Crankshaw bio NYT
John Edward McKenzie Lucie-Smith (born 27 February 1933) is a British writer, poet, art critic, curator, broadcaster and author of exhibition catalogues.
The covers of the following books are not yet photographed
APPLETON Sir Edward, Science and the Nation. The BBC Reith Lectures for 1956, London, Edinburgh university press, 1957.
AYENSU Edward S., Het oerwoud, Amsterdam, Elsevier, 1982.
BUECHNER Col. Howard A., Dachau. The hour of the Avenger (an eyewitness account), Metairie, Thunderdbird Press, Inc., 1986.
BUYSSE Paul, BEYSEN Ward, BIJL Willy, CAMPO Lode, CROLS Frans, DAEMS Rik, DE CLERCK Lou, DE CLERCQ Willy, DE BERGEYCK Daniel graaf, Liber Amicorum Hugo Ceusters, Antwerpen, IMP, 1990.
DE MAESSCHALCK Edward, Een bond voor alle gezinnen: Geschiedenis van de gezinsbeweging in Vlaanderen , Brussel, BGJG, 1996.
ESKO Edward & Wendy, Macrobiotic cooking for everyone., Tokyo, Japan Publications, 1987.
GRAN Guy (editor), HULL Galen, GOULD David, JEWSIEWICKI Bogumil, KABWIT Ghislain, KANNYO Edward, KATWALA Ghifem J., LEMARCHAND Rene, MAKALA-LIZUMI, ELAS Mwana, ROBERTS Allen, SCHATZBERG Michael, SOSNE Elinor, TURNER Thomas, Zaire: The Political Economy of Underdevelopment, New York, Praeger, 1979.
HAYWARD John, The Penguin Book of English Verse., Middlesex, Penguin Books, 1968.
HERMANS Ward, Bestiarium van de literatuur en paradoxen der kritiek., Antwerpen, De Goudvink, s.d..
HERMANS Ward, Apocalyps, , Privé Uitgave, 1958.
HERMANS Ward, Socratische gesprekken. De ondergang van het westers burgerdom., Antwerpen, Goudvink, 1964.
HIBBARD Howard, Hoogtepunten van de beeldhouwkunst, Amsterdam/Brussel, Elsevier, 1978.
HOLMES Edward, introduction and notes HOGWOOD Chistopher, The life of Mozart. Including his correspondence., London, The Folio Society, 1991.
HOWARD Alice and Walden, Exploring the road less travelled. A study guide for small groups, London, Rider, 1985.
HOWARD C. & PLUMB J.H. (Edit.), West African Explorers, London, Oxford University Press, 1951.
HOWARD Jonathan, Darwin., Oxford, Oxford Press, 1982.
HOWARD Lee, How to publish your own book successfully., Clearwater, Selective Publishers, 1980.
HOWARD Lee, How to publish your own book successfully., Clearwater, Selective Publishers, 1981.
HOWARD Michael, The Occult Conspiracy: Secret Societies - Their Influence and Power in World History , Rochester, Destiny, 1989.
LUCIE-SMITH Edward, Ars Erotica. Een opwindende geschiedenis van erotische kunst. (vertaling van An Arousing History of Erotic Art), Hedel, Librero, 1998.
LUCIE-SMITH Edward, Symbolist Art (185 plates, 24 in colour), London, Thames & Hudson, 1972.
MUMMA Howard, Albert Camus and the Minister, Brewster, Paraclete Press, 2000.
MURPHET Howard, Sai Baba Avatar. A new journey into power and glory., San Diego, Birth Day Publishing, 1977.
MURPHET Howard, Sai Baba. Invitation to glory., Dehli, Macmillan india, 1982.
OLSZEWSKI M., COUPE A., TOTI-BURATTI, FOCKE Herman, LANTS Gerrard, GILBERT, ROOVERS, VAN WAMBEKE, DE VALCK, PIRANA, BAERT, NAGELS, DE QUICK, DEWINTER, METZ, POST, TWARDOCH, e.a., De mens wil lachen. Knokke-Heist '78, 17de wereldkartoenale, Leuven, Davidsfonds, 1978.
PEETERS Edward, De beweging der Ave-Maria-Scholen in Spanje. Opvoedkundige Bibliotheek Nr 14), Brussel, Libertas, s.d..
RUFF Howard, Making Money. Winning the battle for middle-class financial success, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1984.
SCHEFLIN Alan W., OPTON Edward M. Jr., De psychologische revolutie. Massale manipulatie van de menselijke geest maakt argeloze burgers tot willoze slachtoffers., Utrecht, Het Spectrum, 1980.
SOUNES Howard, Down The Highway. Het leven van Bob Dylan., Utrecht, Het Spectrum, 2001.
SOURAVITCH (inl Edward Peeters), Kerschensteiner en de arbeidsschool (Opvoedkundige Bibliotheek Nr 10), Brussel, Libertas, s.d..
SPENCER Philip, WOLLMAN Howard, Nationalism, A Critical Introduction, London, Sage, 2003.
WARD Barbara, DUBOS René, Only one earth. The care and maintenance of a small planet., Middlesex, Penguin Books, 1972.
WARD Bob, The light stuff. Space humor - from Sputnik to Shuttle., Alabama, Jester Books, 1982.
WOODWARD Bob, De machthebbers (vertaling van The Commanders), , Kritak, 1991.
WOODWARD Bob, Dekmantel - De geheime oorlogen van de CIA, Houten/Tielt, De Haan/Lannoo, 1987.
WOODWARD Bob, The Agenda. Inside the Clinton White House, NY , Simon & Schuster, 1994.
WOODWARD G. W. O., The Dissolution of the Monasteries, London, Pitkin Pictorials Ltd, 1975.
This work was created the year after Girl and Cat, and towards the end of the period during which he painted Therese. While this girl is in a similar pose to the earlier work, there is a heightened sense of agitation for the subject in the composition. Her eyes are closed and face turned away from the viewer. Therese's body is more defined as an adult; her legs are longer and her face and arms have shed their prepubescent extra weight. Overlapping the title's indication of dreaming, her facial expressions suggest the mixture of possible ecstatic pleasure and an uncertain, uncomfortable or even pained response to unwanted shared sensual experience.
Here, even the cat assumes a different role, no longer a would-be stalwart sentinel but now a predator, albeit a domestic one, intently and sensually lapping at the bowl at Therese's feet.
The heightening of both the sensual experience depicted and the ambivalence of its subject may hint also at the impending loss of innocence in the painter's relationship with Therese at the time of the piece's production, as the following year he ceased painting her.
Oil on canvas - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
meer werk van Balthus op de site van The Art Story
Willen we dan maar gelijk Lolita van Nabokov uit de rekken verwijderen ?
En moeten we nu ook Louis Paul Boon opnieuw gaan screenen ?
Alizée verbannen, misschien?
In het antwoord van de Met kan ik me volledig vinden: “Moments such as this provide an opportunity for conversation, and visual art is one of the most significant means we have for reflecting on both the past and the present and encouraging the continuing evolution of existing culture through informed discussion and respect for creative expression.” (zoals gemeld door de NYT)
Over de geschiedenis van de preutsheid vindt u meer in Girls lean back everywhere.
Als preutsheid je ding is, dan voel je je misschien beter dan de rest, maar wellicht is dat niet zo en ben je gewoon zoals de anderen.
The plain, simple and bitter truth is that Turkey’s Islamist rulers have supported and maintained parallel networks in Europe; thrown political, diplomatic and financial support to front NGOs whose role is to promote hatred; and run a campaign of intimidation and curtailed free speech in European nations that are home to large Turkish and Muslim expatriate communities.
Delivering a very passionate speech last month at the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, called this a fifth column that is being operated by the cronies of autocratic president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to undermine Europe from within. He called on lawmakers to fight for European values and send a strong message to Erdoğan by freezing the accession talks with Turkey, which will most likely threaten this autocrat’s economic lifeline.
Turkey’s top Islamist has been secretly organizing clandestine networks in Europe to extend his influence and to create a network of supporters among Turkish and Muslim communities (especially from Egypt, Syria, Somalia and the Balkans) that could be called to serve the political goals of Erdogan. Just last week, we saw how this network was mobilized by Erdoğan in Germany, Belgium, Austria and Luxembourg where crowds gathered to show their support for this autocrat’s goals. The drive ran in parallel with similar rallies held by youth and women’s branches of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in front of the embassies of these countries in Ankara. With this showdown, Erdoğan hopes that the EU will give in on critical issues where the EU has shown resistance.
As opposed to a constructive engagement that would help Turkish and Muslim immigrant communities to better integrate with host nations, Erdoğan’s plan is rather based on playing a “spoiler card” in the heart of Europe by creating a groundswell of public support that will be difficult to restrain when push comes to shove. For that, he funds shell companies to run the fuel line for these networks and even pours in cash from a secret stash of state discretionary funds using the diplomatic pouch. It is not surprising to see that some European politicians including several EU lawmakers were hooked by this. Some have already been exposed by name and shamed publicly, while others are waiting their turn as confidential investigations close in. These Erdoğan apologists, who are now paying their dues by taking a position against his critics and opponents, will be sidelined and marginalized.
The heavyweights in Erdoğan’s fifth column in Europe comprise three major organizations that were set up on political and religious grounds to cater to different constituencies. There are hundreds of other NGOs clustered around these big boys that move in unison when given orders. In addition to raising funds and local recruitment, they are well financed by the Turkish government and supported diplomatically and politically. To volunteers they offer perks such as facilitation of their business and family dealings in the motherland, or positions in the Turkish government or government-linked institutions for their relatives. For Erdoğan critics, they run an intimidation campaign by profiling them and alerting authorities back in Turkey so that friends and families face repression and even jail time.
The easiest way to discern the pattern among these NGOs and Erdoğan’s political machinations is by looking at how they quickly pile on when Erdoğan wants. The first organization is the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD), founded in Germany in 2004 but later expanded to other European countries — France, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands and the UK. It has been totally transformed into an Islamist grassroot base for Erdoğan. The organization, working closely with Turkish embassies, is an important vehicle in delivering results for Erdoğan from get-out-to-vote campaigns to lobbying activities in European capitals. Turkish government officials are encouraged to spare time to meet and attend events organized by the UETD when they go to Europe. President Erdoğan’s travel itinerary often includes a meeting with UETD officials on the sidelines of his official visits.
While the UETD focuses exclusively on Turkish expat communities, the Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (UNIW), another NGO set up by Turkish Islamist rulers in 2005, actively works among Muslim communities in Europe and other continents. Among its members are controversial charity groups such as International Humanitarian Relief (IHH), accused of arms smuggling to rebels in Syria, and the Ensar Foundation, which was involved in a spree of rapes of dozens of children in the conservative Turkish district of Karaman. Erdoğan orchestrated the coverup of criminal investigations into both and protected them from prosecution. The UNIW has been running various schemes in Europe, linking up with Muslim groups in order to secure their loyalty to the undeclared Caliph Erdoğan.
The leaked emails of Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak, authenticated inadvertently by a court complaint, revealed that both the UETD and UNIW have worked together in Europe to promote goals set up by the Erdoğan family. In an email dated Jan. 21, 2013 and sent to Albayrak, a man named İsmail Emanet, then head of the youth branches of the UNIW, sent a detailed report to Erdoğan’s son-in-law on activities in Europe. In the 19-page report, Emanet, who is now advisor to Energy Minister Albayrak, said the UETD must be overhauled to better realign with the Islamist government’s goals and suggested that the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB), the wealthy organization that is run by imams and was sent by the Turkish government to Europe, work closely with the UETD.
The DİTİB, which used be an apolitical religious network that was relied upon by secular governments in the past, has for some time now been transformed into an instrument of hate-mongering and anti-Western political machinations by President Erdoğan. With its control of so many mosques in Europe and the huge financial resources at its disposal, the DİTİB presents serious challenges to the integration policies of all European countries that host sizable Turkish communities. In November 2015, the UETD awarded DİTİB-affiliated imams in Germany certificates of appreciations for their role in the Nov. 1 elections, which restored the parliamentary majority to Erdoğan’s AKP.
As European politicians are hobbled by internal divisions, Erdoğan sees a moment of opportunity to advance his fifth column in the heart of Europe. Using the front NGOs and transformed grassroot networks, his intelligence operatives have stepped up their intel collection efforts, run clandestine schemes, plan false flags and even plot assassinations and murders of dissidents and critics. Using the migrant deal to blackmail the EU, Erdoğan is twisting arms and threatens Europe with a flood of refugees. It is not hard to imagine what he is planning secretly.
With this trajectory of boosting radicals and hooligans among the Turkish and Muslim communities of Europe, Turkey’s Islamists have set relations with the EU back further. What is more troubling is that Erdoğan’s xenophobic and anti-Western policies give more ammunition to far-right Islamophobic European politicians at the expense of moderate conservatives, liberals and social democrats. In other words, Erdoğan is undermining European values not just by advancing the fifth column of Islamist zealotry in the midst of Europe but also by giving a huge impetus to the extreme right. In the meantime law-abiding and peaceful Turks and Muslims in Europe find themselves under greater suspicion from the larger majority because of closer scrutiny as European authorities are scrambling to defuse the risk of Erdoğan’s fifth column from developing effectively.
As a result, Turkey’s autocratic president has not only migrants to mobilize in order to destabilize Europe but also an Islamist fifth column in the heart of Europe to march forward when the time comes. The militant religious networks are already mushrooming in Europe on fertile ground provided by this fifth column’s clandestine activities.
Ferguson names 20 important subjects that are underrated in history classes in Stanford, Yale and Harvard.
1. All periods in British History
2. The Reformation
3. The scientific revolution
4. The Enlightment
5. The American Revolution
6. The French Revolution
7. The US Constitution
8. The Industrial Revolution
9. The American Civil War
10. German Unification
11. World War I
12. The Russian Revolution
13. The Great Depression
14. The Rise Of Fascism
15. The Third Reich
16. World War II
18. The Cold War
19. The history of Israel
20. European Integration
Comment LT: What I miss in Fergusons' list is The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire.
Recommendation CM/Rec(2017x)xx of the Committee of Ministers to member states on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership
Second revised draft
1. Media freedom and pluralism are crucial components of the right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed by Article 10 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ETS No. 5, hereinafter “the Convention”). They are central to the functioning of a democratic society as they help to ensure the availability and accessibility of diverse information and views, on the basis of which individuals can form and express their opinions and exchange information and ideas.
2. The media play essential roles in democratic society, by widely disseminating information, ideas, analysis and opinions; acting as public watchdogs, and providing forums for public debate. In the present multi-media ecosystem, these roles continue to be fulfilled by traditional media, but are also increasingly performed by other media and non-media actors, from multinational corporations to non-governmental organisations and individuals.
3. Pluralist democratic societies are made up of a wide range of identities, ideas and interests. It is imperative that this diversity can be communicated through a range of independent and autonomous channels and outlets, thus creating an informed society, contributing to mutual understanding and fostering social cohesion.
4. Different types of media, along with different genres or forms of editorial content or programming contribute to diversity of content. Although content focusing on news and current affairs is of most direct relevance for fostering an informed society, other genres are also very important. Examples include cultural and educational content and entertainment, as well as content aimed at specific sections of society, such as local content.
5. In the present multi-media environment, online media and other internet platforms enable access to a growing range of information from diverse sources. This transformation in how media content is made available and used creates new opportunities for more and more people to interact and communicate with each other and to participate in public debate.
6. This technological evolution also raises concerns for media pluralism. While variety in media sources and types can be instrumental in enhancing diversity of media content and exposure to such diversity, it does not of itself guarantee it. Individuals still have to select what media to use and what content to watch, listen to or read among vast quantities of diverse content distributed across various media. This may result in them selecting or being exposed to information confirming their existing views and opinions, which can, in turn, generate fragmentation and result in a polarised society. While limited news resources and self-imposed restrictions on the choice of content are not new phenomena, the media and internet intermediaries may amplify their inherent risks, through their ability to control the flow, availability, findability and accessibility of information and other content online. This is particularly troubling if the individual users are not aware of these processes or do not understand them.
7. As new actors enter the evolving online market, the ensuing competitive pressures and a shift in advertising revenues towards the internet have contributed to an increase in media consolidation and convergence. Single or a few media owners or groups acquire positions of considerable power where they can separately or jointly set the agenda of public debate and significantly influence or shape public opinion, reproducing the same content across all platforms on which they are present. Convergence trends also lead to cost-cutting, job losses in journalism and media sectors, and the risk of financial dependencies for journalists and the media. These developments may cause a reduction in diversity of news and content generally and ultimately impoverish public debate.
8. Fresh appraisals of existing approaches to media pluralism are called for in order to address the challenges for pluralism resulting from how users and businesses have adapted their behaviour to technological developments. New policy responses and strategic solutions are needed to sustain independent, quality journalism and diverse content across all media types and formats.
9. There is a need for an enhanced role for independent public service media to counteract on-going processes of concentration and convergence in the media. By virtue of their remit, public service media are particularly suited to address the informational needs and interests of all sections of society, as is true of community media in respect of their constituent users. It is of utmost importance for public service media to have within their mandates the responsibility to foster political pluralism and awareness of diverse opinions, notably by providing different groups in society – including cultural, linguistic, ethnic, religious or other minorities – with an opportunity to receive and impart information, to express themselves and to exchange ideas.
10. In light of the increased range of media and content, it is very important for individuals to possess the cognitive, technical and social skills and capacities that enable them to critically analyse media content, and to understand the ethical implications of media and technology. Media literacy contributes to media pluralism and diversity by empowering individuals to effectively access, evaluate and create diverse types of content; by reducing the digital divide; facilitating informed decision-making, especially in respect of political and public affairs and commercial content, and by enabling the identification and countering of false or misleading information and harmful and illegal online content.
11. The adoption and effective implementation of media-ownership regulation plays an important role in respect of media pluralism. Such regulation should ensure transparency in media ownership; it should address issues such as cross-media ownership, direct and indirect media ownership and effective control and influence over the media. It should also ensure that there is effective and manifest separation between the exercise of political authority or influence and control of the media or decision making as regards media content.
12. Transparency of media ownership, organisation and financing help to increase media accountability. Transparency and media literacy are therefore indispensable tools for individuals to make informed decisions about which media they use and how they use them, to search for, access and impart information and ideas of all kinds. This makes them practical instruments of effective pluralism.
13. Against this background, the present Recommendation reaffirms the importance of existing Council of Europe standards dealing with different aspects of media pluralism and transparency of media ownership and the need to fully implement them in democratic societies. The Recommendation builds further on those standards, adjusting, supplementing and reinforcing them, as necessary, to ensure their continued relevance in the current multi-media ecosystem.
Under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe (ETS No. 1), the Committee of Ministers recommends that governments of member States:
i. fully implement the guidelines set out in the appendix to this recommendation;
ii. remain vigilant to, and address, threats to media pluralism and transparency of media ownership by regularly monitoring the state of media pluralism in their national media markets, assessing risks to media freedom and pluralism and adopting appropriate regulatory responses, including by paying systematic attention to such focuses in the on-going reviews of their national laws and practices;
iii. fully implement, if they have not already done so, previous Committee of Ministers’ Recommendations and Declarations dealing with different aspects of media pluralism and transparency of media ownership, in particular those specified in the guidelines appended to the present Recommendation;
iv. promote the goals of this recommendation at the national and international levels and engage and co-operate with all interested parties to achieve those goals.
Appendix to Recommendation
In the context of this Recommendation, unless otherwise specified, the media are generally understood as including print, broadcast and online media.
I. A favourable environment for freedom of expression and media freedom
1. The principles of freedom of expression and media freedom, as grounded in the Convention, must continue to be developed in a way that takes full account of the features of the present multi-media ecosystem, in which a range of new media actors have come to the fore.
2. States have a positive obligation to foster a favourable environment for freedom of expression, in which everyone can exercise their right to freedom of expression and participate in public debate effectively, irrespective of whether or not their views are received favourably by the State or others. States should guarantee free and pluralistic media for their valuable contribution to robust public debate in which societal diversity can be articulated and explored.
3. National legislative and policy frameworks should safeguard the editorial independence and operational autonomy of all media so that they can carry out their key tasks in democratic society. The frameworks should be designed and implemented in such ways as to prevent the State, or any powerful political, economic, religious or other groups from acquiring dominance and exerting pressure on the media.
4. Relevant legislation should ensure that the media have the freedom at all times to provide accurate and reliable reporting on matters of public interest, in particular concerning vital democratic processes and activities, such as elections, referenda and public consultations on matters of general interest. Adequate safeguards should also be put in place to prevent interference with editorial independence of the media in relation to coverage of conflicts, crises and other sensitive situations where quality journalism and reporting are key tools in countering propaganda and disinformation.
5. In a favourable environment for freedom of expression, media regulatory authorities and other authorities or entities entrusted with responsibility for regulating or monitoring other (media) service providers or media pluralism must be able to carry out their remit in an effective, transparent and accountable manner. A prerequisite for them to be able to do so is that they themselves enjoy independence that is guaranteed in law and borne out in practice.
6. The independence of the authorities and entities referred to in the previous paragraph should be guaranteed by ensuring that they: have open and transparent appointment and dismissal procedures; have adequate human and financial resources and autonomous budget allocation; work to transparent procedures and decision-making; have the power to take autonomous decisions and enforce them, and that their decisions are subject to appeal.
7. States should ensure transparency of media ownership, organisation and financing, as well as promote media literacy, in order to provide individuals with the information and critical awareness that they need in order to access diverse information and participate fully in the present multi-media ecosystem.
II. Media pluralism and diversity of media content
General requirements of pluralism
1. As ultimate guarantors of pluralism, States have a positive obligation to put in place an appropriate legislative and policy framework to that end. This implies adopting appropriate measures to ensure sufficient variety in the overall range of media types, bearing in mind differences in terms of their purposes, functions and geographical reach. The complementary nature of different media types strengthens external pluralism and can contribute to creating and maintaining diversity of media content.
2. States are called upon to ensure that there is periodic independent monitoring and evaluation of the state of media pluralism in their jurisdictions based on a set of objective and transparent criteria for identifying risks to the variety in ownership of media sources and outlets, the diversity of media types, the diversity of viewpoints represented by political, ideological, cultural and social groups, and the diversity of interests and viewpoints relevant to local and regional communities. States are further urged to develop and enforce appropriate regulatory and policy responses effectively addressing any risks found.
Specific requirements of pluralism
Diversity of content
3. States should adopt regulatory and policy measures to promote the availability and accessibility of the broadest possible diversity of media content as well as the representation of the whole diversity of society in the media, including by supporting initiatives by media to those ends.
States should encourage the development of open, independent, transparent and participatory initiatives by social media, media stakeholders, civil society and academia, that seek to improve effective exposure of users to the broadest possible diversity of media content online.
Wherever the visibility, findability and accessibility of media content online is influenced by automated processes, whether they are purely automated processes or used in combination with human decisions, States should encourage social media, media stakeholders, civil society and academia to engage in open, independent, transparent and participatory initiatives that:
- increase the transparency of the processes of online distribution of media content, including automated processes;
- assess the impact of such processes on users’ effective exposure to a broad diversity of media content, and
- seek to improve these distribution processes in order to improve users’ exposure to the broadest possible diversity of media content.
4. States should make particular efforts, taking advantage of technological developments, to ensure that the broadest possible diversity of media content, including in different languages, is accessible to all groups in society, particularly those which may have specific needs or face disadvantage or obstacles when accessing media content, such as minority groups, children, the elderly and persons with cognitive or physical disabilities.
5. Diversity of media content can only be properly gauged when there are high levels of transparency about editorial and commercial content: media and other actors should adhere to the highest standards of transparency regarding the provenance of their content and always signal clearly when content is provided by political sources or involves advertising or other forms of commercial communications, such as sponsoring and product placement. This also applies to user-generated content and to hybrid forms of content, including branded content, native advertising and advertorials and infotainment.
Institutional arrangement of media pluralism
6. States should recognise the crucial role of public service media in fostering public debate, political pluralism and awareness of diverse opinions. States should accordingly guarantee adequate conditions for public service media to continue to play this role in the multi-media landscape, including by providing them with appropriate support for innovation and the development of digital strategies and new services.
7. States should adopt appropriate specific measures to protect the editorial independence and operational autonomy of public service media by keeping the influence of the State at arm’s length. The supervisory and management boards of public service media must be able to operate in a fully independent manner and the rules governing their composition and appointment procedures must contain adequate checks and balances to ensure that independence.
8. States should also ensure stable, sustainable, transparent and adequate funding for public service media in order to guarantee their independence from governmental, political and commercial pressures and enable them to provide a broad range of pluralistic information and diverse content. This can also help to counterbalance any risks caused by a situation of media concentration.
9. States should encourage and support the establishment and functioning of community, minority, regional and local media, including by providing financial mechanisms to foster their development. Such independent media give a voice to communities and individuals on topics relevant to their needs and interests, and are thus instrumental in creating public exposure for issues that may not be represented in the mainstream media and in facilitating inclusive and participatory processes of dialogue within and across communities and at regional and local levels.
10. States should facilitate access to cross-border media, which serve communities outside the country where they are established, supplement national media and can help certain groups in society, including immigrants, refugees and diaspora communities, to maintain ties with their countries of origin, native cultures and languages.
Support measures for the media and media pluralism
11. For the purpose of enhancing media pluralism, States should develop strategies and mechanisms to support professional news media and quality journalism, including news production capable of addressing diverse needs and interests of groups that may not be sufficiently represented in the media. They should explore a wide range of measures, including various forms of non-financial and financial support such as advertising and subsidies, which would be available to different media types and platforms, including those of online media. States are also encouraged to support projects relating to journalism education, media research and innovative approaches to strengthen media pluralism and freedom of expression.
12. Support measures should have clearly defined purposes; be based on pre-determined clear, precise, equitable, objective and transparent criteria, and be implemented in full respect of the editorial and operational autonomy of the media. Such measures could include positive measures to enhance the quantity and quality of media coverage of issues that are of interest and relevance to groups which are underrepresented in the media.
13. Support measures should be administered in a non-discriminatory and transparent manner by a body enjoying functional and operational autonomy such as an independent media regulatory authority. An effective monitoring system should also be introduced to supervise such measures, to ensure that they serve the purpose for which they are intended.
III. Regulation of media ownership: ownership, control and concentration
1. In order to guarantee effective pluralism in their jurisdictions, States should adopt and implement a comprehensive regulatory framework for media ownership and control that is adapted to the current state of the media industry. Such a framework should take full account of media convergence and the impact of online media.
Ownership and control
2. Regulation of competition in the media market including merger control should prevent individual actors from acquiring significant market power in the overall national media sector or in a specific media market/sector at the national level or sub-national levels, to the extent that such concentration of ownership limits meaningful choice in the available media content.
3. Media ownership regulation should apply to all media and could include restrictions on horizontal, vertical and cross-media ownership, including by determining thresholds of ownership in line with Recommendation CM/Rec 2007(2) of the Committee of Ministers to member states on media pluralism and diversity of media content. Those thresholds may be based on a number of criteria such as capital shares, voting rights, circulation, revenues, audience share or audience reach.
4. States should set criteria for determining ownership and control of media companies by explicitly addressing direct and beneficial ownership and control. Relevant criteria can include proprietary, financial or voting strength within a media company or companies and the determination of the different levels of strength that lead to exercising control or direct or indirect influence over the strategic decision-making of the company or companies including their editorial policy.
5. As the key democratic tasks of the media include holding authorities to account, legislation should stipulate that the exercise of political authority or influence is incompatible with involvement in the ownership, management or editorial decision-making of the media. The incompatibility of these functions should be recognised as a matter of principle and should not be made conditional on the existence of particular conditions. The criteria of incompatibility and a range of appropriate measures for addressing conflicts of interest should be set out clearly in law.
6. Any restrictions on the extent of foreign ownership of media should apply in a non-discriminatory manner to all such companies and should take full account of the States’ positive obligation to guarantee pluralism and of the relevant guidelines set out in this Recommendation.
7. States are also encouraged to develop and apply suitable methodologies for the assessment of media concentration. In addition to measuring the availability of media sources, this assessment should reflect the real influence of individual media by adopting an audience-based approach and using appropriate sets of criteria to measure the use and impact of individual media on opinion-forming.
8. Media ownership regulation should include procedures to prevent media mergers or acquisitions that could adversely affect pluralism of media ownership or diversity of media content. Such procedures could involve a requirement for media owners to notify the relevant independent regulatory authority of any proposed media merger or acquisition whenever the ownership and control thresholds, as set out in legislation, are met.
9. The relevant independent regulatory authority should be vested with powers to assess the expected impact of any proposed concentration on media pluralism and to make recommendations or decisions, as appropriate, about whether the proposed merger or acquisition should be cleared, subject or not to any restrictions or conditions, including divestiture. Decisions of the independent authority should be subject to judicial review.
IV. Transparency of media ownership, organisation and financing
1. States should guarantee a regime of transparency regarding media ownership that ensures the availability of the data necessary for informed regulation and decision-making and enables the public to access those data in order to help them to analyse and evaluate the information, ideas and opinions disseminated by the media.
2. To this end, States should adopt and implement legislation that sets out enforceable disclosure/transparency obligations for media in a clear and precise way. Such obligations should, as a minimum, include the following information:
- Legal name and contact details of a media outlet;
- Name(s) and contact details of the direct owner(s) with shareholdings enabling them to exercise influence on the operation and strategic decision-making of the media outlet. States are recommended to apply a threshold of 5% shareholding for the purpose of the disclosure obligations.
- Identity and contact details of natural persons with beneficial shareholdings. Beneficial shareholding applies to natural persons who ultimately own or control shares in a media outlet or on whose behalf those shares are held, enabling them to indirectly exercise control or significant influence on the operation and strategic decision-making of the media outlet.
- Information on the nature and extent of the share-holdings or voting rights of the above legal and/or natural persons in other media, media-related or advertising companies which could lead to decision-making influence over those companies, or positions held in political parties;
- Name(s) of the persons with actual editorial responsibility or the actual authors of editorial content;
- Changes in ownership and control arrangements of a media outlet.
3. The scope of the above minima for disclosure/transparency obligations for the media includes legal and natural persons based in other jurisdictions and their relevant interests in other jurisdictions.
4. High levels of transparency should also be ensured with regard to the sources of financing of media outlets in order to provide a comprehensive picture of the different sources of potential interference with the editorial and operational independence of the media and allow for effective monitoring and controlling of such risks.
5. To this end, States should adopt and implement legislation that sets out enforceable disclosure of the following information:
- Information on the sources of the media outlet’s income, including from State and other funding mechanisms and (State) advertising.
- The existence of structural relationships or contractual cooperation with other media or advertising companies, political parties or the State, including in respect of State advertising;
6. Legislation should set out clear criteria as to which media are subject to these reporting obligations. The obligations may be limited with regard to factors such as the commercial nature of the media outlet, a wide audience reach, exercise of editorial control, frequency and regularity of publication or broadcast, etc., or a combination thereof. Legislation should also determine the timeframe within which reporting obligations must be met.
7. Such legislation should also require the maintenance of a public, online database of media ownership and control arrangements in the State, with disaggregated data about different types of media (markets/sectors) and regional and/or local levels, as relevant. Those databases should be kept up to date on a rolling basis and they should be available to the public free of charge. They should be accessible and searchable; their contents should be made available in open formats and there should not be restrictions on their re-use.
8. Reporting requirements relating to media ownership should include the provision of:
- A description of media ownership and control arrangements for media under its jurisdiction (including media whose services are directed at other countries);
- A description of changes to the media ownership and control arrangements within the State during the reporting period;
- An analysis of the impact of those changes on media pluralism in the State.
9. Legislation should provide for the publication of reports on media ownership to be accompanied by appropriate explanations of the data and the methodologies used to collect and organise them, in order to help members of the public to interpret the data and understand their significance.
10. States should issue clear, up-to-date guidance on the interrelationship and implications of the different regulatory regimes and on how to implement them correctly and coherently. That guidance could take the form of user-friendly guidelines, handbooks, manuals, etc.
11. States should also facilitate inter-agency cooperation, including the relevant exchange of information about media ownership held by media regulatory authorities, competition authorities and company registers. Similarly, the exchange of information and best practices with other national authorities, both within their own jurisdiction and in other jurisdictions, should be facilitated.
V. Media literacy/education
1. States should introduce legislative provisions or strengthen existing ones that promote media literacy with a view to enabling individuals to access, understand, critically analyse, evaluate, use and create content through a range of legacy and digital (including social) media.
2. States should also develop a national media literacy policy and ensure its operationalisation and implementation through (multi-)annual action plans. A key strategy for that purpose could be to support the creation of a national media literacy network comprising a wide range of stakeholders, or the further development of such a network where it already exists.
3. In the multi-media ecosystem, media literacy is essential for people of all ages and all walks of life. Law and/or policy measures promoting media literacy should thus help to develop the teaching of media literacy in school curricula at all levels and as part of lifelong learning cycles, including by providing suitable training and adequate resources for teachers and educational institutions to develop teaching programmes. Any measures adopted should be developed in consultation with teachers and trainers with a view to ensuring a fair and appropriate integration of relevant activities in work-flows. Any measures adopted should not interfere with the academic autonomy of educational institutions in curricular matters.
4. States should encourage all media, without interfering with their editorial independence, to promote media literacy through policies, strategies and activities. They should also promote media literacy through support schemes for media, taking into account the particular roles of public service media and community media.
5. States should ensure that independent national regulatory authorities have the scope and resources to promote media literacy in ways that are relevant to their mandates and encourage them to do so.
6. States are encouraged to include in their national media literacy programmes focuses on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership in order to help citizens to make an informed and critical evaluation of the information and ideas propagated via the media. To this end, States are called upon to include in their strategies for ensuring transparency in the media sector educational content which enables individuals to use information relating to media ownership, organisation and financing, in order to better understand the different influences on the production, collection, curation and dissemination of media content.
Among the “hostile actions” mentioned in the bill are the US support for the coup against the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953, aiding Saddam Hussein in the war between Iraq and Iran in the 1980s, destruction of oil platforms in the Persian Gulf in 1988, and espionage against the Islamic Republic as well as confiscation of Iranian external assets, Tehran Times reports.
Looking for job security in the knowledge economy? Just learn to code. At least, that’s what we’ve been telling young professionals and mid-career workers alike who want to hack it in the modern workforce—in fact, it’s advice I’ve given myself. And judging by the proliferation of coding schools and bootcamps we’ve seen over the past few years, not a few have eagerly heeded that instruction, thinking they’re shoring up their livelihoods in the process.
Unfortunately, many have already learned the hard way that even the best coding chops have their limits. More and more, "learn to code" is looking like bad advice.
CODING CAN’T SAVE YOU
Anyone competent in languages such as Python, Java, or even web coding like HTML and CSS, is currently in high demand by businesses that are still just gearing up for the digital marketplace. However, as coding becomes more commonplace, particularly in developing nations like India, we find a lot of that work is being assigned piecemeal by computerized services such as Upwork to low-paid workers in digital sweatshops.
This trend is bound to increase. The better opportunity may be to use your coding skills to develop an app or platform yourself, but this means competing against thousands of others doing the same thing—and in an online marketplace ruled by just about the same power dynamics as the digital music business.
Besides, learning code is hard, particularly for adults who don’t remember their algebra and haven’t been raised thinking algorithmically. Learning code well enough to be a competent programmer is even harder.
Although I certainly believe that any member of our highly digital society should be familiar with how these platforms work, universal code literacy won’t solve our employment crisis any more than the universal ability to read and write would result in a full-employment economy of book publishing.
It’s actually worse. A single computer program written by perhaps a dozen developers can wipe out hundreds of jobs. As the author and entrepreneur Andrew Keen has pointed out, digital companies employ 10 times fewer people per dollar earned than traditional companies. Every time a company decides to relegate its computing to the cloud, it's free to release a few more IT employees.
Most of the technologies we're currently developing replace or obsolesce far more employment opportunities than they create. Those that don’t—technologies that require ongoing human maintenance or participation in order to work—are not supported by venture capital for precisely this reason. They are considered unscalable because they demand more paid human employees as the business grows.
TRAINING OUR ROBO-REPLACEMENTS
Finally, there are jobs for those willing to assist with our transition to a more computerized society. As employment counselors like to point out, self-checkout stations may have cost you your job as a supermarket cashier, but there’s a new opening for that person who assists customers having trouble scanning their items at the kiosk, swiping their debit cards, or finding the SKU code for Swiss chard. It’s a slightly more skilled job and may even pay better than working as a regular cashier.
But it’s a temporary position: Soon enough, consumers will be as proficient at self-checkout as they are at getting cash from the bank machine, and the self-checkout tutor will be unnecessary. By then, digital tagging technology may have advanced to the point where shoppers just leave stores with the items they want and get billed automatically.
For the moment, we’ll need more of those specialists than we’ll be able to find—mechanics to fit our current cars with robot drivers, engineers to replace medical staff with sensors, and to write software for postal drones. There will be an increase in specialized jobs before there's a precipitous drop. Already in China, the implementation of 3-D printing and other automated solutions is threatening hundreds of thousands of high-tech manufacturing jobs, many of which have existed for less than a decade.
American factories would be winning back this business but for a shortage of workers with the training necessary to run an automated factory. Still, this wealth of opportunity will likely be only temporary. Once the robots are in place, their continued upkeep and a large part of their improvement will be automated as well. Humans may have to learn to live with it.
This conundrum was first articulated back in the 1940s by the cybernetics pioneer Norbert Wiener, whose work influenced members of the Eisenhower Administration to start worrying about what would come after industrialism. By 1966, the United States convened the first and only sessions of the National Commission on Technology, Automation, and Economic Progress, which published six (mostly ignored) volumes sizing up what would later be termed the "post-industrial economy."
Today, it’s MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee who appear to be leading the conversation about technology’s impact on the future of employment—what they call the "great decoupling." Their extensive research shows, beyond reasonable doubt, that technological progress eliminates jobs and leaves average workers worse off than they were before.
Yet it’s hard to see this great decoupling as a mere unintended consequence of digital technology. It is not a paradox but the realization of the industrial drive to remove humans from the value equation. That’s the big news: The growth of an economy does not mean more jobs or prosperity for the people living in it.
"I would like to be wrong," a flummoxed McAfee confided in the same article, "but when all these science-fiction technologies are deployed, what will we need all the people for?"
When technology increases productivity, a company has a new excuse to eliminate jobs and use the savings to reward its shareholders with dividends and stock buybacks. What would've been lost to wages is instead turned back into capital. So the middle class hollows out, and the only ones left making money are those depending on the passive returns from their investments.
It turns out that digital technology merely accelerates this process to the point where we can all see it occurring. It's just that we haven't all taken notice yet—we’ve been busy coding.
"It’s the great paradox of our era," Brynjolfsson explained to MIT Technology Reviewin 2013. "Productivity is at record levels, innovation has never been faster, and yet at the same time, we have a falling median income and we have fewer jobs. People are falling behind because technology is advancing so fast and our skills and organizations aren’t keeping up."
[This post is based on Douglas Rushkoff’s new book, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity and originally appeared in Fast Company.]
March 14, 2016
Excerpt of an article originally published under the title "Latest Survey Finds 25% of French Teenagers Are Muslims."
One of the most striking cases of reality denial in contemporary France is demography: issues like birthrate, life expectancy, immigration, and emigration. On the face of it, you can hardly ignore such things, since they constantly reshape your environment and your way of life. Even without resorting to statistics, you are bound to perceive, out of day-to-day experience, what the current balance is between younger and older people, how many kids are to be found at an average home, and the ethnicity or religion of your neighbors, or the people you relate to at work or in business.
The French elites, both on the right and left, managed for five decades at least to dismiss the drastic demographic changes that had been taking place in their country, including the rise of Islam, since they clashed with too many political concepts – or fantasies – they had been brainwashed into accepting: the superiority of the "French social model;" the unique assimilative capacity of French society; equality for equality's sake; the primacy of individual values over family values; secularism; francophonie, or the assumption that all French-speaking nations in the world were a mere extension of France, and that all nations that defined themselves as "Francophone" did speak French or were subdued by French culture; and finally la politique arabe et islamique de la France, a supposed political and strategic affinity with the Arab and Muslim world.
Until 2004, compilation of ethnic, racial, and religious statistics was prohibited under French law.
One way for the elites to deny demographics was to reject ethnic-related investigation on legal or ethical grounds. Until 2004, ethnic, racial, and religious statistics were not allowed under French law – ostensibly to prevent a return of Vichy State-style racial persecutions. Even as the law was somehow relaxed, first in 2004 and again in 2007, many statisticians or demographers insisted on retaining a de facto ban on such investigations.
The issue turned into a nasty civil war among demographers, and especially within INED (the French National Institute for Demographic Studies) between a "classic" wing led by older demographers like Henri Léridon and Gérard Calot and then by the younger Michèle Tribalat, and a liberal or radical wing led by Hervé Le Bras.
In a recent interview with the French weekly Le Point, Tribalat dryly observed that the "well-connected" Le Bras described her as "the National Front Darling," an assertion that "destroyed her professional reputation." The son of a prestigious Catholic historian, Le Bras is indeed a very powerful man in his own right, who managed throughout his own career to accumulate tenures, honors, and positions of influence both in France and abroad.
The irony about his accusation against Tribalat is that, while intent to discuss the issue of immigration, she is an extremely cautious and conservative expert when it comes to actual figures. She has always tended to play down, in particular, the size of the French Muslim community.
In 1997, I observed in an essay for Middle East Quarterly that figures about French Islam were simply chaotic: there was too much discrepancy between sources:
The Ministry of Interior and Ined routinely speak of a Muslim population in France of 3 million. Sheikh Abbas, head of the Great Mosque in Paris, in 1987 spoke of twice as many – 6 million. Journalists usually adopt an estimate somewhere in the middle: for example, Philippe Bernard of Le Monde uses the figure of 3 to 4 million. The Catholic Church, a reliable source of information on religious trends in France, also estimates 4 million. Arabies, a French-Arab journal published in Paris, provides the following breakdown: 3.1 million Muslims of North African origin, 400,000 from the Middle East, 300,000 from Africa, 50,000 Asians, 50,000 converts of ethnic French origin, and 300,000 illegal immigrants from unknown countries. This brings the total to 4.2 million. One can state with reasonable certainty that the Muslim population of France numbers over 3 million (about 5 percent of the total French population) and quite probably over 4 million (6.6 percent).
Nineteen years later, accuracy has hardly improved in this respect. All sources agree that France as a whole underwent a moderate demographic growth: from 57 to 67 million, a 15% increase. (Throughout the same period of time, the U.S. enjoyed a 22% population increase, and China, under a government-enforced one-child policy, a 27% increase.) All sources agree also that there was a much sharper increase in French Muslim demographics – and that, accordingly, the moderate national growth may in fact just reflect the Muslim growth.
For all that, however, there are still no coherent figures about the Muslim community. According to CSA, a pollster that specializes in religious surveys, 6% of the citizens and residents of France identified with Islam in 2012: about 4 million people out of 65 million. IFOP, a leading national pollster, settled for 7% in 2011: 4.5 million. Pew concluded in 2010 a figure of 7.5%: 4.8 million. The CIA World Factbook mentioned 7% to 9% in 2015: from 4.6 to almost 6 million out of 66 million. INED claimed as early as 2009 an 8% figure: 5.1 million. Later, INED and French government sources gave 9% in 2014: 5.8 million.
Over two decades, the French Muslim population is thus supposed to have increased by 25% according to the lowest estimations, by 50% according to median estimations, or even by 100% if one compares the INED and government figures of 1997 to those of 2014, from 3 million to almost 6 million.
This is respectively almost two times, three times, or six times the French average population growth.
An impressive leap forward, whatever the estimation. But even more impressive is, just as was the case in 1997, the discrepancy between the estimates. Clearly, one set of estimates, at least, must be entirely erroneous. And it stands to reason that the lowest estimates are the least reliable.
First, we have a long-term pattern according to which, even within the lowest estimates, the Muslim population increase is accelerating. One explanation is that the previous low estimates were inaccurate.
Second, low estimates tend to focus on the global French population on one hand and on the global French Muslim population on the other hand, and to bypass a generational factor. The younger the population cohorts, the higher the proportion of Muslims. This is reflected in colloquial French by the widespread metonymical substitution of the word "jeune" (youth) for "jeune issu de l'immigration" (immigrant youth), or "jeune issu de la diversité" (non-European or non-Caucasian youth).
According to the first ethnic-related surveys released in early 2010, fully a fifth of French citizens or residents under twenty-four were Muslims.
Proportions were even higher in some places: 50% of the youth were estimated to be Muslim in the département (county) of Seine-Saint-Denis in the northern suburbs of Paris, or in the Lille conurbation in Northern France. A more recent survey validates these numbers.
Once proven wrong, deniers do not make amends. They move straight from fantasy to surrender.
An investigation of the French youths' religious beliefs was conducted last spring by Ipsos. It surveyed nine thousand high school pupils in their teens on behalf of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Sciences Po Grenoble.
The data was released on February 4, 2016, by L'Obs, France's leading liberal newsmagazine. Here are its findings:
38.8% of French youths do not identify with a religion.
33.2% describe themselves as Christian.
25.5% call themselves Muslim.
1.6% identify as Jewish.
Only 40% of the young non-Muslim believers (and 22% of the Catholics) describe religion as "something important or very important."
But 83% of young Muslims agree with that statement.
Such figures should deal the death blow to demographic deniers. Except that once proven wrong, deniers do not make amends. Rather, they contend that since there is after all a demographic, ethnic, and religious revolution, it should be welcomed as a good and positive thing. Straight from fantasy to surrender.
Michel Gurfinkiel, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum, is the founder and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, a conservative think tank in France.
Macedonia has introduced a tight border regime, letting only very few refugees cross the border on a daily basis, and alternative routes haven’t been established yet. More than 120,000 migrants are thought to have arrived in Greece in the first two months of 2016 alone.
The below chart gives an impression of the extent of the refugee crisis as it unfolds in Greece. Comparing the numbers of migrants who arrived in Greece in the first two months of this year to last year’s numbers gives an idea of the magnitude of the problem.
"Do not come to Europe," Council President Tusk said, appealing to the refugees, after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens. "Do not believe the smugglers. Do not risk your lives and your money. It is all for nothing," he added.
This chart shows the political affiliation of selected US religious groups in 2014.
In an article for the Russia in Global Affairs magazine, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov outlines the historical importance of Russian foreign policy over the course of the last 1,000 years, arguing that Russian policy has always been based on preserving the fragile balance of peace and stability in international relations. Any attempts to isolate Moscow as a major world power have led to historical defeats and countless deaths, he says.
“During at least the past two centuries any attempts to unite Europe without Russia and against it have inevitably led to grim tragedies, the consequences of which were always overcome with the decisive participation of our country,” Lavrov wrote.
Being the largest country on earth with a unique “cultural matrix,” Russia has always followed its own national interests, Lavrov argues. Yet at the same time it has served as a bridge between the East and the West, while Russians have always welcomed and respected numerous religions and cultures.
While welcoming Western ideas and applying them to modernize Russia, Moscow has never allowed itself to be consumed by Western culture. At the same time Moscow has always advocated working with the West to achieve common objectives.
Lavrov stressed the constructive role Moscow has played in European affairs, especially during the Napoleonic Wars, as well as in First and Second World Wars. The influence of the Soviet Union in shaping modern Western values should also not be underestimated, the minister argues, highlighting the USSR’s role in decolonization and shaping the European socio-economic system.
“The Soviet Union, for all its evils, never aimed to destroy entire nations,” Lavrov said. “Winston Churchill, who all his life was a principled opponent of the Soviet Union and played a major role in going from the World War II alliance to a new confrontation with the Soviet Union, said that graciousness, i.e. life in accordance with conscience, is the Russian way of doing things,” he added.
The post-Soviet world, Lavrov argues, offered the unique opportunity for European states to unite with Moscow and work towards a wider and more solid security mechanism in Europe – a mechanism that would enable long-lasting peace on the wider continent.
“Logically, we should have created a new foundation for European security by strengthening the military and political components of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),” the minister wrote.
Instead of uniting, some European countries chose to ally themselves with NATO and Washington, and once again embarked on the centuries-old matrix of trying to isolate Russia and expand the military alliance’s borders further east, while pursuing a global agenda of regime change and ‘color’ revolutions.
“It is notable that George Kennan, the architect of the US policy of containment of the Soviet Union, said that the ratification of NATO expansion was ‘a tragic mistake,’” Lavrov said.
Rather than serving as architects of peace, NATO and its member states, Lavrov said, continued to engage in destructive policies that threaten international stability and have already led to the collapse of states, starting from the bombings of Yugoslavia, to the invasions of Iraq and Libya.
Arguing that the liberal system of globalization has failed, the minister stressed that the world is standing at crossroads, where a new system of international relations is taking shape. At such an important historical junction, Lavrov says it is wrong to accuse Russia of “revisionism” just because Moscow refuses to bow or close its eyes to NATO’s policies.
“A reliable solution to the problems of the modern world can only be achieved through serious and honest cooperation between the leading states and their associations in order to address common challenges,” Lavrov wrote.
The most pressing issue in the modern world is the threat of terrorism, which can only be defeated by a united front, he added.
The foreign minister stressed that Russia is not seeking any “confrontation” with the US or the EU. On the contrary, Moscow is and has always been open to “the widest possible cooperation with its Western partners.”
Russia continues to support the notion that the best way to ensure the interests of Europeans would be “to form a common economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific, so that the newly formed Eurasian Economic Union could be an integrating link between Europe and Asia Pacific.”
biography Sergey Lavrov
“Unfortunately, the international community is indifferent towards these events. Turkey has taken Europe prisoner by using Middle Eastern refugees as an instrument of blackmail. The US keeps silent too, having common interests with Turkey. For instance, the US wants to keep using the Incirlik airbase […] and the Turkish Army is emboldened by such impunity.”
1265: Clemens IV (Guy Foulquois) tot nieuwe paus verkozen te Perugia
1783: Italië: aardbeving in Calabrië, waarbij 35.000 doden vallen
1831: België: te Antwerpen brengt de Hollandse gezagvoerder Jan Van Speyk zijn kanonneerboot tot ontploffing
1850: GHL: de Nederlandse prins Hendrik Willem wordt stadhouder van het groothertogdom Luxemburg
1887: Italië: Milaan: première van de opera Othello van Verdi
1914: geboorte William Seward Burroughs II
1925: culturele autonomie verleend aan Estland
1927: Portugal: communistische opstand in Oporto, waarop de stad gebombardeerd en de opstand bloedig onderdrukt wordt door kolonel Passos
1949: België: oprichting van Touring Wegenhulp
1954: GBR: eerste atoomzuil in werking gesteld in Harwell
1982: Wies Moens overleden
Martin Wolf is chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, London. He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2000 “for services to financial journalism”. Mr Wolf is an honorary fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, honorary fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford University, an honorary fellow of the Oxford Institute for Economic Policy (Oxonia) and an honorary professor at the University of Nottingham.
He has been a forum fellow at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos since 1999 and a member of its International Media Council since 2006. He was made a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, by Nottingham University in July 2006. He was made a Doctor of Science (Economics) of London University, honoris causa, by the London School of Economics in December 2006. He was a member of the UK government's Independent Commission on Banking in 2010-2011. Martin's most recent publications are Why Globalization Works and Fixing Global Finance.
“We must openly call for the establishment of a Kurdish state that separates Iran from Turkey, one which will be friendly towards Israel,” Shaked told the annual INSS security conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, as cited by the Times of Israel.
More precisely, Shaked proposed the new state be founded between Turkey, Israel and Iraq.
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On September 28th, 2015, we wrote of the driving factor behind increased market volatility, “excessive debt, prime and subprime with no liquidity, a reminder of 2007-2008.” It is clear that new, small, and medium sized businesses can not finance or refinance in such an environment. A recovery propelled by business growth is impossible in the current debt environment. In 2006 63.4% of the U.S. population over 16 years of age was employed. Entering 2016, 59.5% of the population is employed. In constant dollars from 2006 to the present average hourly wages have remained at approximately $20.50 while real (inflation adjusted) mean household income of the middle quadrille has hovered at about $54,000 per annum. Poverty statistics as a ratio of the population from 2006 to 2016 have increased from about 16.8% to more than 19.5%. It is difficult to envision a consumer led exit from the U.S. economic malaise given these statistics. Finance is in the throws of a second “Big Short” for those of you who have seen the movie. Derivatives outstanding within American financial institutions have a face value of more than the world’s total financial assets. Don’t assume that these positions are being managed or regulated by folks smarter and more careful then those in control in 2007. They are not! The cracks are beginning to show and spread whilst the underlying banking assets, severely impaired previously, have yet to be marked to market. Financial institutions are not likely to lead the charge towards a growing economy. In fact, it is more likely we will see a repeat of “The Big Short” in the near future. Government – Helpless – After years of monetary manipulation which accomplished little or nothing the Fed continues to bumble along! There has been little fiscal stimulation and none on the horizon. Helpless!
It is unlikely America will lead the world out of the present morass. With Donald Trump heralded as a hero by the uneducated masses we have only ourselves to thank for the inept economic management of our country. Intelligent leadership seems a dream of the past.
What can China do? Nothing. China is in free-fall. Communist dictatorships are not and were never known for forward thinking in economically trying times. China arrests its businessmen, politicians et all (perhaps warranted), closes and manipulates markets, destroys it’s currency, overextends its credit markets in the hope of masking it’s economic catastrophe. It will not lead the world out of recession
Emerging nations? Totally dependent on selling natural recourses to China et al. No help there.
Europe? Perhaps the greatest catastrophe on the cusp of discovery. We know that Sovereign debt and bank finance are interdependent. We have seen evidence of that everywhere and evidence of the results when the interdependence breaks down such as in Cyprus and Greece. Neither Cyprus nor Greece is healed with Greece heading for another meaningful debacle. What goes unsaid, for now, is the tightrope the rest of Europe walks. The Southern nations – Italy, Spain and Portugal are on the line of no return with Portugal probably having crossed it. Northern Europe is not far behind with France closest on the heels of the four other significant impending failures. The seriousness of further European defaults to the world economy cannot be overemphasized. With one currency as one nation goes down the rest follow. Diverse currencies allow escapes not available to a large currency block such as the Euro. Compounding the problems of Europe are the long standing banking mores which obfuscate the depth of European banks’ illiquidity and careless lending policies, sometimes bordering on corruption. As regulations and, more so transparency, are enforced on the European banking community it will become apparent that all is not right in the States of Euroland. Prior to the “European Crisis” in, some say 2010 or 2011, practices in play in most banking institutions included reciprocity in lending (you wash my hand I wash yours, we protect each other’s back) - not possible after 2011, careless analysis and regulation as to quality of lending, lassitude as to tracking use of funds (lots of Euros wandered off to the pockets of favored parties), little or no tracking and follow up as to “friend’s loans”, no marks to market or, at least, delayed and inadequate marks against delinquent loans, the creation of vehicles to house gone bad loans which would reduce or eliminate the requirements for mark downs of the bank’s equity, outright conflict of interest and fraudulent transactions. The list is long and goes on but, suffice it to say, the European banking system is awash with mortal problems which are just beginning to surface and are unlikely to be concealed as effectively as in the U.S. – There are too many conflicting political interests within Euroland to preserve the silence of the pack ( the countries and banks themselves.) In the next to last chapter of the book which, I’m afraid, will come out subsequent to the impending crisis we will delineate in detail the methodology by which the many European banks function. It is a lively topic.
In conclusion, 2007-2008 is likely to be repeated in the foreseeable future. This time there are no engines of restoration on the horizon. The catalyst will not be the usual blah blah we read in the financial press. It will be the collapse of the financial structure of Europe, both Sovereign and private. World liquidity, which is strained today, will find its home at “zero”. The recovery will be long and painful.
January 12th, 2016
Until recently, that is how most government employees in the Democratic Republic of Congo were paid. But over the past three years the government has been urging civil servants to open bank accounts, to which their pay can be transferred directly. In the process, it is accelerating the spread of banking in an economy that, according to Michel Losembe, the bow-tied president of the Congolese Banking Association, is “not very far off barter”.
Few countries are as corrupt as Congo. A persistent national joke concerns a mythical “Article 15” of the constitution, which reads “Débrouillez-vous”—“You’re on your own”. Mobutu Sese Seko, a former strongman, used state funds to charter a Concorde to take him on shopping trips to Paris. By the time of his overthrow in 1997, graft was endemic. Government employees were not paid but rather expected to use their positions to make a living.
Civil war engulfed Congo in the 1990s and 2000s. As it wound down, government was rebuilt and money again began to flow out of Kinshasa, the capital, to roughly 1m functionaries in the rest of the country. But corruption did not disappear. Among the most prized government jobs was that of accountant: the people responsible for transporting bags of cash to the provinces to hand out to employees.
In 2012, however, the Congolese government started helping civil servants to open bank accounts. Around three-quarters of them—some 670,000 people—now have one. In the process, the government has weeded out tens of thousands of ghost employees, since the embezzlers who invented them could not open accounts in their names without a matching ID.
Yet in a vast country with fewer roads than Luxembourg, hardly anyone lives anywhere near a bank branch. So Congolese banks must now do the work the government accountants used to: shipping money to the back of beyond. Cash has to be transported to branches in regional capitals, and thence to account-holders on the backs of motorbikes, in canoes or by foot, explains Oliver Meisenberg, the German boss of Trust Merchant Bank, one of Congo’s biggest.
Bank staff with suitcases of cash make easy targets, just as they did in the west of America in the 19th century. Though they usually travel with army escorts, there have been at least ten armed robberies of bank employees since January, says Mr Losembe. One particularly brutal raid in September in South Kivu, in the wild east of the country, killed 13 people.
Congolese bankers hope that the new system will spur the growth of a proper banking sector. At the moment banks are little more than money-transfer companies, and not very sophisticated ones at that. The transfers tend to go only one way—out of Kinshasa—so cannot be netted against each other; instead cash almost always has to be moved physically. Depositors mistrust both banks and the Congolese franc. To attract dollar deposits, banks must pay at least 6% annual interest; rates for borrowers are generally as high as 25%. There is hardly any corporate lending beyond short-term overdraft facilities.
A decade ago there were just 50,000 bank accounts in the whole country, which has a population somewhere between 60m and 80m. Now there are 3m. As more employees get accounts, selling them loans and insurance, and moving them from cash to mobile transactions, becomes more realistic. In the meantime, actually receiving their salaries at all marks a big step forward for civil servants.
De Vos stelt de beschikbare statistiek in vraag en zou liever naar de evoluties binnen de gelaagdheid gaan kijken, trajecten van mensen binnen de arbeidsmarkt gaan onderzoeken. Enzovoort. In het Frans noemt men die tactiek 'brouiller les pistes'. Er zijn ook passages over genetisch determinisme, versterkt door contextuele variabelen.
Frank Vandenbroucke noemde in een gesprek voor Kanaal Z (20151119) het boek eenzijdig en herhaalt tweemaal 'het mankeert absoluut nuance'. FVDB poneert dat we - willen we armoede en ongelijkheid verminderen - aandacht moeten hebben voor onze kinderen. De Vos kon nauwelijks weerwerk bieden in de discussie, verloor de pedalen in zijn wirwar van nepargumenten en was zichtbaar blij dat de uitzending afliep. Itinera maakte een slechte beurt.
bekijk het gesprek hier
Economen - het zijn ook maar mensen - hebben de neiging mekaar tegen te spreken, al was het maar om te kunnen surfen op de deining die hun succesvolle collega (Piketty) heeft veroorzaakt. We vrezen dat het boek van De Vos met die bedoeling in elkaar is geknutseld.
Het is wellicht waar dat ongelijkheid van alle tijden is. Het is ook waar dat succes mag worden beloond. Het wordt echter een andere zaak als de rijken, de vermogenden, de grootverdieners via allerlei truuks hun bijdragen aan het inkomen van de staat trachten te minimaliseren. We hebben het hier over de belastingconstructies die o.a. LuxLeaks uitbracht. De staat kan dan niet de nodige middelen verzamelen om bijvoorbeeld kinderen via onderwijs uit de kansarmoede te halen. De superrijken kunnen daarentegen via privé en voortgezet onderwijs hun kinderen bijkomende kansen bieden.
Die redenering missen we bij De Vos. Hij mist totaal de trein door niet te willen inzien dat belastingen een directe impact hebben op de uitkering van dividenden. Belastingen noemt hij iets dat komt NA de bruto-inkomensvorming, terwijl de logica zegt dat belastingen inherent geworden zijn aan de strategie van bedrijven, trusts en concerns. De externe fiscale consultants zijn belangrijker geworden dan de financiële directie van een concern. De herverdelende correctiemechanismen die de staat via belastingen wil laten plaatsvinden worden door de 'global players' ontvlucht en dus gesaboteerd. De staat kan op die manier nog slechts de miserie proberen te managen. De vermogensaccumulatie is in die context pure diefstal en een daad van incivisme.
Het werk van Marc De Vos werd verkozen tot LIBERALES BOEK van 2015; dat zegt in dit geval meer over de kwaliteit van de jury dan over die van het boek.
Omdat er belangrijker boeken zijn dan dat van De Vos geven we hier een lijstje met de boeken van Anthony Atkinson:
Atkinson, Anthony B.; Harrison, Allan J. (1978). Distribution of personal wealth in Britain. Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521217354.
Atkinson, Anthony B.; Stiglitz, Joseph E. (1980). Lectures on public economics. London New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co. ISBN 9780070841055.
Atkinson, Anthony B. (1983). The economics of inequality. Oxford Oxfordshire New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198772088.
Atkinson, Anthony B. (1995). Incomes and the welfare state: essays on Britain and Europe. Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521557962.
Atkinson, Anthony B. (1996). Public economics in action: the basic income/flat tax proposal. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198292166.
Atkinson, Anthony B. (1999). The economic consequences of rolling back the welfare state. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262011716.
Atkinson, Anthony B.; Bourguignon, François (2000). Handbook of income distribution. Amsterdam New York: Elvesier. ISBN 9780444816313.
Atkinson, Anthony B; Stern, Nicholas H.; Glennerster, Howard (2000). Putting economics to work: volume in honour of Michio Morishima 22. London: London School of Economics and Political Science, and the STICERD – Suntory-Toyota International Centre for Economics and Related Disciplines. ISBN 9780753013991.
Atkinson, Anthony B. (2004). New sources of development finance. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199278558.
Atkinson, Anthony B.; Piketty, Thomas (2007). Top incomes over the Twentieth Century: a contrast between Continental European and English-speaking countries. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199286881.
Atkinson, Anthony B. (2008). The changing distribution of earnings in OECD countries. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199532438.
Atkinson, Anthony B.; Piketty, Thomas (2010). Top incomes: a global perspective. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199286898.
Atkinson, Anthony B. (2014). Public economics in an age of austerity. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9781138018150.
Atkinson, Anthony B. (2014). Inequality: What Can Be Done?. Harvard University Press. p. 384. ISBN 9780674504769.
Gepubliceerd op 8 nov. 2015
Ohio State University history Professor Robert Davis describes the White Slave Trade as minimized by most modern historians in his book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500–1800 (Palgrave Macmillan). Davis estimates that 1 million to 1.25 million white Christian Europeans were enslaved in North Africa, from the beginning of the 16th century to the middle of the 18th, by slave traders from Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli alone (these numbers do not include the European people which were enslaved by Morocco and by other raiders and traders of the Mediterranean Sea coast), 16th- and 17th-century customs statistics suggest that Istanbul's additional slave import from the Black Sea may have totaled around 2.5 million from 1450 to 1700. The markets declined after the loss of the Barbary Wars and finally ended in the 1830s, when the region was conquered by France.
Hundreds of thousands of Europeans were captured by Barbary pirates and sold as slaves in North Africa and the Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 19th centuries. These slave raids were conducted largely by Arabs and Berbers rather than Ottoman Turks. However, during the height of the Barbary slave trade in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Barbary states were subject to Ottoman jurisdiction and ruled by Ottoman pashas. Furthermore, many slaves captured by the Barbary corsairs were sold eastward into Ottoman territories before, during, and after Barbary's period of Ottoman rule.
The Barbary Muslim pirates kidnapped Europeans from ships in North Africa’s coastal waters (Barbary Coast). They also attacked and pillaged the Atlantic coastal fishing villages and town in Europe, enslaving the inhabitants. Villages and towns on the coast of Italy, Spain, Portugal and France were the hardest hit. Muslim slave-raiders also seized people as far afield as Britain, Ireland and Iceland.
In 1544, the island of Ischia off Naples was ransacked, taking 4,000 inhabitants prisoners, while some 9,000 inhabitants of Lipari Island off the north coast of Sicily were enslaved.870 Turgut Reis, a Turkish pirate chief, ransacked the coastal settlements of Granada (Spain) in 1663 and carried away 4,000 people as slaves. In 1625, Barbary pirates captured the Lund Island in the Bristol Channel and planted the standard of Islam. From this base, they went ransacking and pillaging surrounding villages and towns, causing a stunning spectacle of mayhem, slaughter and plunder. According to Milton, ‘Day after day, they struck at unarmed fishing communities, seizing the inhabitants, and burning their homes. By the end of the dreadful summer of 1625, the mayor of Plymouth reckoned that 1,000 skiffs had been destroyed and similar number of villagers carried off into slavery.’871 Between 1609 and 1616, the Barbary pirates ‘captured a staggering 466 English trading ships.’
In 1627, Pirates went on a pillaging and enslaving campaign to Iceland. After dropping anchor at Reykjavik, his forces ransacked the town and returned with 400 men, women and children and sold them in Algiers. In 1631, he made a voyage with a brigand of 200 pirates to the coast of Southern Ireland and ransacked and pillaged the village of Baltimore, carrying away 237 men, women and children to Algiers.
The barbaric slave-raiding activities of the Muslim pirates had a telling effect on Europe. France, England, and Spain lost thousands of ships, devastating to their sea-borne trade. Long stretches of the coast in Spain and Italy were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants until the nineteenth century. The finishing industry was virtually devastated.
Paul Baepler’s White Slaves, African Masters: An Anthology of American Barbary Captivity Narratives lists a collection of essays by nine American captives held in North Africa. According to his book, there were more than 20,000 white Christian slaves by 1620 in Algiers alone; their number swelled to more than 30,000 men and 2,000 women by the 1630s. There were a minimum of 25,000 white slaves at any time in Sultan Moulay Ismail’s palace, records Ahmed ez-Zayyani; Algiers maintained a population of 25,000 white slaves between 1550 and 1730, and their numbers could double at certain times. During the same period, Tunis and Tripoli each maintained a white slave population of about 7,500. The Barbary pirates enslaved some 5,000 Europeans annually over a period of nearly three centuries.
President Obama's State of the Union address as prepared for delivery on Jan. 20, 2015:
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:
Now, the truth is, when it comes to issues like infrastructure and basic research, I know there's bipartisan support in this chamber. Members of both parties have told me so. Where we too often run onto the rocks is how to pay for these investments. As Americans, we don't mind paying our fair share of taxes, as long as everybody else does, too. But for far too long, lobbyists have rigged the tax code with loopholes that let some corporations pay nothing while others pay full freight. They've riddled it with giveaways the superrich don't need, denying a break to middle class families who do.
This year, we have an opportunity to change that. Let's close loopholes so we stop rewarding companies that keep profits abroad, and reward those that invest in America. Let's use those savings to rebuild our infrastructure and make it more attractive for companies to bring jobs home. Let's simplify the system and let a small business owner file based on her actual bank statement, instead of the number of accountants she can afford. And let's close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top one percent to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth. We can use that money to help more families pay for childcare and send their kids to college. We need a tax code that truly helps working Americans trying to get a leg up in the new economy, and we can achieve that together.
Published: January 2015
The essential “on the ground” report on the fastest-growing new threat in the Middle East from the Winner of the 2014 Foreign Affairs Journalist of the Year Award
Born of the Iraqi and Syrian civil wars, the Islamic State astonished the world in 2014 by creating a powerful new force in the Middle East. By combining religious fanaticism and military prowess, the new self-declared caliphate poses a threat to the political status quo of the whole region.
In The Rise of Islamic State, Patrick Cockburn (1950) describes the conflicts behind a dramatic unraveling of US foreign policy. He shows how the West created the conditions for ISIS’s explosive success by stoking the war in Syria. The West — the US and NATO in particular — underestimated the militants’ potential until it was too late and failed to act against jihadi sponsors in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan.
Nulty rose to become the Most Reverend Bishop of Meath and was known as a fierce defender of the tenant rights of Irish tenant farmers throughout the 34 years that he served in that office from 1864 to 1898. Thomas Nulty is famed for his 1881 tract Back to the Land, wherein he makes the case for land reform of the Irish land tenure system. Nulty was a friend and supporter of the Irish nationalist Charles Stewart Parnell until Parnell's divorce crisis in 1889.
Dr. Thomas Nulty, who had attended the First Vatican Council in 1870, said his last mass on December 21, 1898.
To the Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of Meath:
Dearly Beloved Brethren,-
I venture to take the liberty of dedicating the following Essay to you, as a mark of my respect and affection. In this Essay I do not, of course, address myself to you as your Bishop, for I have no divine commission to enlighten you on your civil rights, or to instruct you in the principles of Land Tenure or Political Economy. I feel, however, a deep concern even in your temporal interests — deeper, indeed, than in my own; for what temporal interests can I have save those I must always feel in your welfare? It is, then, because the Land Question is one not merely of vital importance, but one of life and death to you, as well as to the majority of my countrymen, that I have ventured to write on it at all.
With a due sense of my responsibility, I have examined this great question with all the care and consideration I had time to bestow on it. A subject so abstruse and so difficult could not, by any possibility, be made attractive and interesting. My only great regret, then, is that my numerous duties in nearly every part of the Diocese for the last month have not left me sufficient time to put my views before you with the perspicuity, the order and the persuasiveness that I should desire. However, even in the crude, unfinished form in which this Essay is now submitted to you, I hope it will prove of some use in assisting you to form a correct estimate of the real value and merit of Mr. Gladstone’s coming Bill.
For my own part, I confess I am not very sanguine in my expectations of this Bill — at any rate, when it shall have passed the Lords. The hereditary legislators will, I fear, never surrender the monopoly in the land which they have usurped for centuries past; at least till it has become quite plain to them that they have lost the power of holding it any longer. It is, however, now quite manifest to all the world — except, perhaps, to themselves — that they hold that power no longer.
We, however, can afford calmly to wait. While we are, therefore, prepared to receive with gratitude any settlement of the question which will substantially secure to us our just rights, we will never be satisfied with less. Nothing short of a full and comprehensive measure of justice will ever satisfy the tenant farmers of Ireland, or put an end to the Land League agitation.
The people of Ireland are now keenly alive to the important fact that if they are loyal and true to themselves, and that they set their faces against every form of violence and crime, they have the power to compel the landlords to surrender all their just rights in their entirety.
If the tenant farmers refuse to pay more than a just rent for their farms, and no one takes a farm from which a tenant has been evicted for the non-payment of an unjust or exorbitant rent, then our cause is practically gained. The landlords may, no doubt, wreak their vengeance on a few, whom they may regard as the leaders of the movement; but the patriotism and generosity of their countrymen will compensate these abundantly for their losses, and superabundantly reward them for the essential and important services they have rendered to their country at the critical period of its history.
You know but too well, and perhaps to your cost, that there are bad landlords in Meath, and worse still in Westmeath, and perhaps also in the other Counties of this Diocese. We are, unfortunately, too familiar with all forms of extermination, from the eviction of a Parish Priest, who was willing to pay his rent, to the wholesale clearance of the honest, industrious people of an entire district. But we have, thank God, a few good landlords, too. Some of these, like the Earl of Fingal, belong to our own faith; some, like the late Lord Athlumny, are Protestants; and some among the very best are Tories of the highest type of conservatism.
You have always cherished feelings of the deepest gratitude and affection for every landlord, irrespective of his politics or his creed, who treated you with justice, consideration and kindness. I have always heartily commended you for these feelings.
For my own part, I can assure you, I entertain no unfriendly feelings for any landlord living, and in this Essay I write of them not as individuals, but as a class, and further, I freely admit that there are individual landlords who are highly honourable exceptions to the class to which they belong. But that I heartily dislike the existing system of Land Tenure, and the frightful extent to which it has been abused, by the vast majority of landlords, will be evident to anyone who reads this Essay through.
I remain, Dearly Beloved Brethren, respectfully yours,
BACK TO THE LAND
Our Land System Not justified by its General Acceptance.
Anyone who ventures to question the justice or the policy of maintaining the present system of Irish Land Tenure will be met at once by a pretty general feeling which will warn him emphatically that its venerable antiquity entitles it, if not to reverence and respect, at least to tenderness and forbearance.
I freely admit that feeling to be most natural and perhaps very general also; but I altogether deny its reasonableness. It proves too much. Any existing social institution is undoubtedly entitled to justice and fair play; but no institution, no matter what may have been its standing or its popularity, is entitled to exceptional tenderness and forbearance if it can be shown that it is intrinsically unjust and cruel. Worse institutions by far than any system of Land Tenure can and have had a long and prosperous career, till their true character became generally known and then they were suffered to exist no longer.
Human Slavery Once Generally Accepted.
Slavery is found to have existed, as a social institution, in almost all nations, civilised as well as barbarous, and in every age of the world, up almost to our own times. We hardly ever find it in the state of a merely passing phenomenon, or as a purely temporary result of conquest or of war, but always as a settled, established and recognised state of social existence, in which generation followed generation in unbroken succession, and in which thousands upon thousands of human beings lived and died. Hardly anyone had the public spirit to question its character or to denounce its excesses; it had no struggle to make for its existence, and the degradation in which it held its unhappy victims was universally regarded as nothing worse than a mere sentimental grievance.
On the other hand, the justice of the right of property which a master claimed in his slaves was universally accepted in the light of a first principle of morality. His slaves were either born on his estate, and he had to submit to the labour and the cost of rearing and maintaining them to manhood, or he acquired them by inheritance or by free gift, or, failing these, he acquired them by the right of purchase — having paid in exchange for them what, according to the usages of society and the common estimation of his countrymen, was regarded as their full pecuniary value. Property, therefore, in slaves was regarded as sacred, and as inviolable as any other species of property.
Even Christians Recognised Slavery.
So deeply rooted and so universally received was this conviction that the Christian religion itself, though it recognised no distinction between Jew and Gentile, between slave or freeman, cautiously abstained from denouncing slavery itself as an injustice or a wrong. It prudently tolerated this crying evil, because in the state of public feeling then existing, and at the low standard of enlightenment and intelligence then prevailing, it was simply impossible to remedy it.
Thus then had slavery come down almost to our own time as an established social institution, carrying with it the practical sanction and approval of ages and nations, and surrounded with a prestige of standing and general acceptance well calculated to recommend it to men’s feelings and sympathies. And yet it was the embodiment of the most odious and cruel injustice that ever afflicted humanity. To claim a right of property in man was to lower a rational creature to the level of the beast of the field; it was a revolting and an unnatural degradation of the nobility of human nature itself. (etc, see link)
Back to the land
The world top incomes database aims to providing convenient on line access to all the existent series. This is an ongoing endeavour, and we will progressively update the base with new observations, as authors extend the series forwards and backwards. Despite the database's name, we will also add information on the distribution of earnings and the distribution of wealth. As the map below shows, around forty-five further countries are under study, and will be incorporated at some point (see Work in Progress).
The first twenty-two country-studies have been included in two volumes edited by Anthony B. Atkinson and Thomas Piketty: Top Incomes over the Twentieth Century: A Contrast between Continental European and English-Speaking Countries (2007), and Top Incomes over the Twentieth Century: A Global Perspective (2010). They cover several European countries (France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Spain, Italy), Northern America (United States and Canada), Australia and New Zealand, one Latin American country (Argentina), and five Asian countries (Japan, India, China, Singapore, Indonesia). South Africa, Mauritius, Tanzania, Denmark, Colombia, Malaysia, Uruguay, and Korea have been added to the list.
Link to WTID ...
Sophie Shevardnadze:Colonel, the 2003 war in Iraq was a reason you left the U.S. military after many years. Do you feel the roots of what’s happening now lie back then?
Ann Wright: Well, yes. In 2003 I did resign from the Federal government. I actually had order to retire from the military; I was a U.S. diplomat, and I was one of the three diplomats who resigned in opposition to the war in Iraq. And I do feel that there are so many similarities now, 11 years later with the issue that the Obama administration is bringing forward, and they are seeming intent that they will be using military force to resolve the further issues in Iraq, and perhaps even in Syria.
SS: But what I really meant was that… I’m talking about ISIS expansion and the will of the ISIS to create a caliphate. Do you think that, what’s going on right now, has to do something with the invasion in Iraq in 2003, or those are two separate things?
AW: I think they are two separate things. Certainly, the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has precipitated what we now see, 11 years later, with the growth of ISIS and other forces that initially came in to the region to battle with Assad in Syria, but are taking the opportunity with the disarray that came starting with the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. And then, the Al-Maliki government that has been so brutal towards the Sunnis in Iraq, that the ability of ISIS to move remarkably quickly, to gain territories in Syria and now in Iraq is very worrisome and dangerous.
SS: Now, president Obama has authorized deployment of additional 350 american troops to Iraq. Last month, the U.S. launched an aerial campaign against the Islamic State. Will any good come out of this?
AW: Well, the issue of the protection of the U.S. facilities in Baghdad and other cities of Iraq by U.S. military forces is one rational for the deployment of certain number of military folks. And then, the administration has already said that they will be sending in special forces to help train or re-train Iraq military to battle ISIS. And also, the use of CIA operatives up in the north, in northern Iraq and the Kurdish area of Iraq - one could argue that this does give the Iraqi military and the Kurdish Peshmerga a better opportunity to battle ISIS. One of the fears, though, is that the continuation of the U.S. providing U.S. military equipment will end up as we've seen what has happened now, when ISIS has overrun Iraqi military facilities and have taken U.S. military equipment that has been given to the Iraqi military. So, one of the great dilemmas is when you start funneling more military equipment into this type of situation, it may be turned up on you as we've seen - that equipment now being in hands of ISIS and being used to battle almost in one way the remnants of the Iraqi military.
SS: Steven Sotloff was the second journalist executed by the Islamic State. Let’s hear president Obama’s response to this:
OBAMA: And those who make a mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget, and that our reach is long and that justice will be served.
SS: Now, the U.S. president has vowed to avenge the death of U.S. journalist and called for the war plan to be drawn up. Should there be further involvement?
AW: Well, indeed, it’s horrific what ISIS is doing, not only to the international media, to U.S. reporters that are being beheaded, but in even greater measure, what ISIS is doing to Iraqis and Syrians that they have captured. The wholesale murder, massacre of large numbers of Iraqi military and people in villages who have repelled or attempted to repel the ISIS military onslaught. There’s no doubt about it, ISIS is very brutal, terrible group of people who are rampaging across that area of the world.
SS: Well, yeah, but that’s my question - does the U.S. really have any other choice but to get involved and act in the face of these kidnappings?
AW: The people that have been kidnapped - I mean, the international folks have been in the hands of ISIS for quite a few months now. The beheadings of course are horrific, and as vice-president Biden has said...something about the “gates of hell” being opened; I think the administration certainly feels the pressure that something needs to be done about it, about this group of horrific people. Now, whether it is further american military on the ground - I suspect not, because the feeling in the U.S. is that we do not want our military involved in ground operations any further in Iraq or in Syria. However, I do believe that the types of pressure that can be put on groups that do support ISIS, that have allowed ISIS to purchase military equipment, that are working with ISIS to buy on the black market oil from the oil fields that ISIS has captured - I think that’s really where ultimately the pressure points are…
SS: Which groups are you talking about? Could you be more precise?
AW: If you look at who is behind the oil, who is behind the oil from those oil fields, where it is going, through what borders is it going - some of it is going up into Turkey, so you've got to put pressure on the Turkish government to stop the flow of oil; you've got to put pressure on the Turkish government to stop allowing these large groups of international fighters that have crossed the border from Turkey for the last several years. I would say, you have to put pressure on the Saudis: the Saudis have been pouring a large amounts of money, as have the governments of Kuwait and of Qatar, into various groups of the foreign fighters.
SS: But so had the Americans, I don’t think these are the only people that are funding the foreign fighters in Syria. Americans are the ones who are funding them just as much as are the Qataris or the Saudis…
AW: Yes, I totally agree with you on that; I do not believe that they are funding ISIS, the U.S. is funding other, what they think are more moderate groups that are fighting the Assad government, but the ones I was actually talking about were those that either by turning a blind eye, or by actually funneling money and weapons into ISIS are giving it the power to gain territory and hold it.
SS: So there’s my question - the U.S. has propped up many allies that it later had to confront. The likes of Al-Qaeda, or Taliban - do you feel like it contributed to the rise of ISIS in Syria as well - involuntarily, of course - by funding the rebels?
AW: Certainly, the instability that has been caused by the U.S., starting 10, 11 years ago, from 2003, with the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and earlier than that, the U.S. going in to Afghanistan after 9/11 - all of those events have triggered a large number of people from Arab and Muslim worlds, who have to the U.S.: “we don’t like what you’re doing in those areas”, and they have been coming in to Iraq and in Afghanistan and have been trained, and equipped and then have been available to go to other parts of the world, including Libya, to act as mercenaries for whomever wants to hire them.
SS:Now, if president Obama had launched a bombing campaign in Syria in 2013, do you think that could have stopped the rise of ISIS?
AW: One could argue that yes, bombing of not only ISIS but of other radical groups in Syria could perhaps have decimated some of their fighting force. However, the thing that people are very concerned about is that that in itself is drawing more of the foreign fighters to the fight, that indeed the U.S. bombing of Muslim fighters does draw in even more of the Muslim fighters.
SS: Just to wrap the subject of ISIS in Iraq - do you feeling like that Washington has the responsibility for the future of Iraq and what becomes of it?
AW: Part of the problem is, first, the initial invasion and occupation by the Bush administration; then, you have the Al-Maliki government that was… many people say that U.S. put that government in: Al-Maliki who brought in more Shia leaders and pushed out the Sunni leaders that should have been brought in to the government that was all-inclusive of all of the groups in Iraq. One could say that the U.S. has spent billions of dollars on the training and equipping Iraqi military and it folded against the force that was not nearly as large as it actually was. I personally, as a person that resigned initially over the theory that military force was going to resolve the issue of Saddam Hussein regime, I don’t believe that further use of our military is what ultimately going to resolve the issues in that region.
SS: Afghanistan is another unresolved issue - the U.S. troops may leave for good by the end of this year, but will the weak Afghan government be left to deal with the Taliban like Iraq was left to deal with ISIS, what do you think?
AW: You’re exactly right - here we have Afghanistan after 13 years that U.S. has been involved in there, and weak government, in fact, it is still disputed on who’s going to be the next president of the country. You have many of the people who were called warlord prior to the U.S. invasion, or the groups of people that the U.S. hired to work with it to push the Taliban and Al-Qaeda out, many of them with severe human rights abuses allegations to start with… I myself am not too optimistic that here, 13 years later and hundreds of billions of dollars later and the expenditure of tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lives, that the future of Afghanistan is a stable secure country, where all groups will be treated honestly and fairly and that country will progress in a way that one would hope it would - I myself am not very optimistic about it.
SS: Now, ISIS is being called the “new Al-Qaeda”, but the actual Al-Qaeda has declared a new front in India. How do these groups fit together? Are we seeing expansion into new territory after ISIS took over the old “feeding grounds”?
AW: It’s kind of “targets of opportunity” it looks like that various groups are using. As ISIS fills into one area of Iraq and Syria and becomes the dominant force there, Al-Qaeda is looking for another place where it can stake its own territory. Certainly it had its inroads into Pakistan… It’s interesting here that they indeed have claimed that they are going to India.
SS: So, what are we going to see? Jihadist corporate rivalry unraveling?
AW: Indeed, “Jihadist inc.” When we really look at it, sadly, throughout the North Africa and the Middle East and then going on into South Asia, you do see the rise of various types of militant groups, to include not only Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Al-Nusra; you've got the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban. It is a growth industry. You look also to Libya, where there are many groups, each fighting for different parts of the territory of the country, to the extent that the U.S. had to close its embassy there, because none of the locations where we had embassies or consulates are safe enough, in the opinion of the State Department, that we can leave our diplomats. So, it is a tragic function in this era, that we see the growth and expansion of these jihadist groups.
SS: You've mentioned earlier on in the program that the pressure should be put on groups that are actually helping ISIS to get money from the oil sales - it’s true that ISIS is raking in billions through things like oil. Could this movement be more about money than establishing a religious state?
AW: I think it certainly is a movement about money, it’s a very well-funded organisation, but from I gather, it is a group that is intent on establishing a geographical location for it’s beliefs, the caliphate that they talk about. They intent to hold territory and indeed they have, to the extent that they control major cities, that they are generating their own income through oil and I think it is going to be a challenge for the international community to go in and push them back from these established areas that they've had some of them for almost a year now.
SS: Israeli-Palestinian conflict is something that you've also spoken a lot about, spoken strongly against the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Is there any way that international pressure can push Israel into a genuine peace process?
AW: It’s a very good question. How the international community has pressured Israel - has been ineffective, mainly because it really hasn't used the full force that it has at its disposal. The U.S. itself could do much more to pressure Israel to stop the illegal settlements of which they have just announced that they are annexing a thousand acres of Palestinian land into Israel. The pressure to stop the occupation of the West Bank and to lift the siege of Gaza - these are things that have been demands of the Palestinians for the longest time. The U.S. is the greatest pressure point of Israel, because we give Israel almost $3 bn a year in military assistance alone, plus all sorts of economic incentives. The U.S. is allowing itself to be pressured by very large and well-funded Zionist lobby that works for the protection of the State of Israel, and works primarily in the U.S. Congress to threaten the U.S. Congress people that if they don’t vote for pro-Israeli issues then they will be turned out of office; we've seen that AIPAC, the American-Israeli Public Affairs committee, the big lobby for Israel, has been very effective at threatening and scaring and then trowing out of office people that say that they are going to look honestly at what’s happening there, and may support the Palestinian cause in cases.
SS: I want to talk a little bit about Hamas. You know how the appearance of ISIS with its deliberate focus on cruelty and no compromises, does it make you feel like it’s easier to treat groups like Hamas with more respect? As a matter of fact, you know, “we don’t negotiate with the terrorists” - that attitude is almost universal, but do you feel like maybe these days there are groups of terrorists that you can talk to and that slogan actually should change?
AW: Yes, I certainly think so, and the latest of this week, the Israeli propaganda is that “ISIS is Hamas, Hamas is ISIS” - well, that’s just not true. Hamas was elected as the governing body of Gaza. I don’t agree with the rockets that Hamas and other groups in Gaza have sent into Israel, but the level of violence that is between Palestinians and Israelis is overwhelmingly from the Israeli side towards the Palestinian side - there’s no doubt about that. Over 2000 Palestinians were killed versus 64 Israelis in this latest attack, and in 2009, fourteen hundred Palestinians versus 11 Israelis… Hamas does not have 24 hour drone coverage over Israel, it does not have F-16 that are bombing Israel every single day as is happening with the Israelis in their naval attacks and ground attacks, and air attacks on Gaza. So, there’s a very distinct difference in the level and the proportion of violence in there.
SS: Thank you so much for this wonderful interview. Colonel Ann Wright, U.S. veteran and former diplomat. We were talking about what brought upon the spread of ISIS and could it be contained, and also are there terrorists that we can talk to, and are there groups that we can’t. That’s it for this edition of Sophie&Co, we’ll see you next time.
Sir Ebenezer Howard (1850-1928) travelled to the USA and was inspired by the rebuilding of Chicago, as well as his interest in social welfare, to found the Garden City Association in 1899. Howard believed that the solution to overcrowding and poor conditions in modern industrial towns was to produce new planned communities which created a 'joyous union' of town and country. The goal of the garden city was to combine the attractions of town life with access to nature and a healthier lifestyle. The first of these communities, Letchworth Garden City, was established in the early 1900s, followed by Welwyn Garden City in the 1920s. This volume, first published in 1898, sets out Howard's utopian vision in full; explaining how a garden city would be financed, planned and administered. Energetic and conversational in style, this book is a charming introduction to Howard's ground-breaking and influential ideas.
When the Americans first came to settle in California, they were hungry for land. Driven by a desire for property, they dominated the complacent Mexican natives, successfully stripping them of their claim to this fertile farmland. Soon, these Californians were no longer squatters, but owners. Farming became an industry, not a passion, and success was measured in dollars only. Farms became larger and owners fewer.
As the dispossessed come to California, they bring with them a wild, desperate hunger for land. History had told them that when all land is held by a few, it is taken away. And when great masses are going hungry, while a few are well fed, there will be a revolt. In an effort to diffuse the strength of the migrant workers, the owners make laws, and law officials enforce them. Any man farming on a small strip of land is charged with trespassing, and squatter's camps — "Hoovervilles" — are closed and burned for being a threat to public health. Meanwhile, children in the Hoovervilles are dying from hunger while their parents pray for food. When the parents stop praying and start acting, the end for the owners will be near.
Together with Chapters 21 and 23, this chapter presents historical background on the development of land ownership in California, tracing the American settlement of the land taken from the Mexicans. Fundamentally, the chapter explores the conflict between farming solely as a means of profit making and farming as a way of life. Steinbeck criticizes the industrialization of farming in which a love of the land is replaced by a capitalist mentality. With the advent of this industrialization came a shift toward commercial farming. With the focus only on the moneymaking aspects of growth, the corporate farmers increasingly exploit immigrant and migratory workers who are willing to work for a low wage. Like the machines that pushed the sharecroppers off their land, these great landowners had "become through their holdings both more and less than men." A key image of agrarian sympathy is found in the patch of jimson weed. Here Steinbeck effectively illustrates the crimes committed by the frightened owners with a picture of a hungry migrant stealthily clearing a jimson weed patch so that he might grow a few vegetables to feed his family, only to have it gleefully destroyed by a local sheriff.
A distinct contrast is also made here between existing immigrant workers (the Chinese, Mexican, and Filipinos) and the recently arrived "Okies" who feel strongly that they are Americans. Perceiving themselves as coming from a similar background as the rest of the inhabitants of the Golden State, the "Okies" insist on similar rights. This knowledge that they deserve the same decencies as any other American citizens gives strength and credence to their demands and makes them appear more dangerous to the California natives.
The shocking attitude was revealed among 16 to 24-year-olds in a new survey of our nation’s view of violence against women.
One-sixth of all respondents believed that rapists are men who can’t control their sexual urges and a third thinks it’s a woman’s responsibilty to walk out if she is the victim of domestic violence.
Callum Hendry, campaign co-ordinator of White Ribbon Scotland, said the survey results showed drastic action was needed to address ignorant attitudes in Scotland.
He said: “The fact that almost one in four young people believe that a woman can be held responsible for being raped because of her clothing or for being drunk is a huge concern.
“We need to continue to deliver education messages that change this attitude.
“This type of victim blaming prevents women from coming forward for support. We just cannot allow that to continue – it is a disservice to all women.”
The research exposes dangerous myths that exist around the issue of violence against women, which was apparent in all age groups but particularly in youngsters.
Ten per cent of people thought that rapes were carried out by a stranger to the victim while in reality that happens in only eight per cent of cases.
This misinformed view doubled in the 16 to 24 age group.
The survey was designed as a snapshot of attitudes in Scotland, using just less than 2000 people from every local authority.
It is seven years since a similar analysis was conducted north of the border.
The research involved focus groups in Falkirk, Inverclyde and Edinburgh, two of which were with men under the age of 25 and two were conducted with men over 25.
White Ribbon was set up in 2010 to involve men in ending violence against women through education and campaigning.
In the focus groups it found, there was a consensus that “others” raped, not “normal” people and that they had to be “sick”.
The report said: “The idea that it is something abnormal or “sick” can lead people to believe that those around them are incapable of being violent towards women.
“This belief can easily lead to absolving rapists of responsibilty unless they fit a violent or “sick” stereotype, which, as we know, is not the case.
“Such attitudes create an environment in which victims may feel less able to come forward for support as they feel they will not be believed or receive the justice they deserve.”
A commonly held myth was that men raped because they couldn’t control their sexual urges.
The report said: “Believing men are unable to control themselves against subconscious sexual urges implies that they are not entirely accountable for their actions but rather are victims themselves to their needs.”
The truth is that rape is often about power and control over a victim and not about sexual urges.
Much of White Ribbon Scotland’s work exists to combat myths that can blame the victim rather than the perpetrator.
Some of the views in relation to domestic abuse were just as disturbing. A third believe it is a woman’s responsibility to leave an abusive relationship.
The report said this underestimates the trauma, the fear, control and difficulties faced by women in abusive relationships, which create significant obstacles in attempts to escape abuse.
But there was awareness that domestic violence was not only about physical abuse, with only eight per cent believing that was the case.
But 80 per cent thought alcohol and drugs caused men to be violent to their partners, which detracts from the abuser’s responsibilty for his actions and the fact that domestic violence is about maintaining power and control over victims.
Lily Greenan from Scottish Women’s Aid said she was encouraged that respondents realised that domestic abuse could be mental and verbal torture, not just physical abuse.
But she said: “Victim blaming stops women reporting it. It stops them from seeking support and it stops them from getting justice. We need to work with young people to change the question from ‘Why does she stay?’ to ‘Why does he abuse?’.”
When asked if the purchase of sex or sexual images can create harmful attitudes towards women, two-thirds agreed it did. Linda Thompson from The Women’s Support Project said she was heartened to find most people agreed that prostitution and pornography were damaging.
She said: “This highlights that men and women are aware of the wider potential cultural impact of the opportunity to buy sexual activity from, and view sexual images of, women on how women are viewed and treated.”
The report also gives a fascinating insight into how society views masculinity – there was still a view of men as being stereotypically macho.
Seven in 10 associated the word “control” with men, eight in 10 said they were expected be physically strong and two-thirds said they should be viewed as powerful.
Yet only three in every hundred thought they should be emotional and five per cent thought they should be sensitive.
The report said: “This narrow view of masculinity is reflected in the difference in how young boys and girls are spoken to as they grow up, and even in how products are marketed.
“The emphasis on physical strength and the lack of emphasis of sensitivity may influence how men behave in relationships and towards women.”
Almost 90 per cent of people agreed that sexual inequality contributes to a society where violence against women is acceptable.
And 97 per cent said everyone in society shared a duty in ending violence against women.
The report recommends that campaigning on issues such as gender gaps in pay and sexual inequality could help change the attitudes that perpetuate violence.
It suggests parents should be targeted to encourage them to educate children about sexual inequality, preventing violence and sexual consent.
It also emphasises the need to redefine its definition of masculinity and encourage men to stand up against violence and change controlling behaviour.
Read the full report here
(Moscow) – The Azerbaijani government should immediately end a hostile campaign of intimidation against writer Akram Aylisli. Aylisli recently published a controversial novel depicting relationships between ethnic Azeris and Armenians in Azerbaijan.
Foreign governments and intergovernmental organizations of which Azerbaijan is a member should speak out against this intimidation campaign. They should urge the authorities to immediately investigate those responsible for threats against Aylisli, and to respect freedom of expression.
“The Azerbaijani authorities have an obligation to protect Akram Aylisli,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Instead, they have led the effort to intimidate him, putting him at risk with a campaign of vicious smears and hostile rhetoric.”
Aylisli, a member of the Union of Writers of Azerbaijan since the Soviet era, is the author of Stone Dreams. The novel includes a description of violence by ethnic Azeris against Armenians during the 1920s, and at the end of the Soviet era, when the two countries engaged in armed conflict. Aylisli told Human Rights Watch that he saw the novel as an appeal for friendship between the two nations. The novel was published in Friendship of Peoples, a Russian literary journal, in December 2012.
Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a seven-year war over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily ethnic Armenian-populated autonomous enclave in Azerbaijan. Despite a 1994 ceasefire, the conflict has not yet reached a political solution. Against the background of the unresolved nature of the conflict, Aylisli’s sympathetic portrayal of Armenians and condemnation of violence against them caused uproar in Azerbaijan. An escalating crescendo of hateful rhetoric and threats against Aylisli started at the end of January 2013, culminating in a February 11 public statement by Hafiz Hajiyev, head of Modern Musavat, a pro-government political party. Hajiyev publicly said that he would pay AZN10,000 [US$12,700] to anyone who would cut off Aylisli’s ear.
“Azerbaijan’s authorities should immediately investigate and hold accountable anyone responsible for making threats against Aylisli, and ensure his personal safety,” Williamson said.
On January 29, officials from the Yeni Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan’s ruling party, publicly called on Aylisli to withdraw the novel and ask for the nation’s forgiveness. Aylisli told Human Rights Watch that two days later, a crowd of about 70 people gathered in front of his home, shouting “Akram, leave the country now,” and “Shame on you”, and burned effigies of the author. Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that police were present but made no effort to disperse the crowd. No damage was done to Aylisli’s home.
In a speech about Aylisli’s book, a high level official from Azerbaijan’s presidential administration said that, “We, as the Azerbaijani people, must express public hatred toward these people," a comment that appeared aimed at Aylisli.
During a February 1 session, some members of Azerbaijan’s parliament denounced Aylisli, called for him to be stripped of his honorary “People’s Writer” title and medals, and demanded that he take a DNA test to prove his ethnicity. On February 7, President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree stripping Aylisli of the title, which he had held since 1998, and cutting off his presidential monthly pension of AZN1000 [US$1,270], which he had drawn since 2002. Aylisli learned of the presidential decree from television news.
In the wake of the public vitriol, Aylisli’s wife and son were fired from their jobs. On February 4, a senior officer at Azerbaijan’s customs agency forced Najaf Naibov-Aylisli, Aylisli’s son, to sign a statement that he was “voluntarily” resigning from his job as department chief. Aylisli told Human Rights Watch his son had received no reprimands during his 12 years on job.
“My son had nothing to do with politics,” Aylisli said. “In fact he always advised me not to write about politics and never agreed with my political views.”
On February 5, Aylisli’s wife, Galina Alexandrovna, was forced to sign a “voluntary” statement resigning from her job at a public library, following an inspection announced several days before.
Public book burnings of Aylisli’s works, some organized by the ruling party, have taken place in several cities in Azerbaijan.
“The government of Azerbaijan is making a mockery of its international obligations on freedom of expression,” Williamson said. “This is shocking, particularly after Azerbaijani officials flocked to Strasbourg last month to tout the government’s human rights record at the Council of Europe.”
The European Court of Human Rights has issued numerous rulings upholding the principle that freedom of speech also protects ideas that might be shocking or disturbing to society. In a judgment handed down against Azerbaijan, in a case that dealt speech related to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the court said, “[F]reedom of information applie[s] not only to information or ideas that are favorably received, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb.”
12 Apr 2011
Statoil, BP and Sonatrach have signed a USD 1.15 billion engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Petrofac International (UAE) in Algiers for the execution of the In Salah Southern Fields development project. The EPC contract is part of the phase two development of the In Salah licence. For Development and Production International the project marks an important step towards maturing barrels for profitable production.
The three gas fields – Krechba, Teg and Reg – located in the northern part of the licence, were initially developed in phase one, with the objective of delivering a production profile of nine billion cubic metres of gas annually. This phase started in late 2001, and first commercial gas was delivered in July 2004. Based on the expected decline of gas production from these three fields, phase two of the development has now implemented to maintain the production plateau and sustain long-term gas sales commitments. It consists of four gas fields – Garet El Bifna, Gour Mahmoud, In Salah and Hassi Moumene – in the southern part of the licence.
Under the EPC contract Petrofac will build a number of facilities – including well pads, manifolds, flowlines, and a new central processing facility (CPF) with a gas processing capacity of 17 million cubic metres per day. The CPF will be constructed north of In Salah town and tied back to the existing producing facilities located in Reg for further transport of the gas to Krechba CPF for carbon dioxide removal and gas export.
In his speech, Victor Sneberg, Statoil's country president in Algeria, stated his expectation to Petrofac to deliver on time, cost and schedule.
First gas from the Southern Fields development project is expected for the first half of 2014. Gas produced from In Salah is marketed by joint marketing company 'In Salah Gas Limited' – an association between Sonatrach, BP and Statoil. The three partners in the In Salah license have investment shares of 35% (Sonatrach), 33.15% (BP) and 31.85% (Statoil), respectively.
ARABS & ISRAEL FOR BEGINNERS, by Ron David
Illustrated by Susan David
Writers and Readers Publishing, Inc.
New York, 1993. 210 pp.
Ron David begins Arabs and Israel for Beginners by explaining that he wants to let the reader know "where his book is heading. That way, if you consider it despicable, you can leave it in the bookstore." David's embattled stance is understandable because his book challenges the popular, pro-Israeli version of the Israeli-Arab conflict. In his view, the Palestinian Arabs, who had populated Palestine for many generations before the Jewish settlers began to arrive in the tens of thousands in the late nineteenth century, were robbed of their country by the successful Zionist effort to create a Jewish state there. Ron David's book is an attempt to tell the "real" story of the struggle for Palestine stripped of Zionist mythology which misrepresents the essential elements of how the Pales tinians lost their land.
In his review of the history of the Middle East, the author reminds us that the name "Israel" comes from Genesis in the Old Testament when Jacob changed his name to Israel after fighting with an angel and that from Jacob's twelve sons came the twelve tribes of Israel. He explains that the name Canaan, meaning "land of purple" came from the precious purple dyes that were traded in the Mediterrane an coastal plain. The author suggests an explanation for the biblical story that the Jews spent forty years in the desert after escaping from Egypt. When Moses sent spies out to the land of Canaan "their report was discouraging: 'It's full of people.'" So the Jews waited in the desert until they were strong enough militarily to conquer the native inhabitants.
The author presents a useful "Summary of Jewish Countries in the Middle East" detailing the Jewish Kingdoms from 1020 BC to 586 BC. By 6 A.D., however, the author writes, the Romans made Judah a Rom an province and although "there were a couple last gasps of Jewish revolt -- Masada and Bar Kokhba ... the Jews and the ancient Middle East had had enough of each other."
Perhaps for reasons of space -- or perhaps such a task is too complicated for the purposes of this book -- Ron David decided not to provide a similar chart of Jewish habitation in the Middle East after the fall of the Jewish kingdoms and the fall of the second temple in 70 A.D. Such a chart might have been useful if only in order to give the reader a better idea of the strength of present Jewish claims to the area.
Ron David makes a point of covering Islam in some depth. The well established Arab / Bedouin code of virtue, the muruwwah, is explained. We learn that Muhammad's inspiration came from his understanding that the wealthy and powerful merchant class were ignoring their duty to the poor, an essential tenet of the muruwwah. Perhaps because of Islam's dramatic appeal to the masses, barely a century a fter the death of Mohammad in 632, "Muslims controlled an empire that stretched from Spain to the borders of China and the Arabs were entering a Golden Age."
Some of the examples of the flowering of Arab civilization in literature, psychology, science, medicine and mathematics are detailed. It is also emphasized that Islam (which means surrender to God) nurtured and was nurtured by the cultures it embraced, especially Jewish culture. "Teaching the knowledge-hungry Muslims got the Jewish scholars' creative juices flowing. The result was a Jewish Golden Age, especially in Spain, during which doctors, poets, and scholars combined secular and religious knowledge in a way that has never been achieved since."
As Ron David tells it, the Crusades (1096 - 1270) and then the Mongol invasions (1218 - 1258) brought an end to the zenith of Arab culture. After 200 years of fighting "in their own backyards, the Arabs were all used up." At the same time, the author emphasizes the irony that "the knowledge that [the Crusaders] got from the Arabs helped them break out of the brain - dead Middle Ages into the Renaissance ..."
A crucial section of the book is devoted to the events leading up to the emergence of the State of Israel in 1948. This momentous event, a huge victory for world Jewry, is at the same time for Palestinians, al-Nakbah, the catastrophe.
THE OTTOMAN LAND CODE
The new Ottoman land code of 1850 over time led to the removal of the Palestinian peasants from their land. Previously Palestinian peasants could live on and cultivate their land and pass it on to their heirs. The new land law changed that and as a result, through land purchases, often from absentee Arab landlords in Beirut, Jewish settlers began to move Palestinian peasants off the land that they had farmed for generations.
Note Lucas Tessens (201602020): This is a difficult matter in Ron David's exposé but it is key and needs more attention than it gets: If the Jews really bought the land, the Arabs no longer owned it in a legal sense. If the French buy half of Belgium they become the legal owners. In my view it is the inequality in purchasing power that leads to desinheritance of the land and the expulsion of their former tenants/farmers. Refusing to accept this process is in fact rejecting the whole capitalist system. Or should land be excluded from the list of goods that can be bought? If the answer is 'YES' then you are in a new system.
The expulsion of Palestinian farmers by the Jewish settlers frequently led to confrontations between the two sides as early as the last decade of the 19th century. The fierce rioting of 1929 in which there were hundreds of casualties on both sides resulted in a new British policy statement in late 1930 which was meant to restrict Jewish immigration and land purchases. If the new policy had held for the long term, the Palestinians might not have lost their country. However, in only a few months, the Zionists in England were powerful enough to cause the British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, to rescind the new policy statement and revert back to the pro-Jewish policies of the Balfour Declaration (1917) which stated that the British government would "view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people ... "
The advent of Hitler in 1933 and the pro-Jewish immigration policies of the British led to the Arab revolt of 1936 - 1939. Afterwards, when the British tried to redress the balance in favor of the Arabs it became the turn of the Jews to rebel and their successful terrorist actions played a key role in forcing the British to give up their mandate in Palestine in favor of the U.N.
THE U.N. PARTITION RESOLUTION
The U.N. Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947, recommended the division of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state. While the Jews hailed it as a major breakthrough, the Arabs rejected it because it gave much of what was theirs to the Jews. The Jewish community in Palestine which at that time made up about a third of the population and held less than 7% of the land, were "given" more than 50% of the area of Palestine, including prime Arab farmland in the Galilee and on the Mediterranean coast and elsewhere. Equally important, the U.N. scheme placed hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs in areas that were to be controlled by the Jews. This would mean that there would be about 500,000 Arabs in a state of about 650,000 Jews -- a plan that both sides, in effect, rejected.
It is widely believed that the war between the Arabs and the Jews began with the Arab invasion on May 15, 1948, immediately after the Jews declared their state. In reality, the war actually began after the U.N. Partition Resolution, in December 1947. In this communal war the much better organized and equipped Jews captured the areas that the British were evacuating. As Israeli historian Simha F lapan writes, so successful were the Jewish forces that by the beginning of May 1948, they held most of the territory that was designated for their state by the U.N. Resolution.
The success of the Jewish campaign against the Palestinian forces may be gauged by the 300,000 Arab refugees who were forced to flee their homeland before the middle of May 1948. The situation was such an international scandal -- comparable to the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia -- that the U.S. and other countries actually entertained plans to substitute a trusteeship for Palestine rather than allow the U.N. Partition Resolution to stand. In the event, the Truman administration, with its eye on the Jewish lobby at home, withdrew its objections and was quick to recognize the new Jewish state.
When the Jewish leaders declared their new state on May 14, 1948, there were still about 400,000 Palestinians in areas that became Israel. Ben Gurion's government decided to risk war because they wished to increase their territorial gains and to cleanse the area of more Palestinians. Viewed in the light of Jewish military victories, the Arab invasion of May 15, becomes not, as pictured by the Zionists, an attempt by implacable enemy forces to drive the Jews into the sea, but rather, in large part, a pan-Arab effort to stave off further Jewish gains in Palestine and to stem the flow of even more Palestinian refugees.
Moreover, in Zionist mythology, no credit is given to Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt for sheltering and sustaining the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees. Indeed Zionists frequently say that the Arab countries created and maintained the Palestinian refugee problem as a way of scoring propaganda points against Israel. It turns out that the opposite is the case. In Michael Palumbo's The Palestinian Catastrophe: The 1948 Expulsion of a People From Their Homeland (1987), evidence is presented which indicates that Ben-Gurion flatly rejected proposals by the U.S. and Syria to permanently resettle hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees. Palumbo thinks that Ben-Gurion's motivation was the idea that "as long as the refugee problem remained unsolved there would be tensions in the region which could eventually be used to ignite a new war of conquest."
Palumbo points to the territory that Israel conquered in 1967 in Palestine, Jordan, and Syria as evidence of Israel's expansionist program. Ron David's section on Lebanon provides more support to Palumbo's thesis as well as it adds perspective on Israel's control of its self-designated "security zone" in Southern Lebanon which it has held illegally since 1982. Ron David cites evidence from the diaries of Moshe Sharett, Israel's second Prime Minister, that as early as the 1950s, Israel was planning to destabilize Lebanon by pitting the Moslem community against the Lebanese Christians. The idea was to create a puppet state there so that Israel could control the land and water resources in the south.
In view of Zionist responsibility for the carnage and instability in the Middle East for much of this century, it's understandable that Ron David should raise the question at the end of his book of the billions of dollars in aid that the U.S. gives Israel every year. The author quotes an article by Jeffrey Blankfort in Lies of Our Times, pointing out how secretive our own media is on the issue of U.S. aid to Israel. "February 1989," Blankfort writes, "was the last time the New York Times ran a story describing Congress' role in approving aid to Israel." In a wonderful quote, Ron David writes, "I would rather flush that money down the toilet than give it to Israel.... At least when you flush money down the toilet, it doesn't hurt anybody."
Arabs and Israel for Beginners, one of a series of "documentary comic books," with its format of illustrations on every page, is easy to read and is highly recommended for those interested in a controversial and more objective point of view. Unfortunately, it is marred by a score or more of typos, frequent use of street language, and some mistakes: the 35,000 Arabs that Ron David says were expelled in the '56 war is silently corrected two pages later to 3,000 to 5,000; and "Eretz Yisrael" means not only, as Ron David has it, the biblical land of Israel but also the modern state of Israel . However, these lapses are a small price to pay for an extremely important book which challenges old assumptions on an issue that may be with us for generations despite the promise of the Oslo Accords.
Originally published in Winter 1984 on page 5
Copyright (c)1985, 1997 by Context Institute
HOWEVER NATURAL “owning” land may seem in our culture, in the long sweep of human existence, it is a fairly recent invention. Where did this notion come from? What does it really mean to “own” land? Why do we, in our culture, allow a person to draw lines in the dirt and then have almost complete control over what goes on inside those boundaries? What are the advantages, the disadvantages, and the alternatives? How might a humane and sustainable culture re-invent the “ownership” connection between people and the land?
These questions are unfamiliar (perhaps even uncomfortable) to much of our society, for our sense of “land ownership” is so deeply embedded in our fundamental cultural assumptions that we never stop to consider its implications or alternatives. Most people are at best only aware of two choices, two patterns, for land ownership – private ownership (which we associate with the industrial West) and state ownership (as in the Communist East).
Both of these patterns are full of problems and paradoxes. Private ownership enhances personal freedom (for those who are owners), but frequently leads to vast concentrations of wealth (even in the U.S., 75% of the privately held land is owned by 5% of the private landholders), and the effective denial of freedom and power to those without great wealth. State ownership muffles differences in wealth and some of the abuses of individualistic ownership, but replaces them with the often worse abuses of bureaucratic control.
Both systems treat the land as an inert resource to be exploited as fully as possible, often with little thought for the future or respect for the needs of non-human life. Both assume that land ownership goes with a kind of exclusive national sovereignty that is intimately connected to the logic of war.
In short, both systems seem to be leading us towards disaster, yet what other options are there?
The answer, fortunately, is that there are a number of promising alternatives. To understand them, however, we will need to begin by diving deeply into what ownership is and where it has come from.
THE HISTORICAL ROOTS
Beginnings Our feelings about ownership have very deep roots. Most animal life has a sense of territory – a place to be at home and to defend. Indeed, this territoriality seems to be associated with the oldest (reptilian) part the brain (see IN CONTEXT, #6) and forms a biological basis for our sense of property. It is closely associated with our sense of security and our instinctual “fight or flight” responses, all of which gives a powerful emotional dimension to our experience of ownership. Yet this biological basis does not determine the form that territoriality takes in different cultures.
Humans, like many of our primate cousins, engage in group (as well as individual) territoriality. Tribal groups saw themselves connected to particular territories – a place that was “theirs.” Yet their attitude towards the land was very different from ours. They frequently spoke of the land as their parent or as a sacred being, on whom they were dependent and to whom they owed loyalty and service. Among the aborigines of Australia, individuals would inherit a special relationship to sacred places, but rather than “ownership,” this relationship was more like being owned by the land. This sense of responsibility extended to ancestors and future generations as well. The Ashanti of Ghana say, “Land belongs to a vast family of whom many are dead, a few are living and a countless host are still unborn.”
For most of these tribal peoples, their sense of “land ownership” involved only the right to use and to exclude people of other tribes (but usually not members of their own). If there were any private rights, these were usually subject to review by the group and would cease if the land was no longer being used. The sale of land was either not even a possibility or not permitted. As for inheritance, every person had use rights simply by membership in the group, so a growing child would not have to wait until some other individual died (or pay a special fee) to gain full access to the land.
Early Agricultural Societies Farming made the human relationship to the land more concentrated. Tilling the land, making permanent settlements, etc., all meant a greater direct investment in a particular place. Yet this did not lead immediately to our present ideas of ownership. As best as is known, early farming communities continued to experience an intimate spiritual connection to the land, and they often held land in common under the control of a village council. This pattern has remained in many peasant communities throughout the world.
It was not so much farming directly, but the larger-than- tribal societies that could be based on farming that led to major changes in attitudes towards the land. Many of the first civilizations were centered around a supposedly godlike king, and it was a natural extension to go from the tribal idea that “the land belongs to the gods” to the idea that all of the kingdom belongs to the god-king. Since the god-king was supposed to personify the whole community, this was still a form of community ownership, but now personalized. Privileges of use and control of various types were distributed to the ruling elite on the basis of custom and politics.
As time went on, land took on a new meaning for these ruling elites. It became an abstraction, a source of power and wealth, a tool for other purposes. The name of the game became conquer, hold, and extract the maximum in tribute. Just as The Parable Of The Tribes (see IN CONTEXT, #7) would suggest, the human-human struggle for power gradually came to be the dominant factor shaping the human relationship to the land. This shift from seeing the land as a sacred mother to merely a commodity required deep changes throughout these cultures such as moving the gods and sacred beings into the sky where they could conveniently be as mobile as the ever changing boundaries of these empires.
The idea of private land ownership developed as a second step – partly in reaction to the power of the sovereign and partly in response to the opportunities of a larger-than- village economy. In the god-king societies, the privileges of the nobility were often easily withdrawn at the whim of the sovereign, and the importance of politics and raw power as the basis of ownership was rarely forgotten. To guard their power, the nobility frequently pushed for greater legal/customary recognition of their land rights. In the less centralized societies and in the occasional democracies and republics of this period, private ownership also developed in response to the breakdown of village cohesiveness. In either case, private property permitted the individual to be a “little king” of his/her own lands, imitating and competing against the claims of the state.
Later Developments By the early days of Greece and Rome, community common land, state or sovereign land, and private land all had strong traditions behind them. Plato and Aristotle both discussed various mixtures of private and state ownership in ideal societies, with Aristotle upholding the value of private ownership as a means of protecting diversity. As history progressed, the “great ownership debate” has continued between the champions of private interests and the champions of the state, with the idea of community common land often praised as an ideal, but in practice being gradually squeezed out of the picture. Feudal Europe was basically a system of sovereign ownership. The rise of commerce and then industrialism shifted power to the private ownership interests of the new middle class (as in the United States). The reaction against the abuses of industrialism during the past 150 years swung some opinion back again, bringing renewed interest in state ownership (as in the Communist countries).
As important as these swings have been historically, they have added essentially nothing to our basic understanding of, or attitudes about, ownership. Throughout the whole history of civilization land has been seen as primarily a source of power, and the whole debate around ownership has been, “To what extent will the state allow the individual to build a personal power base through land ownership rights?”
TAKING A FRESH LOOK
But the human-human power struggle is hardly the only, or even the most important, issue in our relationship to the land. Whatever happened to the tribal concerns about caring for the land and preserving it for future generations? What about issues like justice, human empowerment and economic efficiency? How about the rights of the land itself? If we are to move forward towards a planetary/ecological age, all of these questions and issues are going to need to be integrated into our relationship to the land. To do this we will have to get out beyond the narrow circle of the ideas and arguments of the past.
We have been talking about “ownership” as if it was an obvious, clear-cut concept: either you own (control) something or you don’t. For most people (throughout history) this has been a useful approximation, and it has been the basis of the “great ownership debate.” But if you try to pin it down (as lawyers must), you will soon discover that it is not so simple. As surprising as it may seem, our legal system has developed an understanding of “owning” that is significantly different from our common ideas and has great promise as the basis for a much more appropriate human relationship to the land.
Ownership Is A Bundle Of Rights The first step is to recognize that, rather than being one thing, what we commonly call “ownership” is in fact a whole group of legal rights that can be held by some person with respect to some “property.” In the industrial West, these usually include the right to:
use (or not use);
exclude others from using;
sell, give away or bequeath;
rent or lease;
retain all rights not specifically granted to others;
retain these rights without time limit or review.
These rights are usually not absolute, for with them go certain responsibilities, such as paying taxes, being liable for suits brought against the property, and abiding by the laws of the land. If these laws include zoning laws, building codes, and environmental protection laws, you may find that your rights to use and irreversibly change are not as unlimited as you thought. Nevertheless, within a wide range you are the monarch over your property.
No One Owns Land Each of these rights can be modified independent of the others, either by law or by the granting of an easement to some other party, producing a bewildering variety of legal conditions. How much can you modify the above conditions and still call it “ownership”? To understand the answer to this, we are going to have to make a very important distinction. In spite of the way we normally talk, no one ever “owns land”..In our legal system you can only own rights to land, you can’t directly own (that is, have complete claim to) the land itself. You can’t even own all the rights since the state always retains the right of eminent domain. For example, what happens when you sell an easement to the power company so that they can run power lines across you land? They then own the rights granted in that easement, you own most of the other rights, the state owns the right of eminent domain – but no single party owns “the land.” You can carry this as far as you like, dividing the rights up among many “owners,” all of whom will have a claim on some aspect of the land.
The wonderful thing about this distinction is that it shifts the whole debate about land ownership away from the rigid state-vs.-individual, all-or-nothing battle to the much more flexible question of who (including community groups, families, etc. as well as the state and the individual) should have which rights. This shift could be as important as the major improvement in governance that came with the shift from monolithic power (as in a monarchy) to “division of powers” (as exemplified in the U.S. Constitution with its semi-independent legislative, executive and judicial branches).
Legitimate Interests How might the problems associated with exclusive ownership (either private or state) be solved by a “division of rights” approach? To answer this, we need to first consider what are the legitimate interests that need to be included in this new approach. If we are to address all the concerns appropriate for a humane sustainable culture we need to recognize that the immediate user of the land (be that a household or a business), the local community, the planetary community, future generations, and all of life, all have legitimate interests. What are these interests?
The immediate users need the freedom to be personally (or corporately) expressive, creative, and perhaps even eccentric. They need to be able to invest energy and caring into the land with reasonable security that the use of the land will not be arbitrarily taken away and that the full equity value of improvements made to the land will be available to them either through continued use or through resale should they choose to move.
The local community needs optimal use of the land within it, without having land held arbitrarily out of use by absentee landlords. It needs to be able to benefit from the equity increases in the land itself due to the overall development of the community, and it needs security that its character will not be forced to change through inappropriate land use decisions made by those outside the community or those leaving the community.
The planetary community, future generations, and all of life need sustainable use – the assurance that ecosystems and topsoil that have been developed over hundreds of thousands of years will not be casually destroyed; that the opportunities for life will be enhanced; that non-renewal resources will be used efficiently and for long term beneficial purposes. This larger community also needs meaningful recognition that the earth is our common heritage.
Is it possible to blend these various interests in a mutually supportive way, rather than seeing them locked in a power struggle? The answer, fortunately, is yes. Perhaps the best developed alternative legal form that does this is called a land trust.
A land trust is a non-governmental organization (frequently a non-profit corporation) that divides land rights between immediate users and their community. It is being used in a number of places around the world including India, Israel, Tanzania, and the United States. Of the many types of land trusts, we will focus here on three – conservation trusts, community trusts, and stewardship trusts. These will be discussed in more detail in other articles in this section, but an initial overview now will help to draw together many of the threads we have developed so far.
In a conservation land trust, the purpose is generally to preserve some aspect of the natural environment. A conservation trust may do this by the full ownership of some piece of land that it then holds as wilderness, or it may simply own “development rights” to an undeveloped piece. What are development rights? When the original owner sells or grants development rights to the conservation trust, they put an easement (a legal restriction) on the land that prevents them or any future owners from developing the land without the agreement of the conservation trust. They have let go of the right to “irreversibly change” listed above. The conservation trust then holds these rights with the intention of preventing development. The Trust For Public Land (82 Second St, San Francisco, CA 94105, 415/495-4015) helps community groups establish conservation and agricultural land trusts.
A community land trust (CLT) has as its purpose removing land from the speculative market and making it available to those who will use it for the long term benefit of the community. A CLT generally owns full title to its lands and grants long term (like 99-year) renewable leases to those who will actually use the land. Appropriate uses for the land are determined by the CLT in a process comparable to public planning or zoning. Lease fees vary from one CLT to another, but they are generally more than taxes and insurance, less than typical mortgage payments, and less than full rental cost. The lease holders have many of the use and security rights we normally associate with ownership. They own the buildings on the land and can take full benefit from improvements they make to the land. They can not, however, sell the land nor can they usually rent or lease it without the consent of the trust. The Institute For Community Economics (57 School St. Springfield, MA 01105, 413/746-8660) is one of the major support groups for the creation of community land trusts in both urban and rural settings.
The stewardship trust combines features of both the conservation trust and the CLT, and is being used now primarily by intentional communities and non-profit groups such as schools. The groups using the land (the stewards) generally pay less than in a normal CLT, but there are more definite expectations about the care and use they give to the land.
In each one of these types, the immediate users (nonhuman as well as human) have clear rights which satisfy all of their legitimate use needs. The needs of the local community are met through representation on the board of directors of the trust which can enforce general land use standards. The larger community usually has some representation on the trust’s board as well. Thus by dividing what we normally think of as ownership into “stewardship” (the users) and “trusteeship” (the trust organization), land trusts are pioneering an approach that better meets all the legitimate interests.
The system is, of course, still limited by the integrity and the attitudes of the people involved. Nor are current land trusts necessarily the model for “ownership” in a humane sustainable culture. But they show what can be done and give us a place to build from. I’ll explore more of where we might build to in a later article, but now lets turn to other perspectives and experiences with going beyond ownership.
Chaudhuri, Joyotpaul, Possession, Ownership And Access: A Jeffersonian View (Political Inquiry, Vol 1, No 1, Fall 1973).
Denman, D.R., The Place Of Property (London: Geographical Publications Ltd, 1978).
Institute For Community Economics, The Community Land Trust Handbook (Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1982).
International Independence Institute, The Community Land Trust (Cambridge, MA: Center For Community Economic Development, 1972).
Macpherson, C.B., Property: Mainstream And Critical Positions (Toronto: Univ Of Toronto Press, 1978).
Schlatter, Richard, Private Property: The History Of An Idea (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1951).
Scott, William B., In Pursuit Of Happiness: American Conceptions Of Property (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1977).
Tully, James, A Discourse On Property: John Locke And His Adversaries (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Press, 1980).
by John Talbot
IT WAS NOT so long ago in human history that the rights of all humans were not acknowledged, even in the democracies. Slavery was only abolished a few generations ago. In the same way that we have come to see human rights as being inherent, so we are now beginning to recognize land rights, and by land I mean all life that lives and takes its nourishment from it, as well as the soil and earth itself. Once we have understood and accepted that idea, we can truly enter into a cooperative relationship with Nature. I’m not talking about living in fear of disturbing anything or a totally “hands off nature” angry ecologist view, but simply acknowledging the right to be of land and nature, and that when we do “disturb” it we do so with sensitivity and respect, doing our best to be in harmony with what is already there.
Being in harmony, apart from being a very subjective state, may not always be possible: for example in the case of putting a house down where once there wasn’t one. But we as humans have needs too. Nature knows that and is, I believe, quite willing to accommodate us. Our responsibility is, however, to act consciously and with the attitude of respect and desire for cooperation. It is no different from respecting other people’s rights in our interactions, being courteous and sensitive to their needs and feelings. This attitude toward the land is almost universally held by aboriginal and native peoples, from the Bushman to the Native American Indians to the tribes of the South Pacific. Earth Etiquette, you might say.
Following directly from that is the principle that you cannot really buy, sell or own the land. Just as we cannot (or should not) own slaves of our own species, we would not make slaves of animals, plants or the land and nature in general. Sounds easy but I feel this represents a very profound and fundamental change in human attitudes; one that takes thought, effort and time to reprogram in ourselves.
By WOLFGANG SAXON
Published: December 4, 1984
Edward Crankshaw, one of the most respected authors on the Soviet Union and chronicler of the Hapsburgs, died last Thursday in his native Britain after what was described as a ''long and painful illness.'' He was 75 years old and lived in Hawkhurst, in rural Kent.
His death was reported Sunday in The Observer, the British weekly for which he kept watch on the Soviet scene starting in 1947. Mr. Crankshaw, who spurned the label of ''Kremlinologist,'' was regarded as Britain's premier journalistic expert on Soviet politics.
The author of about 20 books, including three novels, Mr. Crankshaw contribued a steady flow of prefaces, essays and articles to publications in Britain and the United States, including The New York Times. In addition, he commented on Soviet affairs for the BBC.
Difficult to place politically, Mr. Crankshaw reluctantly became a Soviet specialist when The Observer asked him to take the assignment after World War II, part of which he had spent in Moscow. One of the conclusions he had reached was that Kremlin policies must be seen as something that did not start with the Bolshevik takeover in 1917, but had ancient roots. He Avoided Speculation
Thus, Mr. Crankshaw avoided speculations about absences from the Kremlin wall at anniversary parades. Instead, his basic impressions had been formed when the Russians were fighting for survival, and he took heart from Stalin's evocations of historical ''Holy Russia.''
His political testament came in a preface written this year to a selection from his writings, ''Putting Up With the Russians.''
As a conservative dedicated to the survival of European civilization, he rejected the harsh tones adopted by President Reagan and his supporters, accusing them of trying to turn the Soviet Union into a pariah. Mr. Crankshaw viewed detente with some skepticism, but he insisted on the need for co- existence.
He was the author of ''Russia Without Stalin'' in 1956, regarding the changes in everyday life in the post- Stalin era. He also wrote ''Khrushchev's Russia'' (1960) and ''Khrushchev: A Career,'' published six years later.
He then wrote the introduction for ''Khrushchev Remembers,'' a rich compilation of comments, speeches, conversations and interviews by Nikita I. Khruschev, the Kremlin leader who denounced the Stalinist terror. 'Khrushchev Himself'
Mr. Crankshaw, who also contributed copious footnotes and commentary to the Khrushchev book, helped defend the book against doubters. He said that by ''style and content'' the words were ''Khrushchev himself, quite unmistakably speaking.'' His faith in the book's authenticity has come to be shared by most others since its publication in 1970.
Though ailing for many years, Mr. Crankshaw, a slight and courtly man, continued to write even in bed whenever he was unable to move about.
His last volume published in this country was ''Bismarck'' in 1982. Writing in The New York Times Book Review, George L. Mosse called the book ''a cautionary tale about political and military power'' that sees Bismarck's ''apparent success as a failure because the Iron Chancellor exalted the amoral concept of politics into a principle.''
Edward Crankshaw was born on Jan. 3, 1909, in rural Essex. As a boy, he often visited the London magistrate's court where his father, Arthur, worked as chief clerk. He attended Bishop's Stortford College but left early - hence his claim to having been largely self- taught.
Instead, Mr. Crankshaw went to the Continent to travel, and he lived in Vienna, becoming fluent in German. His Austrian years turned out to be formative ones for his mind as he watched democracy crumble in the new Austrian republic. They also instilled him with a passion for literature and music.
From Europe, he wrote for British publications subjects ranging from twelve-tone music to books, art and the theater. But he gave up journalism to write ''Joseph Conrad: Some Aspects of the Art of the Novel,'' a study of Conrad's methods and the novelist's art in general. Another book, ''Vienna: The Image of a Culture in Decline,'' appeared in 1938. Posted to Moscow in '41
In 1936, Mr. Crankshaw was commissioned into Britain's Territorial Army. In 1941, he was posted to Moscow as an intelligence officer, and he did all he could to understand the Russians, their history, national character and government.
Having also traveled on the periphery of the Soviet Union, he was asked by The Observer to return to journalism as its Russian expert. His early books on the subject were ''Britain and Russia'' (1945), ''Russia and the Russians'' (1947) and ''Russia by Daylight'' (1951).
A well-received history was The Shadow of the Winter Palace: The Drift to Revolution, 1825-1917 which appeared in 1976. Other well-received books were ''The Fall of the House of Hapsburg'' (1963) and ''The Hapsburgs'' (1971).
Of Mr. Crankshaw's ''Maria Theresa'' (1969), Thomas Lask wrote in his review in The New York Times, ''Mr. Crankshaw has managed in what is a model of compression and judicious selection to rescue Maria Theresa from the history books and to turn a monument into a warm and appealing woman.''
Mr. Crankshaw is survived by his wife, the former Clare Chesterton Carr.
Originally published in Autumn 1983 on page 8
Copyright (c)1983, 1997 by Context Institute
THE HUMAN TENDENCY toward, and preparations for, open warfare are certainly the most spectacular obstacles to peace, but they are not the only challenges we face. For much of the world’s population, hunger, not war, is the pressing issue, and it is hard to imagine a genuine peace that did not overcome our current global pattern of extensive poverty in the midst of plenty.
Hunger and poverty are two prime examples of what is described as “structural violence,” that is, physical and psychological harm that results from exploitive and unjust social, political and economic systems. It is something that most of us know is going on, some of us have experienced, but in its starker forms, it is sufficiently distant from most North American lives that it is often hard to get a good perspective on it. I’ve come across an approach that seems to help provide that perspective, and I’d like to describe it.
How significant is structural violence? How does one measure the impact of injustice? While this may sound like an impossibly difficult question, Gernot Kohler and Norman Alcock (in Journal of Peace Research, 1976, 13, pp. 343-356) have come up with a surprisingly simple method for estimating the grosser forms of structural violence, at least at an international level. The specific question they ask is, how many extra deaths occur each year due to the unequal distribution of wealth between countries?
To understand their approach, we will need to plunge into some global statistics. It will help to start with the relationship between Life Expectancy (LE) and Gross National Product Per Person (GNP/p) that is shown in the following figure.
Each dot in this figure stands for one country with its LE and GNP/p for the year 1979. All together, 135 countries are represented (data from Ruth Sivard’s World Military and Social Expenditures 1982, World Priorities, Box 1003, Leesburg VA 22075, $4). Kohler and Alcock used a similar figure based on data for 1965, and I’ll compare the 1965 data with the 1979 data later in this article. Except for a few oil exporting countries (like Libya) that have unusual combinations of high GNPs and low Life Expectancies, the data follows a consistent pattern shown by the curve. Among the “poor” countries (with GNP/p below about $2400 per person per year), life expectancy is relatively low and increases rapidly with increasing GNP/p. Among the “rich” countries, life expectancy is consistently high and is relatively unaffected by GNP.
The dividing line between these two groups turns out to also be the world average GNP per person. The value of the life expectancy curve at that point (for 1979) is 70 years. Thus, other things being equal, if the world’s wealth was distributed equally among the nations, every country would have a life expectancy of 70 years. This value is surprisingly close to the average life expectancy for the industrial countries (72 years), and is even not that far below the maximum national life expectancy of 76 years (Iceland, Japan, and Sweden).
Kohler and Alcock use this egalitarian model as a standard to compare the actual world situation against. The procedure is as follows. The actual number of deaths in any country can be estimated by dividing the population (P) by the life expectancy (LE). The difference between the actual number of deaths and the number of deaths that would occur under egalitarian conditions is thus P/LE – P/70. For example, in 1979 India had a population of 677 million and a life expectancy of 52 years. Thus India’s actual death rate was 13 million while if the life expectancy had been 70, the rate would have been 9.7 million. The difference of 3.3 million thus provides an estimate of the number of extra deaths.
Calculating this difference for each country and then adding them up gives the number of extra deaths worldwide due to the unequal distribution of resources. The result for 1965 was 14 million, while for 1979 the number had declined to 11 million. (China, with a quarter of the world’s population, is responsible for 3/4 of this drop since it raised its life expectancy from 50 in 1965 to 64 in 1979.)
How legitimate is it to ascribe these deaths to the structural violence of human institutions, and not just to the variability of nature? Perhaps the best in-depth study of structural violence comes from the Institute for Food and Development Policy (1885 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103). What they find throughout the Third World is that the problems of poverty and hunger often date back hundreds of years to some conquest – by colonial forces or otherwise. The victors became the ruling class and the landholders, pushing the vast majority either on to poor ground or into being landless laborers. Taxes, rentals, and the legal system were all structured to make sure that the poor stayed poor. The same patterns continue today.
Additional support is provided by the evidence in the above figure, which speaks for itself. Also, according to Sivard, 97% of the people in the Third World live under repressive governments, with almost half of all Third World countries run by military dominated governments. Finally, as a point of comparison, Ehrlich and Ehrlich (Population, Environment, and Resources, 1972, p72) estimate between 10 and 20 million deaths per year due to starvation and malnutrition. If their estimates are correct, our estimates may even be too low.
Some comparisons will help to put these figures in perspective. The total number of deaths from all causes in 1965 was 62 million, so these estimates indicate that 23% of all deaths were due to structural violence. By 1979 the fraction had dropped to 15%. While it is heartening to see this improvement, the number of deaths is staggeringly large, dwarfing any other form of violence other than nuclear war. For example, the level of structural violence is 60 times greater than the average number of battle related deaths per year since 1965 (Sivard 1982). It is 1.5 times as great as the yearly average number of civilian and battle field deaths during the 6 years of World War II. Every 4 days, it is the equivalent of another Hiroshima.
Perhaps the most hopeful aspect of this whole tragic situation is that essentially everyone in the present system has become a loser. The plight of the starving is obvious, but the exploiters don’t have much to show for their efforts either – not compared to the quality of life they could have in a society without the tensions generated by this exploitation. Especially at a national level, what the rich countries need now is not so much more material wealth, but the opportunity to live in a world at peace. The rich and the poor, with the help of modern technology and weaponry, have become each others’ prisoners.
Diegenen die de geschiedenis schrijven van de naoorlogse Nederlands^
talige Belgische dagbladpers, zullen ongetwijfeld de tweede helften van
de jaren vijftig en zeventig als terzake bijzonder woelig weerhouden.
De periode tussen 1955 en 1959 zal geboekstaafd blijven als het tijdperk
van de concentraties. In 1957 besloten Het Laatste Nieuws en De Nieuwe
Gazet te gaan samenwerken. Twee jaar later kocht de Standaard-groep
de Gentse titels De Gentenaar en De Landwacht op.
De jaren zestig zouden het decennium van de stabilisering kunnen
worden genoemd. Het enige meldenswaardige feit is de oprichting, begin
1968, van de Financieel-Ekonomische Tijd.
De tweede helft van de jaren zeventig zöu men als titel de ophef
makende faillissementen kunnen meegeven. Begin maart 1976 verdween
de begin oktober 1975 opgerichte De Krant. Deze titel diende zich aan
als een onafhankelijk, objectief, Vlaams, zelfstandig, niet partijgebonden
dagblad, dat recht naar de mensen toeschrijft, in een klare, duidelijke taal,
met een vinnige new. sound en een fris, modern uitzicht . Zoals steller
elders reeds betoogde, verbijsterde het eerste nummer de minst kritische
waarnemers. Het betrof, in feite, een tabloïd zonder enige oorspronke
lijkheid die het midden hield tussen de Londense avondkranten en de
meest stofferige provinciebladen. (...). De langzame doodstrijd van D?
Krant-eindigde in de grootste verwarring en in de financiële en morele
ontreddering van een groot aantal medewerkers... (1).
Deze faling was echter slechts een voorsmaak. In mei-juni 1976 ging de
prestigieuze Standaard-gtoep over de kop, en twee jaar later hield Volks
gazet definitief op met verschijnen.
Summary : Sensational failures in the newspaper industry.
In the post war history of the Dutch-language daily press in Belgium,
the late fifties, marked by a trend towards concentration, and the latter
part of the seventies, notorious by the bankrupties of several newspapers,
stand out as eras of turbulence. It is two particularly significant events
occurring during the latter period, i.c. the 1976 insolvency of the prestigeous
Standaard papers and that of Volksgazet two years later, which this article focuses upon. In his analysis of causes and suggested/chosen solutions, the author highlights the political rather than the economie dimension of the events and their aftermaths, given that each of the faïling neuwspapers — and hence their survival — mattered pólitically, i.c. to the Christian Democrats and the Socialist party respectivély. Central to this is the question of the measures considered/taken by the Belgian c.q. Flemish /pólitical authorities for having
the newspapers. The course of events in each case is examined and the
differences in terms of causal factors and measures taken/omitted are
noted. In the final analysis, the question arises as to the relationship
between certain political figures or groups on the one hand, and government
agencies, which both Volksgazet and particularly the Standaard titles were heavily indebted to, on the other hand.
Source: The Che Reader, Ocean Press, © 2005.
Transcription/Markup: Ocean Press/Brian Baggins
This speech was delivered at the Second Economic Seminar of Afro-Asian Solidarity. The conference, held in Algiers, Algeria, was attended by representatives from 63 African and Asian governments, as well as 19 national liberation movements. The meeting was opened by Algerian President Ahmed Ben Bella. Cuba was invited as an observer to the conference, and Guevara served on its presiding committee.
Cuba is here at this conference to speak on behalf of the peoples of Latin America. As we have emphasized on other occasions, Cuba also speaks as an underdeveloped country as well as one that is building socialism.
It is not by accident that our delegation is permitted to give its opinion here, in the circle of the peoples of Asia and Africa. A common aspiration unites us in our march toward the future: the defeat of imperialism. A common past of struggle against the same enemy has united us along the road.
This is an assembly of peoples in struggle, and the struggle is developing on two equally important fronts that require all our efforts. The struggle against imperialism, for liberation from colonial or neocolonial shackles, which is being carried out by means of political weapons, arms, or a combination of the two, is not separate from the struggle against backwardness and poverty. Both are stages on the same road leading toward the creation of a new society of justice and plenty.
It is imperative to take political power and to get rid of the oppressor classes. But then the second stage of the struggle, which may be even more difficult than the first, must be faced.
Ever since monopoly capital took over the world, it has kept the greater part of humanity in poverty, dividing all the profits among the group of the most powerful countries. The standard of living in those countries is based on the extreme poverty of our countries. To raise the living standards of the underdeveloped nations, therefore, we must fight against imperialism. And each time a country is torn away from the imperialist tree, it is not only a partial battle won against the main enemy but it also contributes to the real weakening of that enemy, and is one more step toward the final victory. There are no borders in this struggle to the death. We cannot be indifferent to what happens anywhere in the world, because a victory by any country over imperialism is our victory, just as any country's defeat is a defeat for all of us. The practice of proletarian internationalism is not only a duty for the peoples struggling for a better future, it is also an inescapable necessity.
If the imperialist enemy, the United States or any other, carries out its attack against the underdeveloped peoples and the socialist countries, elementary logic determines the need for an alliance between the underdeveloped peoples and the socialist countries. If there were no other uniting factor, the common enemy should be enough.
Of course, these alliances cannot be made spontaneously, without discussions, without birth pangs, which sometimes can be painful. We said that each time a country is liberated it is a defeat for the world imperialist system. But we must agree that the break is not achieved by the mere act of proclaiming independence or winning an armed victory in a revolution. It is achieved when imperialist economic domination over a people is brought to an end. Therefore, it is a matter of vital interest to the socialist countries for a real break to take place. And it is our international duty, a duty determined by our guiding ideology, to contribute our efforts to make this liberation as rapid and deep-going as possible.
A conclusion must be drawn from all this: the socialist countries must help pay for the development of countries now starting out on the road to liberation. We state it this way with no intention whatsoever of blackmail or dramatics, nor are we looking for an easy way to get closer to the Afro- Asian peoples; it is our profound conviction. Socialism cannot exist without a change in consciousness resulting in a new fraternal attitude toward humanity, both at an individual level, within the societies where socialism is being built or has been built, and on a world scale, with regard to all peoples suffering from imperialist oppression.
We believe the responsibility of aiding dependent countries must be approached in such a spirit. There should be no more talk about developing mutually beneficial trade based on prices forced on the backward countries by the law of value and the international relations of unequal exchange that result from the law of value.
How can it be “mutually beneficial” to sell at world market prices the raw materials that cost the underdeveloped countries immeasurable sweat and suffering, and to buy at world market prices the machinery produced in today's big automated factories?
If we establish that kind of relation between the two groups of nations, we must agree that the socialist countries are, in a certain way, accomplices of imperialist exploitation. It can be argued that the amount of exchange with the underdeveloped countries is an insignificant part of the foreign trade of the socialist countries. That is very true, but it does not eliminate the immoral character of that exchange.
The socialist countries have the moral duty to put an end to their tacit complicity with the exploiting countries of the West. The fact that the trade today is small means nothing. In 1959 Cuba only occasionally sold sugar to some socialist bloc countries, usually through English brokers or brokers of other nationalities. Today 80 percent of Cuba's trade is with that area. All its vital supplies come from the socialist camp, and in fact it has joined that camp. We cannot say that this entrance into the socialist camp was brought about merely by the increase in trade. Nor was the increase in trade brought about by the destruction of the old structures and the adoption of the socialist form of development. Both sides of the question intersect and are interrelated.
We did not start out on the road that ends in communism foreseeing all steps as logically predetermined by an ideology advancing toward a fixed goal. The truths of socialism, plus the raw truths of imperialism, forged our people and showed them the path that we have now taken consciously. To advance toward their own complete liberation, the peoples of Asia and Africa must take the same path. They will follow it sooner or later, regardless of what modifying adjective their socialism may take today.
For us there is no valid definition of socialism other than the abolition of the exploitation of one human being by another. As long as this has not been achieved, if we think we are in the stage of building socialism but instead of ending exploitation the work of suppressing it comes to a halt — or worse, is reversed — then we cannot even speak of building socialism. We have to prepare conditions so that our brothers and sisters can directly and consciously take the path of the complete abolition of exploitation, but we cannot ask them to take that path if we ourselves are accomplices in that exploitation. If we were asked what methods are used to establish fair prices, we could not answer because we do not know the full scope of the practical problems involved. All we know is that, after political discussions, the Soviet Union and Cuba have signed agreements advantageous to us, by means of which we will sell five million tons of sugar at prices set above those of the so-called free world sugar market. The People's Republic of China also pays those prices in buying from us.
This is only a beginning. The real task consists of setting prices that will permit development. A great shift in ideas will be involved in changing the order of international relations. Foreign trade should not determine policy, but should, on the contrary, be subordinated to a fraternal policy toward the peoples.
Let us briefly analyze the problem of long-term credits for developing basic industries. Frequently we find that beneficiary countries attempt to establish an industrial base disproportionate to their present capacity. The products will not be consumed domestically and the country's reserves will be risked in the undertaking.
Our thinking is as follows: The investments of the socialist states in their own territory come directly out of the state budget, and are recovered only by use of the products throughout the entire manufacturing process, down to the finished goods. We propose that some thought be given to the possibility of making these kinds of investments in the underdeveloped countries. In this way we could unleash an immense force, hidden in our continents, which have been exploited miserably but never aided in their development. We could begin a new stage of a real international division of labor, based not on the history of what has been done up to now but rather on the future history of what can be done.
The states in whose territories the new investments are to be made would have all the inherent rights of sovereign property over them with no payment or credit involved. But they would be obligated to supply agreed-upon quantities of products to the investor countries for a certain number of years at set prices.
The method for financing the local portion of expenses incurred by a country receiving investments of this kind also deserves study. The supply of marketable goods on long-term credits to the governments of underdeveloped countries could be one form of aid not requiring the contribution of freely convertible hard currency.
Another difficult problem that must be solved is the mastering of technology.  The shortage of technicians in underdeveloped countries is well known to us all. Educational institutions and teachers are lacking. Sometimes we lack a real understanding of our needs and have not made the decision to carry out a top-priority policy of technical, cultural and ideological development.
The socialist countries should supply the aid to organize institutions for technical education. They should insist on the great importance of this and should supply technical cadres to fill the present need. It is necessary to further emphasize this last point. The technicians who come to our countries must be exemplary. They are comrades who will face a strange environment, often one hostile to technology, with a different language and totally different customs. The technicians who take on this difficult task must be, first of all, communists in the most profound and noble sense of the word. With this single quality, plus a modicum of flexibility and organization, wonders can be achieved.
We know this can be done. Fraternal countries have sent us a certain number of technicians who have done more for the development of our country than 10 institutes, and have contributed more to our friendship than 10 ambassadors or 100 diplomatic receptions.
If we could achieve the above-listed points — and if all the technology of the advanced countries could be placed within reach of the underdeveloped countries, unhampered by the present system of patents, which prevents the spread of inventions of different countries — we would progress a great deal in our common task.
Imperialism has been defeated in many partial battles. But it remains a considerable force in the world. We cannot expect its final defeat save through effort and sacrifice on the part of us all.
The proposed set of measures, however, cannot be implemented unilaterally. The socialist countries should help pay for the development of the underdeveloped countries, we agree. But the underdeveloped countries must also steel their forces to embark resolutely on the road of building a new society — whatever name one gives it — where the machine, an instrument of labor, is no longer an instrument for the exploitation of one human being by another. Nor can the confidence of the socialist countries be expected by those who play at balancing between capitalism and socialism, trying to use each force as a counterweight in order to derive certain advantages from such competition. A new policy of absolute seriousness should govern the relations between the two groups of societies. It is worth emphasizing once again that the means of production should preferably be in the hands of the state, so that the marks of exploitation may gradually disappear. Furthermore, development cannot be left to complete improvisation. It is necessary to plan the construction of the new society. Planning is one of the laws of socialism, and without it, socialism would not exist. Without correct planning there can be no adequate guarantee that all the various sectors of a country's economy will combine harmoniously to take the leaps forward that our epoch demands.
Planning cannot be left as an isolated problem of each of our small countries, distorted in their development, possessors of some raw materials or producers of some manufactured or semimanufactured goods, but lacking in most others. From the outset, planning should take on a certain regional dimension in order to intermix the various national economies, and thus bring about integration on a basis that is truly of mutual benefit. We believe the road ahead is full of dangers, not dangers conjured up or foreseen in the distant future by some superior mind but palpable dangers deriving from the realities besetting us. The fight against colonialism has reached its final stages, but in the present era colonial status is only a consequence of imperialist domination. As long as imperialism exists it will, by definition, exert its domination over other countries. Today that domination is called neocolonialism.
Neocolonialism developed first in South America, throughout a whole continent, and today it begins to be felt with increasing intensity in Africa and Asia. Its forms of penetration and development have different characteristics. One is the brutal form we have seen in the Congo. Brute force, without any respect or concealment whatsoever, is its extreme weapon. There is another more subtle form: penetration into countries that win political independence, linking up with the nascent local bourgeoisies, development of a parasitic bourgeois class closely allied to the interests of the former colonizers. This development is based on a certain temporary rise in the people's standard of living, because in a very backward country the simple step from feudal to capitalist relations marks a big advance, regardless of the dire consequences for the workers in the long run.
Neocolonialism has bared its claws in the Congo. That is not a sign of strength but of weakness. It had to resort to force, its extreme weapon, as an economic argument, which has generated very intense opposing reactions. But at the same time a much more subtle form of neocolonialism is being practiced in other countries of Africa and Asia. It is rapidly bringing about what some have called the South Americanization of these continents; that is, the development of a parasitic bourgeoisie that adds nothing to the national wealth of their countries but rather deposits its huge ill-gotten profits in capitalist banks abroad, and makes deals with foreign countries to reap more profits with absolute disregard for the welfare of the people. There are also other dangers, such as competition between fraternal countries, which are politically friendly and sometimes neighbors, as both try to develop the same investments simultaneously to produce for markets that often cannot absorb the increased volume. This competition has the disadvantage of wasting energies that could be used to achieve much greater economic coordination; furthermore, it gives the imperialist monopolies room to maneuver.
When it has been impossible to carry out a given investment project with the aid of the socialist camp, there have been occasions when the project has been accomplished by signing agreements with the capitalists. Such capitalist investments have the disadvantage not only of the terms of the loans but other, much more important disadvantages as well, such as the establishment of joint ventures with a dangerous neighbor. Since these investments in general parallel those made in other states, they tend to cause divisions between friendly countries by creating economic rivalries. Furthermore, they create the dangers of corruption flowing from the constant presence of capitalism, which is very skillful in conjuring up visions of advancement and well-being to fog the minds of many people. Some time later, prices drop in the market saturated by similar products. The affected countries are obliged to seek new loans, or to permit additional investments in order to compete. The final consequences of such a policy are the fall of the economy into the hands of the monopolies, and a slow but sure return to the past. As we see it, the only safe method for investments is direct participation by the state as the sole purchaser of the goods, limiting imperialist activity to contracts for supplies and not letting them set one foot inside our house. And here it is just and proper to take advantage of interimperialist contradictions in order to secure the least burdensome terms.
We have to watch out for “disinterested” economic, cultural and other aid that imperialism grants directly or through puppet states, which gets a better reception in some parts of the world.
If all of these dangers are not seen in time, some countries that began their task of national liberation with faith and enthusiasm may find themselves on the neocolonial road, as monopoly domination is subtly established step by step so that its effects are difficult to discern until they brutally make themselves felt.
There is a big job to be done. Immense problems confront our two worlds — that of the socialist countries and that called the Third World — problems directly concerning human beings and their welfare, and related to the struggle against the main force that bears the responsibility for our backwardness. In the face of these problems, all countries and peoples conscious of their duties, of the dangers involved in the situation, of the sacrifices required by development, must take concrete steps to cement our friendship in the two fields that can never be separated: the economic and the political. We should organize a great solid bloc that, in its turn, helps new countries to free themselves not only from the political power of imperialism but also from its economic power.
The question of liberation by armed struggle from an oppressor political power should be dealt with in accordance with the rules of proletarian internationalism. In a socialist country at war, it would be absurd to conceive of a factory manager demanding guaranteed payment before shipping to the front the tanks produced by his factory. It ought to seem no less absurd to inquire of a people fighting for liberation, or needing arms to defend its freedom, whether or not they can guarantee payment.
Arms cannot be commodities in our world. They must be delivered to the peoples asking for them to use against the common enemy, with no charge and in the quantities needed and available. That is the spirit in which the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China have offered us their military aid. We are socialists; we constitute a guarantee of the proper utilization of those arms. But we are not the only ones, and all of us should receive the same treatment.
The reply to the ominous attacks by U.S. imperialism against Vietnam or the Congo should be to supply those sister countries with all the defense equipment they need, and to offer them our full solidarity without any conditions whatsoever.
In the economic field we must conquer the road to development with the most advanced technology possible. We cannot set out to follow the long ascending steps from feudalism to the nuclear and automated era. That would be a road of immense and largely useless sacrifice. We have to start from technology at its current level. We have to make the great technological leap forward that will reduce the current gap between the more developed countries and ourselves. Technology must be applied to the large factories and also to a properly developed agriculture. Above all, its foundation must be technological and ideological education, with a sufficient mass base and strength to sustain the research institutes and organizations that have to be created in each country, as well as the men and women who will use the existing technology and be capable of adapting themselves to the newly mastered technology.
These cadres must have a clear awareness of their duty to the society in which they live. There cannot be adequate technological education if it is not complemented by ideological education; without technological education, in most of our countries, there cannot be an adequate foundation for industrial development, which is what determines the development of a modern society, or the most basic consumer goods and adequate schooling. A good part of the national revenues must be spent on so-called unproductive investment in education. And priority must be given to the development of agricultural productivity. The latter has reached truly incredible levels in many capitalist countries, producing the senseless crisis of overproduction and a surplus of grain and other food products or industrial raw materials in the developed countries. While the rest of the world goes hungry, these countries have enough land and labor to produce several times over what is needed to feed the entire world. Agriculture must be considered a fundamental pillar of our development. Therefore, a fundamental aspect of our work should be changes in the agrarian structure, and adaptation to the new technological possibilities and to the new obligations of eliminating the exploitation of human beings.
Before making costly decisions that could cause irreparable damage, a careful survey of the national territory is needed. This is one of the preliminary steps in economic research and a basic prerequisite for correct planning. We warmly support Algeria's proposal for institutionalizing our relations. We would just like to make some supplementary suggestions: First: in order for the union to be an instrument in the struggle against imperialism, the cooperation of Latin American countries and an alliance with the socialist countries is necessary.
Second: we should be vigilant in preserving the revolutionary character of the union, preventing the admission into it of governments or movements not identified with the general aspirations of the people, and creating mechanisms that would permit the separation from it of any government or popular movement diverging from the just road.
Third: we must advocate the establishment of new relations on an equal footing between our countries and the capitalist ones, creating a revolutionary jurisprudence to defend ourselves in case of conflict, and to give new meaning to the relations between ourselves and the rest of the world. We speak a revolutionary language and we fight honestly for the victory of that cause. But frequently we entangle ourselves in the nets of an international law created as the result of confrontations between the imperialist powers, and not by the free peoples, the just peoples, in the course of their struggles.
For example, our peoples suffer the painful pressure of foreign bases established on their territories, or they have to carry the heavy burden of massive foreign debts. The story of these throwbacks is well known to all of us. Puppet governments, governments weakened by long struggles for liberation or the operation of the laws of the capitalist market, have allowed treaties that threaten our internal stability and jeopardize our future. Now is the time to throw off the yoke, to force renegotiation of oppressive foreign debts, and to force the imperialists to abandon their bases of aggression. I would not want to conclude these remarks, this recitation of concepts you all know, without calling the attention of this gathering to the fact that Cuba is not the only Latin American country; it is simply the only one that has the opportunity of speaking before you today. Other peoples are shedding their blood to win the rights we have. When we send our greetings from here, and from all the conferences and the places where they may be held, to the heroic peoples of Vietnam, Laos, so-called Portuguese Guinea, South Africa, or Palestine — to all exploited countries fighting for their emancipation — we must simultaneously extend our voice of friendship, our hand and our encouragement, to our fraternal peoples in Venezuela, Guatemala and Colombia, who today, arms in hand, are resolutely saying “No!” to the imperialist enemy.
Few settings from which to make this declaration are as symbolic as Algiers, one of the most heroic capitals of freedom. May the magnificent Algerian people — schooled as few others in sufferings for independence, under the decisive leadership of its party, headed by our dear compañero Ahmed Ben Bella — serve as an inspiration to us in this fight without quarter against world imperialism.
. Che Guevara delivered this speech at the Second Economic Seminar of Afro- Asian Solidarity, February 24, 1965. He had been touring Africa since December, after addressing the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1964. At this crucial time Che was preparing for his involvement in the liberation movement in the Congo, which began in April 1965. This edition of the speech incorporates for the first time corrections made by Che Guevara to the original published version of the Algiers speech. The corrections were made available from the personal archive of Che Guevara held at the Che Guevara Studies Center, Havana.
. Che's participation in the Algiers conference reflects the relationship of Cuba to the Third World. In 1959, following the triumph of the revolution, from June to September, Che embarked on a tour of the countries involved in the Bandung Pact. The Bandung Pact was the precursor to what later became the Movement of Nonaligned Nations. At the First Seminar on Planning in Algeria on July 16, 1963, Che had outlined the experiences of the Cuban Revolution, explaining that he had accepted the invitation to attend “only in order to offer a little history of our economic development, of our mistakes and successes, which might prove useful to you some time in the near future...”
. In this speech Che defined very precisely his revolutionary thesis for the Third World and the integration of the struggle for national liberation with socialist ideas. Che's call in Algeria on the socialist countries to give unconditional and radical support to the Third World provoked much debate. Nevertheless, history would prove him correct.
. This definition of unequal exchange was part of Che's profound appeal made in Geneva on March 25, 1964, at the UN World Conference on Economics and Development in the Third World: “It is our duty to... draw to the attention of those present that while the status quo is maintained and justice is determined by powerful interests... it will be difficult to eliminate the prevailing tensions that endanger humankind.”
. For Che, socialism inherently meant overcoming exploitation as an essential step toward a just and humane society. Che was outspoken on this issue in debates and was often misunderstood, as was his emphasis on the need for international unity in the struggle for socialism. Che's idea was that the international socialist forces would contribute to the economic and social development of the peoples that liberated themselves.
. Che's direct participation from 1959 to 1965 in the construction of a technological and material basis for Cuban society is strongly linked to his idea of creating the new man and woman. This is a question that he constantly returned to, considering it one of the two main pillars on which a new society would be constructed. His strategy was not only to solve immediate problems but to put in place certain structures that would secure Cuba's future scientific and technological development. He was able to advance this strategy during his time as head of the Ministry of Industry. For further reading on this topic, see his speeches: “May the Universities be Filled with Negroes, Mulattos, Workers and Peasants” (1960) and “Youth and Revolution” (1964).
. In his efforts to understand fully the tasks in the transition to a socialist economy, Che came to see the vital role of economic planning, especially in the construction of a socialist economy in an underdeveloped country that retained elements of capitalism. Planning is necessary because it represents the first human attempt to control economic forces and characterizes this transitional period. He warned also of the trend within socialism to reform the economic system by strengthening the market, material interests and the law of value. To counter this trend, Che advocated centralized, antibureaucratic planning that enriched consciousness. His idea was to use conscious and organized action as the fundamental driving force of planning. For further reading see his article “The Significance of Socialist Planning” (1964).
Bron: Marine Archiv (20170528)
Roma, città aperta geldt als een van de belangrijkste films uit het Italiaanse neorealisme.
Rome verkeert in 1944 in de nadagen van de Duitse bezetting. Een verzetsgroep wordt door de Gestapo in de gaten gehouden. Opeens pakt het de meeste leden daarvan op. Enkelen worden bevrijd, maar door verraad loopt het met de meeste mensen slecht af.
De film wordt onder meer herinnerd om de scène aan het eind, waarin Pina (Anna Magnani) achter een vrachtwagen aanrent waarin haar verloofde Francesco (Francesco Grandjacquet) wordt afgevoerd en waarbij zijzelf neergeschoten wordt.
October 1784: The Boston merchant ship Betsy is captured off the coast of Africa and its crew are sold into slavery in Morocco
1786: United States signs a peace treaty with Morocco
1794: Congress raises one million dollars to purchase peace with the Barbary States and begins to construct a small naval force
1795: United States signs a treaty with Algiers
1796: United States signs a treaty with Tripoli
1797: United States signs a treaty with Tunis
July 1797: William Eaton is appointed American consul to Tunis
December 1799: United States agrees to pay Tripoli $18,000 per year to secure safety for American trade ships in the Mediterranean; similar agreements with the other Barbary powers are also settled
February 17, 1801: Thomas Jefferson becomes President of the United States
March 1801: Tripoli declares war on the United States and seizes numerous American merchant ships
May 15, 1801: Jefferson sends a naval squadron, commanded by Captain Richard Dale to Tripoli to blockade the port; the blockade lasts from July 24-September 3
August 1, 1801: Andrew Sterett and the USS Enterprise capture Admiral Rais Mahomet Rous’ ship Tripoli after a bloody battle; the event is considered the first U.S. naval victory of the Barbary Wars
February 6, 1802: Congress passes the Act for Protection of Commerce and Seamen of the United States Against the Tripolitian Corsairs, essentially a declaration of war
June 17, 1802: The Emperor of Morocco declares war against the United States but negotiates a peace settlement in August
January 17, 1803: Commodore Edward Preble leads an American squadron to the Mediterranean; subordinate officers include Stephen Decatur, John Rodgers, Isaac Chauncey, Oliver Hazard Perry, and David Porter
March 4, 1803: Commodore Charles Morris and Captain John Rogers are arrested by the Bey of Tunis and are forced to pay Eaton’s debts
May 12, 1803: Captain Rodgers and the John Adams capture the Tripolitan frigate Meshouda
June 10, 1803: Tobias Lear is appointed consul general to the Barbary States
October 31, 1803: William Bainbridge and his warship the Philadelphia surrender to Tripoli after running aground in Tripoli harbor
February 16, 1804: Stephen Decatur on the Intrepid set the captured Philadelphia on fire as it is anchored in Tripoli harbor
August 3, 1804: Commodore Preble launches an attack on Tripoli that lasts until September 11
April 27, 1805: After a two month march across the Libyan desert, William Eaton, former Tripoli Pasha Hamet Karamanli, and a group of mercenaries attack Derna by land, meanwhile three US warships under Captain Isaac Hull strike Derna by sea; together they take the fort
May 15, 1805: Rodgers takes over command of the American fleet from Samuel Barron
June 4, 1805: The Pasha agrees to a treaty with Lear and takes over Derna; America no longer needs to pay yearly tributes to Tripoli
June 10, 1805: Treaty of Tripoli is officially signed
November 1805: Tobias Lear is stationed at Algiers as U.S. consul
1807: The Mediterranean Squadron is withdrawn and Barbary powers resume capturing American trading ships
March 5, 1809: James Madison becomes president
July 25, 1812: The Dey of Algiers refuses the annual American tribute and expels Tobias Lear and his colleagues from Algiers
July 25, 1812: Algerian corsairs capture the brig Edwin
Fall 1812: At the outset of the War of 1812, the British blockade the Atlantic seaboard of the United States, thus halting much Mediterranean commerce
April 9, 1813: Tobias Lear arrives in New York City
December 24, 1814: United States and Great Britain sign the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812
March 3, 1815: Congress, with Madison’s support, declares war on Algiers
May 15, 1815: Commanding the American fleet, Stephen Decatur leaves New York for Algiers
July 3, 1815: Stephen Decatur destroys several Algerian ships before suing for peace with Algiers. William Shaler negotiates treaty that ends the practice of paying tribute, frees American and European slaves from Algiers, and secures full American shipping rights in the Mediterranean
November 12, 1815: Stephen Decatur and the Guerriere return to New York City to a hero’s welcome
December 5, 1815: The Algiers Treaty is taken before Congress
December 15, 1815: Madison declares the Barbary War over; American squadrons still patrol the Mediterranean
January 5, 1816: Oliver Hazard Perry is sent as captain of the Java to patrol the Mediterranean
June 1816: Isaac Chauncey replaces Stephen Decatur as commander of the Mediterranean Squadron, which enforces the Algiers Treaty
1830: Andrew Jackson appoints David Porter consul general to Algiers
see more on the site of the Univ of Michigan