Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who is Paul Desmarais?

*******
Paul Desmarais
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Paul Desmarais, Sr., PC, CC (born January 4, 1927) is a Canadian financier in Montreal and one of the ten richest (8th in 2008) persons in Canada. He counts among his friends Brian Mulroney, former prime minister of Canada; Jean Chrétien, former prime minister of Canada; the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau, former prime minister of Canada; George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, former Presidents of United States of America; and current President of France Nicolas Sarkozy.
Early life and career
Desmarais was born in Sudbury, Ontario. After having graduated from University of Ottawa and McGill University, Desmarais began his career at a Montreal accounting firm called Courtois, Fredette et cie, before returning to Sudbury to take the helm of his family's bus service, Sudbury Bus Lines, in 1951. He then acquired additional bus lines in the Ottawa area and Quebec City (including Quebec Autobus and Provincial Transport). By 1968 the holding company which Desmarais had acquired three years earlier, Trans-Canada Corporation Fund (TCCF), owned the bus line Provincial Transport, an interest in Toronto-based Imperial Life Assurance and Gesca Ltée, (which had an interest in the Montreal paper La Presse). That year TCCF made a share-exchange offer with Power Corporation of Canada, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, whereby Paul Desmarais became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Power Corp.
Desmarais' Power Corporation of Canada owns about 15% of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, a Belgian holding company, which in 2001 acquired a 25% interest in the German media company Bertelsmann, whose subsidiaries include BMG and Random House (the German company Bertelsmann bought the 25% back in July 2006). Groupe Bruxelles Lambert owns 3.7% of the French oil conglomerate Total.
In 1974, Desmarais named employee Paul Martin, Jr. as president of a Power Corporation subsidiary, Canada Steamship Lines Inc. In 1981, he sold the company to Laurence Pathy and Paul Martin, Jr.. The latter became Prime Minister of Canada on December 12, 2003.
In 1978 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 1986.
In 1998, he pursuaded and gave Jean Charest a one million dollar home, so that he could beat the Parti Québécois in the provincial elections.
Desmarais is a staunch opponent of the Quebec sovereignty movement. On Feb.2 2009, French president Nicolas Sarkozy made comments asking Quebec sovereigntists to focus on unity and not separation from Canada, and to put their goals of sovereignty on hold during tough economic times. This angered many sovereigntists who claimed that Sarkozy was acting under the influence of Desmarais.[2]
Paul Desmarais sits on the advisory board of the Carlyle Group.
Desmarais has two sons: Paul Jr. and André (who is married to former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's daughter France) and two daughters, Sophie and Louise.
As a sign of his connection to the University of Ottawa, a 12-storey building was named in his honour due to his contribution of $15 million to the university.[3] The library at Laurentian University (in his hometown of Sudbury) is also named after him.
*******
Paul Desmarais' Web of Influence Over Canada
Desmarais reputed to have huge influence on current and past Prime Ministers
LifeSiteNews.com
Friday May 2, 2003
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2003/may/030502a.html
(LifeSiteNews.com) – For many years, astute political observers have noted what appears to be an unusually powerful web of influence over Canadian federal politics by wealthy Canadian businessman and Power Corporation founder, Paul Desmarais senior. The number of Prime Ministers and other elected and influential Canadians financially beholden to the Quebec based Canadian nationalist is astonishing.
In an Ottawa Citizen article of May 2, 1995 columnist Paul Gessell asked “Why does Desmarais have a direct pipeline into every Prime Minister’s office, regardless of who occupies that post or what party is in power?” Following is LifeSite’s summary of the most significant elements of the Desmarais web of influence.
 * Current Prime Minister Jean Chretien sat on the board of Power Corp. subsidiary Consolidated Bathurst Inc. before becoming leader of the Liberal Party. Chretien’s daughter France is married to Paul Desmarais’ son Andre. Andre was involved in Canadian power station projects in China. Chretien personally withdrew Canadian support of a UN condemnation of China’s human rights abuses after Chinese officials threatened to take power station projects away from Canadian firms. The Prime Minister's nephew, Raymond Chretien, is now Canada's Ambassador to France." Chretien's "advisor, counsellor and strategist" for the past 30 years has been Mitchel Sharp, who brought Chretien into politics when he was Finance Minister. From 1981 onwards Sharp was Vice-Chairman for North America of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission.
* In her April 17, 2003 National Post column Diane Francis notes that Chretien heir apparent, Paul Martin, was hired in the 1960s to work for Paul Desmarais senior by Maurice Strong. In 1974, Francis writes, “Desmarais made Martin president of Canada Steamship Lines and then, in 1981, made him spectacularly rich by selling the company to him and a partner…” She follows, “It all begs a number of questions, Did Mr. Desmarais give away the company to Mr. Martin? Did Mr. Desmarais lend him the money or guarantee the loan? And what does this mean in terms of his allegiance or loyalty to Mr. Desmarais and his empire in Canada and France.”
* An August 5, 1994 Globe and Mail article noted that "Another prime minister, long-time family friend, Pierre Trudeau (now deceased), sits on Power's star-studded international advisory board."
* Ted Johnson, A former Trudeau assistant, and a friend of Chretien’s chief of staff, Eddie Goldenberg (more powerful than most MPs and even Cabinet Ministers), was vice-president, secretary and legal counsel to Power Corp.
* Michael Pitfield, the super-bureaucrat under the Trudeau government, was a vice-chairman of Power Corp and is still listed as a Director Emeritus.
* Maurice Strong became President of Power Corp by his mid-thirties. From there he became a Liberal Party bureaucrat and created the controversial, left-wing Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). In 1976, still under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, he was appointed to run Petro Canada, the state-run oil company. This wealthy ex-Desmarais employee is an architect of the Kyoto accord and has been a powerful advocate of UN world governance and world de-population. He is an advisor to both the UN Secretary General and the president of the World Bank. With former Soviet President Michael Gorbachev he co-authored the infamous “Earth Charter” which Strong, Gorbachev and numerous prominent allies are hoping will guide a new world order based on "planetary ethics". The Charter reads like a new age ten commandments and includes language supporting abortion. Strong also supports a one world religion. See http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2000/jun/00063006.html See also http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2000/jan/00011302.html
* Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Desmarais go back at least as far as 1972. Mulroney friend Ian MacDonald described Desmarais as “Mulroney’s mentor in the business world.” Mulroney has done legal work for Desmarais since his spectacular election loss at the end of his second term as Prime Minister.
* Former Mulroney Cabinet Minister Don Mazankowski is currently Power’s company director.
* Former Ontario Conservative premiers William Davis and John Robarts sat on Power’s national advisory board.
* John Rae, the brother of former Ontario New Democratic (Socialist) Premier Bob Rae is currently listed as Power's Executive Vice-President, Office of the Chairman of the Executive Committee (Paul Desmarais).
* Former Quebec premier Daniel Johnson worked for Power from 1973 to 1981 and in the last of those three years was vice-president.
* The May 11, 1996 Toronto Star reported that “Desmarais’ worldwide political connections have resulted in an international advisory board featuring such luminaries as former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt; Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, former oil minister of Saudi Arabia, Paul Volcker, former head of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board and former prime minister Pierre Trudeau."
* There have been indications that the fabled de Rothchild family of Europe has been playing a role in Desmarais’ international expansion. For example, the Nov. 20, 2002 Financial Post covered the opening of Sir Evelyn de Rothchild’s investment bank’s Montreal office. Quebec’s business elite were present in force, headed by – Paul Desmarais Jr.
Ottawa Citizen’s Gessell ends his column on Desmarais, “When Chretien retires and a leadership convention is held to replace him, chances are Desmarais will be on hand. Finance Minister (now former) Paul Martin (from Quebec, as were Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien) could quite possibly be Chretien’s successor. And who taught Martin how to succeed in business? None other than his former employer, Paul Desmarais.”
*******
Canadian Justice Minister who Pushed Homosexual 'Marriage' and Hate Crime Change Closely Connected to Powerful Desmarais Family
LifeSiteNews.com
Friday November 7, 2003
OTTAWA, November 7, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Canadian Justice Minister Martin Cauchon outraged many Canadians in recent months with his staunch backing of homosexual 'marriage' and refusal to consider alternatives to ramming the matter through the legislature. Cauchon also engineered the passage of Svend Robinson's Private Member's Bill C-250 which added 'sexual orientation to Canada's hate crimes law. Interestingly, it has been revealed that Cauchon, like most of the powerful political elite in Canada, is closely connected to the Desmarais family web of influence.
A recent LifeSite special report on the political connections of the Desmarais family revealed that the family was intimately linked to Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien, former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and incoming Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, among other leading Canadian politicians.
Yesterday, reporter Andrew McIntosh wrote in the National Post that Cauchon, "once worked as a domestic servant for the Desmarais family at the(ir) estate in his student years and has remained 'a family friend for many years.'"
McIntosh reveals that a party to celebrate the completed renovations of the 75 square km Desmarais estate was attended by 230 political and business leaders from around the world. The guest list for the Labour Day weekend bash included, Cauchon, Chretien, Mulroney, Lucien Bouchard, businessmen Peter Munk and Galen Weston, George Bush Sr. and his wife Barbara, and Quebec Premier Jean Charest. Other media services noted that guests also included Bill Clinton, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, and possibly King of Spain Juan Carlos.
*******

Behind the Third Door - Progressivism!

*******
*******
Collectivism without the Teleprompter
The Progressive movement and Progressives in Government have over the last one hundred years, all but obviated the limitations set by the U. S. Constitution
By William R. Mann
Thursday, June 17, 2010
“On New Year’s Day the official Soviet newsorgan, Izvestia, confidently predicted that J. Stalin’s new decrees will break the peasant’s strike, speed the wheels of industry. Front-paging a nearly lifesize sketch of the Dictator whose left arm extended clear across the bottom of the page, Izvestia captioned and clarioned: AHEAD, COMRADES, TO NEW VICTORIES !” - TIME Magazine, January 1933.
Reading “The Federalist Papers” provides us a thorough brief of how our Founders envisioned our Republic operating under the strictures of its Constitution. Government is necessarily restrained. Freedoms from overbearing government encouraged innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit that made America the world giant and leader in industry, science, economics and banking, and education. Are we are allowing the accomplishments our the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, and the American Dream to slip away by inattention and lack of exercise? Are we failing this maxim: “Use it of lose it?”
If so it is “our bad.” We have no doubt lost the edge. What has happened? Have ever bigger government and incessant regulation quashed incentives? Have ever higher taxes flattened our wallets and ruined our retirements? Has an increasingly intrusive welfare state crushed our will? Does no one any longer appreciate that the business of America is business? What has happened to the “pursuit of happiness?” What has changed over the past one hundred years?
What has changed is this: The Progressive movement and Progressives in Government have over the last one hundred years, all but obviated the limitations set by the U. S. Constitution. A Progressive Politician [who formerly described themselves as Liberals] are Big Government Statists The U. S. Constitution is not even a “speed bump” in Barack Obama’s plan to transform the United States into some kind of post-modern Totalitarian State. This is because both Political Parties of Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Judiciary actively employ the theory that today the Constitution must adapt to Government, the Government need not be constrained by the Constitution. As Congressman Alcee Hastings, [D, Pluto] recently stated to the media during the unconstitutional debate and passage of the “Healthcare Reform Act,”
“I wish that I had been there when Thomas Edison made the remark that I think applies here: ‘There ain’t no rules around here — we’re trying to accomplish something.’ And therefore, when the deal goes down, all this talk about rules, we make ‘em up as we go along, and I’m here now 18 years, and a significant amount of that time here on this committee under the leadership of the Republicans…”
Stop! Think! There is a severe logical fallacy at work here! One cannot invoke the words of the inventor, Thomas Edison, regarding his laboratory’s method of investigation and invention when discussing Constitutional law! Perhaps this gives an insight as to why Alcee Hastings was not fit to be a Federal Judge. Hastings was impeached for soliciting bribes while on the bench; in other words: “… making up the rules as he went along.” He is a convicted criminal, serving in the House of Representatives.
So … how easy is it to go from [a.] making up the rules as we go along, to [b.] eliminating all rules for those in charge of making rules, to [c.] those making rules, ruling out our freedoms, to [d.] rulers ruling our lives totally, more precisely, the creation of a Totalitarian State? If the Constitution is ignored, then We the People are no longer in charge, it is entirely possible
How far are we from becoming slaves or serfs when this happens? In it’s heyday, following the Great War, the Totalitarian State was supposed to be the answer to the perils of living in modern, mass society. It was not a dirty word at first. Mussolini, Stalin and Hitler had many admirers, at least at first. Liberals in the United States supported “Uncle Joe” Stalin to the bitter end; and to this day many of them claim that the United States, and not Stalin, were responsible for the Cold War. Go figure. We failed to drive the stake through the heart of this vampire! Today, Socialism is acceptable to most Americans, even though it is antithetical to tour way of life and our economy!
Let’s take a look at the worst of the worst totalitarians, Joseph Stalin. Stalin was a Marxist Revolutionary and an early follower of Vladimir Lenin. He was initially a lower level Apparatchik and Communist Party Hack, and hit man within Lenin’s Regime [“Death is the solution to all problems. No man - no problem. - J. Stalin].
Stalin became a member of the Politburo in 1919 [the inner circle of the CP Central Committee], it’s Membership Administrator in 1921, and General Secretary in 1922. 1922. Lenin made the mistake of criticizing Stalin’s ambition and abilities openly in 1923 “Coincidentally,” Lenin died in early 1924 of a stroke. Lenin thought of Stalin as a crude and dangerous bumpkin: rude, capricious, vulgar, untrustworthy. Stalin apparently thought otherwise of himself. In truth Stalin was at certainly a narcissist, but more likely a dangerous psychopath [I believe the latter]. Following the death of Lenin in 1924, Stalin eliminated his political opponents, Zinoviev and Kamenev by the end of 1925. By 1928 he had tightened his grip on the Soviet Union State Machinery.
Read the TIME Magazine article from 1933. It describes perfectly how even a Supreme Dictator, like the Soviet butcher, Joseph Stalin, cannot make something happen simply by decree. What this does show us is how such decrees and Five Year Plans establish false premises, ridiculous production quotas, exaggerated results and calls for more Five Year Plans. Each Five Year Plan is more grandiose in scope and demanding of producers and workers. Reading http://www.marx2mao.com/Stalin/RFFYP33.html ” title=“Stalin’s speech”>Stalin’s speech shows that in the absence of teleprompters, J. V. Stalin held his audience captive for hours delivering his reports on progress of his Five Year Plans. If they did not applaud, they were reported and reprimanded; if they fell asleep, they were punished and re-educated; if they objected, they were shot.
It is interesting to read certain revised histories by progressive American “historians” regarding Stalin’s three, Five Year Plans and compare them to the actual record. The revisionists point to the “successes” of Stalin’s forced industrialization of Russia, and hail collectivization and forced mechanization of the farms. In truth, Stalin ruthlessly transformed a peasant society into a slave society. The successive Five Year Plan transformation’s were organized under a bureaucratic administration called GOSPLAN. The plans never met established goals and quotas. Failure resulted in dismissal, banishment, exile, or execution. In speeches before the Central Committee the Plans were hailed as great successes. Subsequent plans sought to achieve even loftier when by all industrial and economic measures and estimates such goals were impossible.
A reign of terror by Secret Police and assassination squads proceeded side by side with the Five Year Plans. No one really knows how many deaths for which Stalin is directly or indirectly responsible, but estimates generally range from 25-40 Million! Estimates vary, but it is suggested that 10 million were deported to Gulags, and upward of 15-20 million were deliberately starved to death in the Ukraine. The paranoid Stalin reportedly executed a million or more political rivals. [“One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”]
Hitler stated the Mussolini gave the National Socialists the Blueprint for Nazism. Adolf Hitler was a piker compared to Stalin. Stalin is somehow still seen by many as a great man. But Stalin, a mass murderer by any reckoning, has been given a pass. Still Stalin was the Blueprint for the horrific transformation of China under Mao Tse-Tung. Mao Tse-Tung is a “favorite philosopher” of Obama White House Communications Director, Anita Dunn. “Wherefore art thou Barack Obama?”
So now I ask you, dear reader, why would anyone want a return to Big Government Totalitarianism? Does not the record show that our Constitutional Republic thrived prior to the emergence of Progressivism? Once progressivism gained a foothold, our Free Enterprise, market economy and American Exceptionalism still held the ship of the Republic aright. But after 100 years of incorporating unconstitutional progressive, Statist social welfare and social engineering “fixes,” the Ship of State is listing hard to starboard and in danger of sinking. We now have an unprecedented 13 Trillion dollar [plus] debt, most of which is owned by our adversary China, still herself a Totalitarian State.
It is a sad and stupid mistake to follow Obama, Reid, and Pelosi into this progressive nightmare. It is sad because we may never recapture our Founder’s Vision. It is stupid because we already know where this will lead. Each day I meet more and more people who ask, “How do we fix this?” My standard reply is this: Support those candidates who clearly state that they will only support bills clearly enumerated in the Constitution. Also demand that they vow to resign if they fail to obey their sworn oath of office: to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help them God. Only an out-of-control, over-reaching government or foreign adversaries can be our enemy, not “We the People.”
And oh … by the way: Illegal aliens are NOT part of We the People.
Alcee Hastings and the rest of those in Congress who think like him must go. Work to vote him and those like him out this November. Remember this: Making up the rules as they go along, is not too many steps away from having the secret police dragging us out of our home at night for questioning. Bill Ayers [who Obama described as only “a guy down the block“] and his friends actually discussed the elimination of 10% of the US population who would resist their terrorist plans of the 70s for transforming the USA into a Revolutionary Socialist State. These people are the now the very same people, somehow never put in jail for their terrorist actions, who try to tell us that Arizona may not protect its own borders from illegal aliens and criminal incursions when the Federal Government refuses to do so. This is an example of “making it up as we go along.” Is that the kind of government that we want?
If it is, Stalin would be proud. It is those same Sixties Radicals who are Barack Obama’s “Brain Trust” and who comprise many of Barack Obama’s Czars. We have our work cut out for us.
“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” - Joseph Stalin
*******
Progressivism in the United States
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Progressivism in the United States is a broadly-based reform movement that reached its height early in the 20th century and is generally considered to be middle class and reformist in nature. It arose as a response to the vast changes brought by modernization, such as the growth of large corporations and railroads, and fears of corruption in American politics. In the 21st century self-styled progressives continue to embrace concepts such as environmentalism and social justice. Social progressivism, which states that governmental practices ought to be adjusted as society evolves, forms the ideological basis for many American progressives.
Historian Alonzo L. Hamby defines progressivism as the "political movement that addresses ideas, impulses, and issues stemming from modernization of American society. Emerging at the end of the nineteenth century, it established much of the tone of American politics throughout the first half of the century."
Contents
1 Tenets
1.1 Democracy
1.2 Municipal administration
1.3 Efficiency
1.4 Regulation of large corporations and monopolies
1.5 Social justice
1.6 Conservationism
2 Politics
2.1 Municipal reform
3 Cultural progressivism
4 Other progressive movements
4.1 Second progressive movement
4.2 Third progressive movement
4.3 Contemporary progressivism
Tenets
Many of the principles that were laid out by the Progressive Movement focused on the need for efficiency in all areas of society, plus the elimination of waste and corruption. Purification to eliminate waste and corruption was a powerful element.
Democracy
Progressives such as William U'Ren and Robert La Follette argued that the average person should have more control over their government. The Oregon System of "Initiative, Referendum, and Recall" was exported to many states, including Idaho, Washington, and Wisconsin. [4] Many progressives, such as George M. Forbes—president of Rochester's Board of Education—hoped to make government in the U.S. more responsive to the direct voice of the American people when he said:

"[W]e are now intensely occupied in forging the tools of democracy, the direct primary, the initiative, the referendum, the recall, the short ballot, commission government. But in our enthusiasm we do not seem to be aware that these tools will be worthless unless they are used by those who are aflame with the sense of brotherhood...The idea [of the social centers movement is] to establish in each community an institution having a direct and vital relation to the welfare of the neighborhood, ward, or district, and also to the city as a whole"
"initiatives, referendums, and recalls, along with direct primaries and the direct election of US Senators, were the core achievements of 'direct democracy' by the Progressive generation during the first two decades of the twentieth century."
Progressives also fought for women's suffrage and the elimination of supposedly corrupt black voters from the election booth.
While the ultimate significance of the progressive movement on today's politics is still up for debate, Alonzo L. Hamby asks:
"What were the central themes that emerged from the cacophony [of progressivism]? Democracy or elitism? Social justice or social control? Small entrepreneurship or concentrated capitalism? And what was the impact of American foreign policy? Were the progressives isolationists or interventionists? Imperialists or advocates of national self-determination? And whatever they were, what was their motivation? Moralistic uptopianism? Muddled relativistic pragmatism? Hegemonic capitalism? Not surprisingly many battered scholars began to shout 'no mas!' In 1970, Peter Filene tried declared that the term 'progressivism' had become meaningless".
Municipal administration
During the Progressive Era the United States had gone through many changes. There were many changes introduced into municipal administration during the Progressive Era in the 1880s and 1890's. These changes led to a more structured system, power that had been centralized within the legislature would now be more locally focused. Articles have shown that the changes were made to the system to effectively make legal processes, market transactions, bureaucratic administration, and democracy easier to manage, thus putting them under the classification of ‘Municipal Administration’. There was also a change in authority for this system; it was believed that the authority that was not properly organized had now given authority to professionals, experts, and bureaucrats for these services. These changes led to a more solid type of municipal administration compared to the old system that was underdeveloped and poorly constructed.
Efficiency
Many progressives such as Louis Brandeis hoped to make American governments better able to serve the people's needs by making governmental operations and services more efficient and rational. Rather than making legal arguments against ten hour workdays for women, he used "scientific principles" and "data produced by social scientists documenting the high costs of long working hours for both individuals and society."
Professional administrators
Brandeis and others argued that governments would function better if they were placed under the direction of trained, professional administrators. One example of progressive reform was the rise of the city manager system, in which paid, professional administrators ran the day-to-day affairs of city governments under guidelines established by elected city councils.
Centralization of decision-making process
Many progressives[who?] sought to make government more rational through centralized decision-making[citation needed]. Governments were reorganized to reduce the number of officials and to eliminate overlapping areas of authority between departments. City governments were reorganized to reduce the power of local wards within the city and to increase the powers of the city council. Governments at every level began developing budgets to help them plan their expenditures (rather than spending money haphazardly as needs arose and revenue became available). The drive for centralization was often associated with the rise of professional administrators.
Movements to eliminate governmental corruption
Corruption represented a source of waste and inefficiency in government. William U'Ren, LaFolette, and others worked to clean up state and local governments by passing laws to weaken the power of machine politicians and political bosses. The Oregon System, which included a "Corrupt Practices Act", a public referendum, and a state-funded voter's pamphlet among other reforms was exported to other states in the northwest and midwest. In the cities, this movement was expressed as an effort to restructure the ward system. Power was transferred from political bosses to professional administrators, and decisions of the legislature became subject to the public referendum in many states.
Education
There were also movements led during the Progressive Era that would also have changes on the Social Efficiency of education for each state. Many believe that these changes that followed the movements of the 1900s were to make education a more focused part of life for students. Such ideas used were the integration of family life in the child’s life and how the use of family interaction was an important factor for a child’s education. Other types of integration that articles have said to be effective were the use social centers; these centers provides a safe area for children to interact with each other while supervision is present and kept under control. The use of social centers were also used for other means then the interaction of children; they would also be used to counteract class division and ethnic issues within neighborhoods.
The progressives' quest for efficiency was sometimes at odds with the progressives' quest for democracy. Taking power out of the hands of elected officials and placing that power in the hands of professional administrators reduced the voice of the people in government. Centralized decision-making and reduced power for local wards made government more distant and isolated from the people it served[citation needed]. Progressives who emphasized the need for efficiency sometimes argued that an elite class of administrators knew better what the people needed than did the people themselves[citation needed].
Regulation of large corporations and monopolies
Many progressives hoped that by regulating large corporations they could liberate human energies from the restrictions imposed by industrial capitalism. Yet the progressive movement was split over which of the following solutions should be used to regulate corporations:
Trust-busting
Pro labor progressives such as Samuel Gompers argued that industrial monopolies were unnatural economic institutions which suppressed the competition which was necessary for progress and improvement. The federal government should intervene by breaking up monopolies into smaller companies, thereby restoring competition. The government should then withdraw and allow marketplace forces once again to regulate the economy. President Woodrow Wilson supported this idea.
Regulation
Progressives such as Benjamin Parke De Witt argued that in a modern economy, large corporations and even monopolies were both inevitable and desirable. With their massive resources and economies of scale, large corporations offered the U.S. advantages which smaller companies could not offer. Yet, these large corporations might abuse their great power. The federal government should allow these companies to exist but regulate them for the public interest. President Theodore Roosevelt generally supported this idea.
Social justice
Many progressives such have supported both private and governmental action to help people in need (social justice). Reforms have included:
Development of professional social workers
The idea that welfare and charity work should be undertaken by professionals who are trained to do the job.
The building of Settlement Houses
Jane Addams of Chicago's Hull House typified the leadership of residential, community centers operated by social workers and volunteers and located in inner city slums. The purpose of the settlement houses was to raise the standard of living of urbanites by providing schools, day care centers, and cultural enrichment programs.
The enactment of child labor laws
Child labor laws were designed to prevent the overworking of children in the newly emerging industries. The goal of these laws was to give working-class children the opportunity to go to school and to mature more naturally, thereby liberating the potential of humanity and encouraging the advancement of humanity.
Support for the goals of organized labor
Progressives such as Theodore Roosevelt often supported such goals as the eight-hour work day, improved safety and health conditions in factories, workers compensation laws, minimum wage laws, and unionization.
Prohibition laws
Susan B. Anthony was one of the many progressives who adopted the cause of prohibition. They claimed the consumption of alcohol limited mankind's potential for advancement. Progressives achieved success in this area with the enactment of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1919. However, this was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1933.
Conservationism
During the term of the progressive President Theodore Roosevelt (1901 – 1909), the largest government-funded conservation-related projects in U.S. history were undertaken:
National parks and wildlife refuges
On March 14, 1903, President Roosevelt created the first National Bird Preserve, (the beginning of the Wildlife Refuge system), on Pelican Island, Florida. In all, by 1909, the Roosevelt administration had created an unprecedented 42 million acres (170,000 km²) of national forests, 53 national wildlife refuges and 18 areas of "special interest", including the Grand Canyon.
Reclamation
In addition, Roosevelt approved the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902, which gave subsidies for irrigation in sixteen western states.
Another conservation-oriented bill was the Antiquities Act of 1906 that protected large areas of land. The Inland Waterways Commission was established in 1907 to control the United States' streams and waterways.
Politics
In the early 20th century, politicians of the Democratic and Republican parties, Bull-Moose Republicans, Lincoln-Roosevelt League Republicans (in California) and the United States Progressive Party began to pursue social, environmental, political, and economic reforms. Chief among these aims was the pursuit of trustbusting (breaking up very large monopolies), support for labor unions, public health programs, decreased corruption in politics, and environmental conservation.
The Progressive Movement enlisted support from both major parties (and from minor parties as well). One leader, Bryan, had been linked to the Populist movement of the 1890s, while the other major leaders were opposed to Populism. When Roosevelt left the Republican party in 1912, he took with him many of the intellectual leaders of progressivism, but very few political leaders. The Republican party then became notably more committed to business-oriented and efficiency oriented progressivism, typified by Taft and Herbert Hoover.
A social attitude underlying some forms of Progressivism has been populism, which can range from the political left to the political right. Populism has often manifested itself as a distrust of concentrations of power in the hands of politicians, corporations, families, and special interest groups, generating calls for purification and the rejection of rule by elites.
Municipal reform
The Progressives were very active in reforming local government to introduce efficiency and weed out corruption. Many felt the saloon was the power base for corruption, so tried to get rid of it. Other (like Jane Addams) promoted Settlement Houses. Many cities created municipal research bureaus, and did in-depth studies of budgets and the schools. Early municipal reformers included Hazen Pingree (mayor of Detroit in the 1890s) and Tom L. Johnson in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1901, Johnson won election as mayor of Cleveland on a platform of just taxation, home rule for Ohio cities, and a 3-cent streetcar fare. Columbia University President Seth Low was elected mayor of New York City in 1901 on a reform ticket.
Cultural progressivism
The foundation of the progressive tendency was rooted in the uniquely American philosophy of pragmatism, which was primarily developed by John Dewey.
Equally significant to progressive-era reform were the crusading journalists, known as muckrakers. These journalists revealed to middle class readers the evils of economic privilege, political corruption, and social injustice[citation needed]. Their articles appeared in McClure's Magazine and other reform periodicals. Some muckrakers focused on corporate abuses. Ida Tarbell, for instance, exposed the activities of the Standard Oil Company. In The Shame of the Cities (1904), Lincoln Steffens dissected corruption in city government. In Following the Color Line (1908), Ray Stannard Baker criticized race relations. Other muckrakers assailed the U.S. Senate, railroad practices, insurance companies, and fraud in patent medicine.
Novelists, too, revealed corporate injustices. Theodore Dreiser drew harsh portraits of a type of ruthless businessman in The Financier (1912) and The Titan (1914). In The Jungle (1906) Socialist Upton Sinclair repelled readers with descriptions of Chicago’s meatpacking plants, and his work led to support for remedial food safety legislation. Leading intellectuals also shaped the progressive mentality. In The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), Thorstein Veblen attacked the “conspicuous consumption” of the wealthy. Educator John Dewey emphasized a child-centered philosophy of pedagogy, known as progressive education, which affected schoolrooms for three generations.
Other progressive movements
Following the first progressive movement of the early 20th century, later groups have also used the term "progressive".
Second progressive movement
Main article: Progressive Party (United States, 1924)
The second progressive movement got underway in 1924. This time the key leadership role was fulfilled by Wisconsin Senator Robert M. La Follette. La Follette campaigned for such things as direct elections in primaries, fairer taxation, conservation of natural resources, control of lobbyists, and banking reform. He vigorously opposed both oligarchy -- government by a tiny elite—and plutocracy (government of, by, and for the wealthy).
Third progressive movement
Main article: Progressive Party (United States, 1948)
The third progressive movement was initiated in 1947 by former Vice President Henry A. Wallace, who ran for president in 1948, attracting support from voters who were disillusioned by the Cold War policies of Democrat Harry S. Truman. Many progressives were uncomfortable with Wallace's religiosity, but were nonetheless admirers of his call for a sort of global "New Deal" and his advocacy of better relations with the Soviet Union.
Contemporary progressivism
The fourth and current liberal Progressive movement grew out of social activism movements, Naderite and populist left political movements in conjunction with the civil rights, GLBT (Gay rights), women's or feminist, and environmental movements of the 1960s-1980s. This exists as a cluster of political, activist, and media organizations ranging in outlook from centrism (eg. Reform Party of the United States of America) to left-liberalism to social democracy (like the Green Party) and sometimes even democratic socialism (like the Socialist Party USA).
Modern American progressivism includes political figures such as Barack Obama who calls himself a progressive, as do Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Bernie Sanders, Russ Feingold, Al Franken, Debbie Stabenow, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, Cynthia McKinney, John Edwards, Sherrod Brown, Kathleen Sebelius, David McReynolds, Ralph Nader, Howard Dean, Peter Camejo, Al Gore, and the late Paul Wellstone and Ted Kennedy. Also in this category are many leaders in the women's movement, cosmopolitanism, the labor movement, the American civil rights movement, the environmental movement, the immigrant rights movement, and the gay and lesbian rights movement. Other well-known progressives include Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, Howard Zinn, Michael Parenti, George Lakoff, Michael Lerner, and Urvashi Vaid.
Significant publications include The Progressive magazine, The Nation, The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Huffington Post, Mother Jones, In These Times, CounterPunch, and AlterNet.org. Broadcasting outlets include Air America Radio, the Pacifica Radio network, Democracy Now!, and certain community radio stations. Notable media voices include Cenk Uygur, Alexander Cockburn, Barbara Ehrenreich, Juan Gonzalez, Amy Goodman, Thom Hartmann, Arianna Huffington, Jim Hightower, the late Molly Ivins, Ron Reagan, Rachel Maddow, Bill Maher, Stephanie Miller, Mike Malloy, Keith Olbermann, Greg Palast, Randi Rhodes, Betsy Rosenberg, Ed Schultz, David Sirota, and The Young Turks (talk show).
Modern issues for progressives can include[citation needed]: electoral reform (including instant runoff voting, proportional representation and fusion candidates), environmental conservation, pollution control and environmentalism, same-sex marriage, universal health care, abolition of the death penalty, affordable housing, a viable Social Security System, renewable energy, smart growth urban development, a living wage and pro-union policies, among many others.
Examples of the broad range of progressive texts include: New Age Politics by Mark Satin; Why Americans Hate Politics by E.J. Dionne, Jr.; Community Building: Renewing Spirit & Learning in Business edited by Kazimierz Gozdz; Ecopolitics: Building a Green Society by Daniel Coleman; and Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich.
The main current national progressive parties are the Democratic Party and the Green Party of the United States. The Democratic Party has major-party status in all fifty States, while there are state Green Parties or affiliates with the national Green Party in most states. The most successful non-major state-level progressive party is the Vermont Progressive Party. However, progressives often shy away from parties and align within more community-oriented activist groups, coalitions and networks, such as the Maine People's Alliance and Northeast Action.
*******
The Two Progressivisms
by Nate Silver
2.15.2009
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/02/two-progressivisms.html
The definitions of the terms “liberal” and “conservative” have been the subjects of much debate in contemporary American politics. But it has become increasingly clear that the term "progressive" is equally ambiguous, and is associated with at least two relatively distinct philosophical traditions. Although these two "progressivisms" share common ground on many (probably most) issues, they are at loggerheads on some others, as has perhaps become more apparent since the election of President Obama.
The first type of progressivism has its philosophical underpinnings in 18th Century, Enlightement-era thought. It believes that politics is a battle of ideas. It further believes that through the use of reason and the exchange of ideas, human society will tend to improve itself through scientific and technological innovation. Hence, it believes in progress, and for this reason lays claim to the term “progressive”. Because of its belief and optimism in the faculties of human reason, I refer to this philosophy as rational progressivism.
Rational progressivism tends to be trusting, within reason, of status quo political and economic institutions -- generally including the institution of capitalism. It tends to trust these institutions because it believes they are a manifestation of progress made by previous generations. However, unlike conservatism, it also sees these institutions as continuing works in progress, subject to inefficiencies because of distorted or poorly-designed incentives, poorly-informed or misinformed participants, and competition from 'irrational' worldviews like religion. It also recognizes that certain persons who stand to benefit from preserving the status quo, particularly elected officials but also corporations, may seek to block this progress to protect their own interests. The project of rational progressivism, then, is to propagate good ideas and to convert them, through a wide and aggressive array of democratic means, into public policy.
The second type of progressivism is what I call radical progressivism. It represents, indeed, a much more radical and comprehensive critique of the status quo, which it tends to see as intrinsically corrupt. Its philosophical tradition originates in 19th Century thought -- and specifically, owes a great deal to the Marxist critique of capitalism and the Marxist theory of social change. It also finds inspiration in both the radical movement of the 1960s and the labor and social movements of late 19th and early 20th centuries (from which it borrows the label "progressive").
Radical progressivism is more clearly distinguishable from "conventional" liberalism and would generally be associated with the "far left" -- although on a handful of issues such as free trade, it may find common cause with the "radical" right. Radical progressivism embraces the tradition of populism and frequently adopts a discourse of the virtuous commoner organizing against the corrupt elite. It is much more willing to make normative claims than rational progressivism, and tends to view conservatism as immoral and contemporary American liberalism as amoral (at best). Its project is not reform but transformation.
Rational progressives sometimes regard radical progressives as impractical, self-righteous, shrill, demagogic, naïve and/or anti-intellectual. Radical progressives, in turn, regard rational progressives as impure, corrupt (or corruptible), selfish, complacent, elitist, and too quick to compromise.
It should come as no surprise that I regard myself as a rational progressive. I believe in intellectual progress -- that we, as a species, are gradually becoming smarter. I believe that there are objectively right answers to many political and economic questions.
I believe that economic growth is both a reflection of and a contributor toward societal progress, that economic growth has facilitated a higher standard of living, and that this is empirically indisputable. I also believe, however, that our society is now so exceptionally wealthy -- even in the midst of a severe recession -- that it has little excuse not to provide for some basic level of dignity for all its citizens.
I believe that answers to questions like these do not always come from the establishment. But I also believe that it is just as important to question one's own assumptions as to question the assumption of others.
The truth is, I don’t particularly care whether you call me a “progressive” or not. In fact, I'm suspicious of people who line up on the same side of the ideological divide on every single issue. The world is more complicated than that, especially when one strives to see the world through a scientific, empirical lens. While progressives, in my view, clearly have the preponderance of good ideas, they do not have a monopoly on them. Nor do conservatives have a monopoly on bad ideas, especially when radical progressives flirt with Marxist modes of discourse.
Let me be very clear about what I am saying. I believe that our country needs a lot of work -- a lot of work -- almost certainly more work than Barack Obama is going to be able to accomplish in four or eight years. I believe that greater awareness and greater participation on behalf of everyday citizens is almost certainly a necessary condition to facilitate that work. To the extent that blogs, political campaigns, church groups, labor unions, and whatever other organization you can think of can coalesce that participation and turn it into a "movement", I am all for the "movement".
But if someone wants to marshal an army to fight a battle of wills while playing fast and loose with the truth and using some of the same demagogic precepts that the right wing does, I am not particularly interested in that. In fact, I think it is acutely dangerous.
*******

*******
A Brief Overview of Progressive Education
During most of the twentieth century, the term "progressive education" has been used to describe ideas and practices that aim to make schools more effective agencies of a democratic society. Although there are numerous differences of style and emphasis among progressive educators, they share the conviction that democracy means active participation by all citizens in social, political and economic decisions that will affect their lives. The education of engaged citizens, according to this perspective, involves two essential elements: (1). Respect for diversity, meaning that each individual should be recognized for his or her own abilities, interests, ideas, needs, and cultural identity, and (2). the development of critical, socially engaged intelligence, which enables individuals to understand and participate effectively in the affairs of their community in a collaborative effort to achieve a common good. These elements of progressive education have been termed "child-centered" and "social reconstructionist" approaches, and while in extreme forms they have sometimes been separated, in the thought of John Dewey and other major theorists they are seen as being necessarily related to each other.
These progressive principles have never been the predominant philosophy in American education. From their inception in the 1830s, state systems of common or public schooling have primarily attempted to achieve cultural uniformity, not diversity, and to educate dutiful, not critical citizens. Furthermore, schooling has been under constant pressure to support the ever-expanding industrial economy by establishing a competitive meritocracy and preparing workers for their vocational roles. The term "progressive" arose from a period (roughly 1890-1920) during which many Americans took a more careful look at the political and social effects of vast concentrations of corporate power and private wealth. Dewey, in particular, saw that with the decline of local community life and small scale enterprise, young people were losing valuable opportunities to learn the arts of democratic participation, and he concluded that education would need to make up for this loss. In his Laboratory School at the University of Chicago, where he worked between 1896 and 1904, Dewey tested ideas he shared with leading school reformers such as Francis W. Parker and Ella Flagg Young. Between 1899 and 1916 he circulated his ideas in works such as The School and Society, The Child and the Curriculum, Schools of Tomorrow, and Democracy and Education, and through numerous lectures and articles. During these years other experimental schools were established around the country, and in 1919 the Progressive Education Association was founded, aiming at "reforming the entire school system of America."
Led by Dewey, progressive educators opposed a growing national movement that sought to separate academic education for the few and narrow vocational training for the masses. During the 1920s, when education turned increasingly to "scientific" techniques such as intelligence testing and cost-benefit management, progressive educators insisted on the importance of the emotional, artistic, and creative aspects of human development--"the most living and essential parts of our natures," as Margaret Naumburg put it in The Child and the World. After the Depression began, a group of politically oriented progressive educators, led by George Counts, dared schools to "build a new social order" and published a provocative journal called The Social Frontier to advance their "reconstructionist" critique of laissez faire capitalism. At Teachers College, Columbia University, William H. Kilpatrick and other students of Dewey taught the principles of progressive education to thousands of teachers and school leaders, and in the middle part of the century, books such as Dewey's Experience and Education (1938) Boyd Bode's Progressive Education at the Crossroads (1938), Caroline Pratt's I Learn from Children (1948), and Carlton Washburne's What is Progressive Education? (1952) among others, continued to provide a progressive critique of conventional assumptions about teaching, learning and schooling. A major research endeavor, the "eight-year study," demonstrated that students from progressive high schools were capable, adaptable learners and excelled even in the finest universities.
Nevertheless, in the 1950s, during a time of cold war anxiety and cultural conservatism, progressive education was widely repudiated, and it disintegrated as an identifiable movement. However, in the years since, various groups of educators have rediscovered the ideas of Dewey and his associates, and revised them to address the changing needs of schools, children, and society in the late twentieth century. Open classrooms, schools without walls, cooperative learning, multiage approaches, whole language, the social curriculum, experiential education, and numerous forms of alternative schools all have important philosophical roots in progressive education. John Goodlad's notion of "nongraded" schools (introduced in the late 1950s), Theodore Sizer's network of "essential" schools, Elliott Wigginton's Foxfire project, and Deborah Meier's student-centered Central Park East schools are some well known examples of progressive reforms in public education; in the 1960s, critics like Paul Goodman and George Dennison took Dewey's ideas in a more radical direction, helping give rise to the free school movement. In recent years, activist educators in inner cities have advocated greater equity, justice, diversity and other democratic values through the publication Rethinking Schools and the National Coalition of Education Activists.
Today, scholars, educators and activists are rediscovering Dewey's work and exploring its relevance to a "postmodern" age, an age of global capitalism and breathtaking cultural change, and an age in which the ecological health of the planet itself is seriously threatened. We are finding that although Dewey wrote a century ago, his insights into democratic culture and meaningful education suggest hopeful alternatives to the regime of standardization and mechanization that more than ever dominate our schools.
*******
Early 20th Century Progressives, Eugenics, Minimum Wage
By Randall Parker at 2005 October 27
Over at Marginal Revolution Alex Tabarrok says early 20th century progressives advocated a minimum wage for women only in order to promote their eugenic goals.
Progressives, including Richard Ely, Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, the Webbs in England etc., were interested not in protecting women but in protecting men and the race. Their goal was to get women back into the home, where they belonged, instead of abandoning their eugenic duties and competing with men for work.
Unlike today's progressives, the originals understood that minimum wages for women would put women out of work - that was the point and the more unemployment of women the better!
Are today's progressives dumber than the progressives of a hundred years ago? Or are today's progressives more brain washed by the accumulated lies of politically correct ideology? My guess is the latter. People have become more unrealistic because public discussions are conducted under taboos that prevent honest discussion of obvious truths.
Alex is reacting to a paper by Princeton academic Tim Leonard: "Protecting Family and Race: The Progressive Case for Regulating Women's Work."
Seems to me these progressives who were pursuing eugenic goals made a fundamental mistake. To the extent that a minimum wage would keep some women home and pregnant it would tend to have a dysgenic effect. Why? Because a minimum wage would reduce labor market participation of dumber women more than smarter women. Dumber women are more likely than smarter women to have their market wage fall below the minimum wage. Very smart women will still go off to work at higher paying jobs which their cognitive abilities enable them to do. Dumber women will get locked out of the labor market given a sufficiently high minimum wage.
A maximum wage for women only (and mind you I'm not advocating this) would be far more eugenic than a minimum wage. But a maximum yearly income would be even more eugenic. Smart women would, on average, work a fairly small fraction of the time to achieve their maximum income, freeing them up for child-rearing duties. Whereas dumber women would, again on average, work many more hours to achieve their maximum allowed yearly income.
To the extent that dumber women get locked out of the job market by a minimum wage that creates conditions that create support for the welfare state. Any woman whose husband died, became ill, or left her who was also locked out of the job market could be left in a position of being unable to support herself. At the same time, the welfare state encourages reproduction among those who have the least earning power in the job market. No need to spend time at work? The state will pay for your babies? Some (though not all) women will have more childen under those circumstances.
The progressives probably lost the ability to use state power to coerce for eugenic goals when women gained the vote. However, when DNA sequencing costs fall far enough to demonstrate in undeniable ways that genetic variations cause large variations in cognitive ability I predict the political Left will once again take up eugenic politics. I expect most of us will live to see progressives promote the use of state power to achieve eugenic goals in order to uplift the poor with genetic engineering and with restrictions on reproduction by those who refuse to use genetic engineering to have smart babies.
*******
The Progressive Movement
Ideas and Movements, 19th century
NWtravel Magazine Online
http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1061.html
The Progressive Movement was an effort to cure many of the ills of American society that had developed during the great spurt of industrial growth in the last quarter of the 19th century. The frontier had been tamed, great cities and businesses developed, and an overseas empire established, but not all citizens shared in the new wealth, prestige, and optimism.
Efforts to improve society were not new to the United States in the late 1800s. A major push for change, the First Reform Era, occurred in the years before the Civil War and included efforts of social activists to reform working conditions, and humanize the treatment of mentally ill people and prisoners.
Others removed themselves from society and attempted to establish utopian communities in which reforms were limited to their participants. The focal point of the early reform period was abolitionism, the drive to remove what in the eyes of many was the great moral wrong of slavery.
The second reform era began during Reconstruction and lasted until the American entry into World War I. The struggle for women's rights and the temperance movement were the initial issues addressed. A farm movement also emerged to compensate for the declining importance of rural areas in an increasingly urbanized America.
As part of the second reform period, Progressivism was rooted in the belief, certainly not shared by all, that man was capable of improving the lot of all within society. As such, it was a rejection of Social Darwinism, the position taken by many of the rich and powerful figures of the day.
Progressivism was also imbued with strong political overtones and rejected the church as the driving force for change. Specific goals included:
The desire to remove corruption and undue influence from government through the taming of bosses and political machines;
the effort to include more people more directly in the political process;
the conviction that government must play a role to solve social problems and establish fairness in economic matters.
The success of Progressivism owed much to publicity generated by the muckrakers, writers who detailed the horrors of poverty, urban slums, dangerous factory conditions, and child labor, among a host of other ills.
The successes were many, beginning with the Interstate Commerce Act (1887) and the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890). Progressives never spoke with one mind and differed sharply over the most effective means to deal with the ills generated by the trusts; some favored an activist approach to trust-busting, others preferred a regulatory approach.
A vocal minority supported socialism with government ownership of the means of production. Other Progressive reforms followed in the form of a conservation movement, railroad legislation, and food and drug laws.
The Progressive spirit also was evident in new amendments added to the Constitution, which provided for a new means to elect senators, protect society through prohibition and extend suffrage to women.
Urban problems were addressed by professional social workers who operated settlement houses as a means to protect and improve the prospects of the poor. However, efforts to place limitations on child labor were routinely thwarted by the courts. The needs of blacks and Native Americans were poorly served or served not at all — a major shortcoming of the Progressive Movement.
Progressive reforms were carried out not only on the national level, but in the states and municipalities of the country as well. Prominent governors devoted to change included Robert M. La Follette of Wisconsin and Hiram Johnson of California.
Such reforms as the direct primary, secret ballot, and the initiative, referendum and recall were effected. Local governments were strengthened by the widespread use of trained professionals, particularly with the city manager system replacing the all-too-frequently corrupt mayoral system.
Formal expression was given to progressive ideas in the form of political parties on three major occasions:
The Roosevelt Progressives (Bull Moose Party) of 1912
The La Follette Progressives of the 1920s
The Henry Wallace Progressives of the late 1940s and early 1950s.
*******

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What is Carbon Currency?

*******
Carbon Currency: A New Beginning for Technocracy?
Global currency replacing all paper currencies, limiting manufacturing, food production and people movement
By Patrick Wood
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/19380
Introduction
Critics who think that the U.S. dollar will be replaced by some new global currency are perhaps thinking too small.
On the world horizon looms a new global currency that could replace all paper currencies and the economic system upon which they are based.
The new currency, simply called Carbon Currency, is designed to support a revolutionary new economic system based on energy (production, and consumption), instead of price. Our current price-based economic system and its related currencies that have supported capitalism, socialism, fascism and communism, is being herded to the slaughterhouse in order to make way for a new carbon-based world.
It is plainly evident that the world is laboring under a dying system of price-based economics as evidenced by the rapid decline of paper currencies. The era of fiat (irredeemable paper currency) was introduced in 1971 when President Richard Nixon decoupled the U.S. dollar from gold. Because the dollar-turned-fiat was the world’s primary reserve asset, all other currencies eventually followed suit, leaving us today with a global sea of paper that is increasingly undesired, unstable, unusable.
The deathly economic state of today’s world is a direct reflection of the sum of its sick and dying currencies, but this could soon change.
Forces are already at work to position a new Carbon Currency as the ultimate solution to global calls for poverty reduction, population control, environmental control, global warming, energy allocation and blanket distribution of economic wealth.
Unfortunately for individual people living in this new system, it will also require authoritarian and centralized control over all aspects of life, from cradle to grave.
What is Carbon Currency and how does it work? In a nutshell, Carbon Currency will be based on the regular allocation of available energy to the people of the world. If not used within a period of time, the Currency will expire (like monthly minutes on your cell phone plan) so that the same people can receive a new allocation based on new energy production quotas for the next period.
Because the energy supply chain is already dominated by the global elite, setting energy production quotas will limit the amount of Carbon Currency in circulation at any one time. It will also naturally limit manufacturing, food production and people movement.
Local currencies could remain in play for a time, but they would eventually wither and be fully replaced by the Carbon Currency, much the same way that the Euro displaced individual European currencies over a period of time.
Sounds very modern in concept, doesn’t it? In fact, these ideas date back to the 1930’s when hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens were embracing a new political ideology called Technocracy and the promise it held for a better life. Even now-classic literature was heavily influenced by Technocracy: George Orwell’s 1984, H.G. Well’s The Shape of Things to Come and Huxley’s “scientific dictatorship” in Brave New World.
This paper investigates the rebirth of Technocracy and its potential to recast the New World Order into something truly “new” and also totally unexpected by the vast majority of modern critics.
Background
Philosophically, Technocracy found it roots in the scientific autocracy of Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825) and in the positivism of Auguste Comte (1798- 1857), the father of the social sciences. Positivism elevated science and the scientific method above metaphysical revelation. Technocrats embraced positivism because they believed that social progress was possible only through science and technology. [Schunk, Learning Theories: An Educational Perspective, 5th, 315]
The social movement of Technocracy, with its energy-based accounting system, can be traced back to the 1930’s when an obscure group of engineers and scientists offered it as a solution to the Great Depression.
The principal scientist behind Technocracy was M. King Hubbert, a young geoscientist who would later (in 1948-1956) invent the now-famous Peak Oil Theory, also known as the Hubbert Peak Theory. Hubbert stated that the discovery of new energy reserves and their production would be outstripped by usage, thereby eventually causing economic and social havoc. Many modern followers of Peak Oil Theory believe that the 2007-2009 global recession was exacerbated in part by record oil prices that reflected validity of the theory.
Hubbert received all of his higher education at the University of Chicago, graduating with a PhD in 1937, and later taught geophysics at Columbia University. He was highly acclaimed throughout his career, receiving many honors such as the Rockefeller Public Service Award in 1977.
In 1933, Hubbert and Howard Scott formed an organization called Technocracy, Inc. Technocracy is derived from the Greek words “techne” meaning skill and “kratos”, meaning rule. Thus, it is government by skilled engineers, scientists and technicians as opposed to elected officials. It was opposed to all other forms of government, including communism, socialism and fascism, all of which function with a price-based economy.
As founders of the organization and political movement called Technocracy, Inc., Hubbert and Scott also co-authored Technocracy Study Course in 1934. This book serves as the “bible” of Technocracy and is the root document to which most all modern technocratic thinking can be traced.
Technocracy postulated that only scientists and engineers were capable of running a complex, technology-based society. Because technology, they reasoned, changed the social nature of societies, previous methods of government and economy were made obsolete. They disdained politicians and bureaucrats, who they viewed as incompetent. By utilizing the scientific method and scientific management techniques, Technocrats hoped to squeeze the massive inefficiencies out of running a society, thereby providing more benefits for all members of society while consuming less resources.
The other integral part of Technocracy was to implement an economic system based on energy allocation rather than price. They proposed to replace traditional money with Energy Credits.
Their keen focus on the efficient use of energy is likely the first hint of a sustained ecological/environmental movement in the United States. Technocracy Study Course stated, for instance,
Although it (the earth) is not an isolated system the changes in the configuration of matter on the earth, such as the erosion of soil, the making of mountains, the burning of coal and oil, and the mining of metals are all typical and characteristic examples of irreversible processes, involving in each case an increase of entropy. (Technocracy Study Course, Hubbert & Scott, p. 49)
Modern emphasis on curtailing carbon fuel consumption that causes global warming and CO2 emissions is essentially a product of early Technocratic thinking.
As scientists, Hubbert and Scott tried to explain (or justify) their arguments in terms of physics and the law of thermodynamics, which is the study of energy conversion between heat and mechanical work.
Entropy is a concept within thermodynamics that represents the amount of energy in a system that is no longer available for doing mechanical work. Entropy thus increases as matter and energy in the system degrade toward the ultimate state of inert uniformity.
In layman’s terms, entropy means once you use it, you lose it for good. Furthermore, the end state of entropy is “inert uniformity” where nothing takes place. Thus, if man uses up all the available energy and/or destroys the ecology, it cannot be repeated or restored ever again.
The Technocrat’s avoidance of social entropy is to increase the efficiency of society by the careful allocation of available energy and measuring subsequent output in order to find a state of “equilibrium,” or balance. Hubbert’s focus on entropy is evidenced by Technocracy, Inc.’s logo, the well-known Yin Yang symbol that depicts balance.
To facilitate this equilibrium between man and nature, Technocracy proposed that citizens would receive Energy Certificates in order to operate the economy:
“Energy Certificates are issued individually to every adult of the entire population… The record of one’s income and its rate of expenditure is kept by the Distribution Sequence, so that it is a simple matter at any time for the Distribution Sequence to ascertain the state of a given customer’s balance… When making purchases of either goods or services an individual surrenders the Energy Certificates properly identified and signed.
“The significance of this, from the point of view of knowledge of what is going on in the social system, and of social control, can best be appreciated when one surveys the whole system in perspective. First, one single organization is manning and operating the whole social mechanism. The same organization not only produces but also distributes all goods and services.
“With this information clearing continuously to a central headquarters we have a case exactly analogous to the control panel of a power plant, or the bridge of an ocean liner…” [Technocracy Study Course, Hubbert & Scott,p. 238-239]
Two key differences between price-based money and Energy Certificates are that a) money is generic to the holder while Certificates are individually registered to each citizen and b) money persists while Certificates expire. The latter facet would greatly hinder, if not altogether prevent, the accumulation of wealth and property.
Transition
At the start of WWII, Technocracy’s popularity dwindled as economic prosperity returned, however both the organization and its philosophy survived.
Today, there are two principal websites representing Technocracy in North America: Technocracy, Inc., located in Ferndale, Washington, is represented at www.technocracy.org. A sister organization in Vancouver, British Columbia is Technocracy Vancouver, can be found at www.technocracyvan.ca.
While Technocracy’s original focus was exclusively on the North American continent, it is now growing rapidly in Europe and other industrialized nations.
For instance, the Network of European Technocrats was formed in 2005 as “an autonomous research and social movement that aims to explore and develop both the theory and design of technocracy.” The NET website claims to have members around the world.
Of course, a few minor league organizations and their websites cannot hope to create or implement a global energy policy, but it’s not because the ideas aren’t still alive and well.
A more likely influence on modern thinking is due to Hubbert’s Peak Oil Theory introduced in 1954. It has figured prominently in the ecological/environmental movement. In fact, the entire global warming movement indirectly sits on top of the Hubbert Peak Theory.
As the Canadian Association for the Club of Rome recently stated, “The issue of peak oil impinges directly on the climate change question.” (see John H. Walsh, “The Impending Twin Crisis – One Set of Solutions?, p.5.)
The Modern Proposal
Because of the connection between the environmental movement, global warming and the Technocratic concept of Energy Certificates, one would expect that a Carbon Currency would be suggested from that particular community, and in fact, this is the case.
In 1995, Judith Hanna wrote in New Scientist, “Toward a single carbon currency”, “My proposal is to set a global quota for fossil fuel combustion every year, and to share it equally between all the adults in the world.”
In 2004, the prestigious Harvard International Review published “A New Currency” and stated,
“For those keen to slow global warming, the most effective actions are in the creation of strong national carbon currencies… For scholars and policymakers, the key task is to mine history for guides that are more useful. Global warming is considered an environmental issue, but its best solutions are not to be found in the canon of environmental law. Carbon’s ubiquity in the world economy demands that cost be a consideration in any regime to limit emissions. Indeed, emissions trading has been anointed king because it is the most responsive to cost. And since trading emissions for carbon is more akin to trading currency than eliminating a pollutant, policymakers should be looking at trade and finance with an eye to how carbon markets should be governed. We must anticipate the policy challenges that will arise as this bottom-up system emerges, including the governance of seams between each of the nascent trading systems, liability rules for bogus permits, and judicial cooperation. [Emphasis added]
HIR concludes that “after seven years of spinning wheels and wrong analogies, the international regime to control carbon is headed, albeit tentatively, down a productive path.”
In 2006, UK Environment Secretary David Miliband spoke to the Audit Commission Annual Lecture and flatly stated,
"Imagine a country where carbon becomes a new currency. We carry bankcards that store both pounds and carbon points. When we buy electricity, gas and fuel, we use our carbon points, as well as pounds. To help reduce carbon emissions, the Government would set limits on the amount of carbon that could be used." [Emphasis added]
In 2007, New York Times published “When Carbon Is Currency” by Hannah Fairfield. She pointedly stated “To build a carbon market, its originators must create a currency of carbon credits that participants can trade.”
PointCarbon, a leading global consultancy, is partnered with Bank of New York Mellon to assess rapidly growing carbon markets. In 2008 they published “Towards a Common Carbon Currency: Exploring the prospects for integrated global carbon markets.” This report discusses both environmental and economic efficiency in a similar context as originally seen with Hubbert in 1933.
Finally, on November 9 2009, the Telegraph (UK) presented an article “Everyone in Britain could be given a personal ‘carbon allowance.’”
“… implementing individual carbon allowances for every person will be the most effective way of meeting the targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. It would involve people being issued with a unique number which they would hand over when purchasing products that contribute to their carbon footprint, such as fuel, airline tickets and electricity. Like with a bank account, a statement would be sent out each month to help people keep track of what they are using. If their "carbon account" hits zero, they would have to pay to get more credits”. [Emphasis added]
As you can see, these references are hardly minor league in terms of either authorship or content. The undercurrent of early Technocratic thought has finally reached the shore where the waves are lapping at the beach.
Technocracy’s Energy Card Prototype
In July 1937 an article by Howard Scott in Technocracy Magazine described an Energy Distribution Card in great detail. It declared that using such an instrument as a “means of accounting is a part of Technocracy’s proposed change in the course of how our socioeconomic system can be organized.”
Scott further wrote,
“The certificate will be issued directly to the individual. It is nontransferable and nonnegotiable; therefore, it cannot be stolen, lost, loaned, borrowed, or given away. It is noncumulative; therefore, it cannot be saved, and it does not accrue or bear interest. It need not be spent but loses its validity after a designated time period.”
This may have seemed like science fiction in 1937, but today it is wholly achievable. In 2010 Technocracy, Inc. offers an updated idea of what such an Energy Distribution Card might look like. Their website states,
“It is now possible to use a plastic card similar to today’s credit card embedded with a microchip. This chip could contain all the information needed to create an energy distribution card as described in this booklet. Since the same information would be provided in whatever forms best suits the latest technology, however, the concept of an ‘Energy Distribution Card’ is what is explained here.”
If you study the card above, you will also note that is serves as a universal identity card and contains a microchip. This reflects Technocracy’s philosophy that each person in society must be meticulously monitored and accounted for in order to track what they consume in terms of energy, and also what they contribute to the manufacturing process.
Carbon Market Players
The modern system of carbon credits was an invention of the Kyoto Protocol and started to gain momentum in 2002 with the establishment of the first domestic economy-wide trading scheme in the U.K. After becoming international law in 2005, the trading market is now predicted to reach $3 trillion by 2020 or earlier.
Graciela Chichilnisky, director of the Columbia Consortium for Risk Management and a designer of the carbon credit text of the Kyoto Protocol, states that the carbon market “is therefore all about cash and trading – but it is also a way to a profitable and greener future.” (See Who Needs a Carbon Market?)
Who are the “traders” that provide the open door to all this profit? Currently leading the pack are JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
Bloomberg noted in Carbon Capitalists on December 4, 2009 that
“The banks are preparing to do with carbon what they’ve done before: design and market derivatives contracts that will help client companies hedge their price risk over the long term. They’re also ready to sell carbon-related financial products to outside investors.”
At JP Morgan, the woman who originally invented Credit Default Swaps, Blythe Masters, is now head of the department that will trade carbon credits for the bank.
Considering the sheer force of global banking giants behind carbon trading, it’s no wonder analysts are already predicting that the carbon market will soon dwarf all other commodities trading.
Conclusion
Where there is smoke, there is fire. Where there is talk, there is action.
If M. King Hubbert and other early architects of Technocracy were alive today, they would be very pleased to see the seeds of their ideas on energy allocation grow to bear fruit on such a large scale. In 1933, the technology didn’t exist to implement a system of Energy Certificates. However, with today’s ever-advancing computer technology, the entire world could easily be managed on a single computer.
This article intended to show that
Carbon Currency is not a new idea, but has deep roots in Technocracy
Carbon Currency has grown from a continental proposal to a global proposal
It has been consistently discussed over a long period of time
The participants include many prominent global leaders, banks and think-tanks
The context of these discussions have been very consistent
Today’s goals for implementing Carbon Currency are virtually identical to Technocracy’s original Energy Certificates goals.
Of course, a currency is merely a means to an end. Whoever controls the currency also controls the economy and the political structure that goes with it. Inquiry into what such a system might look like will be a future topic.
Technocracy and energy-based accounting are not idle or theoretical issues. If the global elite intends for Carbon Currency to supplant national currencies, then the world economic and political systems will also be fundamentally changed forever.
What Technocracy could not achieve during the Great Depression appears to have finally found traction in the Great Recession.
*******
When Carbon Is Currency
By Hannah Fairfield
May 6, 2007
AMID steadily increasing carbon emissions, and a federal government hesitant to take the lead on climate legislation, 10 states have joined to create the first mandatory carbon cap-and-trade program in the United States. They aim to reduce emissions from power plants by 10 percent in 10 years.
Leaders of state environmental and energy regulatory agencies hammered out the detailed model for the program, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, over the course of three years. The program sets a cap on the total amount of carbon that the 10 states — as a whole — can emit. Starting in 2009, each state will receive a set amount of carbon credits for its power plants, and each plant must have enough allowances to cover its total emissions at the end of three-year compliance periods.
In 2003, George E. Pataki, then New York’s governor, invited governors of 10 other states from Maine to Maryland to discuss a program to cut power plant emissions. All but one of the states joined the program; Pennsylvania has observer status.
Officials have closely watched the European Union, which started its carbon trading market in 2005; analysts say the Europeans have stumbled on some fronts. “We’ve learned a lot from the Europeans,” said Judith Enck, adviser on environment issues to Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York. “The way we distribute the allowances will be vastly different than the European experience.”
To build a carbon market, its originators must create a currency of carbon credits that participants can trade. In Europe, power companies received these credits directly and could buy or sell from one another as needed. But most companies passed the cost of the credits on to consumers even though they received them free — giving the companies windfall profits. Power companies in Britain alone made about $1 billion from free credits in 2005, according to a study by the British government.
Participants in the United States want to avoid that problem by selling some or all of the credits at auction, with the proceeds going to state energy efficiency programs.
In Europe, power companies were not the only businesses to profit from the new carbon market. Because power plants there can use credits earned from offset projects that take greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere (or put less of them into it), businesses wanting to earn offset credits inundated the Europeans with proposals — many of which would have a negligible effect on emissions or were for reductions that would have taken place anyway.
To sidestep that problem, the program here limits offsets to five categories: capture of landfill gas, curbs on sulfur hexafluoride leaks, planting of trees, reductions in methane from manure, and increased energy efficiency in buildings. Power companies can offset 3.3 percent of a plant’s total emissions from any combination of the five categories.
“We saw what happened in Europe, so we limited the categories and set our criteria upfront,” said Christopher Sherry, chairman of the regional program’s staff working group and a research scientist at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. “We did that so we would have assurance that the reductions actually take place.”
Although Northeastern states have taken the lead in inaugurating a mandatory carbon market, California and some of its neighbors are not far behind. Those states are watching closely; Mr. Sherry and others involved in the 10-state effort are already helping California figure out how best to accomplish its climate plan.
“The idea is to see what everyone else has done, and learn from it,” said Dale Bryk, a lawyer at the Natural Resources Defense Council who has been involved with the Northeastern regional program and California’s advisory committee. “Let’s not start from scratch.”
*******