Chapter Seven

 

 

 

Intellectuals and Social Change

 

 

 

1.  On the dismantling of the incipient socialist institutions in Russia, and for Lenin's and Trotsky's writings setting forth their thinking, see footnote 3 of this chapter.

 

 

2.  On Lenin's and Trotsky's assumptions about revolution in Germany being required before socialism could develop in Russia, see for example, Moshe Lewin, Lenin's Last Struggle, New York: Pantheon, 1968, p. 4 (quoting Lenin to indicate that, until his last days, he believed socialism could be achieved only after revolutions had occurred in the advanced capitalist countries, Germany in particular; note, however, that Lewin's interpretation of Lenin's goals and efforts is far from Chomsky's in the text).  An excerpt (pp. 3-4):

In the eyes of its originators the October Revolution had neither meaning nor future independent of its international function as a catalyst and detonator: it was to be the first spark that would lead to the establishment of socialist regimes in countries which, unlike Russia, possessed an adequate economic infrastructure and cultural basis.  Unless it fulfilled this function, the Soviet regime should not even have survived.  Lenin often affirmed this belief, and he persisted in this interpretation even after several years had elapsed without bringing any confirmation of his hopes.  In June 1921 he declared that the Socialist Republic might survive amid capitalist encirclement, "but not for very long, of course."  In February 1922, he was just as categorical as ever: "We have always proclaimed and repeated this elementary truth of Marxism, that the victory of socialism requires the joint efforts of workers in a number of advanced countries. . . ."

According to the most widespread interpretation of Marxist theory, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the method of government of the first successful revolution, should be established in a country where the working class formed the majority of the population: the dictatorship of the working class would then be exercised over a negligible minority.  Nothing of the kind was possible in Russia.

See also, Leon Trotsky, "War Communism, The New Economic Policy (N.E.P.) and The Course Toward the Kulak," in Irving Howe, ed., The Basic Writings of Trotsky, New York: Random House, 1963, pp. 160-167.  After noting the disastrous effects of the Bolsheviks' initial programs, Trotsky wrote (p. 162):

The theoretical mistake of the ruling party remains inexplicable, however, only if you leave out of account the fact that all calculations at that time were based on the hope of an early victory of the revolution in the West.  It was considered self-evident that the victorious German proletariat would supply Soviet Russia, on credit against future food and raw materials, not only with machines and articles of manufacture, but also with tens of thousands of highly skilled workers, engineers and organizers.  And there is no doubt that if the proletarian revolution had triumphed in Germany . . . the economic development of the Soviet Union as well as of Germany would have advanced with such gigantic strides that the fate of Europe and the world today would have been incomparably more auspicious.

 

 

3.  For Lenin's and Trotsky's thoughts on how Russia should be developed, see for example, Vladimir Lenin, "The Immediate Tasks of the Proletariat Government" (originally published April 28, 1918), in Vladimir Lenin, Selected Works, Moscow: Cooperative Publishing Society of Foreign Workers in the U.S.S.R., 1935, Vol. VII, pp. 313-350.  An excerpt (pp. 342-344; emphasis in original):

But be that as it may, unquestioning submission to a single will is absolutely necessary for the success of labour processes that are based on large-scale machine industry. . . .  The revolution has only just broken the oldest, most durable and heaviest fetters to which the masses were compelled to submit.  That was yesterday.  But today the same revolution demands, in the interests of socialism, that the masses unquestioningly obey the single will of the leaders of the labour process. . . .  And our task, the task of the Communist Party, which is the class conscious expression of the strivings of the exploited for emancipation, is to appreciate this change, to understand that it is necessary, to take the lead of the exhausted masses who are wearily seeking a way out and lead them along the true path, along the path of labour discipline, along the path of co-ordinating the task of holding meetings and discussing the conditions of labour with the task of unquestioningly obeying the will of the Soviet leader, of the dictator, during work time.

For a discussion by Trotsky of the need for "militarization of labor" and "labor armies," see Leon Trotsky, Terrorism and Communism: A Reply to Karl Kautsky, London: New Park, 1975 (original 1920), ch. VII.

For Lenin's pronouncements on the need for "state capitalism," see for example, Vladimir Lenin, "'Left Wing' Childishness and Petty-Bourgeois Mentality" (originally published May 5, 1918), in Vladimir Lenin, Selected Works, Moscow: Cooperative Publishing Society of Foreign Workers in the U.S.S.R., 1935, Vol. VII, pp. 351-378.  An excerpt (pp. 365-366; emphasis in original):

While the revolution in Germany is slow in "coming forth," our task is to study the state capitalism of the Germans, to spare no effort in copying it and not shrink from adopting dictatorial methods to hasten the copying of it.  Our task is to do this even more thoroughly than Peter [the Great] hastened the copying of Western culture by barbarian Russia, and he did not hesitate to use barbarous methods in fighting against barbarism.

Leszek Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism: Its Rise, Growth, and Dissolution, Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon, 1978, p. 484 (Lenin remarked in October 1921: "aided by the enthusiasm engendered by the great revolution, and on the basis of personal interest, personal incentive and business principles, we must first set to work in this small-peasant country to build solid gangways to socialism by way of state capitalism").

On the incipient socialist structures in Russia and the Bolsheviks' dismantling of them as they consolidated control, see for example, Maurice Brinton, The Bolsheviks and Workers' Control, 1917 to 1921: the State and Counter-Revolution, London: Solidarity, 1970, especially pp. 1-49.  This study gives a detailed chronology of the development of popular structures in Russia after the initial February 1917 revolution, then describes the Bolsheviks' rapid steps to undermine and destroy them after they gained political power in October 1917 (citing extensively to contemporaneous Bolshevik Party sources).  The detail and quantity of evidence in this short book defy quotation here; however, the author summarizes some of his findings as follows (pp. ix-x):

Between March and October the Bolsheviks supported the growth of the Factory Committees, only to turn viciously against them in the last few weeks of 1917, seeking to incorporate them into the new union structure, the better to emasculate them.  This process . . . was to play an important role in preventing the rapidly growing challenge to capitalist relations of production from coming to a head.  Instead the Bolsheviks canalised the energies released between March and October into a successful onslaught against the political power of the bourgeoisie (and against the property relations on which that power was based).

At this level the revolution was "successful."  But the Bolsheviks were also "successful" in restoring "law and order" in industry -- a law and order that reconsolidated the authoritarian relations in production, which for a brief period had been seriously shaken.

Importantly, the author notes that (p. 35):

It is above all essential to stress that the Bolshevik policy in relation to the [Factory] Committees and to the unions which we have documented in some detail was being put forward twelve months before the murder of Karl Liebknecht and of Rosa Luxemburg [in January 1919] -- i.e. before the irrevocable failure of the German revolution, an event usually taken as "justifying" many of the measures taken by the Russian rulers.

Similarly, many of the Bolsheviks' measures to disempower the incipient socialist structures and avert genuine workers' control; to suppress and liquidate left-libertarian political parties and publications; and to reintroduce wages and otherwise begin the "restoration of capitalist management of industry" were implemented well before the beginning of large-scale civil war and the Western powers' intervention in Russia on May 15, 1918 (pp. 15-46).  In this context, note the timing of Lenin's pronouncements, quoted above in this footnote, concerning the necessity for "unquestioning submission" to the Bolshevik Party and its "dictatorial methods."  Brinton adds that the Civil War, which peaked in August 1918, then "immensely accelerated the process of economic centralisation" (p. 46). 

Furthermore, it bears emphasis that the theoretical foundations which motivated the Bolsheviks' actions once they gained power also long predated these dire conditions.  See for example, Vladimir Lenin, "What Is To Be Done?," in V.I. Lenin: Collected Works, Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1961 (original 1901-1902), Vol. 5.  An excerpt (pp. 384-385):

Since there can be no talk of an independent ideology formulated by the working masses themselves in the process of their movement, the only choice is -- either bourgeois or socialist ideology. . . .  There is much talk of spontaneity.  But the spontaneous development of the working-class movement leads to its subordination to bourgeois ideology . . .; for the spontaneous working-class movement is trade-unionism . . . and trade-unionism means the ideological enslavement of the workers by the bourgeoisie.  Hence, our task, the task of Social-Democracy, is to combat spontaneity, to divert the working-class movement from this spontaneous, trade-unionist striving to come under the wing of the bourgeoisie, and to bring it under the wing of revolutionary Social-Democracy.

Brinton adds (p. 12): "Nowhere in Lenin's writings is workers' control ever equated with fundamental decision-taking (i.e. with the initiation of decisions) relating to production."  He also quotes Lenin's view in his most libertarian work, State and Revolution, that (p. 24): "We want the socialist revolution with human nature as it is now, with human nature that cannot dispense with subordination, control and managers" (emphasis added).

For a description of the origins and development of workers' organizations in Russia before the Bolshevik takeover, discussing the period between 1905 and October 1917, see Peter Rachleff, "Soviets and Factory Committees in the Russian Revolution," Radical America, Vol. 8, No. 6, November-December 1974, pp. 78-114.  An excerpt (pp. 84-87, 89-90):

Beginning October 10 [1905], factories in St. Petersburg began sending delegates to meetings of what was to become the Soviet [i.e. workers' assembly]. . . .  Within three days there were 226 delegates representing 96 factories and workshops. . . .  The Soviet, at first performing no other task than organizing and leading the strike, changed itself over the course of several days into a general organ of the working class in the capital. . . .  Similar organizations appeared amidst strikes in all the urban areas of European Russia (and in some larger villages as well).  Between forty and fifty came into existence in October.  Although most functioned only for a short time, their importance should not be underestimated.  This was the first experience of direct representation for most of those involved.  No political party dominated the soviets. . . .  The soviets were created from below by workers, peasants, and soldiers, and reflected their desires. . . .  [T]he Tsar turned to full-scale repression to quell all disturbances. . . .  They were militarily crushed by the end of 1905, and the Russian working class suffered a defeat that would demoralize and disorganize it for almost a decade. . . .

[In 1914 there was] a real rebirth of the Russian working-class movement. . . .  May Day saw half a million people demonstrating in the streets. . . .  In early July of 1914 a meeting of workers from the Putilov metal works, called to support a strike in the Baku oil fields, was brutally suppressed by the police.  A general strike was the immediate response made by the St. Petersburg working class, and within four days 110,000 were out on strike.  Two days later, the Bolsheviks, who had experienced a rebirth in popularity since their lowest point in late 1913, called for an end to the strike.  However the striking workers, exhibiting the independence that had been their tradition, paid no attention to them.  Instead, they built barricades and engaged in pitched battles with the Cossacks. . . .

The beginning of 1917 saw the armed forces seething with revolt. . . .  Demonstrations, which were virtually bread riots, spread throughout [Petrograd, then the capital of Russia].  The troops who had crushed similar demonstrations in 1905 refused to put down the uprising, and many joined in.  By the end of the month, after three days of spontaneous demonstrations and a general strike, Petrograd was in the hands of the working class. . . .  The revolution spread throughout Russia.  Peasants seized the land; discipline in the army collapsed; sailors seized their ships in the Kronstadt harbor on the Baltic Coast and took over that city; the soviet form of organization reappeared, first in industrial areas, then among soldiers, sailors, and peasants.  A Provisional Government came to power when the Tsar abdicated.  Made up of members of the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy . . . they failed to come up with solutions to the problems experienced by the bulk of the population, both workers and peasants.

The article then describes the workers' organizations -- the soviets and factory councils (pp. 90, 92-96):

The soviets, which had sprung up across the country, were viewed as the legitimate government by the workers, peasants, and soldiers, who came to them with their problems. . . .  [Power within the soviets] still remained in the hands of the Executive Committee[s].  This had been the case from the start, and it continued to be the case throughout the spring and summer of 1917. . . .  [S]oon the [Petrograd] Soviet itself became nothing but an open forum where workers and soldiers could come together, air their views, meet others like themselves, and keep their constituencies informed about what was going on.  It did offer people who had been politically voiceless a chance to speak out.  But it did not represent the power of the working class. . . .  No more than the Provisional Government can the soviets of 1917 be considered instruments of working-class power.  Moreover, the existing trade unions also confronted the workers as a power separate from them and over them, a power which hindered them rather than helped them in their attempts to solve their pressing problems. . . .

The real activity was represented by an incredible proliferation of factory committees, organs consisting of and controlled by the workers within each factory.  It was through these committees that most of the workers sought to solve their problems.  Whereas the soviets were primarily concerned with political issues, e.g., the structure of the government and the question of the continuation of the war [i.e. World War I], the factory committees initially dealt solely with the problems of continuing production within their factories. . . .

Such committees appeared in every industrial center throughout European Russia.  The membership of a committee always consisted solely of workers who still worked in the factory.  Most important decisions would be made by a general assembly of all the workers in the factory.  The committees were utilized by the workers in the early months of the revolution to present series of demands, and in some instances to begin to act to realize those demands.  Paul Avrich describes the functioning of some factory committees in the first months of the uprising: "From the outset, the workers' committees did not limit their demands to higher wages and shorter hours, though these were at the top of every list; what they wanted in addition to material benefits, was a voice in management.  On March 4, for example, the workers of the Skorokhod Shoe Factory in Petrograd did, to be sure, call upon their superiors to grant them an eight-hour day and a wage increase, including double pay for overtime work; but they also demanded official recognition of their factory committee and its right to control the hiring and firing of labor.  In the Petrograd Radiotelegraph Factory, a workers' committee was organized expressly to 'work out rules and norms for the internal life of the factory,' while other factory committees were elected chiefly to control the activities of the directors, engineers, and foremen.  Overnight, incipient forms of 'workers' control' over production and distribution appeared in the large enterprises of Petrograd."

Even before the Bolsheviks took over, they began to limit the power of these popularly-based organizations (pp. 104-108):

By October . . . councils of factory committees existed in many parts of Russia. . . .  Conferences of local factory committees in Petrograd and Moscow in late September and early October reaffirmed the necessity of proceeding with their role in production -- managing the entire production process -- and in developing better methods of coordination.  A short time later, the first "All-Russian Conference of Factory Committees" was convened. . . .  Members of the Bolshevik Party made up 62% of the delegates and were the dominant force.  By now, the Party was in firm control of the recently created Central Council of Factory Committees, and used it for its own purposes. . . .  The Bolsheviks at this conference succeeded in passing a resolution creating a national organizational structure for the committees.  However, this structure explicitly limited the factory committees to activity within the sphere of production, and suggested a method of struggle which embodied a rigid division of activities. . . .  The non-Bolshevik delegates -- and the workers they represented -- did not reject this new plan.  Few realized the necessity of directly uniting the "economic" and "political" aspects of the class struggle.  The Bolsheviks, now on the verge of seizing state power, began laying the foundations for the consolidation of their control over the working class.  No longer did they encourage increased activity by the factory committees.  Most workers and their committees accepted this about-face, believing that the new strategy was only temporary and that once the Bolshevik Party had captured "political power" they would be given free reign in the economic sphere.

Shortly thereafter, the Bolsheviks successfully seized state power, replacing the Provisional Government with their tightly-controlled soviets.  The initial effect on the workers was tremendous.  They believed that this new revolution gave them the green light to expand their activities, to expropriate the remaining capitalists, and to establish strong structures of coordination. . . .  Out of this burst of activity came the first attempt of the factory committees to create a national organization of their own, independent of all parties and institutions.  Such an organization posed an implicit threat to the new Bolshevik State. . . .  The Bolsheviks, seeking to strengthen their position, realized that they had to destroy the factory committees.  They now had available to them the means to do so -- something which the Provisional Government had lacked.  By controlling the soviets, the Bolsheviks controlled the troops.  Their domination of the regional and national councils of the factory committees gave them the power to isolate and destroy any factory committee, e.g., by denying it raw materials.  Lenin wasted little time in trying to take control of the situation.  On November 3, he published his "Draft Decree on Workers' Control" in Pravda, stating that "the decisions of the elected delegates of the workers and employees are legally binding upon the owners of enterprises," but that they could be "annulled by trade unions and congresses."  Moreover, "in all enterprises of state importance" all delegates elected to exercise workers' control were to be "answerable to the State for the maintenance of the strictest order and discipline and for the protection of property. . . ."

[T]he power now resting in the hands of the Bolshevik State gave it the ability to go ahead with the dismantling of the power of the factory committees.  Isaac Deutscher describes how the trade unions were used to emasculate the committees before the end of the year: "The Bolsheviks now called upon the trade unions to render a special service to the nascent Soviet State and to discipline the factory committees.  The unions came out against the attempt of the factory committees to form a national organization of their own.  They prevented the convocation of a planned all-Russian Congress of factory committees and demanded total subordination on the part of the committees. . . .  The unions now became the main channels through which the government was assuming control over industry."  There were to be future rebellions against the new state, for example Kronstadt in 1921 [where anti-Bolshevik sailors were massacred by Trotsky's Red Army] and Makhno's peasant movement in the Ukraine [which governed the area along anarchist principles beginning in November 1918 and defeated an invasion by the Western powers, then was crushed by the Bolsheviks' Red Army in late 1920].  However, they were labeled "counterrevolutionary" by the Government press and viciously suppressed.  The total power of the Bolshevik State over all aspects of social and economic life was now consolidated and the working class were relegated to living under the same powerless situation they had experienced prior to 1917.

See also, Voline [i.e. Vsevolod Mikhailovich Eichenbaum], The Unknown Revolution, 1917-1921, Detroit: Black & Red, 1974 (original 1947)(classic history of the popular revolution in Russia and the subsequent Bolshevik coup, detailing the Bolsheviks' systematic destruction of the popular institutions and their repression of the genuine revolutionary developments; written by a libertarian socialist participant in the events from October 1917); Robert V. Daniels, "The State and Revolution: A Case Study in the Genesis and Transformation of Communist Ideology," The American Slavic and East European Review, Vol. 12, No. 1, 1953, pp. 22-43 (on Lenin's "intellectual deviation" to the left during 1917; documenting in particular how Lenin's famous polemic State and Revolution "is a work conforming neither to Lenin's previous thought nor to his subsequent practice").

For criticism of the Bolsheviks' actions by left-wing critics at the time, see chapter 5 of U.P. and its footnote 21.

 

 

4.  For Bakunin's predictions, see Michael Bakunin, "Critique of the Marxist Theory of the State" (1873), "Letter to La Liberté" (1872), "Critique of Economic Determinism and Historical Materialism" (1872), and "Some Preconditions for a Social Revolution" (1873), all in Sam Dolgoff, ed., Bakunin on Anarchy: Selected Works by the Activist-Founder of World Anarchism, New York: Knopf, 1972, pp. 326f.  Excerpts (pp. 329, 332, 284, 319, 337-338, 318-319, 275):

The differences between revolutionary dictatorship and statism are superficial.  Fundamentally they both represent the same principle of minority rule over the majority in the name of the alleged "stupidity" of the latter and the alleged "intelligence" of the former.  Therefore they are both equally reactionary since both directly and inevitably must preserve and perpetuate the political and economic privileges of the ruling minority and the political and economic subjugation of the masses of the people.

Now it is clear why the dictatorial revolutionists, who aim to overthrow the existing powers and social structures in order to erect upon their ruins their own dictatorships, never were or will be the enemies of government, but, to the contrary, always will be the most ardent promoters of the government idea.  They are the enemies only of contemporary governments, because they wish to replace them.  They are the enemies of the present governmental structure, because it excludes the possibility of their dictatorship.  At the same time they are the most devoted friends of governmental power.  For if the revolution destroyed this power by actually freeing the masses, it would deprive this pseudorevolutionary minority of any hope to harness the masses in order to make them the beneficiaries of their own government policy. . . .

[The Marxists] insist that only dictatorship (of course their own) can create freedom for the people. . . .  [A]ccording to Mr. Marx, the people not only should not abolish the State, but, on the contrary, they must strengthen and enlarge it, and turn it over to the full disposition of their benefactors, guardians, and teachers -- the leaders of the Communist party, meaning Mr. Marx and his friends -- who will then liberate them in their own way.  They will concentrate all administrative power in their own strong hands, because the ignorant people are in need of a strong guardianship. . . .  There will be slavery within this state . . . which will be even more despotic than the former State, although it calls itself a People's State. . . .  It will be the reign of scientific intelligence, the most aristocratic, despotic, arrogant and elitist of all regimes.  There will be a new class, a new hierarchy of real and counterfeit scientists and scholars, and the world will be divided into a minority ruling in the name of knowledge, and an immense ignorant majority.  And then, woe unto the mass of ignorant ones . . .!

A strong State can have only one solid foundation: military and bureaucratic centralization.  The fundamental difference between a monarchy and even the most democratic republic is that in the monarchy, the bureaucrats oppress and rob the people for the benefit of the privileged in the name of the King, and to fill their own coffers; while in the republic the people are robbed and oppressed in the same way for the benefit of the same classes, in the name of "the will of the people" (and to fill the coffers of the democratic bureaucrats).  In the republic, the State, which is supposed to be the people, legally organized, stifles and will continue to stifle the real people.  But the people will feel no better if the stick with which they are being beaten is labeled "the people's stick. . . ."

No state, however democratic -- not even the reddest republic -- can ever give the people what they really want, i.e., the free self-organization and administration of their own affairs from the bottom upward, without any interference or violence from above, because every state, even the pseudo-People's State concocted by Mr. Marx, is in essence only a machine ruling the masses from above, through a privileged minority of conceited intellectuals, who imagine that they know what the people need and want better than do the people themselves. . . .

The State has always been the patrimony of some privileged class: a priestly class, an aristocratic class, a bourgeois class.  And finally, when all the other classes have exhausted themselves, the State then becomes the patrimony of the bureaucratic class and then falls -- or, if you will, rises -- to the position of a machine.  But in any case it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of the State that there should be some privileged class devoted to its preservation.

But in the People's State of Marx there will be, we are told, no privileged class at all.  All will be equal, not only from the juridical and political point of view but also from the economic point of view.  At least this is what is promised, though I very much doubt whether that promise could ever be kept.  There will therefore no longer be any privileged class, but there will be a government and, note this well, an extremely complex government.  This government will not content itself with administering and governing the masses politically, as all governments do today.  It will also administer the masses economically, concentrating in the hands of the State the production and division of wealth, the cultivation of land, the establishment and development of factories, the organization and direction of commerce, and finally, the application of capital to production by the only banker -- the State.  All that will demand an immense knowledge and many heads "overflowing with brains" in this government. . . .

Can one imagine anything more burlesque and at the same time more revolting?  To claim that a group of individuals, even the most intelligent and best-intentioned, would be capable of becoming the mind, the soul, the directing and unifying will of the revolutionary movement and the economic organization of the proletariat of all lands -- this is such heresy against common sense and historical experience that one wonders how a man as intelligent as Mr. Marx could have conceived it!

 

 

5.  For Marx's works that are mentioned in the text, see Karl Marx, "The Civil War in France" (1871)(on the Paris Commune); "On Imperialism in India" (1853)(on the British in India); Capital, Vol. I (1867)(on industrial London).

 

 

6.  On the lack of discussion of socialism in Marx's work, see for example, Daniel Bell, The End of Ideology: On the Exhaustion of Political Ideas in the Fifties, New York: Free Press, 1960, pp. 355-392 ("Two Roads from Marx").  An excerpt (pp. 368-369):

The paucity is extraordinary.  In an address to the General Council of the International Workingman's Association, published as The Civil War in France, Marx said, at one point in passing, that communism would be a system under which "united cooperative societies are to regulate the national production under a common plan," but nothing more. . . .  In only one other place did Marx elaborate any remarks about the future society -- the testy letter which came to be known as The Critique of the Gotha Programme.  In 1875 the rival Lasallean and Eisenacher (Liebknecht, Bebel, Bernstein) factions met in Gotha to form the German Socialist Workers Party (Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands).  As a political party, the socialists were confronted, for the first time, with the task of stating a political program on transition to socialism.  Taking its cue from the [1871 Paris] Commune, the Gotha program emphasized two demands: the organization of producers' co-operatives with state aid and equality.

Marx's criticism was savage.  The demand for producers' co-operatives, he said, smacked of the Catholic socialism of Buchez (the president of the Constitutional Assembly of 1848), while the demand for the "equitable distribution of the proceeds of labour" was simply a bourgeois right, since in any other society than pure communism the granting of equal shares to individuals with unequal needs would simply lead to renewed inequality.  A transitional society, Marx said, could not be completely communal.  In the co-operative society, based on collective ownership, "the producers do not interchange their products."  There would still be need for a state machinery, since certain social needs would have to be met.  The central directing agency would make deductions from the social product: for administrative costs, schools, health services, and the like.  Only under communism would the State, as a government over persons, be replaced by an "administration of things. . . ."  [D]espite his theoretical criticisms of the transitional program, there is little in the Critique of a concrete nature regarding the mechanics of socialist economics either in the transitional or the pure communist society.

 

 

7.  On Engels's use of the term "dialectics," see for example, Shlomo Avineri, The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1968, p. 65 ("Much of what is known as 'Marxist materialism' was not written by Marx but by Engels, in most cases after Marx's own death.  Students sometimes forget that Marx himself never used the terms 'historical materialism' or 'dialectical materialism' for his systematic approach").

 

 

8.  Chomsky personally observed this at the I.B.M. Research Center in the 1960s.

On overt pressures on the schools more generally, see for example, William E. Simon [former U.S. Treasury Secretary], A Time for Truth, New York: Reader's Digest, 1978.  An excerpt (pp. 231-233):

Business must cease the mindless subsidizing of colleges and universities whose departments of economics, government, politics and history are hostile to capitalism and whose faculties will not hire scholars whose views are otherwise. . . .  This has nothing to do with trying to govern what any individual professor teaches, nor is it an attempt to "buy" docile professors who will teach what businessmen tell them to.  That notion is as ridiculous as the idea that anti-capitalist professors are entitled to support by capitalism.  No non-professional has any right to attempt to dictate what and how a teacher teaches.  He can, however (and, I argue, he must), decide whether or not that teacher -- either by virtue of his competence or lack of it, or the nature of the doctrine he espouses -- is entitled to his support.  There is a world of difference between attempting to govern what is taught and simply refusing to support those whose teachings are inimical to one's own philosophy. . . .

[In addition], business money must flow away from the media which serve as megaphones for anticapitalist opinion and to media which are either pro-freedom or, if not necessarily "pro-business," at least professionally capable of a fair and accurate treatment of procapitalist ideas, values and arguments.  The judgment of this fairness is to be made by businessmen alone -- it is their money that they are investing.

See also, Ann Crittenden, "Simon: Preaching the Word for Olin," New York Times, July 16, 1978, section 3, p. 1.  An excerpt:

William E. Simon, Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford [and President of the conservative Olin Foundation] . . . spends at least one-fourth of his time urging corporations to promote the free-market economy. . . .

"Why should businessmen be financing left-wing intellectuals and institutions which espouse the exact opposite of what they believe in?" he asks, referring to the fact that many corporations give grants to universities or institutions whose scholars may be critical of business. . . .  "I even go so far as to discourage advertising in publications that are unfriendly to business," Mr. Simon says.

On universities' dependence on corporate money in general, see for example, Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-1960, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992, ch. 7.  An excerpt (pp. 193-194):

[B]y 1951 half of the country's nine-hundred privately endowed schools were in the red.  In the late forties, private colleges and universities began soliciting corporate America to bail them out of their chronic financial predicament.  A powerful segment of the business community proposed a "marriage of business and education" based on the financial rescue of independent education.  In 1952, a group of leading industrialists that included Alfred P. Sloan of General Motors, Frank W. Abrams of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, Henry Ford II of Ford Motor Company, John L. McCaffrey of International Harvester Company, Irving S. Olds of United States Steel Corporation, Henning W. Prentis of Armstrong Cork Company, and Laird Bell of Weyerhauser Timber formed the Council for Financial Aid to Education.  With the assistance of the Council, corporate contributions grew dramatically in the fifties. . . .  Business gifts, independent of grants for industrial research, rose from $24 million in 1948 to $136 million in 1958.  By 1965 corporate donations had reached $280 million a year.

Joel H. Spring, Education and the Rise of the Corporate State, Boston: Beacon, 1972; David F. Noble, America by Design: Science, Technology, and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism, New York: Knopf, 1977, especially chs. 7, 8 and 9; Calvin Sims, "Business-Campus Ventures Grow," New York Times, December 14, 1987, p. D1.  And see footnote 31 of this chapter; and footnote 75 of chapter 10 of U.P.

 

 

9.  Allan Bloom's book is: The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987.

 

 

10.  Bloom continually invokes Plato, stating: "Men may live more truly and fully in reading Plato and Shakespeare than at any other time" (p. 380).

 

 

11.  On human rights in Mexico, see for example, Larry Rohter, "Former Mexican Soldier Describes Executions of Political Prisoners," New York Times, February 19, 1989, p. A1 ("In the first public acknowledgment of death squad activity in Mexico, a former Mexican Army soldier is maintaining that he was part of a secret military unit that executed at least 60 political prisoners here"); Amnesty International, Mexico: Torture With Impunity, New York: Amnesty International, 1991; Ellen L. Lutz, Unceasing Abuses: Human Rights in Mexico One Year After the Introduction of Reform, New York: Americas Watch, 1991; Dan La Botz, Mask of Democracy: Labor Suppression in Mexico Today, Boston: South End, 1992, pp. 30-33.  See also footnote 88 of chapter 10 of U.P.

 

 

12.  On Japan's global lead in advanced manufacturing and the myth of "Japanese economic decline" in the 1990s, see for example, Eamonn Fingleton, "The forgotten merits of manufacturing," Challenge, Volume 43, Issue 2, March 1, 2000, pp. 67-85.

 

 

13.  On the similar allocation of research funding by M.I.T.I. and for "Star Wars," see footnote 4 of chapter 3 of U.P.

 

 

14.  Another example of a central question systematically evaded in academic scholarship is the influence of corporations in setting foreign policy.  For a rare discussion of this phenomenon, see Dennis M. Ray, "Corporations and American Foreign Relations," in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Philadelphia: American Academy of Political and Social Science, September 1972, pp. 80-92.  This article begins (pp. 80-81):

[W]e know virtually nothing about the role of corporations in American foreign relations. . . .  [Scholarship has] clarified the influence of Congress, the press, scientists, and non-profit organizations, such as RAND, on the foreign policy process.  The influence of corporations on the foreign policy process, however, remains clouded in mystery.

My search through the respectable literature on international relations and U.S. foreign policy shows that less than 5 percent of some two hundred books granted even passing attention to the role of corporations in American foreign relations.  From this literature, one might gather that American foreign policy is formulated in a social vacuum, where national interests are protected from external threats by the elaborate machinery of governmental policymaking.  There is virtually no acknowledgment in standard works within the field of international relations and foreign policy of the existence and influence of corporations.

 

 

15.  On purges of dissent at U.S. universities, see for example, Ellen Schrecker, No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities, New York: Oxford University Press, 1986 (on the 1950s purge); Howard Zinn, "The Politics of History in the Era of the Cold War: Repression and Resistance," in Noam Chomsky et al., The Cold War and the University: Toward an Intellectual History of the Postwar Years, New York: New Press, 1997, pp. 35-72.

 

 

16.  Chomsky notes that for Cambodia scholars, the situation has changed somewhat in recent years.

 

 

17.  On Thomas Ferguson's work, see footnote 94 of chapter 10 of U.P.

For an historical analog to the Ferguson story in the text, see Merle Curti, The Social Ideas of American Educators, Paterson, NJ: Pageant Books, 1959, p. 222 (noting that in 1895, in the midst of labor agitation, the National Education Association "recommended that the teacher of American history confine herself to the colonial and early national period").  See also, Ronald Radosh, "Annual-Set-to: The Bare-Knuckled Historians," Nation, February 2, 1970, p. 108 (reporting that professor Jesse Lemish was "dismissed from the University of Chicago because his 'political concerns interfered with his scholarship'"); Jesse Lemisch, On Active Service in War and Peace: Politics and Ideology in the American Historical Profession, Chicago: New Hogtown, 1975.

 

 

18.  For Peters's book, see Joan Peters, From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine, New York: Harper and Row, 1984.  Scarcely eight months after its publication, the book went into its seventh printing, and Joan Peters reportedly had 250 speaking engagements scheduled for the upcoming year.

 

 

19.  Some of the reviewers' blurbs reprinted in the paperback edition of the Peters book include:

• "This book is a historical event in itself." (Barbara Tuchman)

• "A superlative book. . . .  To understand what is happening in the Middle East, one must begin with its past, which Miss Peters traces to the present with unmatched skill." (Theodore H. White)

• "Every political issue claiming the attention of a world public has its 'experts' -- news managers, anchor men, ax grinders, and anglers.  The great merit of this book is to demonstrate that, on the Palestinian issue, these experts speak from utter ignorance.  Millions of people the world over, smothered by false history and propaganda, will be grateful for this clear account of the origins of the Palestinians."  (Saul Bellow)

• "Joan Peters' book provides necessary demographic and historic perspectives which have been inexplicably and substantially ignored until now, but without which misconceptions and policy distortions are inevitable.  The reader will be most impressed with the thoroughness and prodigious input this work entails, as I was." (Philip M. Hauser, Director Emeritus, Population Research Center, The University of Chicago; former Acting Director of U.S. Census)

• "Joan Peters strikes a heavy blow against the broad consensus about 'the Palestinians' and the assumption that Palestinian rights are at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict. . . .  From Time Immemorial supplies abundant justification for reversing the moral and legal presumptions that have cast Israel in the role of defendant before the court of world opinion." (William V. O'Brien, Georgetown University)

• "The massive research Ms. Peters did . . . would have daunted Hercules.  In the course of it she turned up a great deal of interesting material from Ottoman records, the reports of Western consular officers and observant travelers and other sources." (New York Times Book Review)

• "A remarkable document in itself. . . .  The refugees are not the problem but the excuse." (Washington Post Book World)

• "Everything in this book reads like hard news. . . .  One woman walks in and scoops them all. . . .  The great service provided here by Mrs. Peters -- if only attention is paid -- is to lay a groundwork for peace by clearing away the farrago of lies." (National Review)

• "This book, if read, will change the mind of our generation.  If understood, it could also affect the history of the future." (New Republic)

• "The reader comes away not only rethinking the Middle East refugee problem, but also the extent to which propaganda can be swallowed whole for lack of information." (Los Angeles Times)

• "From Time Immemorial is impressive, informative, absorbing.  All those who are interested in the Arab-Israeli questions will benefit from Joan Peters's insight and analysis." (Elie Wiesel)

• "From Time Immemorial will surely change the way we think about that still fiercely contested land once called Palestine.  For Joan Peters has dug beneath a half-century's accumulation of propaganda and brought into the light the historical truth about the Middle East.  With a wealth of authoritative evidence, she exposes the tangle of lies and false claims by which the Arabs have tried to justify their unending violence.  Everyone who hopes for peace in the Middle East between Jews and Arabs will want to read this book -- will have to read this book." (Lucy Dawidowicz)

 

 

20.  On professor Hauser, see footnotes 19 and 25 of this chapter.

 

 

21.  For Tuchman's and others' jubilation about the Peters book, see footnotes 19 and 25 of this chapter.

 

 

22.  The original article by Finkelstein appeared in In These Times, September 11, 1984.  An updated version is published as chapter 2 of Norman G. Finkelstein, Image And Reality Of The Israel-Palestine Conflict, London: Verso, 1995.  See also, Norman G. Finkelstein, "Disinformation and the Palestine Question: The Not-So-Strange Case of Joan Peters's From Time Immemorial," and Edward Said, "Conspiracy of Praise," both in Edward Said and Christopher Hitchens, eds., Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question, London: Verso, 1988, chs. 1 and 2.

 

 

23.  After several years, Finkelstein was able to obtain work teaching classes in political theory and international relations at New York University and then at City University of New York.  He published four books between 1995 and 2000 -- see Norman G. Finkelstein, Image And Reality Of The Israel-Palestine Conflict, London: Verso, 1995; Norman G. Finkelstein, The Rise and Fall of Palestine: A Personal Account of the Intifada Years, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996; Norman G. Finkelstein and Ruth Bettina Birn, A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth, New York: Metropolitan Books, 1998; Norman G. Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, London: Verso, 2000.

 

 

24.  For British reviews of the Peters book, see for example, Albert Hourani [Oxford University historian], "An ancient war," Observer (London), March 3, 1985, p. 27.  An excerpt:

The whole book is written like this: facts are selected or misunderstood, tortuous and flimsy arguments are expressed in violent and repetitive language.  This is a ludicrous and worthless book, and the only mildly interesting question it raises is why it comes with praise from two well-known American writers.

Ian Gilmour and David Gilmour, "Pseudo-Travellers," London Review of Books, February 7, 1985, pp. 8f.  An indication of this review's sustained decimation:

Peters's censorship of Zionist sources that do not suit her case is as effective as her censorship of Arab sources.  In this, at least, she is impartial. . . .  Peters cites the historian Makrizi to back one of her statements about mid-19th century population movement, but, since Makrizi died in 1442, he is less than authoritative on what happened in 1860. . . .  Instead of bolstering Peters's case, the Hope Simpson report destroys it.  Ms. Peters's treatment of the report shows that her handling of such evidence cannot be trusted even when she seems to be quoting it. . . .  Part of the author's technique is at times to give a misleading "quotation" in the text and then bury the correct quotation in one of the 1,792 footnotes at the end of the book. . . .  Peters thus uses the Ottoman census when it suits her and disregards it when it does not. . . .  The author prefers the words that were not used to those that were. . . .  Even when the author uses a more modern piece of evidence, it is distorted out of all recognition. . . .  [W]hat can one say of a historian who takes a group of 37 refugees in 1967 and translates them into "the majority of the Arab refugees in 1948"?  It is disappointing that after "seven years" of research, the author has not discovered facts about the Middle East conflict which have been widely known for a long time. . . .

[T]his book is not history.  As a guide to what has happened in Palestine in the last hundred years Ms. Peters is about as trustworthy as her Medieval "source" Makrizi.  The prominent Zionist academics thanked in the preface for their encouragement, their "data and statistics," their "checking and re-checking," seem to have some explaining to do.  In accepting the claims of this strident, pretentious and preposterous book, Miss Tuchman and Mr. Bellow among others have shown a deplorable lack of judgment.

 

 

25.  For the article that refers to the unpublished Porath review, see Colin Campbell, "Dispute Flares Over Book On Claims To Palestine," New York Times, November 28, 1985, p. C16.  An excerpt:

The whole "Palestinian" issue, Miss Peters claims, is a "big lie" that has caused "bewildering, squeamish reactions" of "doubt and guilt" among Israel's supporters.  Yehoshua Porath, an Israeli historian of the Palestinian Arabs who teaches at Hebrew University, was asked in a telephone interview from Jerusalem about the book.  "I think it's a sheer forgery," he replied.  "In Israel, at least, the book was almost universally dismissed as sheer rubbish except maybe as a propaganda weapon," the historian said.  Mr. Porath described his politics as centrist.  He has written an essay on the book for The New York Review of Books that will be published soon.

[Barbara Tuchman], in an angry letter to Sir Ian [Gilmour, who dismissed the book as fraudulent in the British press,] that was printed last month in The Nation, traced part of the hostility against the book to Britain's "growing anti-Semitism."  Ms. Tuchman said later that she regarded some of the book's American critics as "committed P.L.O. supporters" who were guilty of "the worst kind" of anti-Semitism. . . .  Mrs. Tuchman said she had not kept up with recent scholarship but she retained a vivid sense from research she did 30 years ago that Jewish labor had reclaimed a desolate Palestine, just as Miss Peters argued.  The notion of "the Palestinians" was "a fairy tale," Mrs. Tuchman said.

Mr. Hauser, the Chicago demographer [who recommended the book's methods], recalled that Miss Peters, a family friend, had asked him to check some calculations and he had done so.  He said he had "no competence" in Middle Eastern history.  Saul Bellow declined to comment.  Mr. Wiesel, Mr. Duke, Mr. White and several others [who all had praised the book] said they had not followed the controversy.

Norman Finkelstein notes that this article appeared in response to escalating accusations of censorship, leveled mainly by the British press.  It was run by the New York Times in its Thanksgiving Day (non-) issue, on the Theater page, without even a listing in the index.

Several weeks later, New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis then devoted a column to publicizing the hoax.  See Anthony Lewis, "There Were No Indians," New York Times, January 13, 1986, p. A15.

 

 

26.  For Porath's article, see Yehoshua Porath, "Mrs. Peters's Palestine," New York Review of Books, January 16, 1986, p. 36.  See also, Norman G. Finkelstein, Image And Reality Of The Israel-Palestine Conflict, London: Verso, 1995, ch. 2.

 

 

27.  On the Israeli reviews of the Peters book, see for example, Norman Finkelstein, "Challenging the Thesis of a Palestine 'Uninhabited' in 1880," Op-Ed, New York Times, January 17, 1986, p. A30.  The Times published this letter from Finkelstein after the New York Review finally ran its review of the Peters book:

Mr. Gottheil [a prior letter writer who credited Peters's thesis] asks, "Why the tumult over the Peters book?"  Permit me to suggest an explanation: because the documents and statistics Miss Peters brings to bear in support of her central thesis are, in my view, and in that of serious scholars outside the United States, misrepresented.

Oxford's great Orientalist, Albert Hourani, dismissed "From Time Immemorial" in The Observer as "worthless and ludicrous," and the Middle East Journal quotes him to the effect that every citation he checked was "wrong in one way or another."  Ian and David Gilmour, in The London Review of Books, concluded an exhaustive 8,000-word expose by calling the book "preposterous. . . ."  You reported that Prof. Yehoshua Porath, Israel's outstanding scholar of Palestinian nationalism, described "From Time Immemorial" as "a sheer forgery."  Davar, the Israeli Labor Party daily, compared the book to some of Israel's more lamentable past propaganda efforts.  Avishai Margalit of Hebrew University described the author's "web of deceits" in the liberal weekly Koteret Rashit.

See also, Elie Shaltiel, Davar (Israel), March 29, 1985.

 

 

28.  On Ireland's subjection to "free market" doctrine and export of food during the Irish famine, see for example, Cormac ó Gráda, The Great Irish Famine, Dublin: Macmillan, 1989, pp. 50-64.  An excerpt (pp. 52-53, 51, 61):

[Leading Whigs and Radicals] insisted on the evils of public charity and the "inevitability" of the outcome [of the famine].  They were strongly supported in this by the Edinburgh Review and the fledgling Economist.  Avoiding deaths was not the prime Whig preoccupation: relief would shift the distribution of food "from the more meritorious to the less," because "if left to the natural law of distribution, those who deserved more would obtain it."  Thus in the Commons Russell refused to commit himself to saving lives as the prime objective, and some Whig ideologues such as Nassau Senior and The Economist's Thomas Wilson ("it is no man's business to provide for another") countenanced large-scale mortality with equanimity. . . .

It is easy to see why populist and socialist critics saw this as Malthusian murder by the invisible hand. . . .  The Whig belief in the power of free market to direct food where most needed dictated a policy of laissez-faire in so far as supply was concerned.  Demand would be met by the purchasing power of money wages earned on the public works. . . .  Whig spokesmen such as Whately and Senior believed that preventing mass mortality was simply impossible.  Even attempting to do so was wrong, since it would bankrupt Irish landlords, and the ensuing demoralization would destroy "industry" and "self-dependence" and ultimately put a stop to economic activity.  The Whigs, too, were consistent in their faith in the market, and their text might have been Adam Smith's dictum that "the free exercise (of trade) is not only the best palliative of the inconveniences of a dearth, but the best preventive of that calamity. . . ."  If food was scarce why not balance supply and demand at a lower price by halting grain exports?  Government relied instead on the self-correcting power of the price mechanism and free trade to match supply and demand, pinning their hopes on a quick supply response from overseas.  They had the authority of Adam Smith and Edmund Burke on their side in rejecting any interference.

Cormac ó Gráda, Ireland before and after the Famine: Explorations in economic history, 1800-1925, Manchester, U.K.: Manchester University Press, 1993, especially pp. 125-133.

For a general study of Ireland's development failures, and the impact of England's colonization on a country that should have been comparable to the small wealthy advanced industrial societies of Europe, see Lars Mjřset, The Irish Economy in a Comparative Institutional Perspective, Dublin: Government Publications, National Economic and Social Council, December 1992.  An excerpt (pp. 7, 62, 220, 225, 239):

The interaction between deindustrialisation and agricultural restructuring to provide cattle to a booming English market in the post-1814 period, led to the Great Famine.  Following this disaster, population decline emerged as a most persistent factor in Irish development, first through starvation and emigration, later through emigration only. . . .

Ireland's demographic experience is unique.  Its population in 1910 was only 54 per cent of the population of the 1840s. . . .  The number of excess deaths due to the famine amounted at least to 1.1 million.  There was no absolute shortage of food, but unemployment and lack of access to sufficient land among the rural poor, together with the vulnerability that stemmed from their specialisation in potatoes, gave rise to the catastrophe. . . .  Ireland was a part of Britain, fully exposed to free trade and with no chance of choosing its own economic policies with reference to an independent constitution.

See also, L.S. Stavrianos, Global Rift: The Third World Comes of Age, New York: Morrow, 1981, p. 276.

 

 

29.  On J. Marion Sims, a gynecologist recognized as "one of the immortals" at Harvard Medical School and memorialized with a statue in New York City's Central Park, who used black slaves and Irish immigrants as subjects for experimental surgery, see for example, G.J. Barker-Benfield, The Horrors of the Half-Known Life: Male Attitudes Toward Women and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century America, New York: Harper Colophon, 1976, especially pp. 100-102.

 

 

30.  For Ware's book, see Norman Ware, The Industrial Worker, 1840-1860: The Reaction of American Industrial Society to the Advance of the Industrial Revolution, Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1990 (original 1924).  For more on early U.S. labor history, see for example, Jeremy Brecher, Strike!, Boston: South End, 1972 (revised and updated edition 1997), chs. 1 to 5; Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present, New York: HarperCollins, 1980 (revised and updated edition 1995), chs. 10 and 11.

 

 

31.  On early opposition to mass public education in the U.S., see for example, Joel Spring, The American School, 1642-1985: Varieties of Historical Interpretation and the Foundations and Development of American Education, New York: Longman, 1986, especially ch. 7 and pp. 78-81; Charles Sellers, The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991, pp. 365-369, 394-395.

For an analysis of nineteenth-century school reform and its opposition, using as a focus the case of Beverly, Massachusetts, where citizens voted to abolish the local high school in 1860, see Michael Katz, The Irony of Early School Reform, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968, especially pp. 80-93.

On early capitalists' support for mass public education, see for example, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis, Schooling in Capitalist America: Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life, New York: Basic Books, 1976, especially ch. 6; Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-1960, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992, ch. 7.  An excerpt (pp. 190-191):

The business community's interest in education can be traced back to the origins of the public school system in the early nineteenth century.  Faced with the tensions resulting from industrialization, urbanization, and immigration, business and professional classes supported the common school movement as a means of socializing workers for the factory, and as a way of promoting social and political stability.  But, by the turn of the century, inculcating the general business values of hard work, industriousness, and punctuality was not enough.  Progressive-era reforms, such as at-large school elections, shifted control over education from local politicians with allegiances to their working-class constituencies to elites, almost guaranteeing "that school boards would represent the views and values of the financial, business, and professional communities."  Business leaders encouraged schools to adopt a corporate model of organization and called for the education system to more explicitly prepare workers for the labor market through testing, vocational guidance, and vocational education.

Juliet B. Schor, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, New York: BasicBooks, 1991, pp. 60-61.  An excerpt:

Employers found the first generation of industrial workers almost impossible to discipline.  Attendance was irregular, and turnover high.  Tolerance for the mindlessness and monotony of factory work was low.  "The highlander, it was said, 'never sits at ease at a loom; it is like putting a deer in the plough.'"  Employers devised various schemes to instill obedience.  They posted supervisors, levied fines, and fired their workers.  Beatings were common, especially among slaves and child laborers.  One early factory owner explained: "I prefer fining to beating, if it answers . . . [but] fining does not answer.  It does not keep the boys at their work."

Many employers and social reformers became convinced that the adult population was irredeemably unfit for factory work.  They looked to children, hoping that "the elementary school could be used to break the labouring classes into those habits of work discipline now necessary for factory production. . . .  Putting little children to work at school for very long hours at very dull subjects was seen as a positive virtue, for it made them 'habituated, not to say naturalized, to labour and fatigue.'"

Merle Curti, The Social Ideas of American Educators, Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams, 1959.  An excerpt (pp. 218-220, 228, 230, 203):

Hardly an annual meeting of the National Education Association was concluded without an appeal on the part of leading educators for the help of the teacher in quelling strikes and checking the spread of socialism and anarchism.  Commissioners of education and editors of educational periodicals summoned their forces to the same end. . . .  In his report for [1877] John Eaton, Commissioner of Education, insisted that the school could train the child to resist the evils of strikes and violence and declared that capital should "weigh the cost of the mob and tramp against the expense of universal and sufficient education. . . ."  In his presidential address in 1881 James H. Smart, admitting that it was reasonable for the poor man, particularly after middle age, to demand a "division of property," declared that the free school did more "to suppress the latent flame of communism than all other agencies combined. . . ."  Again and again educators denounced radical doctrines and offered education as the best preventive and cure. . . .

Education was considered a good investment.  Among the benefactors of the public schools were Henry Frick, John D. Rockefeller, George Peabody, John F. Slater, Robert C. Ogden, Andrew Carnegie, Elbert H. Gray, and Pierre S. Dupont. . . .  The Commissioner of Education in 1896 told superintendents that they would find their best support in conservative business leaders. . . .  Educators accepted, in general, the business man's outlook and consciously or unconsciously molded the school system to accord with the canons of a profit-making economic system. . . .  [As the social reformer Jane Addams stated in 1897:] "The business man has, of course, not said to himself: 'I will have the public school train office boys and clerks for me, so that I may have them cheap,' but he has thought, and sometimes said, 'Teach the children to write legibly, and to figure accurately and quickly; to acquire habits of punctuality and order; to be prompt to obey, and not question why; and you will fit them to make their way in the world as I have made mine!'"

See also footnote 8 of this chapter.

 

 

32.  For Malthus's exact words, see Patricia James, ed., Thomas R. Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1989 (based primarily on Malthus's 1803 edition), Vol. II, ch. VI.  An excerpt (pp. 127-128):

A man who is born into a world already possessed if he cannot get subsistence from his parents on whom he has a just demand and if the society do not want his labour, has no claim of right to the smallest portion of food, and, in fact, has no business to be where he is.  At nature's mighty feast there is no vacant cover for him.  She tells him to be gone, and will quickly execute her own orders, if he do not work upon the compassion of some of her guests.  If these guests get up and make room for him, other intruders immediately appear demanding the same favour.  The report of a provision for all that come fills the hall with numerous claimants.  The order and harmony of the feast is disturbed, the plenty that before reigned is changed into scarcity; and the happiness of the guests is destroyed by the spectacle of misery and dependence in every part of the hall, and by the clamorous importunity of those who are justly enraged at not finding the provisions which they had been taught to expect.  The guests learn too late their error, in counteracting those strict orders to all intruders, issued by the great mistress of the feast, who, wishing that all her guests should have plenty, and knowing that she could not provide for unlimited numbers humanely refused to admit fresh comers when her table was already full.

See also footnote 35 of this chapter.

 

 

33.  For Ricardo's assertion, see David Ricardo, The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, New York: E.P. Dutton, 1911 (original 1817-1821), ch. V.  His exact words (p. 63):

The principle of gravitation is not more certain than the tendency of such laws [i.e. the "Poor Laws," which provided the poor with a guaranteed level of subsistence,] to change wealth and vigor into misery and weakness . . . until at last all classes should be infected with the plague of universal poverty.

 

 

34.  For Kanth's book, see Rajani Kannepalli Kanth, Political Economy and Laissez-Faire: Economics and Ideology in the Ricardan Era, Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1986.

 

 

35.  For discussion of the last manifestation of the "right to live" at the end of England's pre-capitalist period, see for example, Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, Boston: Beacon, 1957 (original 1944), pp. 77-85.  An excerpt (pp. 78, 81):

[I]n 1832, the middle class had forced its way to power [in England], partly in order to remove this obstacle to the new capitalistic economy.  Indeed, nothing could be more obvious than that the wage system imperatively demanded the withdrawal of the "right to live" as proclaimed in Speenhamland [where a scale for wage subsidies had been established in 1795] -- under the new regime of economic man, nobody would work for a wage if he could make a living by doing nothing. . . .

To later generations nothing could have been more patent than the mutual incompatibility of institutions like the wage system and the "right to live," or, in other words, than the impossibility of a functioning capitalistic order as long as wages were subsidized from public funds.

Eric Hobsbawm, Industry and Empire (The Pelican Economic History of Britain, Vol. 3), Harmondsworth, U.K.: Pelican, 1969, pp. 101-105.

See also, Thomas R. Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population, London: J. Murray, 5th ed., 1817, Vol. III, p. 154.  Malthus argued against the "right to live" as follows:

Our laws indeed say that [people have] this right and bind society to furnish employment and food to those who cannot get them in the regular market; but in so doing they attempt to reverse the laws of nature; and it is in consequence to be expected, not only that they should fail in their object, but that the poor who were intended to be benefited, should suffer most cruelly from the inhuman deceit practised upon them.

 

 

36.  For a penetrating inquiry into the origins of European capitalism, which reaches the conclusion about England leading the industrial revolution largely because it denied property rights to the rural population more than did France, see Robert Brenner, "Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial Europe," in T.H. Aston and C.H.E. Philpin, eds., The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial Europe, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1985, especially pp. 46-63.

 

 

37.  For the article discussing the Tulsa factory, see Louis Uchitelle, "Corporate Spending Booms, but Jobs Stagnate," New York Times, June 6, 1994, p. D1.

 

 

38.  On the "free market" myth generally, see for example, Lance Taylor [M.I.T. development economist], "Agents of Inequality: The I.M.F., the World Bank, and the global economy," Dollars and Sense, November 1991, p. 13.  An excerpt:

In the long run, there are no laissez-faire transitions to modern economic growth.  The state has always intervened to create a capitalist class, and then it has to regulate the capitalist class, and then the state has to worry about being taken over by the capitalist class, but the state has always been there.  That is what the N.I.C.s [Newly Industrializing Countries] show. . . .  Import substitution [through state intervention] is about the only way anybody's ever figured out to industrialize.  Increasingly often, the industries that were created by import substitution turn out to be viable. . . .  What the extreme deregulators will tell you is that you don't have to go through this stage, but they don't have any cases [to support their claim].

William Lazonick, Business Organization and the Myth of the Market Economy, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1991; Alexander Gerschenkron, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective: A Book of Essays, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962 (classic account of the state role in "late development" in continental Europe); Frederick Clairmonte, Economic Liberalism and Underdevelopment: Studies in the Disintegration of an Idea, New York: Asia Publishing House, 1960.

On the state's role in the Japanese economy, see for example, Ryutaro Komiya et al., Industrial Policy of Japan, Tokyo: Academic Press, 1988.  This study by twenty-four leading Japanese economists concludes that it was radical defiance of prevailing economic theory that set the stage for the Japanese economic development "miracle," commenting (p. 15):

The actor that played the predominant role in the formation of industrial policy in Japan was the genyoku, the section of the bureaucracy within the government that had the primary responsibility for developing and supervising policies for a given industry.  Then, as now, each industry had one associated genyoku.  This system is rather similar to the organisation of the industrial bureaucracy in socialist countries and seems to have no direct counterpart in the other advanced Western countries.  Overall M.I.T.I. [the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry] is the single most important genyoku ministry within the Japanese government.

Chalmers Johnson, "Their Behavior, Our Policy," National Interest, Fall 1989, pp. 17-25 at pp. 24-25 ("It may well be true that Japan is the most advanced capitalist nation today.  But it may equally well prove true, as many foreign observers of the Japanese government-business relationship have concluded over the years, that 'Japan is the only communist nation that works'").  See also chapter 2 of U.P. and its footnote 57.

On the delusions of the economics profession, see for example, Edward S. Herman, "The Institutionalization of Bias in Economics," Media, Culture & Society, July 1982, pp. 275-291 (exploring the immunity of the doctrines of economic theory to empirical refutation, and how "the responses of important economic professionals and the publicity given economic findings are correlated with the increased market demand for specific conclusions and a particular ideology"); Edward S. Herman, "The Selling of Market Economics," in Marcus G. Raskin and Herbert J. Bernstein, New Ways Of Knowing: The Sciences, Society, and Reconstructive Knowledge, Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1987, pp. 173-199 (on the ideological influences of class and the marketplace on the field of economics); Paul Krugman, "Cycles of conventional wisdom on economic development," International Affairs, Vol. 71, No. 4, October 1995, pp. 717-732 (pointing out the lack of empirical support for economic theories that are embraced with certainty by policy intellectuals, and the dramatic back and forth shifting in economic orthodoxy that has occurred during the past century); Doug Henwood, Wall Street: How It Works and for Whom, London: Verso, 1997, ch. 4 (on the "deluded" contributions of the economics profession to the field of finance over the past two centuries).  See also, Herman Daly [former World Bank Senior Economist], "The Perils of Free Trade," Scientific American, November 1993, pp. 50-57 (commenting: "my major concern about my profession today is that our disciplinary preference for logically beautiful results over factually grounded policies has reached such fanatical proportions that we economists have become dangerous to the earth and its inhabitants").

 

 

39.  For the economist's comment, see Paul Bairoch, Economics and World History: Myths and Paradoxes, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993, p. 32 ("The Mother Country and Bastion of Modern Protectionism" is one of the book's subheadings).  More generally, the author concludes (pp. 53-54):

It is difficult to find another case where the facts so contradict a dominant theory than the one concerning the negative impact of protectionism; at least as far as nineteenth-century world economic history is concerned.  In all cases protectionism led to, or at least was concomitant with, industrialization and economic development. . . .  There is no doubt that the Third World's compulsory economic liberalism in the nineteenth century is a major element in explaining the delay in its industrialization.

 

 

40.  On the results of U.S. protectionism during Europe's experiment with laissez faire, see for example, Paul Bairoch, Economics and World History: Myths and Paradoxes, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993, ch. 4.  An excerpt (pp. 46, 53):

The important point to note here is not only that the depression [in Europe beginning around 1870] started at the peak of liberalism [i.e. the period of Europe's experimentation with laissez faire] but that it ended around 1892-4, just as the return to protectionism in Continental Europe had become really effective. . . .  In those years the United States, which, as we have seen, was increasing its protectionism, went through a phase of very rapid growth.  Indeed this period can be regarded as among the most prosperous in the whole economic history of the United States.

See also, Mark Bils, "Tariff Protection and Production in the Early U.S. Cotton Textile Industry," Journal of Economic History, Vol. 44, December 1984, pp. 1033-1045 (analyzing protectionism in the U.S. in the first half of the nineteenth century).  An excerpt:

Cotton textiles constituted nearly two-thirds of value added in large-scale manufacturing in New England in the 1830s.  The removal of the tariff, according to my results, would have reduced value added in textiles by, at a minimum, three-quarters.  The implication is that about half of the industrial sector of New England would have been bankrupted.

 

 

41.  On the recovery of the U.S. steel industry, see for example, "America's steel industry: Protection's stepchild," Economist (London), May 16, 1992, p. 97.  An excerpt:

[F]or most of the 1980s America's steel industry was heavily protected from foreign competition.  Starting in 1982, after a series of anti-dumping complaints against foreign suppliers [dumping is a practice in which foreign companies sell goods abroad for less than they are sold domestically or for less then they cost to produce], the government negotiated a series of "voluntary" export restraints (VERs) with the E.C. [European Community], Japan, South Korea and others.  The agreements limited the foreign supplier's share of the American market; thus sheltered, the industry rebuilt itself. . . .  The policy of protection -- much criticised by economists at the time -- seems to have worked.  It gave the industry the time (and extra profits) it needed to adjust.

Or did it?  On closer examination, the recovery of the American steel industry is a lot more complicated.  At great cost, the VERs did have an effect: at least initially, they kept the price of steel in America higher than it would otherwise have been. . . .  [From 1984, the VERS] limited steel imports to about 20% of the American market. . . .  According to an estimate made by the Institute for International Economics in the mid-1980s, the steel VERs were then costing consumers roughly $7 billion a year.  On the assumption that the restraints would stop about 9,000 jobs from disappearing (in an industry that then employed about 170,000 people), the authors put the price for each job saved at $750,000 a year.

David Gardner, "U.S. 'flouting the rules' in steel dispute," Financial Times (London), December 2, 1992, p. 4.  An excerpt:

The European Commission said yesterday it was "shocked" at Monday's imposition by the U.S. of provisional countervailing duties on flat-rolled steel from six E.C. countries, accusing Washington of flouting international trade rules to protect its steel market. . . .  The Commission says the U.S. is responding politically to the domestic difficulties of its steel producers by effectively closing its market to [European] Community steel exporters.

See also footnote 42 of this chapter.

On the destruction of unions in the U.S., see chapter 9 of U.P. and its footnotes 24, 26 and 27.  See also footnote 23 of chapter 8 of U.P.; and footnotes 72 and 81 of chapter 10 of U.P.

 

 

42.  On Baker's statement and Reaganite protectionism, see for example, Stuart Auerbach, "Baker Calls U.S. Late In Attacking Trade Gap," Washington Post, September 15, 1987, p. E1.  An excerpt:

[Baker] cited as "a little known fact" that President Reagan, despite his strong adherence to free trade, "has granted more import relief to United States industry than any of his predecessors in more than half a century" and was the first president to initiate unfair trade cases.  Baker said these actions "rolled back barriers in Europe, Korea, Japan and Taiwan."

See also, Paul Blustein, "Unfair Traders: Does the U.S. Have Room to Talk?," Washington Post, May 24, 1989, p. F1.  An excerpt:

[C]hief White House economist Michael J. Boskin noted that the United States maintains restrictions on imports of steel, autos and a host of other products.  Defense Secretary Richard B. Cheney said the Pentagon is prohibited by law from buying supercomputers from any but U.S. manufacturers.  And even Trade Representative Carla A. Hills, who favors taking a tough stand against Japan, described as disgraceful the existence of U.S. quotas on sugar imports. . . .  Among the [other] products that are restricted in some manner from import into the United States . . . are cheese and other dairy products, textiles and apparel, machine tools, beef, peanuts and ceramic tiles. . . .

[D]espite the free-trade rhetoric of the Reagan administration, U.S. import restrictions have been growing rapidly during the recent past.  According to [Georgetown University trade specialist Gary] Hufbauer, the proportion of imports affected by substantial U.S. barriers rose to about 23 percent in 1988 from about 12 percent in 1980.  Other estimates, including one by the World Bank, show a similar increase.

Phillip Oppenheim, "Buccaneering capitalism in a not so free market," Financial Times (London), November 16, 1992, p. 13.  An excerpt:

A World Bank survey of non-tariff barriers showed that they covered 9 per cent of all goods in Japan -- compared with 34 per cent in the U.S. -- figures reinforced by David Henderson of the O.E.C.D. [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development], who stated that during the 1980s the U.S. had the worst record for devising new non-tariff barriers. . . .  [T]he free-market image of the U.S. and the rhetoric of its leaders rarely match the facts, while the interventionism and protectionism of Germany and Japan are habitually exaggerated by politicians and industrialists for self-serving reasons.

 

 

43.  For the British study, see Winfried Ruigrock and Rob Van Tulder, The Logic of International Restructuring, New York: Routledge, 1995, especially ch. 9.  An excerpt (pp. 217, 221-222):

We assess that at least twenty corporations in the 1993 Fortune 100 would not have survived at all as independent companies, if they had not been saved by their respective governments. . . .  Virtually all of the world's largest core firms have experienced a decisive influence from government policies and/or trade barriers on their strategy and competitive position. . . .

Government intervention has been the rule rather than the exception over the past two centuries.  This intervention has taken the shape of all kinds of trade and industrial policies, and of a weak enforcement of competition or anti-trust regulations. . . .  Government intervention has played a key role in the development and diffusion of many product and process innovations -- particularly in aerospace, electronics, modern agriculture, materials technologies, energy and transportation technology. . . .  [G]overnment policies, in particular defence programmes, have been an overwhelming force in shaping the strategies and competitiveness of the world's largest firms.

See also, Michael Borrus [Co-Director of the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy], "Investing on the Frontier: How the U.S. Can Reclaim High-Tech Leadership," American Prospect, Fall 1992, pp. 79-87 at pp. 79-80 (citing a 1988 Department of Commerce study showing that "five of the top six fastest growing U.S. industries from 1972 to 1988 were sponsored or sustained, directly or indirectly, by federal investment," the only exception being lithograph services.  "The winners [in earlier years] -- computers, biotechnology, jet engines, and airframes -- were each the by-product of public spending for national defense and public health").  And see footnote 22 of chapter 10 of U.P.

 

 

44.  On the motorization and suburbanization of the U.S., see for example, Bradford C. Snell, American Ground Transport: A Proposal for Restructuring the Automobile, Truck, Bus, and Rail Industries, Hearings Before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly, 93rd Congress, 2nd Session, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974, especially pp. 1-3, 26-47.  An excerpt (pp. 1-3):

[This study] focuses on three powerful automobile companies which eliminated competition among themselves, secured control over rival bus and rail industries, and then maximized profits by substituting cars and trucks for trains, streetcars, subways and buses.  In short, it describes how General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler reshaped American ground transportation to serve corporate wants instead of social needs.  This is not a study of malevolent or rapacious executives.  Rather, it maintains that as a result of their monopolistic structure the Big Three automakers have acted in a manner detrimental to the public interest. . . .

G.M. has both the power and the economic incentive to maximize profits by suppressing rail and bus transportation.  The economics are obvious: one bus can eliminate 35 automobiles; one streetcar, subway or rail transit vehicle can supplant 50 passenger cars; one train can displace 1,000 cars or a fleet of 150 cargo-laden trucks.  The result was inevitable: a drive by G.M. to sell cars and trucks by displacing rail and bus systems.  This section [of the report] describes that process.  It discloses, for example, G.M.'s role in the destruction of more than 100 electric surface rail systems in 45 cities including New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Louis, Oakland, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.  More specifically, it describes the devastating impact of this widescale operation on the quality of life in America's cities. . . .

General Motors' common control of auto, truck, and locomotive production may have contributed to the decline of America's railroads.  Beginning in the mid-1930s, this firm used its leverage as the Nation's largest shipper of freight to coerce railroads into scrapping their equipment, including pollution-free electric locomotives, in favor of more expensive, less durable, and less efficient G.M. diesel units.  As a consequence, dieselization seriously impaired the ability of railroads to compete with the cars and trucks G.M. was fundamentally interested in selling.

The study then describes actual corporate conspiracies to destroy urban streetcar systems across the United States (pp. 30-33):

After its successful experience with intercity buses, General Motors diversified into city bus and rail operations.  At first, its procedure consisted of directly acquiring and scrapping local electric transit systems in favor of G.M. buses.  In this fashion, it created a market for city buses.  As G.M. General Counsel Henry Hogan would observe later, the corporation "decided that the only way this new market for (city) buses could be created was for it to finance the conversion from streetcars to buses in some small cities."  On June 29, 1932, the G.M.-bus executive committee formally resolved that "to develop motorized transportation, our company should initiate a program of this nature and authorize the incorporation of a holding company with a capital of $300,000."  Thus was formed United Cities Motor Transit (U.C.M.T.) as a subsidiary of G.M.'s bus division.  Its sole function was to acquire electric streetcar companies, convert them to G.M. motorbus operation, and then resell the properties to local concerns which agreed to purchase G.M. bus replacements.  The electric streetcar lines of Kalamazoo and Saginaw, Mich., and Springfield, Ohio, were U.C.M.T.'s first targets. . . .

In 1936 [General Motors] combined with the Omnibus Corp. in engineering the tremendous conversion of New York City's electric streetcar system to G.M. buses. . . .  The massive conversion within a period of only 18 months of the New York system, then the world's largest streetcar network, has been recognized subsequently as the turning point in the electric railway industry.  Meanwhile, General Motors had organized another holding company to convert the remainder of the Nation's electric transportation systems to G.M. buses. . . .  During the following 14 years General Motors, together with Standard Oil of California, Firestone Tire, and two other suppliers of bus-related products, contributed more than $9 million to this holding company [National City Lines] for the purpose of converting electric transit systems in 16 States to G.M. bus operations. . . .  To preclude the return of electric vehicles to the dozens of cities it motorized, G.M. extracted from the local transit companies contracts which prohibited their purchase of " . . . any new equipment using any fuel or means of propulsion other than gas."

The National City Lines campaign had a devastating impact on the quality of urban transportation and urban living in America.  Nowhere was the ruin more apparent than in the Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.  Thirty-five years ago it was a beautiful region of lush palm trees, fragrant orange groves, and clean, ocean-enriched air.  It was served then by the world's largest interurban electric railway system.  The Pacific Electric system branched out from Los Angeles for a radius of more than 75 miles reaching north to San Fernando, east to San Bernardino, and south to Santa Ana.  Its 3,000 quiet, pollution-free, electric trains annually transported 80 million people throughout the sprawling region's 56 separately incorporated cites.  Contrary to popular belief, the Pacific Electric, not the automobile, was responsible for the area's geographical development.  First constructed in 1911, it established traditions of suburban living long before the automobile had arrived.

In 1938, General Motors and Standard Oil of California organized Pacific City Lines (P.C.L.) as an affiliate of N.C.L. to motorize west coast electric railways.  The following year P.C.L. acquired, scrapped, and substituted bus lines for three northern California electric rail systems in Fresno, San Jose, and Stockton. . . .  [In 1940] P.C.L. began to acquire and scrap portions of the $100 million Pacific Electric system including rail lines from Los Angeles to Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena, and San Bernardino.  Subsequently, in December 1944, another N.C.L. affiliate (American City Lines) was financed by G.M. and Standard Oil to motorize downtown Los Angeles.  At the time, the Pacific Electric shared downtown Los Angeles trackage with a local electric streetcar company, the Los Angeles Railway.  American City Lines purchased the local system, scrapped its electric transit cars, tore down its power transmission lines, ripped up the tracks, and placed G.M. diesel buses fueled by Standard Oil on Los Angeles' crowded streets.  In sum, G.M. and its auto-industrial allies severed Los Angeles' regional rail links and then motorized its downtown heart.

Motorization drastically altered the quality of life in southern California.  Today, Los Angeles is an ecological wasteland: The palm trees are dying from petrochemical smog; the orange groves have been paved over by 300 miles of freeways; the air is a septic tank into which 4 million cars, half of them built by General Motors, pump 13,000 tons of pollutants daily.  With the destruction of the efficient Pacific Electric rail system, Los Angeles may have lost its best hope for rapid rail transit and a smog-free metropolitan area. . . .

In April of [1949], a Chicago Federal jury convicted G.M. of having criminally conspired with Standard Oil of California, Firestone Tire and others to replace electric transportation with gas- or diesel-powered buses and to monopolize the sale of buses and related products to local transportation companies throughout the country.  The court imposed a sanction of $5,000 on G.M. . . .  The court fined Grossman [the treasurer of G.M. and director of P.C.L.] the magnanimous sum of $1. . . .  Despite its criminal conviction, General Motors continued to acquire and dieselize electric transit properties through September of 1955.  By then, approximately 88 percent of the nation's electric streetcar network had been eliminated.  In 1936, when G.M. organized National City Lines, 40,000 streetcars were operating in the United States; at the end of 1955, only 5,000 remained.

For the decision upholding the conspirators' criminal conviction on appeal, see United States v. National City Lines, Inc., et al., 186 F.2d 562 (7th Cir. 1951).  For the decision in the civil antitrust suit which followed the conspirators' criminal conviction, see United States v. National City Lines, Inc., et al., 134 F.Supp. 350 (N.D. Ill. 1955). 

See also, Richard B. DuBoff, Accumulation and Power: An Economic History of the United States, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1989.  An excerpt (pp. 102-103):

As the backlog of unrealized passenger car sales from the 1930s and early 1940s was exhausted by the time of the Korean War [i.e. the early 1950s], the momentum behind [motorization] came from the cumulative impact of the Federal Highway Acts of 1944, 1956, and 1968.  They opened the way to complete motorization and the crippling of surface mass transit. . . .  In effect [the 1956 Act] wrote into law the 1932 National Highway Users Conference strategy of G.M. chairman Alfred P. Sloan to channel gasoline and other motor vehicle-related excise taxes exclusively into highway construction. . . .  The U.S. Congress was never asked to finance this massive highway program out of general tax revenues -- that would have been extremely difficult to accomplish.  Instead, the methods adopted allowed $70 billion to be spent on the interstates without passing through the congressional appropriations process, as Congress surrendered control over the funds to the Bureau of Public Roads, while about 1 percent of that amount was allocated to rail transit.

This public "external economy" drastically lowered the risks to private investors in motels, shopping centers, sports complexes, residential housing estates, and suburban commercial and industrial zones.  It is hardly conceivable that the private sector alone could have financed [motorization]. . . .  One of the five authors of the House interstate highway bill in 1956, former Minnesota Congressman John Blatnik, added that the system "gave work all over the country.  It put a nice solid floor across the whole economy in times of recession. . . ."  In the late 1980s the effects were still evident, as nine of the top 14 Fortune 500 largest industrial corporations in 1987, ranked by sales, were automobile or oil companies.

David J. St. Clair, The Motorization of American Cities, New York: Praeger, 1986, pp. 16-17, and chs. 3 and 6.

 

 

45.  On the fate of Egypt's nineteenth century industrial revolution, see for example, Afaf Lutfi Al-Sayyid Marsot, Egypt in the Reign of Muhammad Ali, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1984, pp. 169f, 238f, 258f.

 

 

46.  On the fate of Bengal after the British colonial occupation, see for example, Frederick Clairmonte, Economic Liberalism and Underdevelopment: Studies in the Disintegration of an Idea, New York: Asia Publishing House, 1960.  An excerpt (pp. 86 n.57, 98):

The famous textile centre of Dacca, which Clive described in 1757 as "extensive, populous and rich as the city of London" was to be transformed into a veritable desert.  "The population of the town of Dacca," asserted Sir Charles Trevelyan before the Select Committee [of the British House of Lords] in 1840, "has fallen from 150,000 to 30,000 and the jungle and malaria are fast encroaching upon the town. . . .  Dacca, the Manchester of India, has fallen off from a very flourishing town to a very poor and small town."  Similarly, Sir Henry Cotton, writing at the end of the century, could declare that "the present population of the town of Dacca is only 79,000.  This decadence has occurred not only in Dacca, but in all districts."

Betsy Hartmann and James Boyce, A Quiet Violence: View from a Bangladesh Village, London: Zed Books, 1983, ch. 1.  An excerpt (pp. 11-13):

Six hundred years ago the Moroccan adventurer Ibn Battuta, whose travels took him to Persia, China, Sumatra and Timbuktu, recorded these impressions of Bengal: "This is a country of great extent, and one in which rice is extremely abundant.  Indeed, I have seen no region of the earth in which provisions are so plentiful."  Today Bangladesh is a land of hunger.  The relics of its impoverished people are housed in a small, unpretentious museum in Dhaka.  In a glass display case there is a pale turban, a specimen of the famous Dhaka muslin once prized in the imperial courts of Europe and Asia.  Thirty feet long and three feet wide, the turban is so fine that it can be folded to fit inside a matchbox.  The weavers of Dhaka once produced this cloth on their handlooms, using thread spun from the cotton which grew along the banks of the nearby Meghna River.  Today both the cotton and the weavers have disappeared.  The variety of the cotton plant adapted to the moist Bengali climate is extinct, and Bangladesh must import virtually all its cotton from abroad. . . .

The soil laid down by Bangladesh's rivers is among the most fertile in the world, and floodwaters periodically renew this fertility by depositing fresh silt and promoting the growth of beneficial soil micro-organisms.  Surface waters and vast underground aquifers give Bangladesh a tremendous potential for irrigation, which is today largely untapped, while the subtropical climate allows crops to be grown 12 months a year.  The rivers, ponds, and rice paddies are alive with fish; according to a report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, "Bangladesh is possibly the richest country in the world as far as inland fishery resources are concerned. . . ."  Today Bangladesh is famous for its poverty. . . .  The land may be rich, but the people are poor.  Well over half are malnourished.  The average annual income is $100 per person, the life expectancy only 46 years, and like all averages these overstate the well-being of the least fortunate.  A quarter of Bangladesh's children die before reaching the age of five. . . .

The first Europeans to visit eastern Bengal, the region which is now Bangladesh, found a thriving industry and a prosperous agriculture.  It was, in the optimistic words of one Englishman, "a wonderful land, whose richness and abundance neither war, pestilence, nor oppression could destroy. . . ."  European traders . . . were lured to eastern Bengal above all by its legendary cotton industry, which ranked among the greatest industries of the world.  After the British East India Company wrested control of Bengal from its Muslim rulers in 1757, the line between trade and outright plunder faded. . . .  Ironically, the profits from the lucrative trade in Bengali textiles helped to finance Britain's industrial revolution.  As their own mechanized textile industry developed, the British eliminated competition from Bengali textiles through an elaborate network of restrictions and prohibitive duties.  Not only were Indian textiles effectively shut out of the British market, but even within India, taxes discriminated against local cloth. . . .  The decimation of local industry brought great hardship to the Bengali people.

See also, Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976 (original 1776), Bk. I, ch. VIII, p. 82; Book IV, ch. V, p. 33; Book IV, ch. VII, pt. III, pp. 152-153.

 

 

47.  On India's industrial competitiveness and the British response, see for example, Frederick Clairmonte, Economic Liberalism and Underdevelopment: Studies in the Disintegration of an Idea, New York: Asia Publishing House, 1960, ch. 2.  An excerpt (pp. 73, 74, 86, 87):

Digby [author of the 1902 study Prosperous British India: A Revelation from Official Records] argued that "before the stream of loot began to flow to England, the industries of our country were at a low level.  Lancashire spinning and weaving were on a par with the corresponding industry in India so far as machinery was concerned; but the skill which had made Indian cottons a marvel of manufacture was wholly wanting in any of the Western nations. . . ."  In the field of iron working -- as the iron pillars in New Delhi bear witness -- India attained a remarkable degree of skill. . . .  Nor was India backward in the field of naval construction.  Her ships roamed the seven seas, and even as late as 1802 British warships were built by India and England borrowed blueprints from Indian builders.

[Before a British Parliamentary Committee in 1840] Montgomery Martin stated that he . . . was convinced that an outrage had been committed "by reason of the outcry for free trade on the part of England without permitting India a free trade herself."  After supplying statistical data of Indian textile exports to Great Britain, he pointed out that between 1815-1832 prohibitive duties ranging from 10 to 20, 30, 50, 100 and 1,000 per cent were levied on articles from India. . . .  "Had this not been the case," wrote Horace Wilson in his 1826 History of British India, "the mills of Paisley and Manchester would have been stopped in their outset, and could scarcely have been again set in motion, even by the power of steam.  They were created by the sacrifice of Indian manufacturers."

Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India, New York: John Day Company, 1946, pp. 283-299.  An excerpt (pp. 295-299):

A significant fact which stands out is that those parts of India which have been longest under British rule are the poorest today.  Indeed some kind of chart might be drawn up to indicate the close connection between length of British rule and progressive growth of poverty. . . .  [T]here can be no doubt that the poorest parts of India are Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and parts of the Madras presidency; the mass level and standards of living are highest in the Punjab.  Bengal certainly was a very rich and prosperous province before the British came.  There may be many reasons for these contrasts and differences.  But it is difficult to get over the fact that Bengal, once so rich and flourishing, after 187 years of British rule, accompanied, as we are told, by strenuous attempts on the part of the British to improve its condition and to teach its people the art of self-government, is today a miserable mass of poverty-stricken, starving and dying people. . . .  It is significant that one of the Hindustani words which has become part of the English language is "loot. . . ."

The Chief business of the East India Company in its early period, the very object for which it was started, was to carry Indian manufactured goods -- textiles, etc., as well as spices and the like -- from the East to Europe, where there was a great demand for these articles.  With the development in industrial techniques in England a new class of industrial capitalists rose there demanding a change in this policy.  The British market was to be closed to Indian products and the Indian market opened to British manufactures.  The British parliament, influenced by this new class, began to take a greater interest in India and the working of the East India Company.  To begin with, Indian goods were excluded from Britain by legislation. . . .  This was followed by vigorous attempts to restrict and crush Indian manufactures. . . .  The Indian textile industry collapsed, affecting vast numbers of weavers and artisans.  The process . . . continued throughout the nineteenth century, breaking up other old industries also, shipbuilding, metalwork, glass, paper, and many crafts. . . .

The liquidation of the artisan class led to unemployment on a prodigious scale.  What were all these scores of millions, who had so far been engaged in industry and manufacture, to do now?  Where were they to go?  Their old profession was no longer open to them; the way to a new one was barred.  They could die of course; that way of escape from an intolerable situation is always open.  They did die in tens of millions.  The English governor-general of India, Lord Bentinck, reported in 1834 that "the misery hardly finds a parallel in the history of commerce.  The bones of the cotton-weavers are bleaching the plains of India. . . ."  India became progressively ruralized.  In every progressive country there has been, during the past century, a shift of population from agriculture to industry; from village to town; in India this process was reversed, as a result of British policy. . . .  This, then, is the real, the fundamental cause of the appalling poverty of the Indian people, and it is of comparatively recent origin.

Paul Mantoux, The Industrial Revolution in the Eighteenth Century: An outline of the beginnings of the modern factory system in England, New York: Macmillan, 1961, pp. 200-201.  See also footnote 46 of this chapter.

 

 

48.  On the pivotal importance of the French to the American Revolution, see for example, Bernard Fall, Last Reflections on a War, New York: Doubleday, 1967.  An excerpt (p. 276):

[W]hen British general Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown to the combined French and American forces . . . his aide, General O'Hara, made a slight (and, perhaps, intentional) error in etiquette as he tried to surrender his commander's sword to French general Rochambeau rather than to one of the American generals present. . . .  Count Rochambeau . . . turned down the honor, and the sword was finally handed to General Benjamin Lincoln, who had been defeated by the British at Charleston, S.C., three years earlier. . . .

Shorn of almost two centuries of 4th-of-July oratory, [the American Revolutionary War] was a military operation fought by a very small armed minority -- at almost no time did Washington's forces exceed 8000 men in a country which had at least 300,000 able-bodied males -- and backed by a force of 31,897 French ground troops and 12,660 sailors and Marines manning sixty-one major vessels.  The total cost of the campaign to the French (almost $2 billion) drove the French monarchy into bankruptcy and subsequent revolution.  But politically, the French had achieved exactly what they had intended to do: they had temporarily shattered Britain's position of pre-eminence not only in America but in Europe as well.

 

 

49.  For the Jacksonian Democrats' statements about the annexation of Texas, see for example, Lyon G. Tyler, ed., The Letters and Times of the Tylers, Richmond, VA: Whittet & Shepperson, 1885, Vol. 2.  In a letter to his son following the annexation of Texas, President Tyler wrote (p. 483):

The monopoly of the cotton plant was the great and important concern.  That monopoly, now secured, places all other nations at our feet.  An embargo of a single year would produce in Europe a greater amount of suffering than a fifty years' war.  I doubt whether Great Britain could avoid convulsions.

Earlier, Senator Sevier of Texas made the same point.  See Thomas R. Hietala, Manifest Design: Anxious Aggrandizement in Late Jacksonian America, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985, pp. 63-70.  Sevier stated (p. 66):

[Annexation of Texas would] enable us to monopolize, through the instrumentality of slave labor, the productions of cotton and sugar, not only for the supply of our own markets, but the markets of the world.

Other contemporary advocates of the annexation of Texas also urged (pp. 67-68):

[T]he chance for the emancipation of England from her dependence upon the United States for cotton . . . will have passed away forever. . . .  [Annexation would] entirely preclude the attempt of England to raise up a cotton growing nation in opposition to the United States [which could be] a fatal rival. . . .  [It would] tend more successfully to insure our peace and security than a standing army.

 

 

50.  For a typical claim that the market inexorably has caused rising economic inequality, see John Cassidy, "Who Killed the Middle Class?," New Yorker, October 16, 1995, pp. 113-124.  An excerpt (pp. 118, 124):

If the free market has decided, in its infinite but mysterious wisdom, that the American middle class is doomed, then the politicians will eventually have to wake up and accept the fact. . . .  [The death of the middle class] is nobody's fault; it is just how capitalism has developed.  Once this conclusion is accepted, maybe the political debate can move away from mutual recrimination and on to ways of governing a less homogeneous and more inequitable society.

See also chapter 10 of U.P. and its footnotes 66, 67, 68 and 101.

 

 

51.  On the design of automation to enhance managerial control and de-skill workers, see for example, David F. Noble, Forces of Production: A Social History of Industrial Automation, New York: Knopf, 1984, especially chs. 5 to 9.  This detailed study concludes (pp. 334, 338):

[I]nvestigation of the actual design and use of capital-intensive, labor-saving, skill-reducing technology has begun to indicate that cost reduction was not a prime motivation, nor was it achieved.  Rather than any such economic stimulus, the overriding impulse behind the development of the American system of manufacture was military; the principal promoter of the new methods was not the self-adjusting market but the extra-market U.S. Army Ordnance Department. . . .  The drive to automate has been from its inception the drive to reduce dependence upon skilled labor, to deskill necessary labor and reduce rather than raise wages.

See also, Merritt Roe Smith, ed., Military Enterprise and Technological Change: Perspectives on the American Experience, Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1985 (collection of essays examining the role of the military in technological development); Seymour Melman, Profits Without Production, New York: Knopf, 1983 (detailed examination of the negative effects of the military influence on commercial enterprise); Michael L. Dertouzos, Richard K. Lester et al., Made in America: Regaining the Productive Edge, Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1989 (this study of industrial productivity found that Germany, Japan, and other countries that maintained the craft tradition, with more direct participation of skilled workers in production decisions, have been more successful in modern industry than the United States, with its tradition of de-skilling and marginalizing workers in the "mass-production model."  It concluded that lessened hierarchy, responsibility in the hands of production workers, and training in new technologies has improved economic results where it has been tried in the U.S.).

 

 

52.  On managerial selection of automation not being dependent on its profitability, see for example, David F. Noble, Forces of Production: A Social History of Industrial Automation, New York: Knopf, 1984, chs. 7 and 9.  See also, John A. Simpson [Director of Manufacturing Engineering at the National Bureau of Standards], "The Factory of the Future," talk at Rensselaer Polytechnic, June 3, 1982 [cited in David F. Noble, Progress Without People: In Defense of Luddism, Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 1993, pp. 89, 97 n.38].  An excerpt:

In metalworking manufacture, direct labor amounts to roughly 10 percent of total cost, as compared to materials at 55 percent and overhead another 35 percent.  Yet, as of 1982, management was expending roughly 75 percent of managerial and engineering effort on labor costs reduction and 10 percent on overhead cost reduction.  This is a striking disparity.

Danforth W. Austin and J. Ernest Beazley, "Struggling Industries In Nation's Heartland Speed Up Automation," Wall Street Journal, April 4, 1983, p. 1.  An excerpt:

[According to] Thomas G. Gunn of the consulting concern of Arthur D. Little, Inc . . .: "[Companies] get the biggest, fastest, sexiest robot, when the plain truth is that in most cases a very simple piece of equipment would do the job. . . .  [Companies] don't so much make mistakes as learn that it's going to take two or three times as much money and time as they thought to get the system working."

Vera Ketelboeter, "Where is Automation in Manufacturing Headed?," Science for the People, November/December 1981, pp. 16-18.  This article reports a study of automated flexible manufacturing systems which found that:

[M]anagement is usually sold on the idea to use such systems by an engineer in the company who is enthusiastic about the technology.  Cost justifications play a secondary role.  The more sophisticated and fascinating a machine is, the less management is likely to quarrel over dollars.

Carol Hymowitz, "Manufacturers Press Automating to Survive, But Results Are Mixed: As Technology Soars, Users Struggle With Transition And Unsuitable Machines," Wall Street Journal, April 11, 1983, p. 1; "Preliminary Report on Industrial Automation," Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Policy Alternatives, 1977 (academic study concluding that "after-the-fact analysis of the actual economic impact of a process of automation is rarely carried out; the result is a loss of data necessary to inform subsequent decisions about automation").

 

 

53.  After teaching for nine years at M.I.T., David Noble was fired in 1984 for his ideas and his actions in support of them.  He subsequently sued M.I.T. to obtain and make public the documentary record of his political firing, on the basis of which the American Historical Association condemned M.I.T. for the firing.  Noble became the Curator of Industrial Automation and Labor at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, where he planned and began work on what was to be the world's first major exhibit on the human costs of automation, entitled "Automation Madness."  The Smithsonian, however, declined to present the exhibition to the public, fired Noble, and shipped the only Luddite sledgehammer in existence back to England.  Noble ultimately obtained a teaching position in Canada, at York University.

For Noble's books, see among others, David F. Noble, Forces of Production: A Social History of Industrial Automation, New York: Knopf, 1984; and David F. Noble, Progress Without People: In Defense of Luddism, Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 1993.  See also, David F. Noble, "Command Performance: A Perspective on Military Enterprise and Technological Change," in Merritt Roe Smith, ed., Military Enterprise and Technological Change: Perspectives on the American Experience, Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1985 (on the development of numerical control and containerization).

 

 

54.  For a summary of the state of the Central America solidarity movement in the mid-1980s, see Joshua Cohen and Joel Rogers, Rules of the Game: American Politics and the Central America Movement, Boston: South End, 1986.  An excerpt (pp. 44-45):

What we will be calling the Central America Movement (C.A.M.) is not really a single movement, but a convergence of diverse efforts.  It is comprised of roughly 850 different support groups and organizations, operating in all 50 states.  Some are affiliated with the major "solidarity" organizations -- the Nicaragua Network, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), and the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA).  Others are affiliated with the Pledge of Resistance, providing legislative alerts and notice of upcoming actions to the 80,000 Americans who have committed themselves to resisting the escalation of U.S. military involvement in Central America.  Many work with the Sanctuary Movement; to date more than 300 churches and synagogues have declared themselves sanctuaries for Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees, as have 21 cities and the state of New Mexico.  Others have participated in the Witness for Peace program, which has led more than 80 delegations to Nicaragua in recent years, and provides an ongoing presence of U.S. observers in that country.  Some have participated in the different agricultural or technical brigades that have worked in Nicaragua, or in MADRE, a "people to people" linkage of minorities and women in the U.S. and Central America.  Still others are affiliated with the union-based Committee in Support of Human Rights and Democracy in El Salvador, which is trying to break the A.F.L.-C.I.O. leadership's stranglehold on foreign policy actions within the labor movement.  And so on.  In addition to all these groups, whose work focuses on the region, there are a number of other organizations, with broader agendas, that also work on the Central America issue.

 

 

55.  For an article treating parasite sects as "the left," see for example, Laurie P. Cohen, "Not Much Left: 'The Movement' Is Pretty Still Nowadays; Despite the G.O.P. Revolution, Radical Groups Can't Win Converts to Their Brand," Wall Street Journal, June 16, 1995, p. A1.  This article opens with a description of a May Day parade led by the Revolutionary Communist Party, which was attended by 41 people.  It then focuses on such groups as the Spartacist League, the International Socialist Organization, and the Freedom Socialists to gauge the scope and strength of "the Movement."

For one of the books about French Stalinists, see Tony Judt, Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944-1956, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.

 

 

56.  For samples of the official ideology of a war debt owed by Vietnam, see for example, Barbara Crossette, "Vietnam, Trying To Be Nicer, Still Has A Long Way To Go," New York Times, November 10, 1985, section 4, p. 3; Barbara Crossette, "Hanoi Said To Vow To Give M.I.A. Data," New York Times, October 24, 1992, p. 1.  An excerpt:

President Bush said today that Hanoi had agreed to turn over to the United States all documents, pictures and personal effects relating to American servicemen during the Vietnam War. . . .  "Today, finally, I am convinced that we can begin writing the last chapter of the Vietnam War," Mr. Bush said in the White House Rose Garden.  "It was a bitter conflict, but Hanoi knows today that we seek only answers without the threat of retribution for the past. . . ."

President Bush did not mention the possibility of diplomatic recognition of Vietnam or a lifting of an American-led international embargo, but there is strong speculation that he might move to normalize relations with Vietnam before his term ends in January.  The President's announcement was welcomed by aid organizations, scholars and business leaders who have advocated an end to the isolation of Hanoi. . . .  The United States now blocks aid to Vietnam from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The adjacent front-page story reports Japan's failure, once again, to  apologize "for its wartime aggression."  See David E. Sanger, "Japan's Emperor Tells China Only of His 'Sadness' on War," New York Times,  October 24, 1992, p. 1.

See also, "Transcript of President's News Conference on Foreign and Domestic Issues," New York Times, March 25, 1977, p. A10 (asked if, assuming resolution of the issue of U.S. soldiers "Missing In Action" in Vietnam, the United States has a moral obligation to help rebuild that country, President Jimmy Carter assured that we owe Vietnam no debt and have no responsibility to render it any assistance, because "the destruction was mutual").  On the U.S. invasion and destruction of Vietnam, see chapter 1 of U.P. and its footnotes 3, 71 and 79; chapter 2 of U.P. and its footnote 10; and chapter 3 of U.P. and its footnote 52.

Chomsky remarks that, for a decade, the official justification for the U.S. policy of "bleeding Vietnam" was alleged outrage over Vietnam's December 1978 invasion of Cambodia, which drove out the murderous Cambodian ruler Pol Pot (a Chinese client, hence indirectly a U.S. ally, after President Carter's "tilt towards China" earlier in the year) and terminated his massacres after years of vicious Cambodian attacks on the border regions of Vietnam.  When the Vietnamese then withdrew all forces from Cambodia, the U.S. propaganda system smoothly switched to the earlier pretext: the fate of the missing American soldiers.

On the P.O.W.-M.I.A. (Prisoner Of War-Missing In Action) issue, see for example, H. Bruce Franklin, M.I.A. or Mythmaking in America, New York: Lawrence Hill, 1992; Terry Anderson [historian and Vietnam veteran], "The Light at the End of the Tunnel," Diplomatic History, Fall 1988, pp. 443-462; Walter F. Wouk [veteran and Chair of the New York State Senate Vietnam Veterans Advisory Council], "Exorcising a ghost of Vietnam," Chicago Tribune, June 2, 1992, p. 19.  An excerpt:

The P.O.W./M.I.A. issue continues to fester like an open wound in the mind of many Vietnam veterans.  The time has come for these veterans to accept reality and abandon the myth that the Vietnamese are still holding American P.O.W.s.  This assertion is simply not supported by the facts and prolongs the anguish of the war.  Recently, John Vessey, the United States' chief M.I.A. hunter since 1987, told a Senate Committee conducting an M.I.A. inquiry that there is virtually no hope of finding live M.I.A.s in Vietnam.  He said in his tenure, "the only conclusive evidence that has been uncovered . . . has been to show that one American or another was dead."

Every war has its share of missing-in-action, and the American public has been led to believe that the Vietnam War produced an inordinate number of M.I.A.s.  But that is not the case.  At the end of World War II the U.S. had 78,751 M.I.A.s, 27 percent of the war's U.S. battle deaths.  The Korean War resulted in 8,177 M.I.A.s which represented 15.2 percent of the Americans killed-in-action.  Of the 2.6 million Americans who served in Vietnam, 2,505 -- less than 5.5 percent of the U.S. battle deaths -- are listed as missing in action.  But even that figure is misleading.  Of that number 1,113 were killed in action, but their bodies were not recovered.  Another 631 were presumed dead because of the circumstances of their loss -- i.e., airmen known to have crashed into the sea -- and 33 died in captivity.  The remaining 728 are missing.  It should be noted that 590 of the missing Americans (81 percent) were airmen; and there were strong indications that more than 442 of these individuals (75 percent) went down with their aircraft.

On "bleeding" Vietnam and U.S. concern for Cambodia, see chapter 3 of U.P. and its footnotes 55, 57, 61 and 65.

 

 

57.  On the American public's view of the Vietnam War, see for example, John E. Rielly, ed., American Public Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy 1987, Chicago: Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, 1987.  An excerpt (pp. 3, 33):

The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations commissioned the Gallup Organization to conduct this survey of both the general public and national leaders [including representatives of government, business, media, churches, voluntary organizations, and ethnic organizations]. . . .

American attitudes concerning the Vietnam War remained generally negative.  In the 1986 survey, as before, respondents were asked how they felt about the statement that the Vietnam War "was more than a mistake; it was fundamentally wrong and immoral."  In 1986, 66% of the public concurred, compared with 72% in 1978 and 1982.  A total of 27% disagreed "somewhat" or "strongly" with the statement, compared with 21% in 1982 and 19% in 1978.  Among leaders, only 44% agreed with the statement, compared with 45% in 1982 and 50% in 1978.  A total of 57% disagreed with the statement, compared with 54% in 1982 and 47% in 1978.

This disparity of attitudes towards the war always has existed.  For example, Chomsky analyzes the findings of a revealing public opinion study [see Charles Kadushin, The American Intellectual Elite, Boston: Little, Brown, 1974] as follows:

[Kadushin] investigated attitudes [towards the Vietnam War] of a group that he called "the American intellectual elite" in 1970, at the very peak of active opposition to the war, when colleges were closed down in opposition to the invasion of Cambodia and demonstrations swept the country. . . .  The "intellectual elite" opposed the war, almost without exception.  But the grounds for their opposition deserve careful attention.  Kadushin identified three categories of opposition -- what he called "ideological," "moral," and "pragmatic" grounds.  Under "ideological" opposition to the war he includes the belief that aggression is wrong, even when conducted by the United States.  Opposition on "moral" grounds is based on deaths and atrocities: The war is too bloody.  "Pragmatic" opposition to the war is grounded on the feeling that we probably can't get away with it: The war is too costly; the enterprise should be liquidated as no longer worthwhile. 

There are two points of interest about this analysis.  First, the terminology itself.  No doubt the group surveyed would have been unanimous in deploring Russian aggression in Czechoslovakia [in 1968].  But on what grounds?  Not on "pragmatic" grounds, since it was quite successful and not very costly.  Not on "moral" grounds, since casualties were few.  Rather, on "ideological" grounds: that is, on grounds that aggression is wrong, even if it is relatively bloodless, costless, and successful.  But would we ever refer to this as an objection on "ideological" grounds?  Surely not.  It is only when one challenges the divine right of the United States to intervene by force in the internal affairs of others that such sinister terms as "ideological" are invoked.  More interesting, however, is the distribution of responses.  Opposition [by the intellectual elite] on "ideological" grounds of opposition to aggression was very limited.  More objected on "moral" grounds.  But to an overwhelming degree, objections were "pragmatic."  Recall that this survey was taken at the height of popular opposition to the war, when, in contrast to the "intellectual elite," substantial segments of the unwashed masses had come to oppose the war on grounds of principle and even to act on their beliefs.

(Quoted from Noam Chomsky, Towards A New Cold War: Essays on the Current Crisis and How We Got There, New York: Pantheon, 1982, p. 76.)

See also, Andre Modigliani, "Hawks and Doves, Isolationism and Political Distrust: An Analysis of Public Opinion on Military Policy," American Political Science Review, September 1972, pp. 960-978.  An excerpt:

[I]n June 1966, 41 per cent of those with a grade-school education favored immediate withdrawal from Vietnam as compared to only 27 per cent of those with a college education; in February 1967, only 51 per cent of the grade-school educated favored continued bombing of North Vietnam as compared to fully 74 per cent of the college-educated; in January 1968, only 44 per cent of the grade-school educated described themselves as "hawks," while 57 per cent of the college-educated did so; and in September 1970, 61 per cent of the grade-school educated and only 47 per cent of the college-educated endorsed the Hatfield-McGovern amendment calling for an end to U.S. troop involvement in Vietnam by the end of 1971.

Noam Chomsky, "Revolt in the Academy: Some Thoughts on the Student Movement," Modern Occasions, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1970, pp. 53-75 (discussing reactions of the U.S. intellectual establishment to the 1960s student movement).

 

 

58.  For the leaked Bush administration planning document, see Maureen Dowd, "Bush Moves to Control War's Endgame," New York Times, February 23, 1992, section 1, p. 1.  This article mainly is concerned with the final strategy for the Gulf War, and President Bush's decision "that he would rather gamble on a violent and potentially unpopular ground war than risk the alternative: an imperfect settlement hammered out by the Soviets and Iraqis that world opinion might accept as tolerable."  The exact words quoted from the secret National Security Review are:

"In cases where the U.S. confronts much weaker enemies, our challenge will be not simply to defeat them, but to defeat them decisively and rapidly. . . .  For small countries hostile to us, bleeding our forces in protracted or indecisive conflict or embarrassing us by inflicting damage on some conspicuous element of our forces may be victory enough, and could undercut political support for U.S. efforts against them."

 

 

59.  On U.S. troops involved in clandestine warfare in Peru, see for example, Charles Lane, "The Newest War," Newsweek, January 6, 1992, p. 18.  An excerpt:

A two-month NEWSWEEK inquiry has documented a Pentagon drug war, parts of it secret, that has quietly escalated to dimensions greater than most Americans yet realize.  It involves thousands of U.S. and Latin troops, at a cost of more than a billion dollars per year. . . .  Army Green Berets train Bolivian, Peruvian and Colombian police and military in jungle warfare.  Navy SEALs in Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia have given instruction in riverine operations.  Even the Army's supersecret counterterrorist unit, Delta Force, has given the Peruvian Army counterterrorism training, U.S. and Peruvian military sources say. . . .

The debate over aid to the Peruvian Army is academic for now: in September Congress withheld $10 million of $34.9 million in military assistance for the Peruvian Army, citing another chronic problem: human-rights abuses.  Pending marked improvements in that record, and clearer answers from the administration about the scope of U.S. involvement in Peru's internal war, Congress does not want to bankroll another Vietnam or El Salvador. . . .  The Army characterizes the Andean Drug War as a "low-intensity conflict," a catch-all term historically applied to wars against Marxist guerrilla armies.

On the invasions of Panama and Iraq, see chapter 5 of U.P.

 

 

60.  For Captain John Mason's own chilling account of the Pequot Massacre in his journal, see Francis Jennings, The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest, New York: Norton, 1975, pp. 220-222.  See also chapter 4 of U.P. and its footnotes 72 and 76; and chapter 6 of U.P. and its footnote 33.

For the textbook used in Chomsky's daughter's class, see Harold B. Clifford, Exploring New England (New Unified Social Studies), Chicago: Follett Publishing Co., 1961.  The book's account of the extermination of the Pequot tribe by Captain Mason reads:

His little army attacked in the morning before it was light and took the Pequots by surprise.  The soldiers broke down the stockade with their axes, rushed inside, and set fire to the wigwams.  They killed nearly all the braves, squaws, and children, and burned their corn and other food.  There were no Pequots left to make more trouble.  When the other Indian tribes saw what good fighters the white men were, they kept the peace for many years.

"I wish I were a man and had been there," thought Robert.