans on their table saying if they can guess which country it comes from I would donate it. Their wild guesses included every rich and poor country except Ethiopia. I gave them the beans and all my cash and bought a tine of beans in another shop not coming from Ethiopie. But probably from some other starving country anyway. After some discussion, I was contacted and invited to speak at one of their local meetings. With the material prepared, I later wrote the following article, which first appeared in Liberation journal in January 1988, updated and added to here. 
 Who Owes Whom?  Who Aids Whom?  
 Global Capital  Unequal Trade  Poverty  And The Third World Debt 
 By Brian Mitchell
 "Weary men, what reap ye? – "Golden corn for the stranger."  What sow ye? – "Human corpses that await for the avenger."  Fainting forms, all hunger-stricken, what see you in the offing?  "Stately ships to bear our food away amid the stranger's scoffing."  There's a proud array of soldiers – what do they round your door?  "They guard our master's granaries from the thin hands of the poor.""
 (English poet Jane Francesca Wilde.)
 How can it be that the poorest peoples of the world – 85 percent of humanity, owe a debt to the richest? Isn’t it strange when you think about it? To say nothing of criminal. 
 The first thing to make clear about this 'debt' is that the Third World owes us nothing. Rather we owe them. As albeit unwilling participants in an post imperialist New World Order economy, we in Britain and the rest of the capitalist world have benefited from the continuous economic plunder (it’s called “free trade”) of these countries for centuries, which is the direct cause of their lack of development, ‘debt’, and continuing impoverishment today. 
 By the 1970s the “underdeveloped” countries' foreign debts already ran to some $500,000 million. The cost of servicing these 'debts' was $45,000 million a year, interest which 'grew' at the rate of 21% in the 1970s alone. 
 Without having borrowed a penny, each Latin American child born immediately owed $1,000 as part of the region’s debt to imperialist banks. 
 In the 1980s, Brazil had the biggest overall debt. But Panama, with a population of two million and a foreign debt to the mega-rich transnationals – which are getting richer every second – of $4.5 billion, had the largest per-capita debt in the world. This meant that each child in Panama was born owing foreign shareholders and small investors in transnational finance capital, banks, building societies, insurance and pension funds, some $2,250 – an amount the average Panamanian child could never earn in its short lifetime, which is the 45 or 50 years average for such poor countries. 
 In 1984 Mexico was using 72% of its oil just to pay the interest on its debt. The Philippines foreign debt in 1985 was 11 times what it was in 1972: from $2.3 billion to $25 billion. 
 "...90 per cent of the workforce are now dependent on the sugar industry for their survival. But with world sugar prices at an all-time low the industry has become devastated... The problem began 100 years ago when the British arrived… Self suffiency farming and a thriving fishing industry were replaced with endless fields of sugar cane, exported as a cash crop... Under British rule, food and goods the islanders had once produced for themselves were imported at great expense from other countries. As a result the islanders became dependent on the success of their single crop. …If the crop is poor they starve; …all that can be spared is one handful of rice per child – about 150 calories… Children expend more food energy than that just feeding themselves… A healthy child needs 1,800 calories a day to grow. ...66 per cent of the children have malnutrition. …there is no room at the hospital and they are turned away to die." 
 (News on Sunday Sept 13 1987.)
 Millions of children in this "free" – ie. capitalist – world wake up every day of their short lives with no clean water, nothing to eat and no school to go to. And when they get ill, through this lack of clean water, food and education, there is no hospital for them, no doctor and no medicines to make them well. 
 According to FAO figures, 40,000,000 people, half of them children, die every year from hunger or related illnesses. 
 "What sort of world will we hand over to our children? What sort of life lies ahead for those five billion mouths that we will have to feed in our underdeveloped world, those five billion bodies that have to be clothed, shod and sheltered, those five billion minds that will strive for knowledge, those five billion human beings that will struggle for a decent life, worthy of the human condition. What will their quality of life be like? 
 The Executive Director of UNICEF has said that in 1981 the life of a child would be worth less than $100. If such a sum were judiciously spent on every one of the five hundred million poorest children of the world, it would cover basic health assistance, elementary education, care during pregnancy and dietary improvement, and would ensure hygienic conditions and a water supply. In practice it has turned out too high a price for the world community. That is why, in 1981, every two seconds a child paid that price with its life.
 ... there is no place for resignation or accommodation. The only solution in keeping with man's stature is to struggle. And this is the message I bring in my capacity as Chairman of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. To struggle tirelessly for peace, improved international relations, a halt to the arms race and a drastic reduction in military spending and that a considerable part of those funds be dedicated to developing the Third World." 
 (Fidel Castro, Speech at the 7th Non Aligned Summit.)
 Third World debts, 600 billion dollars in 1982, incurring new debts to pay the original debt, would amount to 1,473 billion dollars by 1990 if the present rise in the rate of interest even stayed where it was.
 "If Latin America were to abstain from borrowing any further money and would pay these ten percent of export earnings for twenty years – at stable world market prices – toward foreign interest charges of 6 percent, these interest payments would amount to almost 430 billion dollars by the year 2005 while total debt would increase to about 445 billion dollars." 
 (Philippine Currents, Aug 1987.)
 "This is a huge, colossal battle against imperialism… They want to take $3 trillion from this hungry – starving to death – world in 20 years… This is the battle for all of the Third World countries, for more than 100 countries… This is the battle for this hemisphere's independence... This is the battle for the lives and future of 4 billion poor and hungry people." 
 (Fidel Castro, to Latin American Federation of Journalists, July 6 1985.)
 At the Latin American and Caribbean foreign debt conference of 1985 in Havana, Carlos Serrate remarked: 
 "Either we free ourselves of the foreign debt burden, acquired without benefit to us or solution to our problems, or we doom three-quarters of humankind to a future without hope... the survival of millions of human beings who, along with a right to be born, have an obligation to pay... This means the debt is devouring humankind, devouring peoples and nation states that no matter what they do... find the debt grows and is, therefore, absolutely unpayable." 
 (Carlos Serrate, Latin American and Caribbean foreign debt conference, Havana 1985)
 "That's why we say that payment of that debt is an economic impossibility, a political impossibility. You practically have to kill the people to force them to make the sacrifices required to pay that debt." 
 (Fidel Castro.)
 Not only is it an impossibility for such “debt” ever to be paid; but the rich world governments’ “creditor” banks, whether they put a moratorium on the interest, or cancel the debt and continue to claim the interest, or even cancel the debt and interest, they are as in quicksand – wriggle one way and you sink, wriggle the other way and you sink, stay still and don’t move at all, and you sink – albeit a little more slowly. 
 And what if the banks completely release the poor countries from the debt and interest. Starting from this base line of zero, the debt would immediately start to accrue because of unequal capitalist trading, finance and banking relations. 
 Debts are incurred by a country by the native or foreign capitalists, many of whom invest the money obtained in the cheap labour and raw materials of other poor countries as well as the host country. But it is not the capitalists, but the people of these countries who suffer the expense of repayment.
 "Nobody's asking the millionaires of that country – for example, a Mexican millionaire who has his money abroad – to pay that debt. No, they're asking the Mexican, the Argentine, the Uruguayan, the Venezuelan and the Brazilian people – the people – to pay, taking away their medical services, their educational services and their jobs." 
 (Fidel Castro, to Latin American Federation of Journalists, July 6 1985.)
 It is global finance capital, in the guise of seemingly benign institutions such as the World Bank, the Bank of International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations and the Trilateral Commission and the G8, which has the economic power which continues to devastate the poor countries comprising perhaps 85 percent of humanity. 
 "The planning of UN can be traced to the 'secret steering committee' established by Secretary Hull in January 1943. All of the members of this secret committee… were members of the Council on Foreign Relations. …It was, in effect, the coordinating agency for all the State Department's postwar planning." 
 (US Professors Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, "Imperial Brain Trust: The CFR and United States Foreign Policy." Monthly Review Press, 1977.)
 "The UN is but a long-range, international banking apparatus clearly set up for financial and economic profit by a small group of powerful One-World revolutionaries, hungry for profit and power." 
 (US President Roosevelt’s son-in-law Curtis Dall, in his book “My Exploited Father-in-Law”.)
 "The Trilateral Commission is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the United States. The Trilateral Commission represents a skilful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power political, monetary, intellectual and ecclesiastical. What the Trilateral Commission intends is to create a worldwide economic power superior to the political governments of the nation states involved. As managers and creators of the system, they will rule the future." 
 (U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, 1964, in his book “With No Apologies.”)
 "The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole… by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements, arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences… The growth of financial capitalism made possible a centralization of world economic control and use of this power for the direct benefit of financiers and the indirect injury of all other economic groups." 
 (US Professor Carroll Quigley, Georgetown University, 1966.)
 What power does the UN really have? 
 “One hundred nations in the UN have not agreed with us on just about everything that’s come before them where we’re involved, and it didn’t upset my breakfast at all.”
 (US President Reagan, New York Times, November 4 1983.)
 "The first fundamental objective in our struggle consists in reducing and finally eliminating the unequal exchange that prevails today and that makes international trade a vehicle for the further plundering of our wealth. Today, the product of one hour's work in the developed countries is exchanged for the product of ten hour's work in the underdeveloped countries... a historic and moral obligation of those who benefited from the plunder of our wealth and the exploitation of our men and women for decades and for centuries... 
 Why should some people go barefoot so that others may ride in expensive cars? Why should some live only 35 years so that others may live to 70? Why should some be miserably poor so that others may be exaggeratedly rich? … 
 You cannot speak of peace on behalf of the tens of millions of human beings all over the world who are starving to death or dying of curable deseases. You cannot speak of peace on behalf of nine hundred million illiterates...  Enough of words! We need deeds. (Applause.) Enough of abstraction! We need concrete action. Enough of speaking a speculative new international economic order which nobody understands! (Laughter and applause). We must speak about a real, objective order which everybody understands."
 (Fidel Castro, in a speech to United Nations, Oct 12 1979.)
 The debt problem, just like poverty, cannot be looked at in isolation from trade. By unequal trading, trade barriers, dumping surplus capital as loans, price fixing and control, and other unequal trading methods, the imperialist countries are depriving the 'debtor' countries of the possibility of even earning enough money to service the debt, let alone pay it. And so the debt increases. 
 In the Philippines in 1972, 1 peso was worth 15 US cents. In 1985 it was 5 cents. In 1960 a ton of coffee could buy 37.3 tons of fertiliser. In 1982 it could buy only 15.8 tons – less than half, with the same amount of coffee as in 1960. In 1959, 6 tons of jute could buy a truck. In 1982 it took 26 tons of jute to buy the same truck.
 Other tricks are used to differing advantages, such as the dumping of under-valued dollars as loans, often tied to highly profitable military contracts, and so-called ‘green’ dollars associated with profitable agricultural and food contracts. 
 When these countries, poor because of centuries of the rich countries trading with them on intrinsically unequal terms, become even poorer because of increasingly unequal trade and military spending, they become dependent on loans and trade and finance agreements such as those imposed by the IMF, the World Bank or the World Trade Organisation. These loans, which accrue increasingly high interest rates, together with trading agreements, have political and military conditions tied in. And finally, when these countries become so poor that they unsurprisingly have nothing left, the only option is to receive aid. And guess what – aid agreements also have political and military conditions attached to them. 
 In other words, whatever the rich world’s relations with these countries, whether it is in trade, loans or aid, the rich nations (that is you and me) profit, and the poor are further impoverished – enormously. 
 You don’t have to be an economist to understand the causes of global poverty. The simple every-day domestic economics of any British household can work it out. Government ministers however, pretend not to see it, trying to kid us that the issue is “more complicated” than that; or with some simplistic nonsense like we are living beyond our means (while they live beyond everybody else’s means). We can address later some obvious questions like: who “complicates” it, and how do they think they are able to confuse and fool us. 
 The peoples of the Third World are not at war with the advanced nations. Their crime is that they have 'traded' with the US, British, West European, Japanese and other imperialist transnational monopolies. Yet after World War II, not only were enemy countries’ war reparations and debts waived, but billions of dollars of Marshall 'Aid' was pumped into these countries to "prevent them from going communist."
 About three hundred and fifty major monopolies now control most of the world's production. Each of at least ten US transnational monopolies has more dollar assets than, say, Britain or Japan; some of them, like Standard Oil or General Motors – many times over. Now consider the fact that Third World debts to the West – $900 billion at 1985 figures – amount to thousands of times the dollar assets of these ten US monopolies and you will have some grasp of the nature of imperialism. It means more or less that we in the advanced capitalist countries own the Third World and its economic output in perpetuum.
 It is quite obvious that as long as this exploitation continues, poor countries are deliberately prevented from ever developing. Otherwise they might become economically independent, and worse for the imperialist world – rivals. 
 This is economic warfare, more permanently devastating than cluster bombs or cruise missiles.  
 "I believe that if we had and would keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-crooked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own. That they design and want. That they fight and work for. And if unfortunately their revolution must be of the violent type because the 'haves' refuse to share with the 'have-nots' by any peaceful method, at least what they get will be their own, and not the American style, which they don't want…"
 (General David M. Shoup, Commandant of the US Marine Corps, 1966.)
 When we buy a banana or other fruit, we buy it from one of two US owned transnational fruit companies or their subsidiaries and their control of producers, marketers and distributers. Such companies are United Fruit of America and General Fruit of America. These companies and their subsidiaries not only own most of the fruit production, but also the railroads, ports, banking and finance, infrastructure and much of the land of the African continent, the Latin and Central American and Caribbean regions and of most of Southeast Asia. 
 These are regions which seem to see most social upheaval against their ruling elites. 
 “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive …it is the right of the people to alter it.”
 (The US Declaration of Independence.)
 “No nation has a right to intermeddle in the internal concerns of another; that everyone has a right to form and adopt whatever government they liked best to live under.”
 (George Washington.)
 "Any people anywhere being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right – a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world."
 (Abraham Lincoln.)
 Fine words. But what is the reality? 
 "I am against any interference in the internal affairs of the Latin American countries. But under certain conditions I consider exceptions possible."
 (Henry Kissinger.)
 These ‘exceptions’ seem to occur quite frequently: 
 In 1916 the US landed troops in the Dominican Republic and occupied till 1924. And in 1965 the US overthrew a progressive government there.  US troops occupied Cuba in 1898-1902, 1906-1909, and 1917-1923. The 1901 Cuban constitution gave the US the right of intervention. The US practised this "right" at Playa Giron (the Bay of Pigs) in 1961. The US still has an illegal base on Cuban soil at Guantanamo.  In 1914 the US landed marines in Haiti and occupied till 1934. In 1954 the US overthrew the progressive government of Arbenz in Guatemala. (See below.)  US troops occupied Nicaragua in 1912-1925, and 1926-1933 when they set up Somoza's National Guard which murdered Sandino.  The US crushed a popular uprising in Puerto Rico in 1950.  The US overthrow of Chile's progressive Allende government in 1973 is well enough known and documented.  And the above incomplete list was added to by the US invasion and continuing occupation of Grenada in 1983. 
 "Intervention is justified as a policy of the United States whenever its citizens and capital is at stake."
 (US Secretary of State Elihu Root, 1908.) 
 "Intervention is justified wherever it becomes necessary to guarantee the United States' capital and markets."
 (US President Taft, 1912.) 
 "We do control the destinies of Central America... Until now Central America has always understood that governments which we recognise and support stay in power, while those we do not recognise and support fail."
 (US Under Secretary of State Robert Olds, 1927.) 
 "I spent most of my time being a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers… I helped make Mexico… safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped to make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the national city bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street… I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916… I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. I helped make Honduras right for American fruit companies in 1903. ...I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. I operated on three continents."
 (Testimony of General Smedley Butler, US Marine Corps, to the McCormack Dickstein Committee. 1935.)
 The Nicaraguan word for the revolutionary organisation, the Sandinistas, comes from the name of the popular leader Augusto Caesar Sandino, who said: 
 "Mi causa es la causa de mi pueblo, la causa de America, la causa de todos los pueblos oprimidos."  
 (“My cause is the cause of my people, the cause of America, the cause of all oppressed people.”)
 (A.C. Sandino.)
 With US compliance and connivance, Sandino was murdered in 1934 by the National Guard of US preferred dictator Anastasio Somoza Garcia – "Tacho" – a former lavatory inspector for the US Rockefeller Foundation. 
 “That guy may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”
 (US President Roosevelt, on Nicaraguan dictator the first Somoza.)
 In 1956, Luis Somoza became President. Anastasio II "Tachito" (Little Tacho) became head of the National Guard and became another US puppet President in 1967.  
 “Now that’s the kind of anti-communist we like to see down there.”
 (US President Nixon, on Nicaraguan dictator the second Somoza, British television documentary, November 15 1983.)
 The country’s national assets were some $3.5 million. Its foreign debt was $1,600 millions, with an annual service charge of $600 millions.
 The popular Sandinista revolution and support for the FSLN obtained power in Managua in 1979 and was spreading to the rest of the country with socialist policies such as literacy, education and health, and cooperative farming. 
 The inflence of Cuba and Nicaragua spreading to other Latin American countries such as El Salvador frightened the US out of its wits. 
 "The United States could never permit another Nicaragua, even if preventing it meant employing the most reprehensible means."
 (Zbigniew Brzezinski, June 1980.)
 ”Mr President, have you approved of covert activity to destabilise the present government of Nicaragua?” ”Well, no, we’re supporting them, the – oh, wait a minute, I’m sorry, I was thinking of El Salvador… when you said Nicaragua. Here again, this is something upon which the national security interests, I just – I will not comment.”
 (US president Reagan, press conference, Washington, February 13 1983.)
 "President Reagan may order a naval blockade of Marxist Nicaragua. His top aides are urging him to allow US warships to intercept Communist merchant vessels suspected of ferrying arms to the Central American country. ...Reagan has approved military action - either by air or by a commando sabotage team - to destroy the MiGs if the Kremlin does give them to Nicaragua. Russian arms... being delivered... go far beyond the country's defence needs."
 (Daily Mirror Nov 12 1984.)
 "We are not doing anything to try and overthrow the Nicaraguan Government... because that would be violating the law."
 (Ronald Reagan, April 18 1985.)
 The CIA organised the mining of the Nicraguan port of Corinto. And with the power of its armaments and media support for opposition groups meant a take-over by the Chamorra government of middle class business, property and land owners. 
 One way or another, if the peoples of these countries dare to take over what is rightfully theirs, the US will soon intervene to get it back for Western shareholders and us compliant consumers.
 Let's look at the example of Guatemala. 
 At one time Guatemala was virtually controlled by the US United Fruit Company. Now other US transnational companies have moved in.
 President Jacobo Arbenz, elected in 1952 with 72 percent of the votes, instituted land reform which involved taking over land owned by United Fruit, with compensation at a valuation United Fruit itself had made for tax purposes: $600,000. United Fruit rejected this and the US Government on behalf of United Fruit claimed $16,000,000. The US invaded Guatemala in 1954 and Arbenz was overthrown and land was restored to the United Fruit company. 
 Dulles called it "a new and glorious chapter to the already great tradition of the American States." Justification for the invasion, as usual, was "international communism."
 A year before the invasion Eisenhower had said:
 "Any nation's right to a form of government and economic system of its own choosing is inalienable... Any nation's attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible."
 (Eisenhower, April 16 1953.) 
 The day after the invasion the Guatemalan Government urged the UN Security Council to be convened to deal with the events, but was turned down by the President of the Security Council Henry Cabot Lodge – who I’ll introduce you to in a moment. 
 I’m not suggesting that it might have been an inside job. But wait a minute; I’m not so sure, after all, Walter Bedell Smith, Director of the CIA before Dulles, became President of United Fruit after Arbenz was overthrown; Secretary of State J.F.Dulles had been legal advisor to United Fruit; his brother, CIA Director Allen Dulles was President of the United Fruit Company; Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs John Moors Cabot was a large shareholder of United Fruit; and that already mentionsd unbiased US statesman, Henry Cabot Lodge, US Ambassador to UN and President of UN Security Council was on the board of directors of United Fruit.
 Now we Western consumers still get cheap fruit, the United Fruit Company still gets its massive profits, and Guatemalan children still go hungry.
 Vietnam asks:
 "...I saw the helicopters... Americans moving towards our village... huge, towering men... we sat there huddled together... American appeared at the entrance... fired point blank at grandmother Toan. She sank slowly to the floor... grenade... I crawled out... bodies of my sister, little brother, uncle Duc, cousin Thu and her baby... Americans... mutilated bodies with bayonets... baby in convulsions... I hid... heard uncle Huong's voice... I asked him "is anyone else alive?" "No little one, everyone's killed." Please, tell me why were they all killed?"
 (Twelve year old Vo Thi Lien, sole survivor of Son My (My Lai on US military maps) March 16 1969.)
 The West answers:
 "Let us suppose we lose Indochina. The tin and tungsten that we so greatly value from that area would cease coming. We are voting for the cheapest way that we can to prevent the occurence of something that would be of a most terrible significance to the United States of America, our security, our power and ability to get certain things we need from the riches of the Indochinese territory and from Southeast Asia."
 (US President Eisenhower, justifying US aid to France's war against Vietnam, Aug 4 1953.) 
 "It is rich in many raw materials such as tin, oil, rubber and iron ore... This area has great strategic value."
 (US Secretary of State Dulles referring to Vietnam, March 29 1954.) 
 "One of the world's richest areas is open to the winner of Indo-China. That's behind the growing US concern... tin, rubber, rice, key strategic raw materials are what the war is really about. The US sees it as a place to hold – at any cost."
 (US News and World Report, April 4 1954.)
 "Geographically, Vietnam stands at the hub of a vast area of the world - Southeast Asia… He who holds or has influence in Vietnam can affect the future of the Philippines and Formosa [now Taiwan B.M.] to the East, Thailand and Burma with their huge rice surpluses to the West, and Malaysia and Indonesia with their rubber, ore and tin to the South... Vietnam thus does not exist in a geographical vacuum – from it large store-houses of wealth and population can be influenced and undermined."
 (Former US Ambassador to South Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge, Boston Sunday Globe, Feb 28 1965.) 
 The US war against Vietnam was another war of capitalist domination of the world's cheap labour and raw materials. 
 “The United States anticipates that this Agreement will usher in an era of reconciliation with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam… will contribute to healing the wounds of war and to postwar reconstruction… without any political conditions… The US contribution will fall in the range of 3.25 billion dollars of grant aid over 5 years."
 (Agreement on ending the Vietnam war (The Paris Agreement) 1973.)
 “Well, the damage was mutual… We owe them nothing.”
 (US President Carter, on Vietnam, 1978.)
 Not one cent was paid. Where more tonnage of bombs that in World War Two including the kilotonnages of Hiroshims and Nagasaki, not one bag of rice was dropped. The US agreement’s “without any political conditions” meant that four years later, in 1977, Vietnam had to start paying some $145 million of US aid debts of the old US puppet governments of South Vietnam demanded by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other US global financial institutions. 
  “United States policy is exactly to squeeze Vietnam… If Vietnam suffers economic hardships, I think that is just great.”
 (Roger Sullivan, US National Security Council, April 1980.)
 Cuba can afford to host Third World Debt conferences because, as a socialist country, Cuba is least affected by the problem:
 "Our trade with the Western world is insignificant; 85% of our trade is with the other socialist countries. This crisis affects only 15% of our trade; we're the ones least affected. This is why we can be the standard-bearers of this cause and speak with complete freedom. …we can feel secure because, fortunately, we depend very little on the Western world, and we don't depend at all on economic relations with the United States. I wonder how many other countries in the world can say the same."
 (Fidel Castro.)
 Cuba before 1960 was a very poor and exploited country:
 "It makes the water come to my mouth when I think of the State of Cuba as one in our family."
 (US financier, 1895.)
 "More than half our most productive land is in the hands of foreigners. In Oriente, the largest province, the lands of the United Fruit Company and the West Indies Company link the northern and southern coasts. There are two hundred thousand peasant families who do not have a single acre of land to till to provide food for their starving children... Ninety percent of the children of the countryside are consumed by parasites... Society is moved to compassion when it hears of the kidnapping or murder of one child, but it is criminally indifferent to the mass murder of so many thousands of children who die every year through lack of facilities."
 (Fidel Castro, in court in 1953; on trial for "subversion.")
 Despite several attempts by the US to crush Cuba, including the Bay of Pigs invasion, chemical and biological warfare, and a complete trade and aid blockade by the imperialist nations coerced by the US, Cuba has been able to not only solve its basic poverty, agricultural, housing, social, education and health problems; but donates millions of scientists, doctors, teachers and agricultural personnel and machinery to many Third World Countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and south East Asia. Cuba is a world leader in many important pharmaceuticals. Cuba national aid in personnel, medicines and agriculture is still operating in Haiti after the most devastating January 2010 earthquake. The rich Nations left long ago. 
 “I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means – except by getting off his back.” 
 Most people seem to think that Western so-called 'aid' is charitable and free! 
 Every dollar of this 'aid' invested in the 1970s in what they euphemistically call 'underdeveloped' countries (they haven’t managed to develop yet like us clever “advanced”? developed? countries) returned some four dollars to multinational corporations in the charitable capitalist world. During 1970-1979 US multinationals invested 11.446 million dollars and realised 48,000 million dollars in profits from these countries – $4.20 for every dollar 'invested'. 
 "Before people can do anything they have got to eat. And if you are looking for a way to get people to lean on you and to be dependent on you, in terms of their cooperation with you, it seems to me that food dependance would be terrific."
 (US Senator Hubert Humphrey, 1957.)
 "Food aid is a fertiliser which grows a rich crop called hunger. It is a contradiction in terms."
 (African leader Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia.)
 But of course; we British are so charitable aren't we?! We give a few pounds and put some old clothes in a box on the high street for the Third World and congratulate ourselves that we have done our bit for the poor. 
 But we have done absolutely nothing to alleviate poverty. We are not asking the right questions. 
 "The question to be asked is not what we should give to the poor but when will we stop taking from the poor."
 (Jim Wallace, Sojourners, USA.)
 Instead of asking: “What can I give to the poor”, we should be asking different questions, like “Why are they so poor?”, or what is their economic relationship with us who eat food from every poor country on earth?, how is it that when I was unemployed and producing nothing I could get a tin of beans from Ethiopia during a terrible Ethiopian famine? 
 "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government… Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world… Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem." 
 (Howard Zinn.)
 After G8 and Live-8, the outcome of the massive increase in awareness of the issue of global poverty will be determined by into what direction this enormous and increasing concern and popular power is guided and directed if it is not to result in the obvious continual failure of previous such efforts. 
 Fundamental to this is whether knowledge and understanding of the reasons and the cause of world poverty will be imparted among so many well meaning minds – to the greatest number of people. This will determine whether their will is to prevail and how effective it will be. 
 Will people’s generous energies again be misdirected into completely ineffective channels, resulting in wasted effort and potential burn out, with the rich and powerful clapping their hands all the way to the bank? 
 Bob Geldorf and other rich celebrities can go on television and pretend to shame government leaders and coerce mega rich pop stars. In the end, he is one of the mega rich who has benefited enormously from capitalism and will eventually suck up to his interests personified in Blair and Bush and the G8. They too can clap their hands all the way to the bank. 
 After looking around at the various ideas for protest suggested by various organisations and groups; I find it incredibly naive to think that writing millions of "Remove Bush" cards to the White House is going to remove a dumb president; apart from involving a lot of well intentioned people in wasting their hard-earned resources. The negative effect will have a strong effect on demoralising and eventually burning out young people entering political action. It has been said that if Adolf Hitler had been run over by a tramcar in Vienna, the ruling classes of Europe would have found another Hitler. And if Bush goes, transnational capital will simply find another Bush. US Presidents are puppets and only as powerful as the economic interests that put them in power. World protest against Bush will not make any difference except that imperial propaganda will simply rationalise its activities and cover up even more. 
 Does anybody think that the US economy – largely dependent on the US military industrial complex and oil consumption, is going to be bothered about the environment or climate change? Tony Blair, with his a ‘moderating influence’ on George Bush, said on television the day before I wrote this that it is impossible to persuade the US to implement the Kyoto agreement on climate change; and on today’s news as I write, President Bush tell’s his best friend Blair not to expect cooperation on environmental and climate change in exchange for Britain’s support in the war in Iraq. Tell that to the people flooded out of their homes in Britain in the last few years. I hope none of them have lost sons or husbands in Iraq as a favour for Bush’s increasing oil supplies for Americans. 
 Naïve anti war demonstrators just don’t understand us middle class families in our 4x4 battle wagons. They certainly don’t understand why it was necessary in the first place to divide the once great Arab world into manageable bite-sized pieces like Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi, and of course get all those Koran thumping Arabs out of Palestine and give it to the Judeo-Christians. That’s why we have to support the Israelis with resolution 001 of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which as we know, says that if Moses had turned to the left instead of right when he came down from the mountain, we’d have had all the oil and the Arabs would have had all the sand and oranges. 
 Looking through my favourite web groups last week I came across further frightening examples of anti-logic amid the demand and clamour for poverty to be eliminated from the world. One suggestion was: 
 “We must leave the "Them and Us" paradigm back in the second millennium where it has already created too much havoc. The time has come for us to move together in partnership for "Our world working for all of us without exception." In my opinion, this is what we are demonstrating about. If we go to Edinburgh with hatred, negativity and blame in our hearts and minds, we will be part of the problem, not the solution. The result will be more of the same if not worse. "There is nothing wrong with our world… Our New World Order IS Love." 
 Paradigm? Millenium? I was born in the bombed out East End of London, where I received a bombed out education from bonbed out teachers in a bombed out school between the gas works and the baked bean factory. We were taught enough vocabulary to operate factory machine controls – “Stop, Go, Fast, Faster, Maximum profit speed, no tea breaks or Trade Union membership allowed.” You don’t think they were going to let us anywhere near Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer do you? We might start asking questions. Like what the hell is a paradigm? 
 This is the kind of ridiculous anti-logic that ruling classes throughout history have always encouraged the ruled to adopt. Tory leader Margaret Thatcher used the classless society myth marvellously when she talked of “Peoples’ Capitalism” and Tony Blair’s “stakeholders’ Society.” Apart from being a contradiction in mutually exclusive terms, it basically leaves only one conclusion: “Carry on being ruled and exploited and never hope for any real power to change anything.” 
 "The central concern of the foreign policy of the United States must be the creation of a world order which is oriented to the broadest possible extent towards our national interests as a free, democratic and capitalist great power."
 (US Wall Street Journal.)
 Now we have US led and dominated transnational capital (imperialism), which, unlike colonialism, does not even recognise national boundaries or sovereign states, and is in fact a sovereign state only unto itself. 
 The US claims its "right" to defend what it calls "vital American interests", which it defines as the interests of the "free" world. The US claims to defend these "vital American interests" in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, in the Persian Gulf, the Middle, Near and Far East, in South East Asia, in the Atlantic, the Baltic and the Antarctic – wherever there is oil, uranium, copper, fruit, or tin and tungsten, cheap labour or anything else the US needs.
 "We are at present working discreetly with all our might to wrest this mysterious force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local nation states of the world."
 (Professor Arnold Toynbee, Institute for the Study of International Affairs, Copenhagen, June 1931.)
 "Over two-thirds of the globe, along the great area stretching from Europe to Japan, no treaty can be signed, no alliance can be forged, no decision can be made without the approval and support of the United States Government."
 (The Times Aug 29 1951.)
 “By the use of economic aid we succeeded in getting access to Iranian oil and we are now well established in the economy of that country. The strengthening of our economic position in Iran has enabled us to acquire control over her foreign policy and in particular to make her join the Bagdad Pact. At the present time the Shah would not dare even to make any changes in his cabinet without consulting our Ambassador... at a later stage, to step up both our political price and our military demands. …economic relations with these countries would ultimately allow us to take over key positions in the native economy.”
 (From a letter from US Council on Foreign Relations member millionaire Nelson Rockefeller to President Eisenhower, January 1956.) 
 "Our aim is not simply to appropriate oil in one way or another (say in easily accessible Nigeria or Venezuela) but to crush OPEC. Therefore we have to use direct force in order to get hold of large and concentrated oil deposits which can be opened up rapidly so as to put an end to the artificial oil shortage and thus to lower the price... Since this is the ultimate and there is only one target possible: Saudi Arabia... Fortunately, these are not only rich oilfields but they are also concentrated in a very small area, a fraction of the Saudi Arabian territory... While Vietnam was full of trees and brave people and our national interest was almost invisible, what we have here is no trees, very few people and a clear objective."
 (Advisor to the US Defence Department Professor Miles Ignotas, March 1975.)
 "We will be looking increasingly toward Africa and the Middle East, as well as South America, for the materials required for our industrial economy... We will require free access and intercourse with many far distant nations of the world in order to remain a leading export - import nation... It will become increasingly difficult in the near future to protect US overseas interests with conventional weapons... I think in the future we may get into areas where it will be increasingly difficult to maintain stability with conventional forces, and nuclear weapons will be our only alternative."
 (US Vice Admiral Gerald E Miller, Congressional Testimony, March 18 1976.)
 "The economic health and well-being of the United States, Western Europe, Japan depend upon continued access to the oil from the Persian area."
 (President Carter, Department of State Bulletin, April 1978.)
 "The United States will in fact have no other choice but to establish a world order it is able to live with, a world where there is relatively free access to the world's resources."
 (US Wall Street Journal, Nov 26 1979.)
 "Western industrialised societies are largely dependent on the oil resources of the Middle East region and a threat to access to that oil would constitute a grave threat to the vital national interests. This must be dealt with; and that does not exclude the use of force if necessary." 
 (US Secretary of State Alexander Haig, March 11 1981.)
 "We must be prepared for waging a conventional war that may extend to many parts of the globe. Many of the resources that we need for energy and many essential strategic minerals are found thousands of miles from our shores... If we are to safeguard our access, and the access of the free world, to these resources, we must increase our military and naval strength."
 (US Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger, April 28 1981.)
 "As outlined in the paper, the strategy for Southwest Asia, including the Persian Gulf, directs American forces to be ready to force their way in if necessary, and not to wait for an invitation from a friendly government, which has been the publicly stated policy."
 (US Defense Dept, in New York Times May 30 1982.)
 "The conservative Heritage Foundation, a think tank with a great deal of clout in Mr Reagan's White House, argues that Vietnam, Kampuchea, Libya, Laos, Angola, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Nicaragua and Iran are ripe for covert American activity aimed at destabilising their governments."
 (The Guardian November 22 1984.)
 "In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn't such a great idea after all."
 (US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbot, Time, July 20, 1992.)
  “In oil's name, the United States is immersed in a new kind of colonialism, for the resources that lie under foreign feet.” 
 (U.S. Dept of State, Congressional Budget Justifications: Foreign Operations, Fiscal Year 2003.) 
 "The United States, as an island nation heavily dependent on overseas raw materials, must continue its forward deployment of forces in Asia and the Pacific region. There is no cheaper way to American security."
 (US Defence Secretary Frank Carlucci.)
 "Fundamental national interests require the United States to use military force in defense of our interests with comparative freedom if it should become necessary to do so not only in Europe, but in other strategically critical parts of the world. In my view – and I speak for President Reagan – this must remain the minimum goal of our nuclear arsenal."
 (Former Director of US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Eugene Rostow.)
 "Geographically, our territory extends to the Aleutians, Hawaii and Guam in the middle of the Pacific Ocean... We are a global power with global tasks. We have to be prepared to fulfil the tasks facing us in Asia in the same ways as we are prepared to fulfil them elsewhere."
 (Former US Defence Secretary Brown.)
 "He mocks the people who proposes that the Government shall protect the rich and that they in turn will care for the labouring poor."
 (US President Grover Cleveland, Annual Message to Congress, 1888.)
 British Government institution, whether Conservative or Labour, if it wants to survive, has to support capital in its relationship with labour. It is completely naïve to think that power in Britain lies in Parliament. Economic and therefore political and social power in the UK lies two miles to the East of Parliament – in the financial City of London; which, day to day, hour by hour, decides by a (usually US Treasury) interest rate percentage, whether you or I – industrial workers, nurses, hospital porters, teachers or office workers, will be jobless or homeless tonight. 
 How can we therefore talk of democracy when less than 7 percent of the British population owns more than 84 percent of the country’s capital assets, finance, land, raw materials, means of production and productive output? 
 We don’t have democray because we don’t vote for issues, just puppets who say they are concerned about our issues but do nothing but act as a representative for big capital lobbying interests
 "Neither current events nor history show that the majority rules, or ever did rule."
 (American Confederate President Jefferson Davis.)
 “The oppressed are allowed every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent them.”
 (Karl Marx.)
 Real freedom and democracy has never been given. Let’s not delude ourselves that we have democracy because we have a parliament. As Aneurin Bevan remarked, real power lies two miles to the east of Parliament – in the city of London. 
 "Liberty Has never come from government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance."
 (American President Woodrow Wilson, 1912, after Thomas Jefferson.)
 "Freedom cannot be granted. It must be taken... The great are great only because we are on our knees. Let us rise!"
 (German writer Max Stirner.)
 Capitalist notions of "freedom" and "human rights" are totally useless to the majority of the world's population who are living and dying under starvation, poverty, unemployment, and lack of basic hygeine and medical care. What use is "freedom of speech" to this majority of people who nobody hears? What use is it to speak when nobody listens? What use is "freedom of travel" to the world's hungry people who can't go anywhere and nobody wants them? What good are capitalist freedoms to them when nobody will listen, transport, feed them, or give them medical care or schools, or land or the means of production of wealth for the necessities of their lives? What is the practical or effective use of this fake notion of freedom to the children who sleep on the streets, not only in Bangladesh, Soa Paulo or Manilla, but those you can see every night under bridges over the Thames, the Sein, the Rhine or the Potomac in the riches capitals of the world? 
 "Can people at the bottom of the economic scale, people called no-account, lazy, degraded, grasp an opportunity when a real one is offered, and rise out of their misery? This is the acid test. If they can, democracy is proved... this... gives the lie to those who hold that the mass of the people are imprisoned in their shiftlessness… It makes it impossible for an intelligent, well-informed person ever again seriously to contend that most people are incapable of self-improvement... Democracy, as has been said of Christianity, has never really been tried." 
 (US writer Stuart Chase.) 
 A united people, educated with the knowledge of their situation, can change their position in terms of the socio-economic relationships of their country. 
 Just as evolution, gravity, relativity, the solar system and manned flight were pooh poohed, there are plenty of pseudo intellectuals and their ignorant followers who ‘pooh-pooh’ the argument that such a transition was not gained by the peoples of the Soviet Union, Cuba, Vietnam, China or any of the socialist world. But there is nothing in theory or practice but determination and method of practice to stop a population owning collectively their national means of production of wealth as collective capital invested in their own collective labour for the collective profit of all. 
 Oh but the Soviet Union and the European socialist countries collapsed. Yes; that’s history so far. But the quest for manned flight collapsed many times before the Wright Brothers found a way. Eddison failed in his many early attempts to invent the light bulb. But when we understand in scientific theory that something is scientifically possible, it is then a matter of finding a way. The Wright Brothers proved the theory of manned flight by understanding the laws of gravity, aerodynamics and power-to-weight ratios. Eddison found that the filament would not burn out if it was contained in a vacuum or inert gas. Air disasters and light bulbs going pop do not disprove the scientific theories they are based on any more than the collapse of the USSR disproves the science of socialist socio-economic theory based on Marx’s Labour Theory of Value or his law of the Falling Rate of Profit (called FROP by Marxist economists. Both of these theories are precisely the same phenomena and are agreed by capitalist economic scientists like Adam Smith’s labour theory formulation or the modern capitalist economic ideological theory of “Marginal Utility Value” as found in the London School of Ecomics library. They are just described from different ideological points of view. The important difference is that Marxist theory is theory found in practice and is scientifically verifiable; whereas capitalist “theory” is just that, theory, merely assumed without question; because for the owners of capital, it works, they make profit. But they would be shooting themselves in the foot is they ever analyse it in oder to attempt to prove it; since it is so simplistic and so easily destroyed when you question it and explain its inherent contradictions. 
 The European socialist world collapsed because of a crippling arms race, corrupt individuals, their buying into capitalist loans, the combination of which crippled the aims of the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Achievement – what the West called Comecon), which, similar to the integrated capitalist aims of the EEC/EU, the G8 or the Trilateral Commission, was the planned socialist integration of the economies of the socialist countries as an efficient whole. Various socialist countries were experienced and well placed environmentally and climatically at producing certain commodities – Icarus buses from Hungary were seen throughout the socialist world, as were optics from the GDR (East Germany), oil, timber and technology from the USSR, sugar, citrus fruits, agricultural machinery (eg: the first automated sugar harvester) and medicines and pharmaceuticals from Cuba, tin and tungsten from Vietnam are a few examples. A certain stagnation occurred in the advanced European socialist countries while their economies back peddled and consolidated while diverting its economic advancement into the newer and poorer socialist countries like Cuba and Vietnam, so that all could then advance faster on a broader and more powerful integrated economic front. 
 "The real threat of Cuba is that they offer a model to be emulated by people who are dissatisfied with their lot or who are struggling to change things for the better."
 (US President Carter, April 9 1980.)
 When a people can gain equality in their socio-economic relations, labour, trade and independence from the labour and raw material gobbling of transnational capital, they will build their own systems of education, medicine, health, clean water, housing, agriculture, land ownership and usage, industry and infrastructure to serve the collective common interests of their own populations instead of those of foreign or national capital. 
 Cuba’s highest indices of literacy, health, housing, in all of the Third World; in many cases, such as literacy and health, higher than the UK and the US, including many times more doctors and teachers per head of population than the UK. 
 This didn’t come about through charity, aid or Red Nose Week. 
 It came about in 1960 when Fidel Castro came to power in a revolution supported by the vast majority if the Cuban people. 
 Cuba has already eliminated poverty, hunger, illiteracy, homelessness and unemployment, and now not only has the best education and health services in the Third World, including 1,000 doctors per head of population – more than Britain and many other advanced countries, and Polyclinics in every neighborhood and community; but also sends thousands of teachers, doctors, medical, scientific, agricultural, engineering and other specialists to at least thirty-five other countries. Cuba also leads the world in some pharmaceuticals, including a cure for a particularly virulent strain of child meningitis, but this medicine is unavailable to children suffering and dying from it in Britain and most other countries, which under US economic and financial pressures comply with the US blockade. Cuba also trains many thousands of such specialists from all over the world. 
 "And so, what did the Director of UNICEF say? That if the countries of Latin America had the health levels of Cuba, the lives of 800,000 children would be saved every year. Eight hundred thousand! And if the Director of UNICEF, an agency of United Nations, says that, I ask: Who is it that kills those 800,000 children under one year of age every year? Who is it that kills countless other millions of children between one and fifteen years? Who is it that reduces life expectancy to 40, 45, 50 years in so many places, throughout the centuries? This has happened and goes on happening, to the shame of all of us. The answer is exploitation, colonialism yesterday, imperialism now. And what about those lives, don't they count? And as to the millions who are growing up mentally retarded or physically disabled, who is causing all of that, who is the guilty party, who is responsible for it?"
 (Fidel Castro, at Meeting on the Foreign Debt of Latin America and the Caribbean. Havana, Aug 3 1985.)
 Cuba’s trade with China, Vietnam, India and many other Socialist and Third World countries is firm and reliable; exporting technology, cheap and reliable agricultural machinery, science, medicines and education. 
 "The future is yours – but you must pay for it."
 (Victor Jara, musician and poet of the Chilean working class, gunned down in Santiago Stadium along with thousands of Chilean workers, trade unionists, communists, working class writers and musicians after the ITT/CIA military coup in 1973.)
 "And if we were all capable of unity to make our blows stronger and infallible and so increase the effectiveness of all kinds of support given to the struggling people – how great and close would the future be." 
 (Che Guevara.)
 “You have got to unite in the same labour union and in the same political party and strike and vote together, and the hour you do that, the world is yours.”
 (US socialist Eugene Debs. 1855-1926.)
 "All over the world the ordinary people are challenging the entrenched positions of the privileged, and are organising and fighting to win rights that have so long been withheld from them."
 (Black American singer Paul Robeson, on whose gravestone is written: "The artist must take sides. He must elect to fight for freedom or slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative.") 
 "Being young and beautiful doesn't interest me for I don't want to be just one more for them to kill. They've been killing me since in my mother's womb; in my infancy with malnutrition; in my adolescence with subjection. And if I don't fight, my destiny will be to serve those who always win. But now they are going to lose."
 (Evelyn, Latin America, who cannot be identified.)
 "Tomorrow my child all will be different  You will walk hand in hand with your children  As I cannot do with you today."
 (Note from a father killed in an El Salvador jail, to his children.)
 "There are two kinds of people in Honduras: those who don't eat; and those who don't sleep – for fear of those who don't eat."
 (Woman peasant organiser, Honduras.)
 We have got to identify with this awareness and selflessness. 
 If we are to solve the problem of poverty in the world instead of maintaining capitalism’s intrinsic need for charity; if we want to do anything useful to help solve the problem, we have to understand that it is a political economic problem; not one of charity or giving. If you just support charity, charity will always continue to be required; and those who really cause the problem will laugh up their sleeves as their profits from shares increase and the rest of us will be required to pick up the tab from our taxes for government aid for the poverty caused. 
 It is time to know the connection between our way of life and poverty, debt and wars.
 It is an education problem. British society consistently screams 'democracy', 'education', 'free press', and 'human rights' from the rooftops. Yet when you ask the average British person what they think is going on in the world, they have almost no idea. 
 The result of this contradictory and disgraceful state of affairs is that most British people are unfortunately more kind to animals than to people in a far off land. A society that gives more medical resources to a pet dog or a donkey sanctuary than to a hungry child has absolutely no right to talk of civilisation, human rights, freedom or democracy anywhere in the world.
 We who are also unwilling and unwitting victims, who nevertheless share in the benefits of such a system; will solve no problem by feeling guilty and giving charity. The hungry people do not require that of us. What they require of us is political pressure on our rich country's government and on those rich shareholders who perpetrate this economic crime, this system which exploits and makes mere appendages of capital of all of us. 
 Everything we do under our economic system based on production for profit rather than production for human needs is somehow connected with a hungry child or a war somewhere in the world. 
 Economic warfare is what you and I conduct every day, when we buy a banana or a tin of fruit; when we pay a penny to the poor peasant who produced it, and the rest to the shareholders of the transnational company and its marketing, distributing and retailing subsidiaries of the product. In the esoteric language of capitalist countries, this is called trade – free trade. It is unequal trade. 
 Democracy must involve thinking, learning, and political responsibility and honesty. Merely voting for a government is not democracy; it is just accepting the benefits of an imperialist foreign policy while abrogating our responsibility for its consequences. We cannot absolve ourselves from responsibility or rationalise any guilt by saying "It's not my fault, I'm not a capitalist, what can I do about it?" We must learn and understand our world – its socio-economic relationships. 
 We must examine and change our country's foreign policy to recognise and trade equally and fairly with the developing countries and those which have liberated themselves from imperialist domination and have taken or are taking their own independent road to progress such as Cuba, Vietnam, China, Venezuela, Bolivia, Equador. 
 No change has ever come about through charity or good will, Band Aid or Red Nose Weeks. In Red Nose Week 1999, for every pound so generously given, much of it by children and pensioners, people who truly understand poverty because they themselves are also poor, some £4.00 came back to this country from those poor countries in profits and debts – and beans for the unemployed! 
 We were certainly never given the right to remain silent. 
 We all kill the hungry child, not with guns and napalm, but with our pounds and dollars in the supermarket, the bank and the building society. When we open a tin of beans we open the stomach of an already hungry child and remove the contents for our own sustenance. 
 "Famine and hunger are not inevitable, but are caused by identifiable forces within the province of rational human control. I have tried to identify some of the forces. You are part of humanity; you can be part of that control."
 (Susan George "How the Other Half Die." Penguin Pelican.London.1977.) 
 We cannot sit there enjoying the fruits of imperialism saying "It's not my fault." We cannot say "I am not political." 'No politics' is always effectually capitalist politics. 
 We all say we want peace and fairness in the world yet continue to live under and support an economic system that makes wars and poverty a necessity if that system is to survive. 
 We are all responsible for what goes on in the world and what our governments do on our behalf. We cannot absolve ourselves from the foreign policy of the government we elect. 
 Perhaps next time Lenny Henry plays football with poor African kids or Bob Geldoff bangs his fist at us to give “NOW”, they could ask how it happens that millions of such kids are poor. If enough real questions are stimulated in enough minds, some truths will come. 
 Nevertheless, the words of William Morris more than a hundred years ago are as relevant today: 
 "Look how the whole capitalist world is stretching out long arms towards the barbarous world and grabbing and clutching in eager competition at countries whose inhabitants don't want them... It is for the opening of fresh markets to take in all the fresh profit-producing wealth which is growing greater and greater every day... and I say this is an irresistable instinct on the part of the capitalists, an impulse like hunger, and I believe that it can only be met by another hunger, the hunger for freedom and fair play for all... Anything less than that the capitalist power will brush aside."
 (William Morris, May Day, 1896.) 
 British school and college history syllabus teaching and books do not contain this information. 
 All the material and information I have presented here is readily available to historians, writers, journalists, teachers, educators and syllabus publishers. Although I have spent many hundreds of hours gathering it all together, I did not have to look very far to find any of it. 
 Most people think British education is among the best in the world. It isn’t. It never has been. From before and right through the industrial revolution, the British ruling class has always feared an educated working class. When it was proposed to build free libraries for working people a century ago, Lord Salisbury said: “Libraries! They don’t want libraries; give them a circus.” 
 Now we have an education circus. 
 “The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives… It sometimes seems as though we were trying to combine the ideal of no schools at all with the democratic ideal of schools for everybody by having schools without education.”
 (Robert Maynard Hutchins.)
 “We are in a period of considerable social change… There may be social unrest, but we can cope with the Toxteths [Liverpool riots BM.)… but if we have a highly educated and idle population we may possibly anticipate more serious social conflict. People must be educated to know their place.”
 (Secret report of British Department of Education on rationalising school curricula, 1984.)
 It means that as a teacher you can get away with teaching about the Nazis or Apartheid on a superficial level, because these historical eras are too well known. But if you ventured seriously and treated them with any depth, revealing the whole story, including British complicity and support for Nazism and Apartheid, and seriously investigated British complicity in most other such events in history, you soon learned that you would be progressively marginalized, criticised, then ostracised, left out of career improvements or promotion, and get a sense of the unspoken threat of not being able to pay the mortgage and bills supporting a teacher’s lifestyle. 
 When as a trainee history lecturer, it was suggested I take the class on a trip to the Tower of London and then set them an essay on what life was like for a soldier in King Charles’ Army centuries ago. Very useful knowledge that! A sociology of the past perhaps? But certainly not history in its most important sense; unless history is to mean simply anything old or ‘interesting’ that you might do in evening classes, like antiques, flower arranging or basket weaving. When instead, in my teaching practice in a Further Education college in Slough, I taught real history – learning from the past in order to change the future – the collective life-experience of humanity, I was got rid of. The head of the history department complained that the students had remarked that I made them think; which the head of history had probably never done in a lifetime of teaching. I ended up washing and cleaning and emptying surgical and clinical waste in a hospital in Slough, the stress of the boredom of which made me physically and mentally ill for a few years, and later the only employment that would take me was serving customers in a large local DIY store, in livery that wouldn’t look out of place on American prisoners at Guantanamo. 
 Unless teachers learn to be brave and intellectually honest (difficult when they have a mortgage and bills to pay), future historical, social and economic education and popular ‘knowledge’ will also not refer to the US or British history and capitalism’s continuing complicity in global plunder, exploitation, domination and control, wars of aggrandisement and acquisition, causing the deaths and devastation of the homes and lands of millions of people – the 40, or is it now 50 thousand children under the age of two who will die tonight through simple lack of food, clean water, medicine and education – things that we take from them every day without even thinking about it – the untold millions of unnecessary deaths among the overwhelming majority of humanity on this incredibly rich and abundant and ultimately sustainable earth – a world which we, the 15 percent rich, have taken from humanity and still own and control. The only viable solution to which is socialism spreading across the world. 
 From Brian Mitchell. Evolution Independent Journalism. .
 I am happy for this article to be reproduced and distributed in full provided that authorship is acknowledged; or as quotations provided that the full authorship of each quote is stated; and that the work is used for the purpose for which it is obviously intended – to inform and educate those interested in the modern history of wars, peace, anti-racism, poverty, imperialism, global trade and exploitation and the world debt crisis; in other words, most of humanity in this incredibly rich and abundant world; the majority of which we, the majority of the human population, have no ownership or control. 
 Responses, resource requests, further material, citations and criticisms welcomed and encouraged. (It’s rewarding to have your ego boosted occasionally! Makes it all worth it knowing you are having some effect and helps me improve it’s readability.) 
 My replies to abusive rantings (I get loads!) will be posted with their ID.
 Reply to my personal e-mail if you prefer. Use eijournalism and note that my provider is BTInternet (you’ll work it out). Use this method to confuse automatic email harvesters from hacks. 
 Very short bibliography: 
 Susan George's "How the Other Half Die" is a good book on poverty, debt, food politics and the economic nature of imperialism. 
 Pamphlets of debt conferences and Fidel Castro's speeches on the Third World and Debt may be obtainable at the Cuban embassy, probably free; and contain a wealth of facts and figures and excellent analysis of global poverty, unequal trade and debt situations. 
 The material for this article is taken from three of the author’s manuscripts, most of which have been posted or serialised, now out of print long ago in most countries: “1917 And All That: The Untaught History Syllabus. In their Own Words – A Political History Of The Cold War 1917-1983.” which has also been partly serialised in British and foreign journals, and which arose out of an unpublished (and at that time unfinished) Ph.D. thesis; and “A Radical Book Of Enlightenment For The Common Man.” which is a compilation of over 1,800 educative, scientific, philosophical and historical radical political quotes in subject and historical categories; and “Understanding The Hidden Nature Of Capitalism. – Or Marx For Beginners.” including Marx’s full exposure of the true nature of the capitalist economic system. A fourth, non political book was a comprehensive computer guide and manual for writers, authors, journalists and tutors – those of us who work alone wihhout access to an expensive IT department. 
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