The Power of Family Unity : How to Use it to Gain Economical Freedom for Generations
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It is complicated but we can not be intimated. We can demystify and demythologize it. There are people who are working on popular economics. Each time we were told: "leave it to the experts," or "they know best. When it comes to economics, we all have PhDs in what it's like to live through what is arguably the most severe economic crisis in the history of this nation outside of the great depression.
At its core, we must remember that economics is about morals and values -- not pie charts, graphs, percentiles, or trends. It's not a cosmic force. Virtually everything that has, is and will happen is due to conscious and willful decisions made by human beings often times who are accountable and responsible to few if any others. That's the problem. Others making decisions for us. Shouldn't we have the power and authority to make decisions affecting our lives and communities?
Real democracy. Real participation. Real inclusion. And real soon. To hold together there has to be a utopian vision that underlies some common goals that members of society can work to achieve? Capitalism postulates only one goal? But individual greed simply isn? Thurow It cannot be confined merely to our political institutions.? The very same arguments that for two centuries supported the ceding of political choice to the mass of people rather than its retention by a single individual or a small group, also provide the rationale for production and investment decision making by workers and consumers, not by individual capital owners or their managers.
Carnoy and Shearer 3. Economic Democracy is a worker-managed market socialism? Economic Democracy presupposes political democracy? I assume a constitutional government that guarantees civil liberties to all; I assume a representative government, with democratically elected bodies at the community, regional, and national levels? Yugoslav socialism was in theory democratic at the workplace, but it had a one-party, authoritarian state; contemporary Western capitalism is in theory politically democratic, but it is authoritarian at the workplace.
Our model will be democratic in both spheres. Schweickart The U. Or it can be propelled by commitment and cooperation. We propose a democratic program for restructuring the U. These [are the] four key principles [in our Economic Bill of Rights] economic security and equity, democratic and productive work relations, democratic planning, and the right to a better way of life. Bowles, Gordon and Weisskopf More economic equity and equality needed within countries, so that political equality is possible, and in order to increase social happiness.
Democracy and capitalism have very different beliefs about the proper distribution of power. One believes in a completely equal distribution of political power,one man , one vote, while the other believes that it is the duty of the economically fit to drive the unfit out of business To put it in its starkest form, capitalism is perfectly compatible with slavery.
The American South had such a system for more than two centuries. Democracy is not compatible with slavery. In an economy with rapidly increasing inequality, this difference in beliefs about the proper distribution of power is a fault line of enormous proportions waiting to slip. How the top 1 percent garnered over half of late-twentieth-century U. Phillips How else to describe the new Bush administration's legislative agenda?
Elimination of the inheritance tax, revision of the bankruptcy laws, the repeal of safely regulations in the workplace, easing of restriction on monopoly, etc.? Not the aggression that Karl Marx and maybe Ralph Nader had in mind, not the angry poor sacking the mansions of the rich, but the aggrieved rich burning down the huts of the presumptuous and trouble making poor.
Lewis Lapham quoted in Phillips There is now massive evidence that for decades Americans have been steadily becoming less equal, less free, and less the masters of their own fate.
The top 1 percent now garners for itself more income each year than the bottom million Americans combined. Even before the war on terrorism, the United States criminalized more conduct than most, maybe than any, non-Islamic nations. If the critical values [of equality, liberty and democracy] lose meaning, politics obviously must also lose moral integrity? Beyond this, if equality, liberty and meaningful democracy can truly no longer be sustained by the political and economic arrangements of the current system, this defines the beginning phases of?
Alperovitz 2. The day-to-day economy is a market economy: Raw materials and consumer goods are bought and sold at prices determined by the forces of supply and demand. New investment is socially controlled: The investment fund is generated by taxation and is dispensed according to democratic, market-conforming plan. What we are seeking, over the long run, is not greater government ownership, but greater democratization of economic decision making. Public enterprise is only a means to that end, not an end in itself. What we would like to see is an economy with?? Carnoy and Shearer A public trust to establish community ownership of common wealth at the "national, state, regional, and local levels" could in turn produce a stream of income, part of which could be used to provide needed services; part of which could provide economic stability and security for individuals and communities.
In Newark, New Jersey, a nonprofit neighborhood corporation employs two thousand people to build and manage housing and help run a supermarket and other businesses that funnel profits back into health care, job creation, education and other community services. In Glasgow, Kentucky, the city runs a quality cable, telephone, and Internet service at costs far lower than commercial rivals. In Harrisonburg, Virginia, a highly successful company owned by the employees makes and sells cable television testing equipment.
In Alabama the state pension fund owns a major interest in many large and small businesses. In Alaska every state resident as a matter of right receives dividends from a fund that invests oil revenues on behalf of the public at large. Alperovitz 5. Do I still believe in [worker] participation?
Yes, for three reasons: politically in can reduce power imbalance, psychologically it satisfies some basic human skills, and for managerial reasons because it contributes to organizational effectiveness. But making it work is difficult. It runs against the natural human instinct not to share power. It is too easy to introduce participation symbolically or superficially.
More attention needs to be given to context. Strauss Two current web-sites are www. In a world of regional trading blocs,.. Every border in Africa is essentially in the wrong place "the place where the British and French armies just happened to meet. We know that increasing consumption does not, as a general rule, make people happier. Every religious tradition tells us this, and so does everyday experience. Poverty is painful and degrading, but once you have reached a certain level of material comfort and security, consuming more does little for your overall sense of well-being.
In fact, it may contribute to the opposite. Over the long haul rebuilding local democracy with a small d, from the bottom up, is a necessary though obviously not sufficient requirement of renewing the basis of meaningful Democracy with a big D in the political-economic system as a whole. Alperovitz Ohio is one of only two states to set its minimum wage below the federal, although the national rate applies to most workers here.
Of those who would get a raise, the majority 60 percent are women workers, more than 70 percent are age 20 or older, and more than three-fourths work at least twenty hours weekly. As intelligent loving persons, I think all of us want to be free to make our own decisions. Presuming I have passed a driver's test, I am free to drive an automobile. I am not free to drive recklessly and endanger others.
I am not free to dominate others and ignore their basic rights. But there is another power in present world structures but which has enormous influence and say, ownership and control of the means of production, the factories and farms. Corporations make decisions which vitally affect all of us, decisions to downsize, to move to the South, the West, and overseas, decisions that often pollute the environment and destroy the rainforests. The average free citizen in the United States has little or anything to say about employment, trade or monetary decisions, or care of the earth, not to mention the kind of food that he eats or the kind of doctors he wants to serve him.
They were mostly farmer-businesspeople--an entrepreneurial breed very different, for instance, from the farmer-peasants of many other societies. The US has become a society of employees, most of whom work for large or medium-sized bureaucracies, private or public. The difference between a system dominated by General Motors and Exxon and one based upon the individual landholding farmer and small businessperson of an earlier day in American history may very well be greater--in the real experience of the average person--than the difference between a system based upon large private bureaucracies in the US and public bureaucracies in socialist nations.
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Repeated academic studies routinely document the power of major private corporations to shape legislation, influence regulatory agencies, dominate important Executive Branch decisions, and influence election patterns and the media. The policy of 'throwaway cities" is wasteful--and entails the new expense of having to rebuild the same costly facilities elsewhere. Gar Alperovitz, p. It is a highly competitive society in which the majority of players are winners, but in which the winners to an increasing degree take all, or nearly all.
This is the best of all possible worlds for the majority of winners. But for the losers, especially those at the bottom, it is the worst of all possible worlds. When there are vast differences in income, wealth, education, free time, and personal security, citizens with low incomes are fundamentally disadvantaged: They do not have the money to influence politics; their education does not give them as many skills; they don't have the time: and often, fearful of losing their jobs, they prefer silence to speaking their minds.
Major corporations have a choice not available to most citizens. If they regard the law as unworthy, irrational or too demanding, they resist. Since the cost of resistance is often quite modest compared to the cost of compliance, companies benefit in real dollars by stalling. Here we are twenty years later and more than hundred million Americans are still breathing air with unhealthful levels of sulfur dioxide.
Because the companies fight you when you try to pass a law. They fight you when you try to pass a second law. They fight you when you try to write the regulations. They fight you when you try to enforce the regulations. Nowhere do they ever stop and say: 'Let's obey the law.
The Betrayal of American Democracy, p. Progressives "followed Populists as those advocating for change. Their goals were not to define corporate natures, only to regulate corporate behavior. Corporations were, on the whole, willing to accept many regulatory agencies a because they shielded corporations from the public, b on condition that decisions of regulatory agencies could be appealed to courts, where corporations were confident that they could usually win, especially in federal courts, and c it was cheaper to buy influence from a few regulators than an entire legislature.
International trade organizations like the World Trade Organization are indeed undermining what few national laws there are. More than one million Americans have joined ONE. ONE calls for debt cancellation, trade reform, providing basic needs by allocating an additional one percent of the US budget for health, education, clean water and food for the world's poorest countries. Millenium Goals, an internationally agreed upon effort, are to halve global poverty by Corporations have enormous staff and financial resources, often challenge stockholder resolutions, and the SEC frequently rules in their favor.
If the wealthy accumulate more and more, the market produces more of the goods and services wanted by those at the top and fewer of the goods and services wanted by those in the middle. Many today are searching for better ways to insure economic freedom and economic democracy.
If we are to respect the dignity and worth of every human person, we need to find a way to insure basic economic rights for all. Did God charge us for creating us? Did our mothers send us a bill for giving birth to us? Did our parents expect us to pay room and board when we were children? Jesus freely gave His life for us. We should give freely what we have freely received.
You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! All new inventions build on previous generations, indeed centuries of knowledge, skills, and wealth. Inventors pick the best fruit of a tree that stands on a huge mountain of previous culture.
Substantial wealth should be regularly returned to the community that ultimately made the creation of the wealth possible. An equal amount is allocated to publicly determined uses since the community as a whole plays a fundamental role in the creation of wealth and of new technologies. Today, do the few who own and control the factories, farms, and banks have too much power? Their enormous wealth affects even political democracy. Most of the people in our jails and on death row are poor people.
The existence of enormous wealth alongside great poverty is a lack of community and solidarity. Our present system is a kind of dictatorship because of its centralization of power. Global economic democracy could take many forms. At least it must mean the exercise of basic human rights for each human person.
At most it would mean local community ownership of the means of production and community services. In between it would mean legislative control by the government of business, e. Since we have a global economy today, it's hard for me to see how there can be control of multi-national corporations and global financial institutions without the "truly effective international authority" so ardently longed for by Pope John XXIII. I don't think we can say we have genuine democracy in our nation or in our world if there are not sufficient checks and balances on those with enormous wealth and power.
If done according to the principle of subsidiarity, economies of scale would dictate some regional, national, and international entities. The oceans, natural resources, and the communications media should be owned in common. This democratic process needs to be extended in some way to the factories and the farms. We could call more humane structures by some other name. The living parable of Lazarus begging at the table of the rich banqueter, calls into question the financial, monetary, production, and commercial mechanisms that support the world's economy.
Daring and creative initiatives are needed to restore a moral order in keeping with human dignity. Our solidarity with all that is human must inspire us to redistribute wealth and control over wealth. But the title to private ownership is only legitimate if the land serves the greatest number, is democratically controlled, and is treated with responsible stewardship. Since the goods of creation are destined for all, the common good takes precedence over an individual's right to private property.
Catechism of the Catholic Church , No ; No. The US bishops defend the right to private ownership of even productive property such as factories if the ownership of this productive property is extended to all. Excessive concentration of ownership of the means of production means excessive economic and political power. No one is justified in keeping for his exclusive use what he does not need, when others lack necessities. I think it would be more prudent to make and enforce genuine anti-trust laws or promote more local community ownership. In I traveled to Mondragon in Spain.
This was partially a spiritual pilgrimage to the land of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, and partially a visit to one of the most encouraging stories I have heard in the last fifty years. In a Catholic priest was assigned to Mondragon, a small Basque town in Spain of 8, people. Observing that his young parishioners were discriminated against, he started a technical high school of his own. His graduates were eventually very successful and began working for manufacturing firms. Discovering that their advancement was blocked, the graduates returned to Father Don Jose Maria Arizmendiarrietta asking for help.
He asked: "Why not start a business of your own based on Catholic Social Doctrine? Don Jose's students wanted to emphasize the dignity and worth of the human person. They came up with the idea of a worker-owned cooperative as a means to achieve "the primacy of labor among factors of production. Don Jose Maria begged money from friends, and his graduates purchased the license of a small bankrupt company in Vitoria. In they constructed a factory in Mondragon and began producing a small stove with twenty-four workers. The new company was called ULGOR, an acronym formed from the initial letters of names of the five founders.
ULGOR rapidly diversified and grew to workers by Soon they founded several other cooperatives, a machine-tool factory, an iron-smelting company, a consumer cooperative store, a foundry, and a producer of domestic appliance components.
The Age of Leverage
By they began to have difficulty getting the bank loans they needed. Father Arizmendiarietta had a solution. Start a bank of their own. The students responded: "We told him, yesterday we were craftsmen, foremen, and engineers. Today we are trying to learn how to be managers and executives. Tomorrow you want us to become bankers. That is impossible! Arizmendiarietta had done the necessary research and he was, in the end, persuasive.
The Caja Laboral Popular began operations in and by was one of the largest banks in Spain. In Fagor, the cooperative that produces refrigerators and stoves, had effective competition only from a German company and a Swedish company. By Mondragon was an association of nearly two hundred enterprises, mostly industrial factories which not only manufactured durable goods, intermediate goods, and capital equipment, but also produced electronic and high-technology products.
Mondragon also included schools, farms, retail stores. These enterprises had over 20, owners who were also the only workers. Mondragon had its own doctors, its own social security, its own day-care centers. The commercial enterprises sold nearly a billion dollars worth of goods and services annually. Because Mondragon stresses education, research, and development the cooperatives are always growing. But the workers feel education to responsibility and human and religious values is more important than technical knowledge.
It is relatively easy to structure a cooperative. The real challenge is to have cooperative people. The members are divided within themselves. Part of them, the owner part, wants to protect the long-range interests of the company. Part of them, the worker part, want to work less and get more benefits. Thus integration is within the worker-owners as well as between the worker-owners. Arizmendiarrietta died in His teachings were a striking anticipation of Pope John Paul II's encyclical Laborem Exercens in its theme of the priority of labor over capital, its emphasis on the dignity of work, and the need for worker solidarity.
I'm not ready to say that the Mondragon cooperatives are without fault, and they are forced to operate in the present system. It is unlikely that they will not be infected by the current defects in contemporary structures. Today you can examine Mondragon's web-site. The basic structure, however, remains much more democratic than the average corporation. Together we have been able to transform a humble factory, which in manufactured oil stoves and paraffin heaters, into the leading industrial group in the Basque Country and 7th in the ranking in Spain, with sales of 9.
They see a very exciting future ahead. Because only active and thoughtful citizens will change those in power, the world will not get international law and order until we become proficient in active non-violence. Nor do I think we will be able to function in a democratic way until more people have ownership and control of the means of production, the factories and farms. I think we get a better understanding of present day corporations if we know a little of the history of how corporations began. It may not occur to us that there may have been a time when corporations were more accountable than they are today.
Even though they had done nothing to incur the debt, in sixteenth century England descendants could inherit an individual? Those who sailed from England to trade for spices in the East Indies faced not only a dangerous sea voyage because of storms or pirates but also the prospect of ruining their own families and their descendants.
Charters were granted by the state to a group of investors to serve a public purpose, namely to encourage trade with the East Indies. In chartering corporations, the crown limited an investor? A share of the profits would go to the king, and the charter of the corporation was bestowed at the pleasure of the crown and could be withdrawn at any time. Since corporations were so dependent on the crown, from the very beginning corporations have struggled to expand their rights and limit corporate obligations.
England used corporations such as the East India Company and the Hudson Bay Company to control the colonial economies. Indeed, many American colonies were themselves chartered as corporations. English corporations generally had monopoly powers over territories and industries. Even though colonists had the raw materials, they were forbidden to produce their own clothing. Raw materials were shipped to England and the finished products returned to the colonies. Writing The Wealth of Nations in , the same year as The Declaration of Independence, Adam Smith opposed corporations who could suppress the competition of the market.
Both Adam Smith and American colonists did not want undue power in the hands of the state or of corporations. In the beginning of the United States family farms and business were the mainstay of the economy along with neighborhood shops, cooperatives, and worker-owned enterprises. Investment decisions were local and democratic.
Only the individual states could charter corporations, not the federal government. State charters were limited to a fixed number of years and were revoked if the provisions of the charters were not observed. Large and small investors had equal voting rights, and interlocking directorates were forbidden. Corporations were limited to only those business activities specifically authorized in its charter. By only two hundred corporate charters had been granted by the states. The nineteenth century saw the gradual rise in the power of corporations especially during and after the Civil War.
Profiting greatly from the manufacture of needed munitions, corporations were able to buy legislation that gave them massive grants of money and land to expand the Western railway system. Before his death President Abraham Lincoln observed:? Corporations have been enthroned. An era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people.
Harvey Wasserman, America Born and Reborn , p. New Jersey and Delaware limited the liability of corporate owners and managers and issued charters in perpetuity. Conservative courts made decision after decision in favor of corporations. Southern Pacific Railroad that a private corporation is a natural person!
Corporations soon claimed the rights of individual citizens without having many of the responsibilities and liabilities of citizenship. The individual was no match for the vast financial resources of corporations who dominated public thought and discourse. Child labor, inadequate wages, corporation security forces, violent industrial wars led at the turn of the twentieth century to dramatic rises in labor union membership.
Industrialists merged their empires into even larger corporate directorates,? Under some threat from socialism, big business began to work with large moderate labor unions that without challenging corporate power or the market system negotiated uniform wages and standards and enforced worker discipline according to agreed rules.
Since the courts continued to rule against labor, unions developed a legislative agenda and allied itself with the Democratic Party. During the roaring twenties corporate monopolies flourished and were loosely regulated. Although many American families had a much better standard of living, one percent of Americans still controlled 59 percent of the wealth. In October the financial system came crashing down, and financial fortunes evaporated almost overnight.
President Franklin Roosevelt felt strong measures needed to be taken. Moderating influences moved laissez-faire capitalism to a period called social-welfare capitalism in which government had a more active role. Government helped the poor and the workers through laws to protect human rights and provide basic needs, e. Since government insured fair and equal competition through anti-trust laws, a few large corporations were not permitted to dominate the market.
English economist John Maynard Keynes led the theory of social-welfare capitalism in which government intervenes actively in the boom and bust business cycles which often had caused much hardship and instability during laissez-faire capitalism. Keynes proposed that during periods of depression the government spend more and tax less. During periods of prosperity the government spends less and taxes more. The economy is also controlled by interest rates which are set in the US by the Federal Reserve.
The courts continued to favor business, and it was only the long term in office of President Franklin Roosevelt that allowed the Supreme Court to become more open to worker? World War II created a climate in which the government took an even more central role in placing controls on consumption, industrial output, and allocation of national resources. A highly progressive tax system, full employment at good wages, and a strong social safety net brought greater equity to the US. Driven by anti-communism, the national security state began to gain strength after World War II.
United States corporations became transnational and moved South, West, and overseas where wages and taxes were lower. This translated into fewer safety standards for workers and fewer social services. United States economist Milton Friedman returned to the philosophy of John Locke as he pushed for a minimal governmental role in the economy. The excessive military spending after World War II sacrificed some of the social gains begun by social welfare capitalism.
In the 60's a new generation challenged consumerism, neglect of the environment, and the military-industrial complex. The government was aggressively pursuing antitrust cases to keep markets open and competitive. The 80's brought corporate control of the legislative agenda. Progressive taxation was reversed; restraints on corporate mergers and acquisitions were removed. Environmental and labor standards were weakened. Corporate work forces were downsized and manufacturing operations were shipped abroad to benefit from cheap labor and lesser environmental standards. The US-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund forced the debt-burdened Southern countries to become open to foreign corporations, eliminate protectionist barriers and lift restrictions on foreign investment.
The number of billionaires in the US increased from one in to in Unemployment became chronic, labor unions lost members and political influence. Wages began to decline, as did the income of the poor.
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With the end of the Cold War, the free-market ideology has become a fundamentalist religious faith despite the clear evidence that there are vast numbers of the world population for which this dogma is not working. Even those in corporations who see the need to change are driven by the system. The questions then arises: who will govern?
To pit an individual against a multinational corporation is equivalent to putting a featherweight in the same ring with a heavyweight. The pendulum of power of corporations has swung back and forth from their inception. Is it time to examine ways in which we can have an economic system that is more local and democratic, allowing the principle of subsidiarity to apply to business as well as to government? If you wish to help preserve economic freedom and economic equity, consider contacting the Alliance for Democracy, Changing corporate structures may seem like a gigantic task, but change is usually initiated by a small group of committed citizens.
Investing some of their huge profits from the Civil War, corporations lobbied for legal doctrines and laws which preferred private over public interests and property rights over human rights. Workers now have no free speech or assembly rights on corporate property. Corporations exert tremendous power over legislatures, courts, executive branches, press and information, all of which are essential to democracy. Corporate leaders are immune from liability and are free from public recall. The US Revolution was in part against corporations. In The Wealth of Nations written in Adam Smith mentions corporations twelve times, not once favorably.
The US Constitution makes no mention of corporations but entrusts decision-making to state legislators who were at that time closest to the people. In the Ohio Constitution states that "all powers, not hereby delegated, remain with the people. Private property ought and shall ever be held inviolate, but always subservient to the public welfare. Early acts which created corporations one at a time through petitioning the legislature, or General Assembly, stipulated rigid conditions.
These privileges, not rights, included: limited duration of charter or certificate of incorporation; limitation on amount of land ownership; limitation of amount of capitalization or total investment of owners; limitations of charter for a specific purpose to amend its charter, a new corporation had to be formed ;the state reserving the right to amend the charters or to revoke them.
From to the Ohio legislature repealed several corporate charters, effectively dissolving the corporations. Courts ruled that banks could not charge more interest than what was stipulated by the General Assembly in the bank's charter. Then they wrote the history books to keep the facts from future generations.
In Jewish folklore, an artificially created human supernaturally endowed with life. Earthen tools are the staple of humankind's extension of itself- the collection, manipulation, and exploration of its environment beyond the confines of weak, limited flesh. What started out as clay pots and stone axes has blossomed into the steel wings of airliners and the microscopic silicon strands of the computer processor. In folklore, the golem was a tool created from clay and words of power by a master Kabbalist.
Hebrew words were inscribed on its forehead during a stringent ritual, usually invoking the name of God or His attributes, such as God is Truth. It'sinceptionand function was usually limited- it was a tool for bearing loads, as a sacrifice, or as a powerful defender. But humans are fallible, and our intentions impure. Creation of the creature through our words and intent was invariably the cause of our inevitable lack of control over it. The golem would become more powerful than intended, destructive, and violent. In reality, modern man has created such creatures. Born of legalese and baptized in the sweat of labor, they roam the earth performing the tasks and bidding of their masters.
You've seen their sigils, you know their names. Their footprints clutter our homes, their excrement pollutes our water. The modern golem, the Corporation as human animation, was given breath in Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad was a case before the U. Supreme Court, not to establish some federal definition of limitation to the business construct of the corporation, a business and legal tool that had been used for hundreds of years, but to decide who was to determine taxable value of fence posts along the railroads right-of way.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others. These statements have been misattributed to Mandela, as being in his inaugural speech of 10 May but this is not the case.
Rather, they originate with author Marianne Williamson. Wikipedia has an article about: Nelson Mandela. Wikisource has original works written by or about: Nelson Mandela. Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Nelson Mandela. Furthermore, very few States correspond to real, homogenous historical entities. Apart from Cape Verde, all of the others are made up of a multitude of socio-cultural groups, the majority of which are spread over several borders, such as the Peuls, the Haoussas, the Yorubas, the Akans and the Mandingues.
However, the most negative aspect of this fragmentation remains in the resulting territorial disorganisation, marked by:. The weight of the debt is so heavy that the resulting intervention from outside, in particular that of the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund IMF , has taken the basic means for their supervisory function away from these States. This absence of an efficient supervisory function explains the absenteeism among civil servants, preoccupied with ensuring the security of their income through an informal economy.
South Africans' anger over land set to explode
This can be seen in the growing awareness of ethnic groups and the reinforcement of their autonomy with regard to the central State. In other words, we are now seeing a form of nationwide regional break-up, with different tribal units isolating themselves from the community at large. It is this territorial break-up that gives a certain dimension to the different forms of networks and migratory flows; the best way to face up to this correctly lies in new approaches towards the structuring of regions. Some of these States, such as Morocco and Egypt, are very advanced in negotiations regarding partnership agreements with the European Union EU.
It seeks to develop its relations with China and India on one hand and with Latin America on the other. Both of these have proved to be seriously limited. On the other hand, it relates to the respective impact of religions in particular Christianity, Islam and animism on the ideological values of development. These different forms of fragmentation have brought great ideological divergence and a lack of cultural roots. The end of communism substantially limited the extent of this fragmentation without, however, getting rid of it.
The divergences between African political figures now appear in two ways: the battle for leadership, both in the region and with colonial powers, and the question of democracy and the nature of civilian or military regimes. From this perspective, the fear of Nigeria remains endemic. Although France is still trying to gather together its former colonies in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, it is simply to counter the too great an influence of this African giant.
Democratisation, of both the State and society, demanded by the financial backers and strongly desired by African populations, pits many heads of State against each other, as was the case during the East-West confrontation. This fragmentation concerns countries whose former autocratic leaders are finding it difficult to hold on to power, notably in Togo and Guinea, and the States whose heads have come from the sovereign national conference. The arrival of democracy has, therefore, become both a source of hope and a method of blackmail, which weakens the will of African leaders to fight for a common developmental objective.
Countries with an English-speaking, French-speaking or Portuguese-speaking heritage distinguish themselves on this question, notably with regard to the roots of their citizens in their national cultures. These roots are much deeper in English-speaking and Portuguese-speaking countries than in French-speaking countries. The policy of assimilation practised by France tended to keep the French-speaking population away from the need to make culture a major issue in development. In other words, the recourse to local values that would guide the actions of leaders is missing in Africa and especially in the French-speaking regions.
This lack of a value system is reflected in the artificial nature of States, whose inhabitants have an origin and a history that are attached to other political regions which are sometimes confrontational such as Chad and Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia. This then results in major ethnic conflicts at the borders, thus ruining the chances for the concerted effort necessary to create local values as the fundamental elements necessary for sustainable development.
These difficulties prevent Senegal and Mauritania from coming together to manage the massive investments that have been made to stimulate economic development in the river valley. The nation-States which descended from colonisation, to paraphrase Antoine Sawadogo, are in an ambivalent situation, real and fictitious, formal and informal Sawadogo , The State has to be re-established using new territorial guidelines in order to better confront the different problems which adversely affect the proper management of current developmental conditions: enclaves, borders that are too long or poorly defined, under-development of basic infrastructure.
The consequences of balkanisation of the continent prevent African States from controlling traffic, which is a necessary part of managing their territories. However, these developmental objectives are costly and require new resources that can only come from the creation of new wealth.
What this entails is working to make Africa prosperous by acting on the main factors that determine this wealth, such as the reinforcement of productive, technological and innovative abilities. These abilities are indispensable to reverse the current trends of creation of wealth, which are too centred on shareholder economics with low added value. To do this, instruments that have a real effect on these deciding factors have to be used. This notion can be summarised in a few points:. Made up of human capital and the quality of institutions, this is the most important element in the wealth of nations.
The confidence that reigns between the various components of the nation must also be considered, along with the ability to work together in a coordinated manner in order to create wealth;. Also, without the avant-garde elites, well-trained and ready to commit themselves to decisive reforms that will have a positive impact on State institutions, nothing will be possible. It could be useful to Africa in three main areas:.
To a large extent, these crises result from the confiscation of the freedom of citizens by political leaders. This is also a concern in countries where the elections are rigged and where the institutions of the republic are subject to manipulation. This index of freedom is still low in Africa.
Peace and Justice - Clarifying a Vision of Economic Freedom
Out of the 40 African countries studied, only Mauritius featured in the top 20 in the world, in 18th place; this was followed by Botswana in 36th place. Therefore, the quest for these ten categories of freedom becomes a major issue in the emergence and the promotion of a new generation of leaders in Africa. These new leaders will be in scientific, economic, technological and political competition with the rest of the world.
They must prepare themselves for this worldwide competition to allow real social capital to be built, which is still lacking on the continent. Investment in education is considered to be an essential component of economic policy.
It has been proven that for a given level of GDP per capita, countries with a high level of education are in a more advantageous situation than those with a low level of education. These reasons push international development institutions to invite African leaders to make massive investments in the accumulation of social capital as a favoured means of growth and development. Again, in this field Africa is placed poorly in the international rankings Koulibaly The new generation of leaders can no longer claim stalemate in this situation.
The difficulties of tacking this issue will come from the complexity of the various elements that constitute social capital. The difficulty arises from its heterogeneity. By its very nature, civil society is a composite structure, diverse and polymorphous, which evolves at the whim of the forces that comprise it. The concept of civil society implies a varied range of rather imprecise definitions, with the intervention of social partners such as organisations representing socio-economic services, associations that exist to defend grand causes, community associations, religious groups and intellectual organisations.
All told, it involves a constellation of associations which are active in the public sector beyond the purview of the State. For the time being its role is far from being one of development, with the exception of a few initiatives which come, for the most part, from the African diaspora, most notably along the Senegal river valley and in the Kayes region in Mali. Apart from a few isolated development initiatives, civil society plays a role that is based more on censorship of the State on one hand and encouragement of social movements on the other. However, its ability to make alternative suggestions remains weak.
In particular, this is the case for religious non-governmental organisations, whose main actions primarily involve evangelism or islamisation. If this does not work, opposition may arise between the two players, seriously affecting their actions. Of these values, the most important for Africa are those concerning attitudes towards work and the respect for State institutions.
However, values regarding money have become the main cause of misappropriation and poor governance. This is the reason why they must meet several requirements in terms of training and ability, such as:. The world is becoming more and more immaterial. Africa must take account of this to carry out several changes. In fact, the biggest reproach regarding Africa today concerns its inability to look towards the future.
This is what made President Nicolas Sarkozy of France say, in his speech at Dakar University on 26 July , that the continent still has not implicated itself sufficiently in the history of humanity. Many African societies function based on fear and find it difficult to introduce initiatives that may bring progress. This is the same for its profound religious beliefs, considered to be the opium of the people. Africa must now promote new values based on its history and its culture. Real credit, not from charity and not from begging. To achieve this, our cultures have to be structured.
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Using culture as a resource for development could make the cultural sector the arena for new issues, i. They could be economic issues also, with cultural industries which place African creators in a position from which they can conquer the market. Lastly, they could be social issues, based on the new relationships that are formed. Its leaders must strive to enable some of these African languages to become the instruments of work and scientific understanding.
This is the price that new generations of political players will have to pay to become better established in their territories. From this standpoint, they will thus be able to act more effectively and propose new, qualitative changes, the true gauge of economic and social progress. Adamon, A. Adler, A. Le rapport de la CIA: comment sera le monde en ? Paris: Robert Laffont. Assidon, E. Paris: Karthala.