/ December 12, 2009 / Some modest reflections on geopolitical issues faced by Giancarlo Elia Valori, in particular in the book “The Future is iust here ‘and his publications dedicated to the Mediterranean Area.


Italian version with photographic reportagehttp://wp.me/P2qWaW-1J

2001.  

              Attack on the Twin Towers of the ‘September 11 and China‘s admission to WTO on December 11: stratagems VI, XVII, XXVIII, XXIX   (See   Sanshiliuji   : The Thirty-Six Stratagems).
Just like the Titanic, “The West” in 2001 came across came across China iceberg, but, for some strange reason, the Commander was convinced that the sinking was related to a military attack by a certain Bin Laden, constantly engaged in some part of the ship to procure some other breach in the hull and that was stopped at all costs.
It ‘legitimate to ask: is not that the West has fallen into the trap set in the East so that all contributed to a general change, a real global revolution?

Let’s step back.

In the essay  by Giancarlo Elia Valori   “Ethics of Responsibility” on p. 217 we read: < the First World War destabilizes the Russian Imperial universe, making it “the territory of experiment to socialist revolutions”-  as it was written in a map of the time still preserved at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel –  enters Russia and the U.S. European arena, destabilizes, due to a choice naive British Empire, the heart of the Eurasian peninsula in order to promote the expansion of London to Central Asia, India and China>.

Tarak Ben Amar introduction acknowledges that “in fact, the more recent tradition of global scenario we have become accustomed  we have become accustomed to a rhetoric of Leopardi’s “magnificent and progressive fates ” of global deregulation, these fates – and is now under the eyes of all – have failed to materialize or, where this has happened, have not brought positive developments that everyone expected. “
And even more dramatically continues “The era of peacekeeping, which featured the optimism of the post-Cold War, is also coming to an end. The war is in our future and I am not referring only to the fight against jihadist terrorism. “

Valori ​​himself says on p. 218   “The Future …” « If the long-term post-Cold War economy is explicitly separated from politics, arguing that if the economy went on, democracy would be behind the door, now we have to imagine that law of the two-stage  is not more effective, if it ever was ».

Of course the forces opposed to the West found fertile ground already plowed by the action of Multinational Corporations. they have smuggled the globalization – with complacency or ‘indifference, at best, the political leaders of the West -, finally and magically through the economy ,  with the equation of global export Enlightenment ideal of Western democracies: Liberty, Fraternity, Equality.
The heads of multinationals are not the Pangloss in Candide.
Their reasoning was simple: «We delocalize polluting production, labor-intensive, low value-added in countries in need of our units and no trade union protection, so willing to accept all our conditions without opposition and whose ruling classes, in the worst case, be willing to close both eyes in exchange for bribe in offshore accounts ».

« Will we sell in dumping conditions in relation to my western competitors remain in place, and to attack and conquer rapidly increasing market share ».
For a manager is a legitimate argument even if ethically questionable (but we know that these two categories do not often go hand in hand especially in large global enterprises).

But where was it our political leadership ?

Cleverly Putin, Valori shows ​​on p. 251 of “The Future ..”, a perfect political strategist, thinks that the rapid globalization of the Russian economy could be destabilizing for the political system and can slow down the achievement, for the Russian people, a SelfPropelled Economy leading the citizens to a standard of living as that of the EU countries.

This absolute lack of vision and foresight of the western political class is simply due to the superficiality and ignorance unaware of the economic and political consequences for their communities of these choices?

1. Reduction downward income and protection of workers;

2. Closure of many factories and the related industrial sectors;

3. The rise of unemployment and consequent drastic reduction in their final consumers of those goods produced under conditions of dumping abroad ;

4. Vertical drop in industrial investments ;

5. Collapse of the revenue tax ;

6. Technology obsolescence for the manufacturing made in C E & UE, especially in Italy, with the consequent fall in investment in R & D ;

7. In our countries no focus on product innovation and productivity per unit ;

8. Transfer of know-how abroad .

The beginnings of this strategic blindness had already been highlighted in the years between the two world wars and especially after World War II.
Instead of replacing the odious old colonialism with a soft power that would accompany the local population in self-sufficiency in their growth and we opted for a hasty withdrawal of an ideological nature or to a position of losing strength in situations already compromised by the propaganda of the socialist block.
On the sidelines of this discussion, I do not find at all far-sighted for Western geopolitical interests the break up status quo implemented by Enrico Mattei in the oil market (incidentally, I’m not doing the lawyer for the seven sisters who even had their responsibility to create the conditions).

The formula of 75% of the profits of oil producing countries does not appear, ex post, which has given good results, much less to people in need.

In fact, the resources transferred into the hands of corrupt local elites, who recently came to power, taking advantage of the withdrawal of the European powers were and are directed  « to the expansion of military spending »  I quote from p. 141 « that allows control of the population, the maintenance of raw materials in its territory, the acquisition of those materials that are found in neighboring countries and, above all, the management of an economy progressive impoverishment of mass that crushes the rebellion in the bud and and determine a possible parasitic behavior of the elite according to the “rice-bowl theory”.

 

*******The great missed opportunities after the West : or how to lose a war after having won !

 

                                  * November 9, 1989 – FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL *

The Soviet Union is in total chaos. The Russian population is, for the most part, enthusiastically receptive to the western lure.
And the West what it does ?

The West leaves chaos in the realities of states and ethnic groups of the former empire instead of completing all the influence of its victory.

Naively thought that their way of life would have traveled through the former empire, such as bottles of Coca Cola.

a.        « Between 1992 and 1994, years in which the EU is redesigned after the Cold War » I quote from page 66 of  “The Future …”  « we could replace the opening-up policies with greater investment in manufacturing technologies. An increase in investment that had produced a 1% increase the unitary productivity, omission …, avoided the negative effects of an aging European population ».« At that stage, the reassertion of European leadership in technology, tangible or intangible, would have attracted to the Old World all these countries that, after the fall of the blocks were in the process of growth and could have invest their profits in the EU territory, in exchange for our technology ».

b.      « The policy could have help » (I quote from page 108)   « always with market-based instruments, large multinational agribusiness to set a policy of environmental protection of their properties in the Southern Hemisphere, with a network of tax rebates in relation to application of techniques, methods, procedures extraction / production, processing of agricultural produce in those countries. If it is true that corporations are able to avoid the bottlenecks tax or select the tax treatment more favorable for them, it’s true that they sell their products in the First World and the final good can be taxed in proportion to the actual protection for the environment ….. ».

Now imagine that we have a “time machine” and let us suppose a West which has adopted a smart strategy on all the different historical scenarios.

 

1)             Ex Union of Soviet Socialist Republics   USSR / CCCP

a.     Totally myopic was the logistical support and military provided the Taliban in Afghanistan as an anti-Soviet Strategy.                                    Certainly defeat for the Red Army would have come anyway, even if more slowly.    With the result of having nurtured  and                  strengthened the power of the most reactionary Islamic fundamentalism in a very strategic position.
b.     The same applies to the complacent indulgence granted to the return of the ‘Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran on 1 February 1979, after the fall of the Shah always in a strategic function anti-Soviet.
With Yeltsin in the Kremlin, the United States should emphasize much less than they did their military power, hitting the national pride of the other historic Superpower.

On the contrary they should greatly enhance intelligence operations and coordination with the police of the former empire to avoid what has happened: the transfer and the sacking of the powerful military arsenal to the advantage of small and medium subversive powers and the subsequent disintegration of the Russian Army in parallel with the remarkable enrichment of the various local ethnic mafias.

The United States would do much better to use their giant army as the guardian of the status quo of the Russian central government against the disintegration implemented by the countries of the former Soviet Union who aspired to liberate themselves in a more or less peaceful, democratic and especially uncontrollable way.

 

* The EU would have to assume the role most strategically important*

The assimilation step by step but quickly throughout the former Soviet empire in the Euro Area’s Exchange, in particular the Old Mother Russia, before the former communist oligarchies become, this went indeed the case, those powerful economic oligarchies further enriched by plundering the more productive installations and mineral resources of the former Soviet Union.

We also would had to support the people with powerful injections of the welfare state in place of the old socialist welfare neither more nor less than the German Premier Helmut Kohl was doing with the former DDr.

2)                                                         !  CHINA !

First of the four modernizations that was the picture of China !
a)         A Country with a highly concentrated population in the country, in conditions of life at the level of minimum subsistence, if not  in poverty;

b)         A low qualified workforce;
c)         Scarcity of Technology;
d)         Large army but poorly equipped;
e)         Some nuclear weapons, but of no relevance for the growth of the Country;
f)         Close historical enemies much more advanced and able to contain the expansion (one for all Japan);
g)         The lack of an education system comparable to that of  Capitalist West;
h)       Beyond appearances, the lack of compactness of the different ethnic groups and therefore controlled and repressed with an iron fist by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

However, despite these handicaps have wiped out the Western counterpart at the poker table with unparalleled bluff.

Stragem VI drum rolls in the East and attack in the West   (see the discussion in relation to the entrance of  China into the WTO and a possible correlation between the jihadist strategy and the coincident objectives, even if only temporarily, to the interests of the Communist Party of China (CPC)).

Concatenation of stratagem XVII – Throwing a brick to get a jade – and the stratagem XXIX – make sprout the flowers on the  tree (See Sanshiliuji: the thirty-six stratagems).
The “brick” was the threatened assault by producing the poor Chinese products dumped to the markets of the First World, with the complicity of the leaders of the Western Multinationals and the indifference, if not the complicity, of the policy.

It ‘s easy to assume that the Western consumer, with the levels of income and employment pre-Chinese products dumping invasion , after experiencing a Chinese product of the first phase of industrialization of the Dragon, at that time would not have repeated the incautious purchase          [ I challenge you all, still today, to inspect the kitchen of a medium Chinese restaurant 😉 ].

The other big chimera was propaganda on the fantastic opportunity for the West to go to produce for a market of one billion and a half people in need : a kind of Eden of ‘entrepreneur.

In fact, those who have been already attended to the business of the Dragon Empire knew no more than 150 million Chinese would be able to enter the area of welfare, so with a negative net balance completely to the disadvantage compared to jobs lost in West. But even if it had not been (and instead is exactly what happened), analysts who were already well-versed in things Chinese knew how the Chinese mentality is “sinocentric” – with a certain amount of superiority over “Aliens” – and with a very autarkic self-concept.

Target achieved by the Chinese: launched the ride mass of technicians sent by Western companies to bring “Jade” for the Chinese giant who had a vital need for its industrial revolutions: the know-how, high-tech investment, technology .

The preciousness of manufacturing know-how and working secrets is not something today and already and  they were more than aware of the manufactures of Old Europe.

“I open a historical digression to recall, for example, the Statute of the Guild of Goldsmiths of Vicenza in 1300: in fact it was the duty of the artisans to collect, preserve and hand down the secrets of processing of the precious metal, and it was expected even the death penalty to the “brother” who had revealed to a foreign power these secrets.

In fact, China has always aimed to build a strong “Beijing consensus”, serving as a new cultural model especially in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America.

The findings in a memorial Ming of 1425 is significant of the historical continuity of the exercise of Zhongguo ruan Shili, the Chinese soft power: “Teachers are examples. Use the Chinese customs to change the habits of foreigners: there is nothing more important than that. “

Without resorting to such extremes – I mean the death penalty 🙂 – maybe we could exert a more intelligent and shrewd with a power (of clay), poorly equipped, in severe economic crisis, especially in rural areas inhabited by ethnic groups strongly indented with a Muslim presence not without problems for the Communist Party (see Xinjiang but Ningxia, Qinghai, Hunan and Henan) and a highly corrupt bureaucracy.

Goal Achieved: in the Japanese game Go, Tsuru No Sugomori means, “The cranes are returning to the nest “: skillful maneuvering with they capture enemy pieces.

Concept which could match the Stratagem XXVIII do climb onto the roof and remove the scale -.

What Westerners do not understand or some of them pretended not to understand self-interest short-term and therefore witho What Westerners do not understand or some of them have pretended not to understand for self-interest short-term and therefore without any strategic projection is accurately reflected in the interview of Giancarlo Elia Valori to Andrea Mothier: ut any strategic projection is accurately reflected in ‘interview with Giancarlo Elia Valori Andrea Mothier:

« Thinking of a dialectic tension in China, today, between “free market” (or capitalism) on one side and “communist political system” on the other, is not only naive but is worst; it’s a real strategic cultural mistake . Chinese Capitalism is” Sinocentric”. China has always read, with Mao Zedong, capitalism as an invention of the “Western dogs”. For the leadership of the CCP,   the expansion of the production base is aimed at building an “empire of Middle” red ». 

But I like the observation of Mothier mentions that when he wrote the economist Carlo Maria Cipolla remembering that in five hundred years of trade with China, the West had not been able to export anything, apart from watches, much more inaccurate than to those in use in China, but that were used to observe time goes.

For a Western strategist, the solution to the unstoppable (maybe) Chinese giant, is making a virtue of necessity.

The lines are drawn in ‘“The Future …” p. 160 and 215, when G.E Valori ​​observes « that the United States are destined to unite the political and economic liberalization to an increasingly small space for his institutional constructionThe greater will be the rate of classical liberalism that will be maintained in the political institutions of the United States, the lower will be the ‘unity of space and the amount of people on which this liberal  procedure  will  be applied . More than classic regionalism

or federalism , this involves a policy of “canonization” of the North American Area and NAFTA Countries » Valori goes on « In the new Administration U.S. logic of “Buy American”, moreover, the decline in Chinese exports, omitted …, the People’s Republic of China could assess with great interest a geo-economic proposal  area in which the new   Euro / Eastern Mediterranean Area becomes a replacement market for Chinese exports and imports, and where the share of Chinese FDI may increase, combined with those of the EU countries and generate the integration of a region  between the Maghreb and the central and eastern Mediterranean, which means, along with Russia, the real border, north of the Middle East ».

 

THE COLONIALISM AND IN PARTICULAR THE QUESTION AL QAEDA   – THE JIHAD OF THE SWORD AND OF THE WORD.

 

A brief  history really happened to begin.

An old family friend (we’ll call Mario), of humble origin emigrated from Liguria-Italy, in the years between the wars, and went to seek his fortune in South Africa.
There, precisely in Johannesburg, Mario opened a small inn mostly frequented by miners.
They were accustomed to pay the bills, not in money, but with small shiny stones that made ​​the fortune of our friend …. a great fortune.
Mario, however, never forgot his native Italy and often he would spend his holliday in Italy.
As a young man, during the long summers, I used to spend time with him to listen to his tales of an adventurous and extraordinary life.

When the West began to be shaken by the question of apartheid in South Africa, I was a teenager full of ideals and he was a wise and sailed septuagenarian ….

A furious debate divided us on the subject of “ apartheid “.

Mario said that on the day when the black population would have been left to itself would be civil war broke out, and with it the disease and the destruction of South Africa, whereas, up to that time, in his view, the white hegemony, could provide them, even inside the ghettos, an adequate level of education and health care, decent housing and decent working conditions, safety and security, to prevent conflicts between different ethnic groups .

Of course, in the face of these statements, I was that young idealist, reacted with outrage, accusing him of white capitalist exploitation, almost as a slave trader.

Today, looking at the facts coldly without ideological or racial preconceptions and with proper precautions – knowing to say something politically incorrect – I think a Western neo-colonialism “enlightened”without the use of armies or discrimination founded on race or religion, but based on the Soft Power of modern Western democracies, respectful of diversity and the rights of citizens, if still applicable, could prove much more productive and profitable for the  geopolitical Western influence and for the people most in need who might benefit , avoiding  expensive military operations often resulted in failure and in hatred of the people who have been subjected.

I wonder, how come the countries that have “suffered” a colonization more inclusive and more persistent over time are those who have grasped the ongoing modernization of the highest growth rates (I refer in particular to the” Asian tigers’ and all ‘”India”)?

Why this did not happen the same in those countries that have undergone a Western colonization for a short period of time and / or not very effective (eg, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan) ?

Soft power is based on the authoritativeness both internal and external, rather than on the strength of the nations that use it.

The West Soft Power was based on two main planks:

a)    A large section of the population belonging to what is called “middle class”;
b)     Wide possibility of “social mobility”.

In the alternative, but no less important and closely related

c)     Continuing education and highly qualified ;
d)     Constitutional laicity and religious freedom.

Mark Onado writes :

« Robert Reich, professor of politics at Berkeley and secretary of labor during the first Clinton administration, in “Afterschok. The next economy and America’s future “leads us to search for the cause of the crisis and identifies the causa causarum in the  income distribution process that has characterized the last thirty years in all industrial countries, starting with the United States and the United Kingdom.
The numbers are so impressive as irrefutable: one percent of the richest Americans in the seventies had for 9 percent of total income, while in 2007 their share had risen to 23 percent, substantially the same value of 1928. The median income (ie the one that divide into two population) is declined in real terms over the past thirty years.

Hence the starting point of Reich: under these conditions, he argues, to say that Americans have been living beyond their means because they consume more than they produced is a half-truth and half a lie so.

The problem is that the majority of the population was excluded from the distribution of resources created in the last thirty years, but at the same time continued to live in an atmosphere of euphoria on the health of the economy and its ability to create jobs.

To increase their spending power, the Americans have accepted the most severe conditions that patterns of labor flexibility had imposed, thus increasing the family income, but also they are indebted in over their head, thanks to the very low interest rates, all financial innovation and an aggressive policy of many operators of mortgage loans. As in a poker game where the chips are concentrated in the hands of a few players, the others could continue to play only on credit. When no one was more willing to lend to them, the game was over ».

« At this point » Reich concludes saying « the mass production must be accompanied by mass consumption, and this requires a fairly even distribution of income. Not surprisingly, those were the years in which a sociologist coined the felicitous phrase of the “American Dream”: a dream of individual progress but also of egalitarianism ».

In addition, even the most discerning U.S. tycoon, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, etc.. have proposed severely penalized taxation of large heritage in order to promote the return to a proper redistribution of income.

*It’s based on these principles the “Secret Formula” of the western success  and especially the American Way of Life.

The evidence? Recently is appeared on all media publications the revelation  by the Guardian of a “cable” of the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia released online  by WikiLeaks.

In it David Latterman is defined Agent of Influence;   channel MBC 4 has a strong audience as well as CBS, ABC Evening News, David Latterman precisely, Desperate Housewives, Friends and similar, all uncensored and with Arabic subtitles.

“An unnamed senior Saudi official has affirmed” we read on  the cable report “that this programming is very popular also  in remote corners of the country, even among the most conservative communities in the country, where” he said that he” no longer see Bedouins, but kids in Westerners clothes  “who are now interested in the outside world “.

“The government,” says the source, “is pushing this new openness as a means to counter the extremists'” It plays on the war of ideas here, and the American programming on MBC and Rotana is captivated the Saudis in an extraordinary way so that Hurra (broadcaster financed directly by the Government of the United States to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars) and other propaganda U.S. media do not hold up in any way the comparison. The Saudis are now very interested in the outside world, and everybody wants to study in the U.S. if they can. They are fascinated by U.S. culture in a way that never occurred.

Still in the “cable” are quoted as major successes films as “Michael Clayton”, starring George Clooney, exemplary illustration of heroic honesty in the face of corruption or “Insomnia” starring Al Pacino, which celebrates respect for the law over and above our own interests.

***Those values, the possibility of widespread prosperity, of social mobility cleverly advertised by Hollywood factory , revised and corrected with the new values of our times such as environmental sustainability, consumistic deceleration and greater attention to quality, to value of intangible assets, a strong sense of personal and collective responsibility can again fill the imagination of the masses world dominated by selfserving political elites.

Anyone of us, of whatever race or religion, what hopes has for own future and for own their children?

Perhaps a mother in the Gaza Strip can realistically imagine that it is better for her own son die as martyr for Allah if as a constructive alternative – without suffering violence cultural and / or symbolic – she could be held that those principles of freedom and social justice, of course perceived in every cultural context, could are actually pursued even in those latitudes ???

The answer is yes.

Certainly the current political and economic Establishment will not be so foolish that it will be able to complete such an ambitious project and, unfortunately, on the horizon, not only there is no sign of  butterflies waiting becoming chrysalises but even the shadow of a worm silk.

With regard to the desolate landscape in Italian, one can not but be grateful to Giancarlo Elia Valori, thanks to its experience and its multiple international relations, he tries with his work and publications, to make the national debate less provincial often folded on the house small vegetable garden …..

Italy, we love and we want it to remain still among the world’s industrial powers, deserves Think Thanks institutionalized with appropriate means and especially with our best talents – too often forced to leave their country due to lack of meritocracy and transparency – to the service of a nation that should keep up of the challenges that await it.

Marcello Lopez

NOTES OF THE AUTHOR

***This reviewed was written in between 2009 and 2010, so some comments may be a bit ‘”dated” but it  does not affect the relevance of the considerations contained therein.

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