Ruling the World
1. Adam Smith used the phrase “principal architects” in decrying the mercantile system, which he argued benefited those who designed it at the expense of the vast majority. See Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976 (original 1776). His exact words (Book IV, ch. VII, pt. III, pp. 180-181):
It cannot be very difficult to determine who have been the contrivers of this whole mercantile system; not the consumers, we may believe, whose interest has been entirely neglected; but the producers, whose interest has been so carefully attended to; and among this latter class our merchants and manufacturers have been by far the principal architects. In the mercantile regulations, which have been taken notice of in this chapter, the interest of our manufacturers has been most peculiarly attended to; and the interest, not so much of the consumers, as that of some other sets of producers, has been sacrificed to it.
Smith’s emphasis on the basic class conflict is evident throughout his work, though this fact is grossly misrepresented and falsified by contemporary ideology. See for example the following (Book I, ch. XI, p. 278; Book IV, ch. VII, pt. III, p. 133):
The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public. . . . The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it. . . . [The monopoly of Great Britain over its colonies], I have endeavoured to show, though a very grievous tax upon the colonies, and though it may increase the revenue of a particular order of men in Great Britain, diminishes instead of increasing that of the great body of the people.
For more on Smith, see chapter 6 of U.P. and its footnote 10; and footnote 91 of chapter 10 of U.P. See also chapter 2 of U.P. and its footnote 58.
2. For more on anarchism, or libertarian socialism, see Peter Marshall, Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism, London: HarperCollins, 1992 (valuable survey of anarchist thought and experiments, with detailed bibliography). See also the text of chapter 6 of U.P. and its footnote 18; and chapter 10 of U.P. and its footnote 16.
3. On Lenin’s and Trotsky’s destruction of socialist initiatives in Russia and their guiding philosophies, see chapter 7 of U.P. and its footnote 3; and footnote 21 of this chapter.
4. On Russia’s Third World status prior to 1917, see for example, Teodor Shanin, Russia as a “Developing Society” — The Roots of Otherness: Russia’s Turn of the Century, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985, Vol. 1, pp. 103f, 123f, 187f. An excerpt (pp. 103-104, 124):
In 1900 the income per capita in Russia was three times lower than in Germany, four times below the U.K., one-third lower than even the Balkans. Because of the extreme diversity between the very rich and the very poor these average figures still understate the poverty of Russia’s poor. . . . Much poorer than Western Europe, Russia was not actually “catching up” in terms of the aggregate income per capita, productivity or consumption.
D.S. Mirsky, Russia: A Social History, London: Cresset/ New York: Century, 1952, p. 269 (“by 1914, Russia had gone a good part of the way toward becoming a semi-colonial possession of European capital”); Z.A.B. Zeman, The Making and Breaking of Communist Europe, Oxford: Blackwell, 1991, ch. 1 and pp. 57-58. On the history of Eastern Europe as an underdeveloped region, see for example, John Feffer, Shock Waves: Eastern Europe After the Revolutions, Boston: South End, 1992, ch. 1.
On the East-West rift in the context of the Third World generally, see for example, L.S. Stavrianos, Global Rift: The Third World Comes of Age, New York: Morrow, 1981, chs. 3 and 16.
5. On comparative East and West European economic development in the twentieth century, see for example, World Bank, World Development Report 1991: the Challenge of Development, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991, p. 14. The World Bank’s statistics indicate that Eastern European per capita gross domestic product compared to that of the O.E.C.D. (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is composed of the rich Western countries) declined from 64 to 57 percent between 1830 and 1913, then rose to 65 percent by 1950; declined to 63 percent by 1973; then fell to 56 percent by 1989. The overall growth rate from 1913 to 1950 was higher for Eastern Europe than for the O.E.C.D. countries (1.4 percent versus 1.1 percent), and higher from 1950 to 1989 for the O.E.C.D. countries than for Eastern Europe (2.3 percent versus 2.0 percent). The Bank’s statistics indicate that Eastern Europe’s per capita gross domestic product was 15.7 percent higher than Latin America’s in 1913, but 77.6 percent higher by 1989. Furthermore, none of these figures take into account wealth distribution, which was far more skewed in both the O.E.C.D. countries and Latin America than in Eastern Europe.
On the catastrophic economic decline in the former Soviet Empire after 1989, see footnote 10 of this chapter.
6. For the World Bank’s assessment, see “The World Bank and Development: An N.G.O. Critique and a World Bank Response,” in Trócaire Development Review, Dublin: Catholic Agency for World Development, 1990, pp. 9-27. An excerpt (p. 21, ¶9):
The Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China have until recently been among the most prominent examples of relatively successful countries that deliberately turned away from the global economy. But their vast size made inward-looking development more feasible than it would be for most countries, and even they eventually decided to shift policies and take a more active part in the global economy.
Chomsky remarks (Year 501: The Conquest Continues, Boston: South End, 1993, pp. 73-74):
A more accurate rendition would be that their “vast size” made it possible for [the Soviet Union and China] to withstand the refusal of the West to allow them to take part in the global economy on terms other than traditional subordination, the “active part in the global economy” dictated to the [Third World] in general by the world rulers.
See also, Alexander Gerschenkron, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective: A Book of Essays, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962, p. 150 (noting the Soviet Union’s “approximate sixfold increase in the volume of industrial output by the mid-1950s”). And see footnotes 8 and 108 of this chapter.
7. Western planners’ concern over Communism as a form of economic independence is stated bluntly, for example, in an extensive 1955 study sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the National Planning Association, conducted by a representative segment of the U.S. elite (including the Chairman of the Board of the General American Investors Company, the Associate Director of the Ford Foundation, the Dean of the Columbia Business School, and the Dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Public Administration). See William Yandell Elliott, ed., The Political Economy of American Foreign Policy: Its Concepts, Strategy, and Limits, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1955. An excerpt (p. 42; emphasis added):
The Soviet threat is total — military, political, economic and ideological. Four of its specific aspects are important for an understanding of present and prospective international economic problems. It has meant:
(1) A serious reduction of the potential resource base and market opportunities of the West owing to the subtraction of the communist areas from the international economy and their economic transformation in ways which reduce their willingness and ability to complement the industrial economies of the West;
(2) A planned disruption of the free world economies by means of Soviet foreign economic policy and subversive communist movements;
(3) A long-term challenge to the economic pre-eminence of the West arising from the much higher current rates of economic growth (particularly of heavy industry) in the Soviet system;
(4) A source of major insecurity in the international economy due to the fact that Soviet communism threatens not merely the political and economic institutions of the West but the continued existence of human freedom and humane society everywhere.
See also footnotes 8, 32 and 108 of this chapter; and chapter 2 of U.P. and its footnote 52.
8. On Western planners’ fears of Soviet developmental success, see for example, Record No. 55, June 12, 1956, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1955-1957, Vol. XXVI (“Central and Southeastern Europe”), Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992, p. 116. In June 1956, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles told German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer that “the economic danger from the Soviet Union was perhaps greater than the military danger.” The U.S.S.R. was “transforming itself rapidly . . . into a modern and efficient industrial state,” while Western Europe was still stagnating.
Similarly, after speaking to President Kennedy in 1961, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan wrote in his diary that the Russians “have a buoyant economy and will soon outmatch Capitalist society in the race for material wealth.” See Richard Reeves, President Kennedy: Profile of Power, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993, p. 174 [citing Alistair Horne, Harold Macmillan, Volume II: 1957-1986, New York: Viking, 1989, p. 303].
Likewise, a State Department Report from the period warned:
[T]he U.S.S.R., like Dr. Johnson’s lady preacher, has been able to do it all. We need always reflect that for the less developed countries of Asia, the U.S.S.R.’s economic achievement is a highly relevant one. That the U.S.S.R. was able to industrialize rapidly, and as they see it from scratch is, despite any misgivings about the Communist system, an encouraging fact to these nations.
See Dennis Merrill, Bread and the Ballot: the United States and India’s Economic Development, 1947-1963, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1992, p. 123.
A 1961 memorandum from President Kennedy’s Special Assistant, Arthur Schlesinger, explained with respect to Latin America:
The hemisphere[‘s] level of expectation continues to rise — stimulated both by the increase in conspicuous consumption and by the spread of the Castro idea of taking matters into one’s own hand. At the same time, as living standards begin to decline, many people tend toward Communism both as an outlet for social resentment and as a swift and sure technique for social modernization. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union hovers in the wings, flourishing large development loans and presenting itself as the model for achieving modernization in a single generation.
See “Report To The President On Latin American Mission,” March 10, 1961, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, Vol. XII (“The American Republics”), Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1996, Record No. 7, p. 13. See also footnotes 7 and 108 of this chapter.
On U.S. Cold War policies, see for example, Melvyn Leffler, A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992; Lynn Eden, “The End of U.S. Cold War History?,” International Security, Vol. 18, No. 1, Summer 1993, pp. 174-207 (discussing Leffler’s study and the new consensus on the Cold War that it helped to establish among diplomatic historians); Gabriel Kolko, Confronting the Third World: United States Foreign Policy, 1945-1980, New York: Pantheon, 1988 (with further citations to the internal government planning record on U.S. Cold War policies); Frank Kofsky, Harry Truman and the War Scare of 1948: A Successful Campaign to Deceive the Nation, New York: St. Martin’s, 1993, Appendix A (showing that internal U.S. government estimates of Soviet military capabilities and intentions after World War II were highly dismissive of their capabilities, and were “virtually unanimous in concluding that the Soviets currently had no wish to initiate hostilities with the West”). On the role of economic considerations in the Cold War, see also chapter 2 of U.P. and its footnotes 3, 4 and 5; and chapter 3 of U.P. and its footnotes 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
9. On profiteering from aid to the former Soviet Empire, see for example, John Fialka, “Helping Ourselves: U.S. Aid to Russia Is Quite a Windfall — For U.S. Consultants,” Wall Street Journal, February 24, 1994, p. A1. An excerpt:
The U.S. has pledged $5.8 billion in aid to the former Soviet Union, most of it destined for Russia; there is dancing in the streets — though not the streets of Russia. The chief celebrants? Hordes of U.S. consultants who are gobbling up much of the U.S. aid pie . . . pocketing between 50% and 90% of the money in a given aid contract. . . .
Nowhere is the disappointment more acute than in the aid targeted for nuclear disarmament — a field where Russians have considerable unemployed expertise. There was much excitement in Russia when Washington unveiled a $1.2 billion program to help dismantle Russia’s aging nuclear arsenal and re-employ its scientists in civilian research. The Russians thought much of the money was coming to them, but it hasn’t. So far, the Pentagon, which runs the program, has contracted for $754 million of U.S. goods and experts. Defense officials say it was Congress’s suggestion to use Americans where “feasible”; they have taken the admonition a step further by making it a “guiding tenet.”
Barry Newman, “Disappearing Act: West Pledged Billions of Aid to Poland — Where Did It All Go?,” Wall Street Journal, February 23, 1994, p. A1. An excerpt:
Under conditions attached by donors, more than half the country’s potential [aid] credits must be spent on Western exports — from corn to economists — a practice called “tied aid” long frowned on in the Third World. . . . Just as aid for Western advice has mostly aided Western advisers, Western business has been the biggest gainer from the West’s business loans. Aid agencies have a pronounced preference for safe bets. The money they are supposed to lend to inspire enterprise in the East often goes to Westerners, or it goes nowhere at all.
Janine R. Wedel, Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe, 1989-1998, New York: St. Martin’s, 1998.
See also, “While the Rich World Talks,” Economist (London), July 10, 1993, p. 13 (U.K. edition). An excerpt:
To the man in the street aid is synonymous with charity, money doled out to alleviate poverty abroad and guilt at home. But in the case of much of the aid rich countries give to poorer ones, the main motive has not been to end poverty but to serve the self-interest of the giver, by winning useful friends, supporting strategic aims or promoting the donor’s exports. One glaring example is that almost half of America’s aid budget over the past decade has been earmarked for Egypt and Israel. Peace in the Middle East may be worth a lot to America, and to the world, but neither Israel nor even Egypt is among the world’s neediest countries. The cold war’s end has not yet made the motives of aid givers any less political. . . .
The richest 40% of the developing world’s population still gets more than twice as much aid per head as the poorest 40%. Countries that spend most on guns and soldiers, rather than health and education, get the most aid per head. And about half of all aid is still tied to the purchase of goods and services from the donor country.
This regular practice concerning Western “aid” money certainly is not new. See for example, Tom Barry and Deb Preusch, The Soft War: The Uses and Abuses of U.S. Economic Aid in Central America, New York: Grove, 1988, especially Part One (on the role of U.S. economic aid as an interventionary tool in Central America, focusing especially on U.S. A.I.D.); William Borden, The Pacific Alliance: United States Foreign Economic Policy and Japanese Trade Recovery, 1947-1955, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984, pp. 182f (on the role of aid programs in East Asia).
For an early statement of the underlying policy by the Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, see House of Representatives, Hearings Before the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Winning the Cold War: The U.S. Ideological Offensive, Part VIII (“U.S. Government Agencies and Programs”), January 15 and 16, 1964, 88th Congress, 2nd Session, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1964, pp. 954-960 (Frank M. Coffin outlined the “Objectives of the U.S. A.I.D. Program” as being “not development for the sake of sheer development,” but the “fostering of a vigorous and expanding private sector” in order “to open up the maximum opportunity for domestic private initiative and enterprise and to insure that foreign private investment, particularly from the United States, is welcomed and well treated”). See also footnote 14 of this chapter; and footnote 28 of chapter 10 of U.P.
10. On some of the human costs of the capitalist “reforms” in Russia and Eastern Europe, see for example, Stephen F. Cohen, “Why Call It Reform?,” Nation, September 7, 1998, p. 6. An excerpt:
Russia’s underlying problem is an unprecedented, all-encompassing economic catastrophe — a peacetime economy that has been in a process of relentless destruction for nearly seven years. [Gross Domestic Product] has fallen by at least 50 percent and according to one report by as much as 83 percent, capital investment by 90 percent and, equally telling, meat and dairy livestock herds by 75 percent. . . .
So great is Russia’s economic and thus social catastrophe that we must now speak of another unprecedented development: the literal demodernization of a twentieth-century country. When the infrastructures of production, technology, science, transportation, heating and sewage disposal disintegrate; when tens of millions of people do not receive earned salaries, some 75 percent of society lives below or barely above the subsistence level and at least 15 million of them are actually starving; when male life expectancy has plunged to 57 years, malnutrition has become the norm among schoolchildren, once-eradicated diseases are again becoming epidemics and basic welfare provisions are disappearing; when even highly educated professionals must grow their own food in order to survive and well over half the nation’s economic transactions are barter — all this, and more, is indisputable evidence of a tragic “transition” backward to a premodern era.
On the earlier U.N.I.C.E.F. report discussed in the text, see for example, Frances Williams, “Unicef criticises economic reform’s high human cost,” Financial Times (London), January 27, 1994, p. 2. An excerpt:
Economic and social reforms in central and eastern Europe have proved far more costly in human terms than originally anticipated, with a massive rise in poverty and widespread social disintegration, the United Nations Children’s Fund says in a report [Public Policy and Social Conditions] published yesterday. . . .
The report, which documents the impact of the economic slump on living conditions in nine countries since 1989, points out that . . . the spread of poverty, surging death rates, plunging birth rates, falling school enrollment and an unstoppable crime wave have reached “truly alarming proportions.” “These costs are not only the cause of unnecessary suffering and waste of human lives but also represent a source of considerable instability and social conflict that could threaten the entire reform process,” Unicef argues. Crude death rates (for the population as a whole) were up 9 per cent in Romania, 12 per cent in Bulgaria and 32 per cent in Russia. Between 1989 and 1993 the yearly number of deaths in Russia rose by more than 500,000.
The New York Times’s article on the topic — a few months after this report from the foreign press — reviews some possible reasons for the growing death rate in Russia, but with a curious omission: the economic “reforms” which the paper so strongly advocated. See Michael Specter, “Climb in Russia’s Death Rate Sets Off Population Implosion,” New York Times, March 6, 1994, section 1, p. 1.
See also, Victoria Graham, “UNICEF Says Health Crisis Threatens Eastern European Reforms,” A.P., October 6, 1994 (Westlaw database # 1994 WL 10102786)(“there were more than 800,000 avoidable deaths from 1989 through 1993 in Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine”); Julie Corwin, “Russia in Crisis: The Next Battle,” U.S. News and World Report, October 18, 1993, p. 47 (in June 1992, 43.2 percent of the Russian population lived in poverty, compared to 2.5 percent from 1975 to 1980; per capita G.N.P. has dropped to 65.4 percent of 1990 level); Martin Wolf, “The Birth Pangs of a Capitalist Eastern Europe,” Financial Times (London), September 28, 1992, p. 5 (from early 1989 through mid-1991, according to International Monetary Fund and World Bank statistics, industrial output fell by 45 percent and prices rose 40-fold in Poland; figures for the rest of Eastern Europe were not much better); U.N.I.C.E.F., Public Policy and Social Conditions: Central and Eastern Europe in Transition, Florence (Italy), November 1993; Stephen F. Cohen, Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia, New York: Norton, 2000. And see Eve Pell, “Capitalism Anyone?,” San Francisco Chronicle, August 21, 1994, p. 5/Z1 (“more Mercedes are sold [in Moscow] than in New York”).
For some examples of how Eastern Europe is being “reintegrated” into its traditional Third World service role, see for example, Kevin Done, “A new car industry set to rise in the east,” Financial Times (London), September 24, 1992, p. 23 (commenting that General Motors opened a $690 million assembly plant in the former East Germany, where workers are willing to “work longer hours than their pampered colleagues in western Germany,” at 40 percent of the wage and with few benefits); Anthony Robinson, “Green shoots in communism’s ruins,” Financial Times (London), October 20, 1992, “Survey of World Car Industry” section, p. VII (wages in Poland are 10 percent of those demanded by West German workers, kept that way “thanks largely to the Polish government’s tougher policy on labour disputes”); Alice Amsden, “Beyond Shock Therapy” [and related articles under the heading “After the Fall”], American Prospect, Spring 1993, pp. 87f.
11. For an article attributing votes for Communist Parties in the early 1990s to “nostalgia,” see for example, Celestine Bohlen, “Nationalist Vote Toughens Russian Foreign Policy,” New York Times, January 25, 1994, p. A6 (“As the elections showed, nostalgia for the old empire is a potent issue in Russia these days, with many Russians disillusioned by what they see as a string of unfulfilled promises from the West”).
For other reports on public opinion in the former Soviet Empire at the time, see for example, “Poll finds most East Europeans have doubts about democracy,” Chicago Tribune, February 25, 1993, p. 8 (a Gallup poll of ten East bloc countries found that 63 percent of those questioned opposed what’s known as “democracy,” an increase of 10 percent since 1991); Andrew Hill, “Ex-Soviet citizens fear free market,” Financial Times (London), February 25, 1993, p. 2 (a European Community poll in February 1993 found that most Russians, Belarussians, and Ukranians oppose the move to a free market and feel that “life was better under the old communist system”); Steven Erlanger, “2 Years After Coup Attempt, Yeltsin Warns of Another,” New York Times, August 20, 1993, p. A2 (“Relatively reliable polls indicate that the number of Russians who believe that their lives will be better under capitalism has dropped from 24 percent in 1991 to 18 percent” in 1993); “Order disguised as chaos,” Economist (London), March 13, 1993, p. 4 (“Surveys in nearly all [former Soviet bloc] countries show a swing back towards socialist values, with 70% of the population saying the state should provide a place to work, as well as a national health service, housing, education, and other services”). See also chapter 10 of U.P. and its footnote 63.
12. For Schoultz’s study, see Lars Schoultz, “U.S. Foreign Policy and Human Rights Violations in Latin America: A Comparative Analysis of Foreign Aid Distributions,” Comparative Politics, January 1981, pp. 149-170. An excerpt (pp. 155, 157):
The correlations between the absolute level of U.S. assistance to Latin America and human rights violations by recipient governments are . . . uniformly positive, indicating that aid has tended to flow disproportionately to Latin American governments which torture their citizens. In addition, the correlations are relatively strong. . . . United States aid tended to flow disproportionately to the hemisphere’s relatively egregious violators of fundamental human rights.
Furthermore, with regard to relative (i.e. per capita) — as opposed to absolute (i.e. per country) — U.S. aid to Latin American countries and human rights violations by the recipient governments, Schoultz also found (p. 162):
As in the case of absolute aid levels, these correlations are uniformly positive. Thus, even when the remarkable diversity of population size among Latin American countries is considered, the findings suggest that the United States has directed its foreign assistance to governments which torture their citizens.
The study also demonstrates that this correlation cannot be attributed to a correlation between aid and need.
See also, Lars Schoultz, Human Rights and United States Policy toward Latin America, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981. And see footnote 14 of this chapter.
13. On rising U.S. aid to Colombia and its human rights record, see for example, Human Rights Watch/Americas Watch, State of War: Political Violence and Counterinsurgency in Colombia, Human Rights Watch, December 1993, at pp. 134, 131. In addition to documenting massive human rights abuses, this report notes that for fiscal year 1994, the Clinton administration requested that military financing and training funds for Colombia be increased by over 12 percent — reaching about half of proposed military aid for all of Latin America — and indicated that if Congressional budget cuts for the Pentagon interfered with these plans, it “intend[ed] to use emergency drawdown authority to bolster the Colombia account.” From 1984 through 1992, 6,844 Colombian soldiers were trained under the U.S. International Military Education and Training Program, over two thousand of them from 1990 to 1992 as atrocities were mounting. See also, Human Rights Watch, War Without Quarter: Colombia and International Humanitarian Law, New York: Human Rights Watch, 1998; Human Rights Watch/Americas, Colombia’s killer networks: The military-paramilitary partnership and the United States, New York: Human Rights Watch, 1996.
On the slaughter of dissidents in Colombia, see for example, Douglas Farah, “Leftist Politician Killed in Colombia,” Washington Post, March 23, 1990, p. A15 (the Patriotic Union party had “lost some ground,” “in part because so many of its local and regional leaders were killed,” including at least eighty in the first three months of 1990 alone); James Brooke, “A Colombian Campaigns Amid Risks of Drug War,” New York Times, September 24, 1989, section 1, p. 1 (“political violence is believed to have taken the lives of 4,000 people in Colombia last year”); Amnesty International, Political Violence in Colombia: Myth and reality, London: Amnesty International Publications, March 1994. An excerpt (pp. 1, 3, 5, 16):
Since 1986, over 20,000 people have been killed for political reasons — the majority of them by the armed forces and their paramilitary protegés. . . . Perhaps the most dramatic expression of political intolerance in recent years had been the systematic elimination of the leadership of the left-wing coalition Patriotic Union (U.P.). Over 1,500 of its leaders, members and supporters have been killed since the party was created in 1985. Anyone who takes an active interest in defending human rights, or investigating massacres, “disappearances” or torture, is in a similar position. . . .
Colombia’s backers, notably the United States of America, have also remained silent when aid destined to combat drug-trafficking was diverted to finance counter-insurgency operations and thence the killing of unarmed peasants. . . . [T]he perception of drug-trafficking as the principal cause of political violence in Colombia is a myth. . . . Statistics compiled by independent bodies and by the government itself clearly show that by far the greatest number of political killings are the work of the Colombian armed forces and the paramilitary groups they have created. . . . In 1992 the Andean Commission of Jurists estimated that drug traffickers were responsible for less than two per cent of non-combat politically motivated killings and “disappearances”; some 20 per cent were attributed to guerrilla organizations and over 70 per cent were believed to have been carried out by the security forces and paramilitary groups.
The report also describes so-called “social cleansing” programs in Colombia (16, 18, 23-24):
The murder of people designated “socially undesirable” — homosexuals, prostitutes, minor drug peddlers, petty criminals and addicts, vagrants, street children and the mentally disturbed — has become endemic in Colombia’s major cities. These killings are known as “social cleansing operations” and are generally attributed to, if not claimed by, so-called “death squads” with fearsome names such as Terminator, Kan Kil, Mano Negra, Los Magnificos, Cali Limpia. . . . [S]everal cases have produced evidence that the “death squads” were drawn from the security forces, particularly the National Police, and were often supported by local traders. . . . The Catholic Church’s Intercongregational Commission for Justice and Peace documented over 1,900 “social cleansing” murders between 1988 and 1992, 500 of them in 1992. . . .
The Council of State, Colombia’s highest judicial administrative body . . . ordered the Ministry of Defence to pay the equivalent of 500 grams of gold each to [one victim’s] parents. . . . The military attitude towards “social cleansing” was illustrated by the Ministry of Defence’s response to the compensation claim: ” . . .[t]here is no case for the payment of any compensation by the nation, particularly for an individual who was neither useful nor productive, either to society or to his family, but who was a vagrant whose presence nobody in the town of Liborina wanted.”
On the Colombian government’s strikingly effective public relations campaign to improve its image and justify continued massive U.S. aid, employing the P.R. firm Sawyer/Miller, see John C. Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, Toxic Sludge Is Good For You!: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry, Monroe, ME: Common Courage, 1995, pp. 143-148 (“the firm devised a multi-stage campaign: first, reposition Colombia in the public mind from villain to victim. Then, turn the victim into a hero, and then a leader in the war on drugs”).
14. For other studies confirming Lars Schoultz’s findings, see for example, Michael Klare and Cynthia Arnson, Supplying Repression, Washington: Institute for Policy Studies, 1981, at p. 6 (study concluding that the United States provides “guns, equipment, training, and technical support to the police and paramilitary forces most directly involved in the torture, assassination, and abuse of civilian dissidents”); Edward S. Herman, The Real Terror Network: Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda, Boston: South End, 1982, ch. 3 (showing that U.S.-controlled aid has been positively related to investment climate and inversely related to the maintenance of a democratic order and human rights); Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism — The Political Economy of Human Rights: Volume I, Boston: South End, 1979; Michael T. Klare and Cynthia Arnson, “Exporting Repression: U.S. Support for Authoritarianism in Latin America,” in Richard R. Fagen, ed., Capitalism and the State in U.S.-Latin American Relations, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1979, pp. 138-168. See also, Teresa Hayet, Aid As Imperialism, New York: Penguin, 1971 (early work on the dominance of U.S. economic and political interests in the decision-making processes of the international financial and lending agencies, including their origination, funding, and staffing); Michael Tanzer, The Political Economy of International Oil and the Underdeveloped Countries, Boston: Beacon, 1969, ch. 8 (same). For Schoultz’s study, see footnote 12 of this chapter.
Chomsky clarifies that this correlation between U.S. aid and human rights violations does not imply that the United States is rewarding some ruling group for torture, death squads, destruction of unions, elimination of democratic institutions, etc. Instead, he explains (Towards A New Cold War: Essays on the Current Crisis and How We Got There, New York: Pantheon, 1982, pp. 206-207):
These are not a positive priority for U.S. policy; rather, they are irrelevant to it. The correlation between abuse of human rights and U.S. support derives from deeper factors. The deterioration in human rights and the increase in U.S. aid and support each correlate, independently, with a third and crucial factor: namely, improvement of the investment climate, as measured by privileges granted foreign capital. The climate for business operations improves as unions and other popular organizations are destroyed, dissidents are tortured or eliminated, real wages are depressed, and the society as a whole is placed in the hands of a collection of thugs who are willing to sell out to the foreigner for a share of the loot — often too large a share, as business regularly complains. And as the climate for business operations improves, the society is welcomed into the “Free World” and offered the specific kind of “aid” that will further these favorable developments.
15. On systematic hideous abuses in regions of greatest U.S. influence, see especially footnotes 23 and 24 of this chapter, and also its footnotes 12, 13 and 14. See also chapter 2 of U.P. and its footnotes 15 and 54; footnotes 8 and 38 of chapter 4 of U.P.; footnote 11 of chapter 7 of U.P.; and chapter 8 of U.P. and its footnotes 32, 57 and 85.
16. For Truman’s attitude towards Stalin, see for example, Robert H. Ferrell, ed., Dear Bess: the Letters from Harry to Bess Truman, 1910-1959, New York: Norton, 1983. In letters to his wife, Truman wrote (pp. 520-522):
I like Stalin. He is straightforward. Knows what he wants and will compromise when he can’t get it. . . . Uncle Joe gave his dinner last night. There were at least twenty-five toasts — so much getting up and down that there was practically no time to eat or drink either — a very good thing. . . . Since I’d had America’s No. 1 pianist to play for Uncle Joe at my dinner he had to go me one better. I had one and one violinist — and he had two of each. . . . The old man loves music. . . . Stalin felt so friendly that he toasted the pianist when he played a Tskowsky (you spell it) piece especially for him.
Robert H. Ferrell, ed., Off the Record: The Private Papers of Harry S. Truman, New York: Penguin, 1980. Similarly, in his private papers, Truman wrote (pp. 44, 53):
“A common everyday citizen [in Russia] has about as much say about his government as a stock holder in the Standard Oil of New Jersey has about his Company. But I don’t care what they do. They evidently like their government or they wouldn’t die for it. I like ours so let’s get along.” “I can deal with Stalin. He is honest — but smart as hell.”
For discussion of the attitudes of Truman and other Washington officials towards Stalin and his regime, see for example, Melvyn Leffler, A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992. An excerpt (pp. 15, 52-53):
At the end of the war, U.S. officials . . . wanted to cooperate with the Kremlin. But they harbored a distrust sufficiently profound to require terms of cooperation compatible with vital American interests. Truman said it pointedly when he emphasized that the United States had to have its way 85 percent of the time. Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, the Republican spokesman on foreign policy, was a little more categorical: “I think our two antipathetical systems can dwell in the world together — but only on a basis which establishes the fact that we mean what we say when we say it. . . .”
Humanitarian impulses also were a minor influence on U.S. policy. Principles were espoused because they served American interests and because they accorded with American ideological predilections and not because top officials felt a strong sense of empathy with the peoples under former Nazi rule and potential Soviet tutelage. . . . [I]n Washington, top officials — Truman, Byrnes, Leahy, Forrestal, Patterson, Davies, Grew, Dunn, Lincoln — rarely thought about the personal travail caused by war, dislocation, and great power competition. . . . Suffering had to be relieved and hope restored in order to quell the potential for revolution. Rarely does a sense of real compassion and/or moral fervor emerge from the documents and diaries of high officials. These men were concerned primarily with power and self-interest, not with real people facing real problems in the world that had just gone through fifteen years of economic strife, Stalinist terror, and Nazi genocide.
Perhaps nothing better illustrates this moral obtuseness than the way top U.S. officials felt about Stalin. Who could doubt his barbarism? Although the full dimensions of the Gulag were not known, the trials, purges, and murders of the 1930’s were a matter of public record. Yet far from worrying about their inability to satisfy Stalin’s paranoia, American officialdom had great hope for Stalin in 1945. He appeared frank and willing to compromise. Truman liked him. . . . Lest one think these were the views of a naive American politician, it should be remembered that crusty, tough-nosed Admiral Leahy had some of the same feelings. And so did Eisenhower, Harriman, and Byrnes. . . . What went on in Russia, Truman declared, was the Russians’ business. The president was fighting for U.S. interests, and Uncle Joe seemed to be the man with whom one could deal. . . . Truman, among others, frequently voiced concern for Stalin’s health; it would be a “real catastrophe” should he die. If “it were possible to see him [Stalin] more frequently,” Harriman claimed, “many of our difficulties would be overcome.”
See also, Frank Kofsky, Harry Truman and the War Scare of 1948: A Successful Campaign to Deceive the Nation, New York: St. Martin’s, 1993.
17. On Churchill’s attitude towards Stalin, see for example, Lloyd C. Gardner, Spheres of Influence: The Great Powers Partition Europe, From Munich to Yalta, Chicago: Ivan Dee, 1993, pp. 235, 207, 240 (Churchill praised Stalin as a “great man, whose fame has gone out not only over all Russia but the world”; he spoke warmly of his relationship of “friendship and intimacy” with the bloodthirsty tyrant; “My hope,” Churchill said, “is in the illustrious President of the United States and in Marshal Stalin, in whom we shall find the champions of peace, who after smiting the foe will lead us to carry on the task against poverty, confusion, chaos, and oppression”; during the war he signed his letters to Stalin, “Your friend and war-time comrade”; in February 1945, after the Yalta Conference, Churchill told his Cabinet that “Premier Stalin was a person of great power, in whom he had every confidence,” and that it was important that he should remain in charge).
18. For Churchill’s remark about the British occupation of Greece, see Winston Churchill, The Second World War, Volume 6, Triumph and Tragedy, Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1953. His exact words (p. 249):
Do not hesitate to act as if you were in a conquered city where a local rebellion is in progress. . . . We have to hold and dominate Athens. It would be a great thing for you to succeed in this without bloodshed if possible, but also with bloodshed if necessary.
For Churchill’s praise of Stalin’s restraint, see Lloyd C. Gardner, Spheres of Influence: The Great Powers Partition Europe, From Munich to Yalta, Chicago: Ivan Dee, 1993 (citing declassified British cabinet records). Churchill stated to the British Cabinet with regard to Stalin and Greece that (p. 244):
[T]he Russian attitude [at the Yalta conference] could not have been more satisfactory. There was no suggestion on Premier Stalin’s part of criticism of our policy. He had been friendly and even jocular in discussions of it. . . . Premier Stalin had most scrupulously respected his acceptance of our position in Greece. He understood that the emissary sent to the U.S.S.R. by the Greek Communists had first been put under house arrest, and then sent back. . . . The conduct of the Russians in this matter had strengthened [Churchill’s] view that when they made a bargain, they desired to keep it.
See also, Lawrence S. Wittner, American Intervention in Greece, 1943-1949, New York: Columbia University Press, 1982, pp. 6-9, 23-28; David F. Schmitz, Thank God They’re On Our Side: The United States and Right-Wing Dictatorships, 1921-1965, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999, ch. 4. And see footnote 72 of this chapter.
19. On the U.S. government and business community’s support for Hitler and Mussolini before World War II, see for example, Christopher Simpson, The Splendid Blond Beast: Money, Law, and Genocide in the Twentieth Century, Monroe, ME: Common Courage, 1995, especially pp. 46-64; David F. Schmitz, Thank God They’re On Our Side: The United States and Right-Wing Dictatorships, 1921-1965, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999, chs. 1 and 3; David F. Schmitz, The United States and Fascist Italy, 1922-1940, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988; John P. Diggins, Mussolini and Fascism: the View from America, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972.
The reasons for the warm American response to Fascism and Nazism that are detailed in these books are explained quite openly in the internal U.S. government planning record. For instance, a 1937 Report of the State Department’s European Division described the rise of Fascism as the natural reaction of “the rich and middle classes, in self-defense” when the “dissatisfied masses, with the example of the Russian revolution before them, swing to the Left.” Fascism therefore “must succeed or the masses, this time reinforced by the disillusioned middle classes, will again turn to the Left.” The Report also noted that “if Fascism cannot succeed by persuasion [in Germany], it must succeed by force.” It concluded that “economic appeasement should prove the surest route to world peace,” a conclusion based on the belief that Fascism as a system was compatible with U.S. interests. See Schmitz, The United States and Fascist Italy, 1922-1940, p. 140; see also, Daniel Yergin, Shattered Peace: The Origins of the Cold War and the National Security State, Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1977, p. 26 (U.S. Ambassador to Russia William Bullitt “believed that only Nazi Germany could stay the advance of Soviet Bolshevism in Europe”).
At the same time, Britain’s special emissary to Germany, Lord Halifax, praised Hitler for blocking the spread of Communism, an achievement that brought England to “a much greater degree of understanding of all his [i.e. Hitler’s] work” than heretofore, as Halifax recorded his words to the German Chancellor while Hitler was conducting his reign of terror in the late 1930s. See Lloyd Gardner, Spheres of Influence: The Great Powers Partition Europe, From Munich to Yalta, Chicago: Ivan Dee, 1993, p. 13. See also, Clement Leibovitz, The Chamberlain-Hitler Deal, Edmonton, Canada: Les Éditions Duval, 1993 (fascinating 533-page study reproducing vast documentation, largely from recently-declassified British government sources, of the secret British deal allowing Hitler free rein to expand in Eastern Europe; this deal was “motivated by anti-communism” and was “not a sudden policy quirk but was the crowning of incessant efforts to encourage Japan and Germany ‘to take their fill’ of the Soviet Union” [p. 6]. Leibovitz’s study also establishes conclusively, from a wide variety of sources, that there was great sympathy for Hitler’s and Mussolini’s policies among the British establishment).
Furthermore, although Hitler’s rhetorical commitments and actions were completely public, internal U.S. government documents from the 1930s refer to him as a “moderate.” For example, the American chargé d’affaires in Berlin wrote to Washington in 1933 that the hope for Germany lay in “the more moderate section of the [Nazi] party, headed by Hitler himself . . . which appeal[s] to all civilized and reasonable people,” and seems to have “the upper hand” over the violent fringe. “From the standpoint of stable political conditions, it is perhaps well that Hitler is now in a position to wield unprecedented power,” noted the American Ambassador, Frederic Sackett. See Schmitz, The United States and Fascist Italy, 1922-1940, pp. 140, 174, 133, and ch. 9; Foreign Relations of the United States, 1933, Vol. II (“British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa”), Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1949, pp. 329, 209.
The U.S. reaction to Fascist Italy before the war was similar. A high-level inquiry of the Wilson administration determined in December 1917 that with rising labor militancy, Italy posed “the obvious danger of social revolution and disorganization.” A State Department official noted privately that “If we are not careful we will have a second Russia on our hands,” adding: “The Italians are like children” and “must be [led] and assisted more than almost any other nation.” Mussolini’s Blackshirts solved the problem by violence. They carried out “a fine young revolution,” the American Ambassador to Italy observed approvingly, referring to Mussolini’s March on Rome in October 1922, which brought Italian democracy to an end. Racist goons effectively ended labor agitation with government help, and the democratic deviation was terminated; the United States watched with approval. The Fascists are “perhaps the most potent factor in the suppression of Bolshevism in Italy” and have much improved the situation generally, the Embassy reported to Washington, while voicing some residual anxiety about the “enthusiastic and violent young men” who have brought about these developments. The Embassy continued to report the appeal of Fascism to “all patriotic Italians,” simple-minded folk who “hunger for strong leadership and enjoy . . . being dramatically governed.” See Schmitz, The United States and Fascist Italy, 1922-1940, pp. 14, 36, 44, 52; Foreign Relations of the United States, 1919, Vol. I (“Paris Peace Conference”), Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1942, p. 47.
As time went on, the American Embassy was well aware of Mussolini’s totalitarian measures. Fascism had “effectively stifled hostile elements in restricting the right of free assembly, in abolishing freedom of the press and in having at its command a large military organization,” the Embassy reported in a message of February 1925, after a major Fascist crackdown. But Mussolini remained a “moderate,” manfully confronting the fearsome Bolsheviks while fending off the extremist fringe on the right. His qualifications as a moderate were implicit in the judgment expressed by Ambassador Henry Fletcher: the choice in Italy is “between Mussolini and Fascism and Giolitti and Socialism, between strong methods of internal peace and prosperity and a return to free speech, loose administration and general disorganization. Peace and Prosperity were preferred.” (Giolitti was the liberal Prime Minister, who had collaborated with Mussolini in the repression of labor but now found himself a target as well.) See Schmitz, The United States and Fascist Italy, 1922-1940, pp. 76-77f.
On the views of U.S. corporations towards Fascism, including details of participation in the plunder of Jewish assets under Hitler’s Aryanization programs — notably, the Ford Motor Company — see for example, Christopher Simpson, The Splendid Blond Beast: Money, Law, and Genocide in the Twentieth Century, Monroe, ME: Common Courage, 1995, especially ch. 5 (on Ford’s role in Aryanization of Jewish property, see pp. 62-63). An excerpt (p. 64):
Many U.S. companies bought substantial interests in established German companies, which in turn plowed that new money into Aryanizations or into arms production banned under the Versailles Treaty. According to a 1936 report from Ambassador William Dodd to President Roosevelt, a half-dozen key U.S. companies — International Harvester, Ford, General Motors, Standard Oil of New Jersey, and du Pont — had become deeply involved in German weapons production. . . .
U.S. investment in Germany accelerated rapidly after Hitler came to power, despite the Depression and Germany’s default on virtually all of its government and commercial loans. Commerce Department reports show that U.S. investment in Germany increased some 48.5 percent between 1929 and 1940, while declining sharply everywhere else in continental Europe. U.S. investment in Great Britain . . . barely held steady over the decade, increasing only 2.6 percent.
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, pp. 16-23 (discussing the major role that General Motors, Ford, and to a lesser extent Chrysler, played in the Nazi war effort); Edwin Black, I.B.M. and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation, New York: Crown, 2001; Reinhold Billstein et al., Working for the Enemy: Ford, General Motors, and Forced Labor in Germany during the Second World War, New York: Berghahn, 2000; Gerard Colby Zilg, Du Pont: Behind the Nylon Curtain, Englewood Cliffs (NJ): Prentice-Hall, 1974, especially pp. 292-314, 353-354 (on corporate leaders’ plans for a fascist coup in the U.S. in 1934, and on the Du Pont Company’s arming of the rising Axis powers in the 1930s). For more on the fascist coup plot — discussed in Zilg’s outstanding study — see Union Calendar No. 44, Report No. 153, “Investigation of Nazi and Other Propaganda,” February 15, 1935, House of Representatives, 74th Congress, 1st Session, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1935 (C.I.S. Serial Set #9890, pp. 9-10); Dickstein-McCormick Special Committee on Un-American Activities, “Investigation of Nazi Propaganda Activities and Investigation of Certain Other Propaganda Activities,” beginning June 5, 1934, House of Representatives, 73rd Congress, 2nd Session, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1935 (C.I.S.#688-3-B), especially Testimony of Major-General Smedley D. Butler (Ret.) on November 20, 1934, pp. 8-20, and following testimony, pp. 20-128 (microfiche cards 7 and 8 of 15).
For a sample of the U.S. business press’s attitudes, see “The State: Fascist and Total,” Fortune, July 1934 [special issue devoted to Italian Fascism], pp. 47-48. This issue comments approvingly that “the purpose and effect of Fascism” is “to unwop the wops,” and that the idea that the Italians ought to resent Fascism “is a confusion, and we can only get over it if we anesthetize for the moment our ingrained idea that democracy is the only right and just conception of government.” See also, John P. Diggins, Mussolini and Fascism: the View from America, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972; John C. Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, Toxic Sludge Is Good For You!: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry, Monroe, ME: Common Courage, 1995, p. 149.
On protection of former Nazis and Fascists after World War II by the U.S. and British governments, see footnote 80 of this chapter. On post-war protection by the U.S. of Japanese Fascists who developed and tested biological weapons, see footnote 62 of chapter 8 of U.P.
On the U.S. government’s refusal to admit into the United States most Jewish and other refugees fleeing from the Holocaust, see for example, Arthur D. Morse, While Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy, New York: Random House, 1967; David S. Wyman, Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis, 1938-1941, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1973; Saul S. Friedman, No Haven for the Oppressed: United States Policy toward Jewish Refugees, 1938-1945, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1973; Alfred M. Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection: What Price Israel?, New York: Dodd, Mead, 1978 (on the unwillingness of American Zionists to support plans for bringing European Jews to the United States in 1942; instead, they wanted them to go to Palestine).
On U.S. attitudes towards the Spanish Fascist leader Francisco Franco, see footnote 61 of this chapter; and the text of chapter 6 of U.P.
On U.S. attitudes towards Fascist Japan, see for example, Noam Chomsky, “The Revolutionary Pacifism of A.J. Muste: On the Backgrounds of the Pacific War,” in Noam Chomsky, American Power and the New Mandarins: Historical and Political Essays, New York: Pantheon, 1969, pp. 159-220.
Chomsky explains that it was not until European Fascism attacked U.S. interests directly that it became an avowed enemy, and the American reaction to Japanese Fascism was much the same.
20. For The Nation’s cover story, see “Norman Rush contemplates the bust of socialism . . . and why we will all miss it so much,” Nation, January 24, 1994, article on p. 90 (“The socialist experiment is over and the capitalist experiment roars to its own conclusion”).
21. For contemporaneous criticism of the Bolsheviks by leftists, see for example, Rosa Luxemburg, The Russian Revolution, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1961 (original 1918)(sympathetic and fraternal, but incisive, critique of Bolshevism written in prison). An excerpt (pp. 62, 71):
To be sure, every democratic institution has its limits and shortcomings, things which it doubtless shares with all other human institutions. But the remedy which Trotsky and Lenin have found, the elimination of democracy as such, is worse than the disease it is supposed to cure; for it stops up the very living source from which alone can come the correction of all the innate shortcomings of social institutions. That source is the active, untrammeled, energetic political life of the broadest masses of the people. . . . The whole mass of the people must take part in [economic and social life]. Otherwise, socialism will be decreed from behind a few official desks by a dozen intellectuals. Public control is indispensably necessary. Otherwise the exchange of experiences remains only within the closed circle of the officials of the new regime. Corruption becomes inevitable. Socialism in life demands a complete spiritual transformation in the masses degraded by centuries of bourgeois class rule.
Bertrand Russell, The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism, London: Allen and Unwin, 1962 (original 1920)(written after an invited, month-long official tour of Soviet Russia). An excerpt (pp. 9-10, 26-29):
By far the most important aspect of the Russian Revolution is as an attempt to realize socialism. I believe that socialism is necessary to the world, and believe that the heroism of Russia has fired men’s hopes in a way which was essential to the realization of socialism in the future. . . . But the method which Moscow aims at establishing socialism is a pioneer method, rough and dangerous, too heroic to count the cost of the opposition it arouses. I do not believe that by this method a stable or desirable form of socialism can be established. . . .
When a Russian Communist speaks of dictatorship, he means the word literally, but when he speaks of the proletariat, he means the word in a Pickwickian [i.e. highly specialized] sense. He means the “class-conscious” part of the proletariat, i.e., the Communist Party. He includes people by no means proletarian (such as Lenin and Chicherin) who have the right opinions, and he excludes such wage earners as have not the right opinions, whom he classifies as lackeys of the bourgeoisie. . . . Opposition is crushed without mercy, and without shrinking from the methods of the Tsarist police, many of whom are still employed at their old work. . . . Bolshevism is internally aristocratic and externally militant. The Communists . . . are practically the sole possessors of power, and they enjoy innumerable advantages in consequence.
M. Sergven [probably a pseudonym for the Russian anarcho-syndicalist Gregory Maksimov], “Paths of Revolution,” in Libertarian Analysis, Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter 1970, pp. 9-12 [originally published in Voln’nyi Golos Truda (The Free Voice of Labor), Moscow, September 16, 1918, pp. 1-2]. An excerpt:
[T]he proletariat is gradually being enserfed by the state. It is being transformed into servants over whom there has risen a new class of administrators — a new class born mainly from the womb of the so-called intelligentsia. . . . We do not mean to say that . . . the Bolshevik party had set out to create a new class system. But we do say that even the best intentions and aspirations must inevitably be smashed against the evils inherent in any system of centralized power. . . . The Revolution . . . threw itself into the arms of the old tyrant, centralized power, which is squeezing out its life’s breath. We were too unorganized, too weak, and so we have allowed this to happen.
Emma Goldman, “Afterword to My Disillusionment in Russia,” in Alix Kates Shulman, ed., Red Emma Speaks: Selected Writings and Speeches By Emma Goldman, New York: Vintage, 1972, pp. 337-358 (original 1923)(written after two years of living in Soviet Russia). An excerpt (pp. 340, 343, 353-354):
For several months following October [the Bolsheviks] suffered the popular forces to manifest themselves, the people carrying the Revolution into ever-widening channels. But as soon as the Communist Party felt itself sufficiently strong in the government saddle, it began to limit the scope of popular activity. All the succeeding acts of the Bolsheviki, all their following policies, changes of policies, their compromises and retreats, their methods of suppression and persecution, their terrorism and extermination of all other political views — all were but the means to an end: the retaining of the State power in the hands of the Communist Party. Indeed, the Bolsheviki themselves (in Russia) made no secret of it. . . .
True Communism was never attempted in Russia, unless one considers thirty-three categories of pay, different food rations, privileges to some and indifference to the great mass as Communism. In the early period of the Revolution it was comparatively easy for the Communist Party to possess itself of power. All the revolutionary elements, carried away by the ultra-revolutionary promises of the Bolsheviki, helped the latter to power. Once in possession of the State the Communists began their process of elimination. All the political parties and groups which refused to submit to the new dictatorship had to go. First the Anarchists and Left Social Revolutionists, then the Mensheviki and other opponents from the Right, and finally everybody who dared aspire to an opinion of his own. Similar was the fate of all independent organizations. They were either subordinated to the needs of the new State or destroyed altogether, as were the Soviets, the trade unions and the coöperatives — three great factors for the realization of the hopes of the Revolution. . . .
It is not only Bolshevism, Marxism, and Governmentalism which are fatal to revolution as well as to all vital human progress. The main cause of the defeat of the Russian Revolution lies much deeper. It is to be found in the whole Socialist conception of revolution itself. The dominant, almost general, idea of revolution — particularly the Socialist idea — is that revolution is a violent change of social conditions through which one social class, the working class, becomes dominant over another class, the capitalist class. It is the conception of a purely physical change, and as such it involves only political scene shifting and institutional rearrangements. Bourgeois dictatorship is replaced by the “dictatorship of the proletariat” — or by that of its “advance guard,” the Communist Party; Lenin takes the seat of the Romanovs, the Imperial Cabinet is rechristened Soviet of People’s Commissars, Trotsky is appointed Minister of War, and a labourer becomes the Military Governor General of Moscow. That is, in essence, the Bolshevik conception of revolution, as translated into actual practice. And with a few minor alterations it is also the idea of revolution held by all other Socialist parties. This conception is inherently and fatally false. Revolution is indeed a violent process. But if it is to result only in a change of dictatorship, in a shifting of names and political personalities, then it is hardly worth while. . . . It is at once the great failure and the great tragedy of the Russian Revolution that it attempted (in leadership of the ruling political party) to change only institutions and conditions, while ignoring entirely the human and social values involved in the Revolution.
For a much earlier critique of Leninist organizational principles, see Rosa Luxemburg, Leninism or Marxism?, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1961 (original 1904). An excerpt (p. 102):
If we assume the viewpoint claimed as his own by Lenin and we fear the influence of intellectuals in the proletarian movement, we can conceive of no greater danger to the Russian party than Lenin’s plan of organization. Nothing will more surely enslave a young labor movement to an intellectual elite hungry for power than this bureaucratic strait jacket, which will immobilize the movement and turn it into an automaton manipulated by a Central Committee. On the other hand, there is no more effective guarantee against opportunist intrigue and personal ambition than the independent revolutionary action of the proletariat, as a result of which the workers acquire the sense of political responsibility and self-reliance. What is today only a phantom haunting Lenin’s imagination may become reality tomorrow.
For a classic discussion of the reactionary character of the Bolshevik takeover by a participant in the events, see Voline [i.e. Vsevolod Mikhailovich Eichenbaum], The Unknown Revolution, 1917-1921, Detroit: Black & Red, 1974 (original 1947).
22. For the Walters program, see “Americans Beware! — Danger in Guatemala,” 20/20, A.B.C. television news-magazine, June 3, 1994, transcript #1422-1.
23. On kidnapping of children, see footnote 24 of this chapter. On child slavery, child sex slavery, and child labor throughout U.S.-dominated Third World domains, see for example, Reuters, “Exploitation of children documented in world study,” Christian Science Monitor, December 19, 1979, “Living” section, p. 15. An excerpt:
Almost 200 million children throughout the world may be slaving away, often in dismal poverty, according to a new international study of child labor. Children have been maimed in India to become more effective beggars, sold to work under appalling conditions in factories in Thailand, and turned into Latin American chattel slaves at the age of three. . . . The 170-page book [Child Workers Today, by James Challis and David Elliman], sponsored by the London-based Anti-Slavery Society, is peppered with pitiful examples. . . .
Latin America is singled out in the book as the continent where child labor will probably be harder to eradicate than anywhere else in the world. In countries with large Indian populations like Bolivia, girls as young as three are “adopted” by white families, the book says. Traditionally they are sexually available to the sons of the family, not allowed to marry, and the children they conceive become virtual chattel slaves in turn.
George C. Moffett III, “Use of Child Labor Increases Worldwide,” Christian Science Monitor, July 21, 1992, p. 8. An excerpt:
It is one of the grimmer ironies of the age that even as global employment rates for adults are declining, the incidence of child labor — often forced, frequently debilitating — is on the increase. As many as a quarter of all children between ages 10 and 14 in some regions of the world may be working, according to a report issued today by the Geneva-based International Labor Organization (I.L.O.) . . . The report defines child labor as a condition in which children are exploited, overworked, deprived of health and education — “or just deprived of their childhood.”
Just how many children are affected is hard to say, since most work illegally or for small merchants, family cottage industries, and farms, where they are “invisible to the collectors of labor-force statistics,” says the I.L.O. study, entitled “Child Labor: A Dramatically Worsening Global Problem.” It says the figure is certainly in the hundreds of millions, including 7 million in Brazil alone.
Amport Tantuvanich, A.P., “Slavery the fate of these children,” Boston Globe, September 24, 1978, p. 32. An excerpt:
They labor hour after hour without a break around furnaces that generate 1450 degree heat. Their arms and hands bear scars from burns and cuts which management treats with herbal ointments, toothpaste, fish sauce and pain killers. But these workers in a Bangkok glass factory are children. They are among tens of thousands in Thailand that officials acknowledge are illegally employed and often cheated and abused. Some are sold by their parents to factory owners and become virtual slaves. . . .
In one of the biggest raids this year, police rescued 63 children from jail-like conditions in a tinsel-paper factory in Bangkok. Some of the children told police they were “purchased” by the factory, which had sent a broker to recruit young workers in northeastern Thailand. . . . The children in the glass factory work 10 hours a day, seven days a week. They are paid the equivalent of 90 cents a day. . . . Labor specialists say that a combination of wide-open free enterprise and a lack of labor-union power contributes to the child labor problem. Under laws laid down by Thailand’s military government, strikes and other labor union activities are forbidden.
John Stackhouse, “The girls of Tamil Nadu,” Globe & Mail (Toronto), November 20, 1993, p. D1. An excerpt:
On these drought-stricken plains of Tamil Nadu in Southern India, close to 100,000 children — three-quarters of them girls — go to work every morning in match factories, fireworks plants, rock quarries, tobacco mills, repair shops and tea houses. Together, they make up the single biggest concentration of child labour in the world.
In an age when child labour has disappeared from much of the world, it continues to be rampant in South Asia. The Operations Research Group, a respected Indian organization, has pegged the number of full-time child workers at 44 million in India, with perhaps 10 million more toiling in neighbouring Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka — a total almost equal to the population of Britain.
See also, Ian Black, “Peace or no peace, Israel will still need cheap Arab labour,” New Statesman (U.K.), September 29, 1978, pp. 403-404. An excerpt:
Just after 4 a.m., as the sky begins to pale, you can see small groups of people standing around the pumps, huddled in corners, leaning against walls. They have just scrambled off dilapidated trucks and vans that bring them daily from Gaza, Khan Younis and Rafiah in Northern Sinai, and they are clutching plastic bags containing their food for the day. Some are no more than six or seven years old. The scene has become known in Israel as the Children’s Market at the Ashkelon junction.
By 5 o’clock the sun is up and the first employers are arriving. They come in jeeps from the prosperous Moshavim (small private or semi-collective farms) situated on either side of the now invisible “green line” — the pre-1967 border. They are at once surrounded by swarms of waiting workers. In broken Hebrew — but fluent enough to cover the bare essentials of selling themselves for the day — the little labourers persuade the Israelis of their skills: “Sir I good work sir, 60 pounds all day sir” and so on. . . . Sometimes they are paid in full for their work — usually a meagre, subsistence wage; often they are cheated even on that. And since their employment is illegal, there is little they can do.
24. On kidnapping and murder of children in U.S.-dominated Third World domains — for organ transplants and otherwise — see for example, Hugh O’Shaughnessy, “Takeaway babies farmed to order,” Observer (London), October 1, 1993, p. 14. An excerpt:
San Salvador’s eastern slum suburb . . . [is] home to El Salvador’s urban proletariat — and to its flourishing baby trade. Here are the casas de engorde, or “fattening houses,” where newborn babies, preferably male and not too dark-skinned, are brought to be plumped up for sale. Usually run by lawyers in collaboration with nurses and baby minders, the fattening houses have the job of cleaning up the babies, freeing them of worms, lice and nits, and feeding them so they fetch the best price. The best price for a good-looking male child is now between Ł7,000 and Ł10,000 — double the price a decade ago, say lawyers familiar with the trade in El Salvador and Guatemala. Bought for, say, Ł200 from kidnappers or poor mothers, the baby farmers aim to sell the “goods” for at least 30 times their initial investment.
Though the furtive trade is impossible to quantify, estimates say several thousand children are sold every year from Central America. Though the majority of young people kidnapped or bought in El Salvador are destined for adoption in Canada, the United States or Italy, there can be little doubt that some go to Britain. In addition to the babies sold to childless couples in rich countries, there are others bought by criminals involved in pornography, prostitution or drugs, or by intermediaries in the growing international trade in human organs. . . . In Honduras . . . the practice is for baby farmers to adopt retarded children and use their organs as “spare parts.” In Guatemala City, the fire service and the undertakers are notorious for trading in the organs of the dead, young and old, particularly in the corneas of the eyes. . . .
[O]n 1 June 1982, when Nelson was six months old, the Salvadorean army came to the untidy village of San Antonio de la Cruz on the banks of the River Lempa, supposedly as part of a military operation called La Guinda (The Glace Cherry) directed against the left-wing guerrillas of the F.M.L.N. Instead, they had a very successful day’s baby-hunting. After surrounding the village, the army loaded their helicopters with 50 babies, including Nelson. Their parents have never seen them since. . . . [Nelson’s mother, Maria Magdalena,] desperately clung to the helicopter, but the soldiers pushed her off.
Jan Rocha and Ed Vulliamy, “Brazilian children ‘sold for transplants,'” Guardian Weekly (U.K.), September 30, 1990, p. 10. An excerpt:
Brazilian federal police have been ordered by the Justice Ministry to investigate allegations that children ostensibly adopted by Italian couples are being used for illicit organ transplants in Europe. Italian authorities have been asked by Interpol to look into the allegations, which include claims that Brazilian children are being killed in Europe and their kidneys, testicles, livers and hearts sold for between Ł20,000 and Ł50,000. Such a trade is known to exist in Mexico and Thailand. . . . Handicapped children are said to be preferred for transplant operations. . . .
False papers are obtained for stolen babies in many ways. Police discovered that Rita de Cassia Costa, aged 21, had “given birth” three times last year: once to her own child, and twice to give an identity to stolen babies. She was arrested with a lawyer, Dorivan Matias Teles, who is accused of involvement in an international network allegedly supplying babies for “brain death” operations to enable them to be maintained alive until their organs were needed for transplants.
Robert Smith, “European Parliament Denunciation: The Trafficking of Central American Children,” Report on Guatemala (Guatemala News and Information Bureau, Oakland, CA), Vol. 10, Issue 3, July/August/September 1989, pp. 4-5 (reprinting the text of the European Parliament’s November 1988 resolution on the trafficking of Central American children). An excerpt:
Since 1987, numerous clandestine “human farms,” houses where small children are kept and fed prior to being sold, have been discovered in Guatemala and Honduras. . . . According to Marta Gloria Torres, member of the Representation of the United Guatemalan Opposition (RUOG), “A few cases are for adoptions, but the great majority is for organ transplants or for prostitution.” Near one farm discovered in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the corpses of many infants were found, all with one or more organs removed. . . . There are some reports of widows and parents, driven by poverty, actually selling their own young children to these brokers. But in the last few years, Guatemalan newspapers have reported a great number of young children kidnapped from their parents’ homes, from hospitals, and off the streets. . . .
The first “casa de engorde” (“fattening-up house”) was discovered by the police in Guatemala in February, 1987. Children found inside were destined for the United States and Israel as organ donors, according to those arrested in the raid. In the following month, another house was closed down in the capital. Records found inside indicate that between October 1985 and March of 1986, 150 children were sold outside the country. In June of 1988 alone, the Military Police found and closed five of these underground houses. . . . Doctor Luís Genaro Morales, president of the Guatemalan Pediatric Association, says child trafficking “is becoming one of the principal non-traditional export products,” and that it generates $20 million of business a year.
Samuel Blixen [Uruguayan journalist], “‘War’ waged on Latin American street kids,” Latinamerica press (Lima; Noticias Aliadas), November 7, 1991, p. 3. An excerpt:
Against a backdrop of increasing poverty and street crime a new type of death squad has sprung up: “clean-up squads,” or “avengers.” They target and exterminate street kids, and many believe they are assisted by police and financed by the business sector. Surviving as beggars, thieves, prostitutes, drug runners or cheap factory workers, street kids are considered the criminals of the future and their elimination will supposedly prevent future problems. Some victims are gunned down while they are sleeping below bridges, on vacant lots and in doorways. Others are kidnapped, tortured and killed in remote areas.
In Brazil, the bodies of young death squad victims are found in zones outside the metropolitan areas with their hands tied, showing signs of torture and riddled with bullet holes. . . . Street girls are frequently forced to work as prostitutes. . . . In Guatemala City, the majority of the 5,000 street kids work as prostitutes. In June 1990, eight children were kidnapped on a street in the capital by men riding in a jeep. Three bodies were later found in a clearing with their ears cut off and eyes gouged out: a warning about what could happen to possible witnesses. . . . In a rare case, 12 groups accused of murdering children were broken up in Rio de Janeiro last July. Minister of Health Alceni Guerra blamed business owners and merchants for financing the death squads. . . . Yet, the murders continue to increase. In Rio de Janeiro and in Săo Paulo reports indicate an average of three children under the age of 18 are killed daily. According to statistics from the Legal Medical Institute, 427 children in Rio de Janeiro have been killed this year. Almost all the murders have been attributed to death squads. . . .
In the Brazilian state of Rondonia on the Bolivian border, approximately 1,000 children work as virtual slaves extracting tin and another 2,000 adolescents work as prostitutes, according to union sources. Private employment agencies in Puerto Maldonado, capital of the Peruvian jungle department of Madre de Dios, recruit children to pan for gold. The children are sold to the highest bidder, according to Vicente Solorio, head of an investigation commission of the Peruvian Labor Ministry. . . . Children work 18 hours a day in water up to their knees and are paid a daily ration of bananas and boiled yucca, reported a young campesina who escaped after eight months of forced labor.
Gilberto Dimenstein (introduction by Jan Rocha), Brazil: War on Children, London: Latin America Bureau, 1991. An excerpt (pp. 21, 2):
“There is definitely a process of extermination of young people going on in various parts of the country. And I have to recognise that, unfortunately, there are members of the police force who are involved in the killing or who are giving protection to the killers,” admits Hélio Saboya, head of the Justice Department in Rio de Janeiro. . . . Almeida Filho, head of the Justice Department in Pernambuco, the biggest state in the country’s north-east region . . . is accustomed to reading reports of murders of young people in which the victims have suffered the most sadistic torture: genital organs severed, eyes poked out, bodies burned by cigarette ends and slashed by knives. . . .
There are an estimated 25 million deprived children in Brazil, and of these between seven and eight million are on the streets. . . . During the day, the street children’s main concern is survival — food. To get it they beg, pick pockets, steal from shops, mug tourists, look after parked cars, shine shoes, or search litter bins. Frequently glue takes the place of food. They sniff it from paper bags and for a few glorious moments forget who or where they are.
Amnesty International, Political Violence in Colombia: Myth and reality, London: Amnesty International Publications, March 1994. An excerpt (pp. 21-23):
A “social cleansing” operation uncovered in the northwest port city of Barranquilla in February 1992 caused widespread revulsion in Colombia. University security guards and police officers were killing people and selling their bodies to the illegal trade in organs and corpses. The operation came to light when one of the intended victims survived and escaped.
Oscar Hernández said that security guards had lured him and other paper collectors to the grounds of the Free University in Barranquilla by telling them they could collect discarded cartons and bottles outside the University’s School of Medicine. Once inside the university grounds, the refuse collectors were shot or beaten to death with clubs. Oscar Hernández was beaten unconscious and was presumably believed to be dead. When he regained consciousness early the following morning he found himself in a room with several corpses. He escaped and raised the alarm to a passing police patrol. . . . Security guards and the head of the dissecting room were arrested and reportedly confessed that the traffic in bodies had been going on for two years.
U.N. Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, E/CN.4/Sub.2/1992/34, June 23, 1992 (testimony of University of Săo Paulo (Brazil) Professor of Theology Father Barruel that “75 percent of the corpses [of murdered children] reveal internal mutilation and the majority have their eyes removed”).
On the “voluntary” sale of organs, see for example, Kenneth Freed, “Desperation: Selling an Eye or a Kidney,” Los Angeles Times, September 10, 1981, section 1, p. 1. An excerpt:
Paulo Ricardo dos Santos Barreto and Maria Fatima Lopes don’t know each other, but they share something — an extraordinary despair that is driving them to risk mutilation of their own bodies, even blindness. The two young people — he is 22 and she 19 — are among the growing number of Brazilians so crushed by poverty that they are willing to sell their bodies. Not for prostitution, although that is common enough here. No, Barreto is advertising a kidney, Lopes a cornea. “I sometimes live on bread and water,” Barreto said in explaining his situation. “I can’t exist like this. There is no other way out. . . .”
Barreto and Lopes are not alone. In a country where at least 15% of the people are jobless and millions more earn less than $200 a month and inflation is 120% a year, poverty is giving birth to monstrous acts of desperation. The Sunday classified ads of Rio’s biggest newspapers are a register of this despair, increasingly full of offers by people to sell parts of themselves — kidneys and eyes for the most part. In a recent Sunday edition of O Globo, there were 10 ads offering to sell kidneys and three more for corneas.
Hugh O’Shaughnessy, “Murder And Mutilation Supply Human Organ Trade,” Observer (London), March 27, 1994, p. 27. An excerpt:
In January, a 29-year-old unemployed French electrician advertised in a Strasbourg newspaper to exchange one of his kidneys for a job. As in the Third World, so in cash-strapped Eastern Europe, where selling one’s organs can be a source of hard currency. A call last week to Robert Miroz, a kidney agent in the Polish city of Swidnica, confirmed that organs were available; the price of a kidney was quoted as pounds 12,000. Polish middlemen send their potential donors to a hospital in Western Europe where the best-matched candidate sells his kidney for cash in hand and a written undertaking from the recipient to bear all the costs of his post-operative treatment.
It should be noted that trade in body parts does not pass entirely without censure: in 1994, President Clinton approved a National Security Council recommendation to impose limited sanctions against Taiwanese exports, to punish Taiwan “for its alleged failure to crack down adequately on trafficking in rhino horns and tiger parts.” See Jeremy Mark, “U.S. Will Punish Taiwan for Trade In Animal Parts,” Wall Street Journal, April 4, 1994, p. A8.
25. For the Amnesty International report discussing “social cleansing” in Colombia, see footnotes 13 and 24 of this chapter.
26. On the emerging market in organs in Eastern Europe, see for example, Hugh O’Shaughnessy, “Murder And Mutilation Supply Human Organ Trade,” Observer (London), March 27, 1994, p. 27. An excerpt:
A children’s home in St. Petersburg, Russia, is giving away children in its care to foreigners and does not bother to register the addresses to which they go. The evidence, though circumstantial, points strongly to the orphans being robbed of their organs and tissues. Dr. Jean-Claude Alt, an anaesthetist in Versailles and a leading campaigner against illegal trading in human organs, says: “People come to the home offering to adopt children with any ailment from a hare lip to Down’s Syndrome and severe mental disturbance. Their only stipulation is that they have no heart trouble. What reasonable conclusion can you draw from that?” . . .
[T]hose with money who have wanted to jump the queues for kidneys in Western Europe have gone to the Third World, where donors sell their organs for cash. At a hospital in Bombay last week, Dr. Martin de Souza said a kidney transplant would cost about pounds 7,500 fully inclusive. The price is similar in the Philippines capital, Manila.
On the emerging market in children in Eastern Europe, see for example, Gabrielle Glaser, “Booming Polish Market: Blond, Blue-Eyed Babies,” New York Times, April 19, 1992, section 1, p. 8. An excerpt:
Poland’s opening to Western market forces has brought an unexpected side effect: a booming traffic in the country’s blond, blue-eyed babies. . . . Western embassies in Warsaw have reported a striking rise in the number of residence visas and passports granted to Polish infants and toddlers. . . . In some cases, officials say, poor, pregnant women give up their babies in exchange for money directly. But most often, they say, administrators of homes for single mothers, as well as the attorneys involved in the adoptions, receive up to tens of thousands of dollars. . . . [S]ome of the cases reported are linked to the Roman Catholic Church. . . .
In a recent article, Marek Baranski wrote about one woman in the city of Lublin who gave her unborn child up for adoption to an American couple in December 1991 after being pressed by the nuns caring for her in a church home for single mothers. Since the article appeared, Mr. Baranski said he has received several dozen letters, most of them anonymous, from women throughout Poland who wrote of having the same treatment in church-run homes. . . . [T]he mother superior of one home received up to $25,000 for each baby boy and $15,000 for each baby girl. . . . Two visitors driving a foreign car went to [this] home. . . . The mother superior at the home, Sister Benigna, greeted the visitors with blessings and proudly displayed her papal award for “defending life,” an honor Pope John Paul II bestows on anti-abortion crusaders in his native Poland. “How can I help you, dears?” she said, offering tea. When the two said that they were journalists, Sister Benigna rose to her feet. “There was a very bad article about us,” she said. “It has given us great moral discomfort. I cannot give you any information. Good-bye.”
On the economic collapse in Eastern Europe, see footnote 10 of this chapter.
27. For Aviles’s and other officials’ statements about trade in children, see for example, Hugh O’Shaughnessy, “Takeaway babies farmed to order,” Observer (London), October 1, 1993, p. 14. This article quotes Victoria de Aviles, the Salvadoran government Procurator for the Defence of Children, as follows: “We know there is a big trade in children in El Salvador, for pornographic videos, for organ transplants, for adoption and for prostitution. We want to extend the use of checking identities of children by using D.N.A. We will certainly look into what evidence you have — even if it involves the army. . . . We found the latest casa de engorde [i.e. ‘fattening house’ where newborn babies are plumped up for sale] in San Marcos in July. There were six children there.”
In addition, the article cites the Guatemalan police spokesman Fredy Garcia Avalos, and the European Parliament’s findings, as follows:
The police in Guatemala, who are not known for exaggerating the seriousness of their country’s problems, say they have investigated 200 cases of baby trafficking and discovered four casas de engorde. Fredy Garcia Avalos, the police spokesman, says the racket is being run by lawyers, nurses, handlers and stand-in mothers. One little village, Boca del Monte, he says, has achieved modest fame as a centre for baby farming. The villagers make a standard charge of Ł18 a month to fatten up a baby while the legal documentation relating to foreign adoption is sorted out. . . .
According to a report on the trade in transplant organs adopted by the European Parliament in Strasbourg, only a quarter of the 4,000 Brazilian children authorised for adoption in Italy were really adopted. The rest, the report’s authors say, were chopped up for their organs in undercover hospitals in Mexico and Europe to the order of the Camorra, the Mafia of Naples.
For reports by other sources about the organ trade and widespread abuse of children, see footnotes 23 and 24 of this chapter. See also footnote 13 of this chapter.