File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0109, message 53

Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 12:24:44 -0100
Subject: Re: 9/11/01

Matthew Levy wrote:,

> I have been thinking about Battaille's idea of general economy.  Isn't it
> interesting that a few days ago we were having a budget emergency and now
> dollar figure is too inconceivable to spend?  People are so generous now
> with their money and with their blood.  I am not scoffing or sneering at
> people who want to help.  Far from it.  I am just thinking that we could
> have afforded to be more generous last month to our "enemies."  When
> are desperate we do desperate things.  The trillion the west will be
> spending on cleanup, compensation, revenge and military buildup would have
> been better spent on a new Marshall Plan-type operation.  We purposefully
> put Japan and Europe in a position to compete with us financially.  We
> do that with other countries as well.  As long as our policies make use of
> other people's poverty, the world is going to be resentful.
> mal

Let me suggest that our "true" religion is money, that Washington D.C. is a
Kabuki performance.  That politicians and the media have persuaded "we the
that our collective salvation lies in transferring tax monies to the
wealthy, and that anything goes in international trade.  That control of the
U.S. two-party system and the mega-media assures the serial  incumbency of
lawmakers who  legislate higher subsidies and lower taxes for those who own
and manage the nation's wealth.  That U.S. democracy is defeated by
discouraging half the citizens of voting age from participating. .

As to the Marshall Plan and postwar Japan:  Post-WWII, young Germans admired
democracy because it "won wars".  Afterwards they benefited from the
presence of U.S. troops and a de-militarized economy, as well as benefiting
from  the Marshall Plan and its counterpart in Japan.  Iin Germany today,
workers who put in around 1400 hours per year get wages and benefits
approximating those of U.S. workers who expend more than 1900 hours

The plight of post-war Europe or Japan was far different from that of  Third
World countries today.  Europe and Japan had lost buildings and
infrastructure, but their citizens had the education, training and a
of industrial accomplishment.  Even so, it took many years to return to

In contrast, enormous populations in many Third World countries are rural,
and depend on agriculture. They can learn to make shoes and clothing
quickly, but it will take many years for them to develop the institutions
and infrastructure sufficient for an acceptable level of  national economic
independence.  To do so, they would need long term loans at low rates of
interest, the investment device that made it possible for people of moderate
income to own their own homes in the U.S. of the 1950's..

Meanwhile, the Transnational Agencies,  IMF, WTO etc. whose original purpose
was stablization and protection of international trade, seem to have become
instruments of exploitation.  They have allegedly assisted foreign investors
in Third World countries in destroying the value of currencies in those
countries, permitting foreigners to acquire their valuable resources at
ridculously low prices.

In the long run, constructive loan policies towards Third World nations
could give them a high degree of self-sufficiency, reduce poverty, and add
to world prosperity by creating additional customers and consumers.

But many would argue that the U.S. should alleviate its own poverty, drug
addiction, crime and homelessness as a first priority.

Both possibilties seem unlikely today, 9/16/01 as the newest War is
launched. New bills, transferring $billions to the wealthy, will soon be
into law.



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