Monday, February 28, 2005

Infamous [Lawerence] Summers' Memo

Anyone who believes that Harvard as a supposed "institution of higher learning" has any value need only consider that George W. Bush managed to get an MBA from there (after getting in as a "legacy" which is "affirmative action" for rich in-bred white people) and that the president of Harvard is Lawrence Summers who wrote the following memo that could have been written by Adolf Eichmann.

The Memo

DATE: December 12, 1991TO: DistributionFR: Lawrence H. SummersSubject: GEP
'Dirty' Industries:

Just between you and me, shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Less Developed Countries]? I can think of three reasons:

1) The measurements of the costs of health impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality. From this point of view a given amount of health impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.

2) The costs of pollution are likely to be non-linear as the initial increments of pollution probably have very low cost. I've always though that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City. Only the lamentable facts that so much pollution is generated by non-tradable industries (transport, electrical generation) and that the unit transport costs of solid waste are so high prevent world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste.

3) The demand for a clean environment for aesthetic and health reasons is likely to have very high income elasticity. The concern over an agent that causes a one in a million change in the odds of prostrate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostrate cancer than in a country where under 5 mortality is is 200 per thousand. Also, much of the concern over industrial atmosphere discharge is about visibility impairing particulates. These discharges may have very little direct health impact. Clearly trade in goods that embody aesthetic pollution concerns could be welfare enhancing. While production is mobile the consumption of pretty air is a non-tradable.

The problem with the arguments against all of these proposals for more pollution in LDCs (intrinsic rights to certain goods, moral reasons, social concerns, lack of adequate markets, etc.) could be turned around and used more or less effectively against every Bank proposal for liberalization.


After the memo became public in February 1992, Brazil's then-Secretary of the Environment Jose Lutzenburger wrote back to Summers: "Your reasoning is perfectly logical but totally insane... Your thoughts [provide] a concrete example of the unbelievable alienation, reductionist thinking, social ruthlessness and the arrogant ignorance of many conventional 'economists' concerning the nature of the world we live in... If the World Bank keeps you as vice president it will lose all credibility. To me it would confirm what I often said... the best thing that could happen would be for the Bank to disappear."

Sadly, Mr. Lutzenburger was fired shortly after writing this letter.

Mr. Summers, on the other hand, was appointed the U.S. Treasury Secretary on July 2nd, 1999, and served through the remainder of the Clinton Admistration. Afterwards, he was named president of Harvard University.

Appeal For Assistance and Caring

Imagine a seasoned, highly trusted and highly committed Elder/Activist of one of the six nations governed by The Great Law of Peace, who is involved in legal actions against the U.S. government designed to reveal evidence of genocide and to push sovereignty of his and other Native nations. Imagine that this Elder/Activist, running on financial fumes like so many activists, is offered $5 million to push legal challenges by an investor who is willing to finance legal actions if, and only if, a guarantee is given that a casino will be built with 40% of all profits going to the"investor" in perpetuity. Imagine that this Traditional Elder, fully aware of what casinos typically bring--corruption, dope, alcohol, gambling addiction, only token jobs for a few Natives, no more than 8 cents on agross profit dollar going anywhere near the average Native, organized crime, loss of even marginal sovereignty etc--has no choice but to turndown the $5 million as it would only cause more of the same that the legal challenges are designed to stop or mitigate.

These legal actions are causing some real stress on the powers-that-be on both sides of the US/Canadian border as they are designed to use the legal procedures and institutions of "The Man" to bring evidence, law (even "TheMan's own laws), international law and consciousness raising in Native communities to domestic and international venues never before used.

This is not fanciful or utopian (we are fully aware from experience that Natives in US and Canadian courts are like Jews and Roma Sinti going to Nazi courts) but the evidence is that the powers-that-be are terrified of this approach. Anyone interested in inflicting some truth, law, morality, evidence andcreative chaos on "the system" and may be moved to donate to this cause(involving some 13 Native Nations) may contribute directly to:

Any donations may be sent to Bank: Canada Trust; Account Name: 13 MoonHorizon; Comany Name: 3273946 Canada Inc.; Account Number:32326-004-0260-0316261; Address: 45 O'Connor St. Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0W5 or directly to Michael Swinwood, RR#3 Almonte, Ontario KOA 1A0 This will be only to advance collective action (not only for Blackfoot).

Lawyer challenges the legitimacy of Canadian law over First NationsSubmitted by eisengrimm on Mon, 04/26/2004 - 23:18.

Canada Indigenous Natives not bound by laws of Canada, lawyer argues An Ottawa lawyer is challenging the authority of Canadian governments to apply laws to native people.

Jake Rupert, The Ottawa Citizen, April 25, 2004

A judge has agreed to hear a claim that sovereignty over Canadian lands was never fairly transferred in any of the ways recognized by international law.

Jake Rupert reports on Michael Swinwood's effort to change Canadian history. It's an issue that has been debated for years in native and legal academic circles but hasn't been answered by Canadian courts, say aboriginal law experts. But it looks like the question will have to be answered soon, after lawyer Michael Swinwood, on behalf of two natives in North Bay charged with fraud, filed a constitutional challenge to the Crown's right to apply the Criminal Code, or any other law, to aboriginal people, and a judge agreed to hear it.

Mr. Swinwood says aboriginal people never ceded sovereignty to British or Canadian governments in accordance with recognized international standards such as conquest or purchase.To have jurisdiction over people who occupied land first, according to law, sovereignty must be properly handed over, Mr. Swinwood says in documents filed in court. It wasn't, so.

Canadian governments have no right to enforce their laws on natives, the documents say."The federal government lacks proper legislative authority in the territory it is alleged these illegal acts took place," Mr. Swinwood argues." No treaty has been entered into ... therefore the federal government has no jurisdiction in the territory where these acts are alleged."

Mr. Swinwood will ask a judge to "nullify the application" of Canadian laws against natives because, he says, according to the current state of the law, Canada's laws have "no force or effect as against these Indian persons or any other Indian person."Earlier this year in North Bay, Mr. Swinwood convinced Ontario SuperiorCourt Justice J.S. O'Neill, himself an expert in native law, to hear the challenge and order the government to pay for it. Judge O'Neill found Mr.Swinwood raised "important" legal questions that need answering and ordered the provincial government to give Mr. Swinwood $35,000 in order to argue the case properly."The issues raised ... are of sufficient merit that it would be contrary to the interests of justice for the opportunity to pursue these questions andthese issues ... to be forfeited if legal funding is not provided," the judge wrote in his reasons for granting Mr. Swinwood the money."

It is to be remembered that the legal community in Canada is only beginning to come to grips with issues involving aboriginal title and rights," Judge O'Neill said. After getting the funding order in March, Mr. Swinwood hoped to make his case this spring in front of Judge O'Neill, but the Crown appealed the judge's ruling on the funding application, arguing that the judge should not have granted the money because there is no merit to Mr. Swinwood's assertions. No date has been set for the appeal, but Mr. Swinwood has decided to press ahead with the constitutional challenge, which he'll pay for out of his own pocket and with money collected from native organizations.

In other cases involving native clients charged with crimes, Mr. Swinwood tried and failed to have judges agree to hear the constitutional challenge. Now that a judge has agreed to hear it, the matter is just too important to walk away from over money, Mr. Swinwood said. "Like Justice O'Neill said,it's been a long time coming, so it feels good that we're finally getting to table some of our issues," he said. "The Indians got messed over here in this part of the world pretty badly, and it's time some one should speak for them. On this issue, it just happens to be me. "

Those who say thatCanadian laws are applicable against Indians in this country don't know their history. We're just pointing this out."If Mr. Swinwood's first argument fails, he has another, darker allegation that he says strips the Crown of its ability to apply its laws to natives.

According to his application documents: "The legislature of Canada and Her majesty the Queen deprive themselves of legislative authority by being complicit in the crime of genocide against the Indian Nation ... and have acted and continue to act contrary to their international obligations codified in the convention for the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide."

At the very least, he's asking the judge to find that a 1704 royal proclamation stating that any disputes between natives and government officials should be adjudicated by an agreed upon third party is still in effect. Mr. Swinwood says after exhaustive research and consultation, he has come to the conclusion that Canada simply has no jurisdiction over natives in this country.There's no legislation saying so. There's no case law saying so. In fact, the law says the opposite, Mr. Swinwood says. "It's an interesting and important question that has not been answered by Canadian courts," said Kent McNeil, a law professor at Osgoode Hall in Toronto who specializes inaboriginal rights. He said there have been some cases in Canadian law, dating back as far as the 1800s, that touched on the issue, but that Mr.Swinwood is the first to take direct aim at the fundamental jurisdiction argument in court.

Brad Morse, a University of Ottawa aboriginal law professor concurs. "This really will be the first time that these issues are looked at in court, andI think it will be interesting to see what happens," Mr. Morse said.

At the heart of Mr. Swinwood's argument is the issue of sovereignty. Under international law, sovereignty is generally gained under three conditions. A government can assume jurisdiction over unoccupied land simply by populating it. Sovereignty also can be formally handed from one government to another after a conquest. Or a government can gain the right to enforce its rules when occupiers of land sign a purchase agreement or treaty relinquishing jurisdiction to the newcomers.

Mr. Morse said Mr. Swinwood's challenge is legitimate because the first two conditions don't apply in Canada, and in the annals of history there is very little evidence of Indians surrendering sovereignty to Great Britain.Where there is evidence of jurisdictional surrender, there is much debate over whether native leaders understood what they were doing when they"signed" treaties and purchase agreements.

Although this is the first time Canadian courts will be asked to deal with this issue, courts in other countries already have. In a landmark case, Australia's highest court found the Crown there has sovereignty over aboriginal people and land despite not having any of the three accepted conditions for jurisdictional transfer. The court found that over time control of the land and people simply eroded away from the country's first people into the hands of the newcomers and should remain there for the betterment of all.

Many years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court found differently. Judges there decided that the U.S. government didn't have sovereignty over natives or native land. However, it ruled that basic human law as defined by U.S. statue applied to all people regardless of their heritage.

Some may look at Mr. Swinwood's position as preposterous, but he says without proper government mechanisms in place to address the gross injustices committed upon natives in Canada, he is simply doing the next best thing. He said in a prefect world, government officials would come to the conclusion that they've failed the natives of Canada, and that Canadian laws aren't helping the situation.They would say they're sorry for messing things up as badly as they have, cede sovereignty over vast tracts of Crown land, and let natives live in accordance with traditional spiritual, moral, and legal codes that were working just fine before the white man arrived. "We have the law on ourside," he said. "We have history on our side. We have morality on our side.What's happened hasn't worked. It's time to try something else." "The time has come," he said. "The government has had a lot of time to do this themselves, and they haven't, so we're going to try to force them to by using the courts. I see no reason why we should fail in this.

The Ottawa Citizen 2004 [reprinted under fair use doctrine for educational purposes only]

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Evolving Concept of Social Capital, Markets, Market-Based Processes and Socialist Construction

Paper delivered Sept 1-2, 2004 at the International Symposium on the Reform of Property Rights and Enterprise Development in Transitional Countries at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

The Evolving Concept of Social Capital, Markets, Market-Based Processes and Socialist Construction

By James M. Craven (Blackfoot Name: Omahkohkiaayo i’poyi)
Professor, Economics; Chairman, Business Division, Clark College, Vancouver, WA.

“Every nation in the world has its own history and its own strengths and weaknesses. Since earliest times excellent things and rotten things have mingled together and accumulated over long periods. To sort them out and distinguish the essence from the dregs is a difficult task…Of course this does not mean that we do not need to learn from foreign countries. We must learn many things from foreign countries and master them…We learn foreign things because we want to study and develop Chinese things…We must not be like the Empress Dowager Tz’u-hsi who blindly rejected all foreign things. Blindly rejecting foreign things is like blindly worshipping them. Both are incorrect and harmful…In learning from foreign countries we must oppose both conservatism and dogmatism…To study foreign things does not mean importing everything, lock, stock and barrel…We must give our attention to the critical acceptance of foreign things, and especially to the introduction of things from the socialist world and from the progressive people of the capitalist world…”

(Chairman Mao Zedong, “Talk to Music Workers”, pp. 85-88, in Chairman Mao Talks to the People: Talks and Letters 1956-1971, Stuart Schram ed., Pantheon Books, N.Y. 1974)


The People’s Republic of China stands as one of the major political-economic powers and social formations in the world today; it ranks about sixth place in terms of most economic aggregates commonly used to rank-order different economies in size and influence in the global economy. For a nation that had been kept backward, fragmented, feudal and colonized by foreign imperial powers and internal contradictions until the People’s Revolution in 1949, and, for a nation that has been subject to imperial encirclement, threats of nuclear annihilation, destabilization campaigns and demonization and ostracization in the global economy for many years, with a large population of 1.4 billion people with myriad wants and needs awaiting fulfillment, the present level of development and standing of China is no small achievement And there is no doubt, in the opinions of many observers, that “socialist values and consciousness”, created and reinforced by the developing “social capital” of Chinese socialism, have constituted a significant and material force in those achievements—often against overwhelming odds and against technologically-sophisticated and vicious foreign forces bent on isolating, demonizing, destabilizing and sabotaging socialist construction in China.

Yet despite the tremendous advances made by the Chinese people, much work remains to be done and many wants and needs remain unfulfilled causing China to explore, at various periods of Chinese history, diverse approaches, models, instruments, measures and paths of growth and development. According to the 16th Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2002:

“We must be aware that China is in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so, for a long time to come. The well-off life we are leading is still at a low level; it is not all-inclusive and is very uneven. The principal contradiction in our society is still one between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and the backwardness of social production. Our productive forces, science, technology and education are still relatively backward, so there is a long way to go before we achieve industrialization and modernization.” 1

Since 1978, China has experienced the progressive widening of markets, market relationships and categories along with some changes in political, economic, cultural, legal and social institutions and superstructure necessary to facilitate widening and deepening market involvement in socialist construction. Some of these policies and initiatives have included: export-led growth; increasing reliance on long-term foreign direct investment (FDI both into and originating from China); increasing privatization; lowering of trade barriers; decentralization of planning; increased authority for (and responsibilities on) local governments; increasing integration into global networks of manufacturing, finance, trade; critical technology transfers; new forms of enterprise organization (e.g. Individual Family Contracts (IFCs) in agriculture, Township and Village Enterprises (TVEs), privatization and self-financing of state-owned enterprises(SOEs) and SBCs or share-based cooperatives); labor market reforms; currency exchange-rate stabilization; etc.

But the debates, inside and outside of China, have continued to rage: Does this emerging market socialism model represent simply a necessary—and necessarily hybrid—model that is based upon, and is addressing, the myriad real-world legacies, constraints, conditions and forces with which China has to deal, and that will, or can possibly, result in using markets and capitalism to build socialism in China?. Or, as some would argue, does this hybrid model represent the reverse of using socialism (real or nominal) to build and extend markets, market-based processes and wholesale capitalism thus subjectively or objectively sabotaging long-run conditions and prospects for ongoing socialist construction throughout China?

The Allure of Neo-Liberalism

The neo-liberal narrative, and the narrative of neoclassical economics upon which it is largely based, are quite alluring and seductive. Starting with some unproved—and largely metaphysical—“axioms and postulates that form a view of eternal and immutable “human nature”, basic economic—and even non-economic—outcomes are said to be the inevitable and predictable results of the unfolding or playing-out of human nature—on both the supply and demand sides of a given market—under “given” conditions, institutional arrangements and constraints; and the macro is said to be nothing more than the sum of the aggregated micro. What could be more natural and “efficient”, the neoclassicals argue, than a system (Capitalism) that, rather than trying to deny or suppress or change eternal and immutable “human nature”, instead, harnesses, celebrates and utilizes human propensities and instincts that form human nature in order to produce optimal social outcomes not even intended by the “Economic Man” (who is asserted to be atomistic, calculating, rational, selfish, competitive, egoistic, materialistic) “agent” who is owning, buying or selling only for himself/herself in accordance with his or her own “rational self-interest? It of course never occurs to the proponents of neo-liberalism and neoclassical economics (who have only recently got around to the concept of social capital) that maybe what they are observing is not some eternal and immutable “human nature”, but, rather, the social capital of capitalism doing one of the things it is supposed to do: creating and reinforcing the very “human nature” (and associated human values, behaviors and proclivities) that is necessary for the functioning, imperatives (e.g. mass consumption, markets, profits, market shares etc) and expanded reproduction of capitalism itself. These proponents also deny that these supposed eternal and immutable propensities and proclivities of “human nature”, operating on the micro levels of the economy, when aggregated to the macro levels, can, rather than producing optimal macro outcomes, instead, produce social chaos, instability, mass alienation, environmental degradation, hollowing-out of industrial bases, involuntary unemployment, lack of mass access to health care, loss of mass acceptance of the system, etc.

Here we have systems through which forces of supply and demand for various commodities interact—markets. They are often portrayed as rather technical, mechanical, impersonal and endogenously self-equilibrating (in response to “exogenous” shocks) sub-systems that are relatively value-free, requiring only supporting institutions of private property and a relatively business-friendly and non-interventionist state. Markets are said to represent the most superior (in terms of narrow and contrived definitions of “efficiency” and the greatest good for the greatest number) mechanisms (that stand opposed to the mechanisms of tradition and command) for posing and solving the classical “What”, “How” and “For Whom” questions faced by all societies at all levels.

The neo-liberal and neoclassical narratives operate like “String Theory” (“The Theory of Everything”) in Physics. Where the narratives and visions of Quantum Mechanics at the micro or particle level (focusing on micro chaos and only probabilities and no certainties) contradict the narratives and visions of General Relativity on the macro levels (focusing on general order, equilibrium, stability, symmetry and certainty) the claim is made that String Theory bridges and reconciles the two contradictory visions and narratives. The same claim is made by the neo-liberal and neoclassical theorists. When markets are allowed to do what markets do, when they are left relatively free and unfettered by over-regulation, when they are supported by “given” and “appropriate” politico-legal-cultural-social policies and institutions (superstructure or social capital), then, out of the potential chaos of greed/selfishness/profit/utility-driven interactions at the micro level, we get stability, equilibria, efficiency, growth, development, employment, incomes, global competitiveness, comparative-advantage-based trade, invention/innovation, etc on the macro level. The macro “order”, “stability” and “certainties” will supposedly follow from the potential chaos and “probabilities” at the micro level in the long-run; that is, if short-term adjustments and “sacrifices” can be accepted and handled by the masses and the state. The greatest good for the greatest number, consumer and producer “sovereignty”, efficiency, demand and supply reflecting revealed preferences of those with the most dollar votes, political as well as economic democracy and “rising tides lifting all boats” or the so-called “trickle-down effects” are but some of the promises of neo-liberalism and the neoclassical paradigm. As Edward Luttwak, put it:

‘At present, almost all elite Americans, with corporate chiefs and fashionable economists in the lead, are utterly convinced that they have discovered the winning formula for economic success—good for every country, rich or poor, good for all individuals willing and able to heed the message, and of course, good for elite Americans: PRIVATIZATION + DEREGULATION = TURBO-CAPITALISM = PROSPERITY’ 2

Markets, the neo-liberal and neoclassical proponents argue, are the ultimate in democratic institutions; even more democratic than de jure institutions such as legislatures, voting, elections, government etc. Consumers, looking to maximize total utility, with given incomes, expectations, information about prices and preferences cast their dollar votes while producers, driven by the imperatives to maximize and realize total profits, with given technologies, information about prices, and given resources respond to those with the most dollar votes; they act like ongoing public referenda according to this narrative. And then, markets do what market do:1) commodification; 2) price determination; 3) act as information systems (about conditions, trends and profit/utility opportunities); 4) resource allocation; 5) rationing; 6) clearing surpluses and shortages.

Supply and demand interact and prices are determined. Prices communicate information about market conditions, trends and possibilities and allow calculation/estimation of comparative profit or utility potentials by sellers and buyers in order for them, as “sovereign individuals”, to determine what is likely to maximize total profits or utility and thus What shall be produced or consumed. Prices of inputs and outputs, along with the imperatives to minimize total cost on the supply side, or maximize total utility on the demand side, then allow determination of “optimal” production and utility functions and thus “How” to produce or consume and the allocations of given resources. Further, prices and relative prices of commodities answer the “For Whom” question through rationing (those willing to pay the most are most likely to get the commodities being supplied) while the relative “incomes” of inputs (land, labor and capital) and supposedly based upon their relative marginal contributions to the value of total output, reflect and shape the distributions incomes and wealth among the owners and sellers of those inputs.

It is all a nice and neat narrative. In the neoclassical theory and narrative: all exchanges are “voluntary” and mutually beneficial to the participants otherwise they would not have occurred; causality is unidirectional with “ultimate” independent variables (e.g. tastes and incomes on the demand side and technology and input costs on the supply side) acting as “exogenous variables” that trigger endogenous and self-equilibrating responses in and through markets; the economy is thus propelled from equilibrium state (harmony and balance of contending interests) to equilibrium state in response to exogenous shocks and variables.

The determinants of those “exogenous independent variables” are not the subject of inquiry for the neoclassical/neo-liberals. They have little or nothing to say about the real-world of monopolies, oligopolies, engineered supply and demand magnitudes and elasticities (e.g. Enron), administered prices, imperialism, social systems engineering, ideologically-driven embargos, asymmetric information, asymmetric ownership, asymmetric powers in international organizations like the UN or WTO, asymmetric access to political influence and justice, etc. These real-world phenomena are never even discussed in their textbooks let alone seen as inexorable or likely outcomes of the systemic structures and survival imperatives of capitalism itself. If these phenomena are ever even recognized, they are dismissed as simple anomalies and exceptions not disturbing the overall narratives.

When the widening and deepening of markets, market relations and market institutions result in such crises as recurring and mounting unemployment, environmental degradation, wealth and income inequality, alienation among the youth, commodification of the “sacred”, inflation, loss of mass access to health care, increasing capital and labor migration, losses of traditional societies, budget and trade deficits, exchange-rate instability, etc, such outcomes are typically characterized by the neo-liberals and neoclassicals as either “growing pains” in countries like China3, or, in market-based economies, that have been “growing” for some time and in which some of the same crises are nonetheless evident, such crises are said to be the result of excessive government intervention and regulation, lack of appropriate and supporting politico-legal institutions (the subject of this symposium), imperfect information, non-market (government) corruption, trade protectionism, etc—not letting markets freely do what markets do.

Systemic Imperatives of Market-based Economies

Under market-based—capitalist—economies and processes, all entities, whether individuals, firms, organizations or even whole economies in global competition, are locked into certain fundamental and interrelated imperatives that shape what might be termed the “teleological logic” of capitalism. These fundamental survival-competitive imperatives also apply—in varying degrees—to socialist social formations when operating in global markets governed by capitalist institutions as well as to entities operating in and through markets within socialist social formations. These interrelated fundamental imperatives are:
1) Realization of Maximum Possible Total Profits;
2) Accumulation of Capital: Expanded Reproduction (Widening and Deepening) of the Capital Base and the Capital-Labor Relationship;
3) Maximization of Productivity and Enhanced “Efficiency”;
4) Effective Competition.

These competitive entities (individuals, groups, firms and whole national economies) must attempt to produce and actually realize maximum possible profits in order to have the retained earnings and/or creditworthiness as a necessary—but not sufficient—condition for continual expanded reproduction of their productive bases. These entities must continually attempt to reproduce and expand (widening and deepening) their productive bases and relations as a necessary—but not sufficient—condition of maximization of productivity and overall efficiency. These entities must attempt to maximize productivity and enhance overall efficiency as a necessary—but not sufficient—condition of effective competition (leading to expanded market share and power, name recognition, etc). And these competitive entities must attempt to effectively compete as a necessary—but not sufficient—condition of further production and realization of maximum possible total profits. Further, these fundamental imperatives of survival and effective competition create further derivative imperatives that shape the content, parameters and effects of human behavior as well as of “human nature” itself. For example, tactics such as outsourcing, union busting, not paying true costs of profits/benefits received and/or not receiving true profits/benefits for costs paid, or environmental degradation, flow from the imperative to minimize total costs (along with the greed and selfishness celebrated by the social capital of capitalism) that itself flows from the imperative to effectively compete that flows from the imperative to realize maximize possible total profits.

Different systems embody, create and reinforce different structures, contradictions, conditions and imperatives of survival within those structures and under conditions that in turn shape the content, frequency, effects and “permissibility” or taboos of human behavior. One of the purposes of social capital is to create, teach, reinforce, sanction, celebrate, legitimate or de-legitimate certain relationships, values, norms, customs, institutions, habits, myths, traditions, ideologies and paradigms in accordance with certain systemic imperatives among which is the imperative for expanded reproduction of the whole system itself. Sometimes, however, the types of habits, norms, values, paradigms and behaviors most necessary on the micro level, may, when aggregated, produce macro effects or contradictions opposite of those intended or predicted from behaviors on the micro levels.

From the perspective of the “profits-for-power-and-power-for-profits” and competitive imperatives of a typical businessperson or entity in a market-based/driven economy, the type of person/customer that would be ideal would likely possess the traits and proclivities of Homo Oeconomicus incarnate. This person would typically be: narcissistic; highly subject to fads and peer pressure; unable to delay gratification—wants it all and wants it now; predatory and calculating—for the next profit or utility opportunity; unable to assess real and long-term costs and benefits—caught-up in the illusory, the superficial and in the moment; a pleasure-obsessed conspicuous consumer— acquiring and expressing identity and “individuality” through consumption and types of commodities consumed; highly competitive; materialistic; acquisitive; rational—but only in the narrow and bounded sense; self-centered and self-absorbed; unwilling to sacrifice in the short-term for long-term goals or a transcendent causes; willing to go into debt to finance current conspicuous consumption; ultra-individualistic equating individualism with “individuality.”;etc.

This type of “Homo Oeconomicus”, celebrated by and the cornerstone of neoclassical economic theory, is, however, for most people, not the type of person one would like to have as a son or daughter-in law, friend, mother or father, husband or wife, brother or sister, member of a military unit in combat, voter, public servant, neighbor during a natural disaster or someone involved in or guiding socialist construction. Indeed, even within capitalist social formations, the requisite social capital of markets and capitalism, without which markets could not do what markets typically do—and that is necessary for the expanded reproduction of capitalism as a whole—involves potentially contradictory missions or purposes. On the one hand, the purpose of social capital in market-based societies is to teach, legitimate and reinforce those ideas, values, norms, habits, myths, traditions, behaviors, proclivities, institutions and productive and other relationships necessary for creating and expanding markets, profits, capital accumulation, etc—e.g. values and proclivities such as ultra-individualism, conspicuous consumerism, etc. On the other hand, the purpose of social capital also involves teaching, legitimating and reinforcing certain forms and levels of social awareness and concern, cohesion, cooperation, reciprocity, civic engagement, personal sacrifice for the nation, buying into the system, etc.

When markets are introduced and expanded within socialist social formations, the requisite social capital of markets becomes potentially not only internally contradictory with respect to expanded reproduction of markets and market-based processes, but also, such requisite social capital can—and will likely—become a destructive and sabotaging force against socialist construction and the expanded reproduction of socialist relations and institutions—even allowing for some varying and diverse definitions of what socialism is about and the positive effects of markets in terms of building productive forces rapidly.

The Evolving Concept of Social Capital

The term social capital was first coined in 1916 by L. Judson Hanifan4 to refer to social networks and institutions/norms of reciprocity (goodwill, fellowship, sympathy and social intercourse) associated with them. Hanifan, by his own admission, employed the term “capital” (anything that has been produced and used to produce—for profitable exchange—something else) to catch the eye--and patronage--of the business community. Hanifan suggested that these social networks and institutions could, on micro as well as macro levels, enhance productivity, competitiveness, employment and income creation, etc. in some of the same ways that physical capital and human capital can, also, produce the same effects.

Subsequent to Hanifan’s apparent coinage of the term social capital, the term and concept was reintroduced—and partly redefined—at least six times up to the present: 1) in the 1950s by sociologist John Seeley5 to refer to ‘memberships in clubs and associations’ that act just like negotiable securities in producing career advancement and tangible returns to individuals; 2) in the 1960s, by urban economist Jane Jacobs6 to refer to the collective value and effects of informal neighborhood ties and associations; 3) in the 1970s by economist Glenn Loury7 to refer to wider social ties lost by African Americans as one of the legacies of slavery; 4) in the 1980s by social theorist Pierre Bourdieu8 to refer to the actual or potential resources linked to durable networks of institutionalized relationships of mutual recognition and assistance; 5) in the mid-1980s by economist Ekkehart Schlicht9 to refer to the economic value and productivity-enhancing effects of organizations, moral order, cooperation and cohesion; 6) in the late 1980s by James Coleman10 to refer, as Hanifan had done, to the social arrangements, relationships and institutions creating and shaping the environment or social context of education.

The above-mentioned definitions of social capital are all closely related and narrow in their focus. They focus on immediate relationships—institutionalized or informal—and the networks, and norms of reciprocity that serve as tangible assets and have economic impacts not only on the micro level (personal career advancement, obtaining employment, political influence, personal safety etc) but also on the macro level in terms of enhancing productivity, reducing information and transactions costs, enhancing competitiveness, enhancing community safety and reducing crime, encouraging cooperation, limiting destructive forms and levels of competition etc.

A wider definition of social capital, one employed in this paper, is closely akin to the concept of Social Structures of Accumulation (SSA)11 which involves a complex of institutions (political, social and economic) and domestic and international relations supporting and legitimating the process of capital accumulation (which includes not only accumulation of wealth and physical/human capital but also expanded reproduction of fundamental and defining socio-economic-political relationships of the whole system itself. This is also close to the classical Marxist concept of “Superstructure”.

Even allowing for the more narrow definition of social capital employed by Putnam et al., recent studies reveal the steady erosion of social capital in the U.S. in the last thirty years. They have more or less consistently documented solid trends reflecting steady declines in various indices of: political and civic engagement (voting, contributions, electoral participation, signing petitions, writing polemics, working on political campaigns, running for political office); community involvement ( charitable work and donations, blood donations, religious participation, memberships in professional associations, clubs and societies). These studies have also documented steady increases in various indices of alienation and apathy among various age cohorts of the U.S. population (dinners outside the home, incidents of road rage, polling on social trust and trust in political figures, daily television viewing and percent of population using television as central form of entertainment, percent of population disobeying traffic signs and rules, polling on greed trumping community involvement among college freshmen, suicide rates in various age cohorts, percentage of population reporting frequent malaise—headaches, insomnia, indigestion—and percentage of population reporting overwork and multiple jobs as a matter of necessity rather than choice).

These trends in the U.S., revealing steady erosions of social capital with the ripening of U.S. capitalism, are highly correlated with other social outcomes: increases in child abuse; decreases in quality and effectiveness of educational institutions; increasing television watching and reduced effective literacy among children; increases in crime; decreases in health and perceptions of being healthy among the general population; decreases in perceptions of social-connectedness among the general population; increasing membership in dangerous cults like offering messiahs, instant gratification and easy answers to complex problems; increasing divorce rates; increasing tax evasion, anti-statism and distrust of politicians or political solutions to current problems; decreasing percentages of the population willing to trust or help fellow citizens who are strangers.

When the work of Putnam et al was extended to the international level, exploring similar data and trends in eight major capitalist societies (Australia, France, Spain, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Great Britain and the United States), in all cases, except Sweden, the trends in social-capital-erosion in countries other than the United States strongly paralleled (in timing and patterns of change) those of the United States.12 Also paralleling these trends, and consistent with the wider definition and socializing-ideological functions of social capital, in all of these countries, the central themes of culture (television, movies, literature, games, art, music, etc) are increasingly centered on and around promoting and celebrating narcissism, ultra-individualism, competition, ruthlessness, duplicity, pleasure maximization, instant gratification, materialism, luck, returns without sacrifice, predatory calculation and manipulation and other concepts and values definitely useful from the standpoint of mass consumption and profitability but also definitely inimical to socialist construction however one may define socialism.


China has come a long way in promoting levels and forms of human progress for the broad masses of people that were simply unknown in the China before 1949. This achievement is truly remarkable when one considers the legacies that were inherited along with the extent to which China has been subject to imperial aggression, isolation, ostracization, embargos, social systems engineering campaigns, demonization and even outright threats of nuclear annihilation—causing diversions of precious and scarce resources for defense instead of directly into development. The current problems that China faces simply cannot wait and the imperative to develop the productive forces as rapidly as possible to deal with the myriad issues, constraints, inequalities and crises faced by China should be evident to all but the most insulated and callous of observers and critics. Certainly socialism cannot be built and defended without the participation and allegiance of the broad masses of Chinese people who must, first of all, simply survive in order to participate in socialist construction.

On the other hand, socialism is not simply about building productive forces or dealing with the “What, How and For Whom” questions differently than they are dealt with under capitalism. Socialism is not an end-state but rather a long protracted process and it is also about teaching and reinforcing human values and relationships that are very different from—and stand in contradiction/opposition to—the types of values and relationships embodied in the social capital of capitalism and most conducive to the expanded reproduction of capitalism: greed, selfishness, ultra-individualism, competition, narcissism, instant-gratification, predation for profit/utility opportunities, inequalities of wealth and incomes, commodification of everything including the sacred, etc. As William Hinton summed it up:

“Socialism is after all not something given, something fixed. It is a process, a transition from one state to another…As such it bears within it many contradictions, many inequalities that cannot be done away with overnight or even in the course of several years or several decades…Yet as long as these inequalities exist they generate privilege, individualism, careerism, and bourgeois ideology. Without a conscious and protracted effort to combat these tendencies they can grow into an important social force. They can and do create new bourgeois individuals who gather as a new privileged elite and ultimately as a new exploiting class. Thus socialism can be peacefully transformed back into capitalism.”13

The basic values, institutions and relationships most conducive to the expanded reproduction of capitalism act as weeds in the garden of socialism threatening to choke off the new flowers in the emerging garden. That is precisely why the introduction and expansion of market and market-based institutions, values, relations and imperatives within the framework of a socialist social formation, which may be tactically necessary as was the case with the NEP in the Soviet Union, must be handled carefully and from a position of strength and willingness to sacrifice if necessary. This is especially the case when it is clear that the major capitalist power, the U.S., seeks hegemony in the global community of nations and regards itself as locked into a global war of conflicting systems and ideologies (Capitalism versus Socialism) in which it is prepared to use cultural, political, economic and military means—covertly or overtly—to ensure the victory of neo-liberal capitalism and its associated institutions, values and relationships on a global scale. As James Petras put it:

“U.S cultural imperialism has two major goals, one economic and the other political: to capture markets for its cultural commodities and to establish hegemony by shaping popular consciousness. The export of entertainment is one of the most important sources of capital accumulation and global profits displacing manufacturing exports. In the political sphere, cultural imperialism plays a major role in dissociating people from their cultural roots and traditions of solidarity, replacing them with media created needs which change with every publicity campaign. The political effect in to alienate people from traditional class and community bonds, atomizing and separating individuals from each other.” 14

No doubt that significant changes in institutions—political, legal, social, cultural and economic—will take place as markets and market institutions/relations/values are introduced more and more in China to help to handle domestic conditions and facilitate China’s increasing integration into a global economy organized on capitalist foundations and categories. The real challenges will be not to lose sight of the ultimate goals and necessity of socialism, to appreciate the roles and effects of social capital (along with physical and human capital—under socialism as well as under capitalism), to assess and appreciate the true costs (private plus social) and true benefits (private plus social) of markets, market relationships, values and institutions under socialist construction, and, not to wind up “bringing a tiger in through the back door to chase out the wolf at the front door.”


“Report of the 16th Congress of the Communist Party of China”, 2002 quoted in “Some Basics on China “(online edition) by D. Raja and He Yong, Political Affairs Net, at, p. 1

Edward Luttvak quoted in Frank, Thomas, One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism and the End of Economic Democracy, Anchor Books, N.Y. 2000, p. 17

“China’s Growing Pains” in The Economist, August 26, 2004

Hanifan, Lyda Judson, “The Rural School Community Center”, Annals of the American Academy of Political Science, 67 (1916): pp. 130-138. Note: An excellent overview of the development of the concept of social capital, for which I am indebted, can be found in: Putnam, Robert D. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Simon and Schuster, N.Y. 2000 and also in Putnam, Robert D (ed), Democracies in Flux: The Evolution of Social Capital in Contemporary Society, Oxford University Press, N.Y. 2002

Seeley, John R, Sim, Alexander and Loosley, Elizabeth; Crestwood Heights: A Study of the Culture of Suburban Life, Basic Books, N.Y. 1956

Jacobs, Jane, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Random House, N.Y. 1961

Loury, Glenn, “A Dynamic Theory of Racial Income Differences” in Women, Minorities and Employment Discrimination, Wallace, P.A. and LeMund, A (eds),
Lexington Books, Lexington Mass. 1977

Bourdieu, Pierre, “Forms of Capital” in Handbook of Theory and Research for The Sociology of Education Richardson, John (Ed), Greenwood Books, N.Y. 1983

Schlicht, Ekkehart, “Cognitive Dissonance in Economics” in Normengeleitetes Verhalten in den Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker and Humblot, Berlin, 1984

Coleman, James, “Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital” in American Journal of Sociology, 94 (1988)

see Diebolt, Claude, “Towards a New Social Structure of Accumulation” in
Historical and Social Research, Vol 27, No. 2/3 2002; also see Gordon, David M:
“Stages of Accumulation and Long Economic Cycles” in Hopkins, T and Wallerstein, I (eds) Processes of the World System, Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, 1980; Bowles, S “Social Institutions and Technical Change” in Di Matteo, M; Goodwin, R.M. and Vercelli, A. (eds) in Technological and Social Factors in Long-Term Fluctuations, Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1989; and Kotz, D.M; McDonnoug, T; Reich, M (eds) Social Structures of Accumulation , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1994

Putnam, Robert (ed) Democracies in Flux: The Evolution of Social Capital in
Contemporary Society, Oxford Univ. Press, N.Y. 2002

Hinton, William Turning Point in China, p. 20 quoted in Monthly Review , July
-August 2004, Vol. 56, No. 3 p. 128

14. Petras, James, “Cultural Imperialism in the Late Twentieth Century”, internet Ed

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Interview, WBAI, NY, 11-27-03

First Voices, WBAI, interview with Prof. James Craven, Economist at Clark College, 11/27/03, day of mourning (aka “Thanksgiving”). Contact info:; 360-992-2383;

Song by John Trudell: “Look at Us”

TIOKASIN-- And that is John Trudell on his original CD or original tape way back in the early1980’s That is called “Look at Us”. And, uh, if that didn’t wake you up, and some of you who think that, uh, myself and other people who you’ve heard here on this station, WBAI, haven’t heard enough; and if you think that we are ultra, ultra liberal, ultra left wing, I say to you that, as one native person I am neither left wing nor right wing. That is your business; that is your politics. And that game is a loosing game. I can say that.

So, uh, we will bring to you now Prof. James Craven, a Blackfoot. He is a professor and consultant of Economics and Business. He is the Division Chair of Clark College out in Vancouver, Washington. And I bring to you now Prof. James Craven, a Blackfoot warrior.

Good morning Prof. James or Jim, how are you doing?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Okay Tiokasin. Can you hear me okay?

TIOKASIN: I can hear you very well. Thank you for coming on this morning and joining us on this, uh, infamous day.

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Thank you for having me.

TIOKASIN: And, uh, you know, we’ve been quite a while since we’ve had you on –I think it was early spring or something, the last time you were here.


TIOKASIN: At that time you were working on-- First of all, how –let’s do this for the listeners out there: How do you view today?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: I—Today is a day of mourning for me and for all native people, and it should be for non-native people as well. There is an unbroken chain from the time that those Pilgrims came, right up to the present, of genocide against our people. And not only genocide against our people, but oppression of other people as well: poor people, poor white people, African American people, gay people, and so on. There’s a long chain of abuse that goes right back to the Pilgrims. And in fact, many of the so-called Pilgrims, with names like Phillips and Whitford and so on, not only went on to become the Plutocrats who formed the Republic --and who designed a constitution that only white propertied males could vote, and held slaves and wrote in their own declaration of Independence that we’re savages, basically to be exterminated--but those same creatures, or their descendants, are still to this very day in the highest echelons of government. They are in Skull & Bones, they are in the highest echelons of government, they’re in Homeland Security. And they’re doing the same things that their ancestors intended a long time ago. You know, the Pilgrims –everybody portrays the pilgrims as these poor persecuted people who came to America looking for freedom. Uh, in fact, the Pilgrims were persecutors. They were chased out of where they were because they were trying to ram their stuff down every body’s throat. And then when they wanted a Theocracy in England and Holland, dominated by them, and even the English couldn’t handle them. So they came here, not refugees from persecution, but seeking a more open field to do more persecution, and to create a kind of anal-retentive society that they wound up building. And so there’s a long, unbroken thread. So it’s a day of mourning. Uh, it should be. For native people to celebrate Thanksgiving is like for Jews and sensible non-Jews celebrating Hitler’s birthday. It’s an abomination.

TIOKASIN: Jim, I’m going to play uh, what I would call their, illusion of the Devil’s advocate here-


TIOKASIN: Is uh, you know, what happens when --you know, they call it a day of mourning-- what happens when we have these nay-sayers, who are also native people who say, “Well, you know, that’s fine Jim, but let’s move on, let’s get to business.” What would you say to that?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: It’s like telling a rape victim “Why don’t you just get over it?” You see, the problem is, you can’t move on as long as the past is embodied in the present and constrains the present. You know, for example, you know I’m an Economist, I teach Economics. Wealth begets wealth and poverty begets poverty. You see that for example when the original Pilgrims came, they immediately occupied positions of power from which it was relatively easy for them to gather more power and more wealth. And power begot wealth and wealth begot power. And so, the same inequalities and the abuses, and the same genocide and theft and deceit upon which this republic was founded, continue to this very, very day. And so we can’t get over it, because it ain’t over. It’s still going on. It’s in our face as we speak. You know the average life expectancies for reservation Indian males and females is 47 years old in the United States, it’s lower than Ghana. That’s as opposed to 71 and 73 years old for white males and females respectively. Um, the instances of Meningitis, tuberculosis, influenza—deadly influenza—uh, various, AIDS and other diseases, are 10, 15, 20, 30 times what the national rates are in the United States. And we don’t have a Bureau of Caucasian Affairs, we have a Bureau of Indian Affairs. And we don’t have a Caucasian Act, we have the Indian Act in Canada and the Indian Reorganization Act in the United States.

This country was founded upon theft, deceit, genocide, racism, white privilege, and that continues to this very day. We can’t get over what’s not over. And that’s my answer to that.

TIOKASIN: Uh, that- that’s uh… I’d like to add one more thing to that, Jim, the… day of infamy. Millions of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. And they gather to feast, and most are unaware of the true holiday, or the history of that holiday. And America’s schools have taught that the coming of the Pilgrims made everyone happy. In reality, it was the beginning of the longest war in the US –the extermination of the indigenous peoples. Thanksgiving Day was first proclaimed by governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637 to commemorate the massacre of 700 men, women and children who were celebrating their Annual Green Corn Dance in their own house. Gathered at this place, they were attacked by mercenaries –English and Dutch. The Pequots were ordered from the building. And as they came forth they were killed with guns, swards, cannons and torches. The rest were burned alive in the building. The very next day the Governor proclaimed a holiday and feast to –quote-“give thanks,”unquote-- for the massacre. For the next 100 years a governor would ordain a day to honor a bloody ‘thanking God the battle had been won.’ And that’s from two books: Where White Men Fear to Tread, by Russell Means, and Facing West: the Metaphysics of Indian Hating and Empire Building, by Harr Drinnan, 1990. And that’s another explanation for why a lot of Native people will just not celebrate, and not even eat tofu turkey. And that’s another reason for why not to celebrate Thanksgiving, because it’s just a day for Capitalism, as I see it.

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Yes. Ya, exactly. And it’s a cover-up day. And, you know, as I said before, if people only understood the thread, going back to 1619, 1620, up to the present day –including the same family names—the thread is unbroken. And if people could really see that, how history way back then is alive and well within the present. It’s shaping the present that we see. And, uh, for example, amongst us Blackfoot, we have a lawsuit right now going in Canada, where we’re basically putting the Canadian government on trial for genocide in their own courts.

TIOKASIN- Let’s talk about that, Jim, let's talk about how they are treating you in both countries. It seems like to me, from what I’ve been reading, that the United States will not pay attention to this case, but in Canada it seems to be a major, a major uh, thread in changing the history of how native people are treated in that country.


TIOKASIN: Could you give us a background on that?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Well, as you know, we—Blackfoot nation still survives to this very day, although they would try to deny that it exists. We still have our traditional government and our mechanisms for selecting our leadership; which, of course, have been the same ones we’ve used for thousands of years. And we are divided by the US-Canadian border. We have Blackfeet in Montana, in Browning, Montana. They’re called “Amskaapipiikani. And then we have three major Bands of Blackfoot in Canada: the Kanai, or the Blood Blackfoot; Apatohsipiikani, or what some call Northern “Pagan” Blackfoot –an ugly word; and then we have Siksika, which are Blackfoot at Gleichen in Alberta. And we’re a divided people. And, for example, in Canada, our people live on $229 a month Canadian. And yet, we’re mandated, -- we’re living on isolated, poor, desperate reserves in the middle of nowhere, with no facilities. Okay. If you get sick, there’s no health service available, there’s, there’s nothing. And you have to go to Lethbridge, for example. Well they mandate, also, insurance. We pay sometimes $1,000 a year to drive off [the reservation] –if we got caught without insurance, our vehicles are impounded, and before we even get to court our vehicles are sold. So before even being charged and convicted our vehicles are impounded and sold. And we argue that this constitutes one form of Genocide. Okay. It’s called deliberately inflicting upon people conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in whole or in part. It’s Article 2C of the UN Convention on Genocide –Article 2. And we’re arguing in court in fact that Canada has violated all five specific, uh, tests of genocide given in Article 2. And the same with the United States. The United States didn’t even sign the 1948 Genocide Convention until 1988 –forty years after; and is still not in compliance with it. So, we have nowhere to go; we have no weapons except the truth and the courage to tell it. And so what we’re doing is we’re simply --we’re resisting the only way we know how. And that is to continually try to tell the truth to anyone who will listen and refuse to obey their laws. An Indian who obeys the Indian Act in Canada, or the Indian Reorganization Act in the United States is like a Jew who obeys the 1935 Nuremberg Race Laws—they’re aiding and abetting their own extermination and that of their own people. And since Canada became a signatory to the UN Convention of Genocide in 1953, um, and Canada has a supremacy clause as the United States does in the Constitution, therefore, it becomes the supreme law of the land. And we’re arguing that this Canadian government is violating the supreme law of Canada, and that native people have an absolute duty to refuse to sign on to, or participate in, any form of registration or Indian Act or so-called “special treatment” that we natives get. And so, what we’re doing, we’re having a court case. We’ve already been in court several times. We’ve been subjected to all sorts of misconduct –playing games with Discovery, all sorts of other things—and now we’re going back to court on January 23 and 24. And we’re going to make the case that not only will we not obey the Indian Act, we can’t. If we do we’re aiding and abetting our own extermination, and that of our own people. We have an affirmative duty. And that we’re actually paradoxically upholding Canadian law. And of course we’re also asserting the existence of sovereignty of the Blackfoot nation and our own traditional governments. Because we regard the tribal councils that are set up by the Department of Indian Affairs in Canada and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the United States, we regard those councils as, basically, uh, traitors. That doesn’t mean that everybody who sits on them is a traitor. But, they are set up sort of like the Vichy Government was set up by the Nazi’s in occupied France. They’re set up as puppet governments to keep us down and eventually to exterminate us. And that’s what our case is about there. And we’ve got a lot of support from different nations in Canada and the United States. And this is one form of resistance that we’re doing. And we’re not going to stop. We’re just going to keep going until the last one of us is left.

There’s only 35,000 Blackfoot left, probably. And our land base is 2.6 million acres. It’s bigger than Israel and Palestine put together. And they want it cause our land has oil and gas and, um, pristine water and other things. And so this genocide goes back even before the Pilgrims, but especially with the Pilgrims. It’s an ongoing thing. And there are other forms of disrespect to which we’re subject. For example, one of the things that people should understand is the early Pilgrims who came here, who formed the Plutocratic families, who became the leadership and the “founders” of the Republic, then went on to become the richest families in America. Their descendants, for example, many of their descendants went into organizations like Skull& Bones, which is an extremely treacherous, evil kind of society. And to this day they’re, for example, holding the skull and artifacts and remains of Geronimo illegally in that tomb. This is the kind of arrogance and contempt they demonstrate. But one of the things that people don’t know is, one of the reasons that they got into the whole skull business, is these same individuals, the descendants of the Pilgrims, uh, members of Skull & Bones, were instrumental in the Eugenics movement in the United States, which passed sterilization laws in 37 states defining native people as feeble minded –as inherently feeble-minded and thus subject to sterilization. And according to Ward Churchill in his book Fantasies of the Master Race, by 1977 almost 40% of native women had been sterilized. And so they formed these eugenics societies which continue to this very day; the Pioneer Fund, and so on, who would claim that Indians had different types of skulls and different sized skulls. And so they would go around for example in the early 1800’s and later decapitating Indian bodies and sending the skulls back to Washington DC for examination to “prove” their so-called racial theories of what they called “skull science”.

So this thread continues from the Pilgrims, from the founding of the Republic on slavery, theft and deceit, all the way through the 1800’s, the formation of the Skull & Bones and other such societies, the Pilgrim Society, later the council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Ford Foundation. All of these are different fronts that they are using to this very day for eugenics, for population control of non-white people, and for all of their racist theories. And so there’s an on-going thread. If I could, Tiokasin, I just wanted to read –this is not a new story I’m giving. For example, from the Louisville Courier Journal, okay, magazine section Sunday, October 8, 1989: “Bonesman’s Bond” and the subtitle reads: “President’s, Poets, Pundants and Pinkos, have sworn allegiance to Skull & Bones, Yale’s rich and powerful secret society and the most exclusive college club of all. So what’s all this Nazi stuff doing in the club house?” And they know that inside “there they have a Nazi shrine in one room on the second floor with a bunch of swastikas and a kind of, uh, SS Macho iconography.” And here, from the New Haven Advocate, October 19, 1989: “Bone of Contention: Skull Duggery at Yale”:
It’s an extraordinary story. Skull & Bones temple at Yale is illegally holding the skull of Apache Chief Geronimo, stolen from the grave by Senator Prescott Bush, father of President Bush, and other Bonesmen. The Apaches want the skull back. Under Connecticut law, section 53-334, Offenses Against Public Policy, and title 45-253 of the State Probate Law, the holding of human remains is illegal. New Haven lawyers, according to Altman, are reluctant to sue or press for criminal or civil complaint because of the power of Skull & Bones. To which we say, wait a minute, this isn’t Russia. The local prosecutor has a duty to prosecute if the evidence is credible. After all, we live under the rule of law and that includes presidents. Mr. Bush is accessory to criminal offense, apparently compounded by Satanism. He has to be brought to the bar of justice. “

And it goes on. It says: “other news sources please copy.” This goes back to 1989. Holding native remains and using them for satanic rituals that they routinely engage in goes on in Skull and Bones. This is the kind of arrogance of these creatures. That… —they would never do this to some other groups of people. And so there’s an unbroken thread of arrogance, of genocide, of racism, of attempts to exterminate native people. And it continues to this very day. Mr. Bush just appointed five Bonesman to the US government including Mr. Donaldson, the head of the SEC. Members of this secret, satanic, very sick and twisted society. By the way I might add that these people, Bonesmen, for example, including Prescott Bush and George Herbert Walker were principle financers of Hitler from 1924 onward. They were also involved in a 1934 plot to overthrow FDR and set up a fascist dictatorship in the United States. That plot was, was uncovered by Major General Butler, Smedley Darlington Butler, twice won the Medal of Honor. They were trying to recruit him to be, uh, the general to lead veterans, to create a veterans army that would help to take over the US government. Then they went on. Prescott Bush was found guilty of selling Nazi securities after Pearl Harbor. Investing Order 248, issued in November 17, 1942, the Union Banking Corporation run by Bush and Walker was –the assets were seized for trading with the enemy during war time. Then they went on from there, uh, the Bush family had a plant, along with Fritz Tyson, at Auschwitz, that used slave labor in Auschwitz to build a plant that profited directly from slave labor in Auschwitz that formed the core of the Bush money that helped to get that present preppy moron, uh, help him steal the white House. So when we look, we find the thread going back from the Pilgrims, to the founding of the Republic, to the founding of the secret societies like the Skull & Bones and others, through the eugenics movements of the 1920’s, and through the same people financing Hitler. And I might add, by the way, that Hitler himself, from his own mouth, said that the American eugenics movement, along with what was done to native people –he used to read “Wild West” novels of Karl May, —Hitler said that was his inspiration for the possibility of genocide, for the possible methods of genocide, and how to cover up genocide. From Hitler’s own mouth, he said that the American and Canadian experience was his inspiration for what to do with Jews and non-Jews, what they called “untermenschen”, and, uh, in German they called “lebensuwertes leben or “life worthy of life”. This is the same thing; we’re the Canary in the mine. What’s been done to native people has also been done to other people, but done more intensely to us. But the same creatures and their descendants –going back to the Pilgrims, to this very, very day, with the Preppy occupying the White House that he managed to steal--um, this is the same thread. And so we can’t get over what ain’t over. It ain’t over. It’s still going on.

TIOKASIN: When you said it ain’t over, it’s still going on , is uh, part of the mind set of Americans –every day average Americans who all say: “Well Jim, that kind of like, you know, prove it… Let’s --let’s get on with life, let’s –look, we’re the greatest country, the greatest democracy we, you know, that was then, and uh, if we keep voting, if we keep doing this thing called Democracy, then it’s going to get better.…” What do you say to people like that who are looking for a way out?

Prof.. JAMES CRAVEN: Well, first of all, a Democracy --well of course we’re not even a Democracy. In Constitutional terms we’re set up as a Federal Republic. But, you see, the problem is, even if you had –Democracy—it means not only voting from a given menu, it means having some real say in who’s on the menu in the first place. Look what we got in the last election. Both Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore were literally declared front runners before they’d even run in one primary. The menu had already been rigged by the backroom boys with the big money. And we choose between Tweedledee and Tweedledumb and dumber. We have no input whatsoever on what’s on the menu in the first place, that’s number one. Number two: even if we were to get someone of our choosing that would actually be respectful of, you know, some basic principles of Democracy that we lecture the rest of the world about, then there’s the whole system. The problem is getting in in the first place, and then, once you’re in, what do you do once you’re in? Because now you’ve got a Congress, again selected by the big money boys, in some cases they are the big money boys themselves. Um, then you’ve got a whole bureaucracy, where you’ve got all the –again- the big money boys are planting their minions in them, as Bush did with the Bonesmen, so on. And then there’s the problem of information. To have a democracy you need a free and open flow of information, and the right for all different ideas to contend. We have no such thing now. You know, our media here, are largely whores--on-their-knees-whores. They know what questions not to ask. It’s not a conspiracy that way. They all know the limits. Imagine any journalist who asks Mr. Bush certain questions, like, for example: “Could you pass –you know--could you pass the same security check that other people under you have had to pass? You know, would they [those under Bush] be allowed to say--on the dope question—‘Well, I‘m not gonna say yes and I’m not gonna say no. Let’s just say I had a wayward youth.”; that journalist who posed that type of question would be finished. See, so, we’ve got another problem that way. And then there’s the system itself and how and for whom the system works. Capitalism. Although it does sometimes a great job in terms of developing material forces of production and so on, Capitalism favors the few over the many. Because wealth of the few can very easily turn into more wealth. Even if you’re stupid, and you don’t know much, you can always get somebody else to turn your wealth into more wealth. Whereas if you’re poor, you’re trapped in poverty and getting out of poverty is almost impossible, especially under this system. It happens, but they’re rare occasions. So we also have a system where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And the rich can use their wealth to buy political power and then use political power to get laws in their favor that give them more wealth. And that’s the Medici family that used to run Italy, they had a slogan which was “Money to acquire power, power to protect money.” That was the slogan, and that should be the slogan of the Bush family, and the Rockefellers and the rest of them. So, there’s the illusion of freedom, but if you really start asking some tough questions, then, watch what happens. So when you watch the talking heads on the news shows, nobody has to tell them what questions not to ask. They know what questions not to ask. Because they know if they dare ask them, that a) they won’t be called on again. And that means b) they don’t get the scoop. Without the scoop they don’t get c) exposure; and without exposure they don’t become a d)name; and without becoming a name they don’t get more access. That’s what journalists do. Access brings the scoop, scoop brings exposure, exposure makes them a name like Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw. And having a name gives them more access. But they only continue to get the access as long as they do a Faustian deal and agree not to ask certain nasty questions. They let Bush get away with stuff all the time. And they’ve done that in the past with Clinton and the rest of them. So we can’t rely on the mainstream media. What we have to do is educate ourselves, check our sources very carefully, have an open mind. If we make mistakes, be honest, don’t do what they do and cover it up. We make a mistake, be honest about it, say “ya, we goofed up, we thought this was true, but, but it turns out it wasn’t.” And then try to reach as many people as we can. But the whole voting scam, I mean the one thing about this last election is --this wasn’t the first one that was stolen. This was –there’ve been-- many elections in the American history were stolen, literally stolen. Where, where the people that were selected were not the ones elected. It’s nothing –John Kennedy;’s case may have been another case; it was very close. But we know other cases where, uh, the Tilden case, and so on. And so, the game is rigged. You’ve got to understand that right now. And, choosing –you know, we don’t even have the lesser of evils anymore, we’ve got the evil of lessers. And so the answer is not in the people playing the electoral game. I mean I’m all for getting Bush out, because I believe that we’re on our way to full-blown fascism in this country. I believe that 9-11 is for Bush what the Reichstag Fire was for Hitler. It is a pretext. Okay. Now that’s no disrespect to the tragedy or to the victims. But the fact is, 9-11 was foreseen and foreseeable. Uh, and the fact is also that all over the world, many more people who died in the world trade center are dying every day from conditions this country -and regimes- this country has helped to set up and helped to survive—have helped to perpetuate.

TIOKASIN: And that’s our experience as indigenous people here in this country. And uh, I- I, my ears are ringing, and, uh, there’s a lot of people out there who, simply will not, I would say, uh, bend their ear a little bit to what we as indigenous people are saying, because ‘that can’t be true with America, that’s can’t be true with us, why don’t you Indians just get with it, why don’t you just pull yourselves up by your boot straps and get with the program’. Uh, but before we do that, Jim, I want to say that you are listening to WBAI –I totally forgot about this ID that we’re supposed to do. WBAI, New York, 99.5. And we are talking with Prof. James Craven out of Clark College, Vancouver Washington, and his is a professor of Economics, consultant of Business and a Division Chair at that College. And so what we have here is a case of um, not listening to the experience we have had as native people. Because after 9-11 no one came to native people to ask: “What is your experience with this type?” Because we’ve had terrorism on this country for, you know, for many centuries. From the beginning--it was the onset of the Eurocentric mind. And, uh, we in our own quarters, so to speak, is that we have also the same type of mindset of the sellouts. We have the spiritual sell-outs. We have the ones who just basically don’t want to be native. There’s the ones who have become ‘American Indians’ –America’s Indian, so-to speak, you know what I mean?


TIOKASIN: And uh, right now there are native people out there listening. They consider themselves “Native Americans.” And I know this is a word of contention here when I say “America” –and I say “Ame” which is the root word or etymology of “Amour,” which is a Spanish word meaning “the love of,” and Rica, which means riches. So we’ve got “Amer-Rica.” And, and when you become an “American,” you become “one who loves riches.” And that’s just the opposite end of a native person. “Native America” is an oxymoron and it should not even be said in the same breath.

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: I don’t, I refuse to use it.

TIOKASIN: Hmm. Why is that?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: First of all, it implies that the more further back in the American history, or occupation on Turtle Island that your anscestors go, the more real American you are. It’s a form of nativism. Most Indian people that I know don’t believe that. Okay. The second reason is that we weren’t even American citizens until 1924. And nobody asked us if we wanted to be. The United States declared American Indians American citizens in 1924, --uh, Canadians in ’63—and the central purpose of that was to make them national minorities so that they wouldn’t be covered under international law dealing with genocide and so on. Cause see the United States was planning to put the Germans and Turks on trial for war crimes during World War One, and somebody said, well just a minute, what you guys have done to Indians and African Americans is every bit as bad as what the Germans and Turks did, you’re gonna get put on trial yourself. And so the answer was, in 1924, was to summarily declare Indians American citizens without their consent so that they would be removed –they thought anyway—from the protections of international law. That’s the second reason. The third reason is, which America? Where is there a place, you know, for Indian people in America? You see. What, I mean, America has never been a place for Indians. Even the founding documents of the United States refer to Indians as savages. Uh, Thomas Jefferson, that rapist and that hypocrite, in letters, in a letter to, uh, William Henry Harrison, February 24th, 1803, said that his, his policy would be to forcibly … extirpate –either assimilate or extirpate—these savages. The, the small pox infections were celebrated by the Pilgrims as God’s wrath against the savages --as a good thing that would prevent their births in the future … So, from the founding of the Republic to the very present day, there is no place in America for Indian people. And they still to this day do to Indian people what they wouldn’t dare do to any other group of people. Uh, we don’t have a Bureau of Caucasian Affairs; we don’t have a Caucasian Act. We, you know, we don’t have a football team called the Washington White Trash or the New York Niggers. Because they wouldn’t dare do something like that. But the Washington Redskins? No problem. So we get to see, you know, an ugly, disgusting word. If people only knew the origins of that word. You know, sometime play Reverend Goat Carsons’ song the “Red Skins” for the audience, so they can see where that name really came from. It’s like calling an alligator a purse. Like having a team called the Auschwitz lampshades. Because that’s where it came from, when Indians were skinned for trophies, which European tourists called Redskins. Breasts were turned into tobacco pouches. Testicles were turned into tobacco pouches. Women’s vaginas were turned into hat bands. That’s where the term came from. So, what, what America is there exactly? You know, what –so that’s another reason why I absolutely refuse that term. And I even, the term Indian I sometimes have a hard time with, but I use it generically. But when people ask me for example oh are you Indian, I say “I’m Blackfoot. I’m from a separate nation of people with our own laws and our own traditions and our own ways.” You see. And that’s another thing,we still have, to this day, by any test of international law, these are native nations, Indian nations. By any test. And what we need to do is we need to take it back. We need to assert our nationhood.

TIOKASIN: That’s right.

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Cause the same criteria, the same international law that allows the United states to say “we’re a nation,” or Canada to say “this is a nation,” the same ones say there is a Lakota Nation, there’s a Blackfoot Nation, there’s a Makaw Nation. Some of them are almost on the verge of, of total extermination. But, that’s one of the reasons --I, I’m a traditionalist. And some people say to me: “Well, you wanna go back 200 years.” No, no. If we go to our traditional ways we’re 200 years ahead of where the white man is now. Because, in our traditional ways we didn’t throw away our elders. We, our children didn’t disrespect elders. We didn’t have AIDS and all sorts of stuff. We didn’t’ have alcoholism and drug addiction. We didn’t have any of these things in our traditional ways. So when people say “you wanna go back 200 years,” I say, “No, no, our traditional ways are 200 years ahead of where America is today.”

TIOKASIN: Jim Craven, we are, we are –time has flown here this morning. 10:55 here on WBAI. And, uh, I’m must gonna throw in a word there, uh. Lately we’ve been seeing a lot about the word “Indian --NDN” the letters N-D-N. And I, my acronym for that is “natives defending nature” or you could say “natives defending natives.” So I am in that sense, if you call me an Indian, I’m going to understand it as NDN.

Prof.. JAMES CRAVEN: Right.

TIOKASIN: And, and that’s the new way of going through Native America’s NDN –N-D-N. And, um, is there any last words here –we have to leave here soon and any last words, any thoughts that you would like to loan to the people or lend to the people out there?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Well, just please remember what this day really means. And please remember that we are all linked together in bonds of common humanity. And where there’s oppression, there’s going to be resistance, and where there’s oppression, oppression is everyone’s business –not just native, you know, NDN people’s, but it’s everybody’s business. And also, I would urge people, that coming up there will be demonstrations. I will be coming out for them. We are going to organize demonstrations against Skull & Bones, right outside there, their sick twisted tomb at Yale, and I would urge people to keep their eyes open on the internet and so on, and to join us at New Haven to demonstrate against the Skull & Bones and to demand the return of, of Geronimo’s remains and all other native artifacts that are being held illegally by the Skull & Bones. And, and it’s not just a matter of artifacts, because this shows, you know, these guys are at the highest levels of power in the American government, this shows their racism and their arrogance. It should be of concern to everybody that, at the highest level of the American government we have members of a secret, sick, twisted satanic cult helping to run this country. And, so I hope that people will keep their eyes open and will join us in New Haven to demonstrate, and to make the connection between the Pilgrims, 1619, and America 2003. Because the genocide continues and the descendants of the original genocidal maniacs are still doing genocide, still doing eugenics and racism, still occupying positions of power, and they need to be removed. And they need to be exposed.

TIOKASIN: Ya, James do you have –well first of all I want to say Kudos to that because there will be, I am predicting, if not thousands of people showing up in New Haven for that. Because that’s the root of everything that’s happening here. It’s not Wall Street. It could be the secondary thing is Wall Street, but it starts there, in uh, New Haven. And that is, uh, a spiritual front that hasn’t been contended with and we as native people are very qualified to take that on.

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Exactly right.

TIOKASIN: Is there any contact like maybe a website or an email that you would like to give out?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Well people could write me at, and just write me on the internet if you have it, If you don’t you can call area code: 360-992-2283. And again, it’s not only for Indian people. But we ask non-Indian people to please join us, because we’re the Canary in the mine. Today it’s us, tomorrow it’s you. It’s everyone’s business. And it’s not just as simple…. And I believe we’re on our way to full blown fascism in this country and I think we have out last chance to stand up and expose it. This is one of many contributions along these lines. But we also consider the remains of that great warrior Geronimo being held like this an absolute desecration and insult to all Indian people, and this is everybody’s business.

TIOKASIN gives numbers again, and notes that listeners can also email

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN urges all to get book: Fleshing out Skull and Bones: Investigations into America’s Most Powerful Secret Society, edited by Chris Millegan.

TIOKASIN thanks guest…