Armenian Libertarian-Socialist Movement

Global, Caucasian and Armenian politics in anarchist perspective

The War behind the War… and economies like Armenia in between

Posted by kronstadt on March 8, 2007

(I took this video from one of my favourite blogs in Armenian blogosphere: What Democracy Means

What is this “Long-War” all about??? Afghanistan first, then Iraq and now Rupert Murdock and the Imperialists have unleashed their propaganda/media campaigns against our neighboring Iran.  Are these invasions by the terrorist superpower about nuclear power? Islamic fundamentalism? Dictatorships? weapons of mass destruction? Terrorism? human rights violations against the Kurds and other minorities? Or are they about something much more basic – OIL?!?  So what does this mean in global context and what does it mean for ordinary people in Armenia?

Iraq’s oil supply is estimated at 133 billion barrels!!! Now multiply that by an average current price of $60/barrel.  That’s a total or $8 Trillion.   Now subtract minor costs of fighting the war (which also helps the military industries), the costs of media propaganda and PR, the annual overheads of maintaining the puppet government in Iraq, the costs of riot police to silence the domestic resistance – peanuts, pocket change compare to $8 Trillion.  Oh yeah, and also there’s that human cost of American soldiers dying, but that’s not a problem because they are all very nationalistic and they think that they are dying for their country.  As for the 650,000 Iraqi’s dead… aam, well… they were “liberated”.      Then, run a cost-benefit analysis.  Which rational businessman would resist this???  

Iran’s oil resources are estimated as 132 billion barrels (2004) – another 10% of world oil reserves.

20 years ago neither the environment, nor the natural resources were a question.  These fat-cats thought that they could pollute all they want, and that the oil resources are infinite.  Now they are counting every drop of oil and they are fighting fiercely over every drop of oil !!!   

Marx spoke of these “future” wars. He said that the time will come when the world resources will be so scarce that the military superpowers will be fighting wars over them. At the time rationalists and neo-classical economists laughed at Marx’s prophecy. Marx argued that this future period of wars over resources will be also the period when the internal contradictions of every society will come to surface (just look at the current ever-growing discontent about Oligarchy and poverty in Armenia) and there will no longer be possible to hide (because Capitalism develops efficient information channels, which ordinary people can eventually gain access to — Internet?). It is in this period and not before, Marx argued, that the conditions will be mature enough for the Revolution to become possible and unfold itself.  Anarchists agreed with this theoretical perspective, while Lenin disagreed. Lenin believed that it is possible to jump-start a revolution prematurely even in a country which is agrarian and has no developed worker-organization culture; and impose communism through 1 party control.

So, lets’ look at the world today. World economy and especially American economy is addicted to oil. Without it economic growth is not possible. Without a cheap oil supply producing internationally competitive goods is not possible.

Communism was a process that helped Russia and China and former Soviet countries to organize themselves in such a way that their productive forces would be utilized in the matter that helps the country as a whole grow at a comparatively much faster way then the capitalist economies, where the profits of the entrepreneur (and not the benefits of the community) are the purpose of production. And so, if China and Russia as well as countries like Armenia were nothing but backward agrarian countries, in a relatively short period of time they managed to develop a progressive and an internationally competitive industrial sectors.

Capitalists hated this – because in the long-run that meant that unless communist mode of production would stop, the communist industries would drive the Capitalists out of the international markets and out of the business.  By 1960s this was more then clear.

It didn’t appear so on the surface and it was indeed a very repressive regime, but Communism, in my opinion, was a positive stage in the development of industries, culture, arts and especially Science in Armenia — without Communism (if we would not have been conquered by Turkey), we would not be able to progress in so many faculties and at such a fast pace — we would be just as poor and industrially, socially and scientifically underdeveloped as Afghanistan or the Kurdish regions in eastern Turkey (Kurdistan), or the Azeri regions in northern Iran.

After Communism’s collapse, all these countries like China and Russia inherited the industries and the industrious culture of the communist era.  It is precisely because of this that China is growing at such an extraordinary rate. And it needs oil to keep growing (china was already getting into favorable oil-deals with Saddam). If it kept growing at such a rate, then in 5 years time it would be China and not the USA who will be number 1 economy in the world!!! Are you catching my drift??? From American perspective IT’S A FIGHT TO THE DEATH! and they are very serious about it!

They have temporarily slowed China down, driving the world oil prices sharply up to $74/barrel. But then Comrade Hugo Chavez and that “Nutter” Ahmadinejad from Iran step in and say “We’ll supply oil to China”. America can’t afford to see China become number 1 economy in the world.  They definitely don’t want to see Russia getting back on its feet and regaining its industrial power. 

And they definitely don’t want to see former soviet economies like Armenia to utilize their industries inherited from the Soviet era (because that would empower the people and the workers and you know where that leads, right?…) — so the Imperialists do everything to debilitate these economies (like Armenian economy) and make them dependent on foreign Capital flows: they open all kinds of NGOs and small offices which do small insignificant and meaningless work, while nothing new of a real value is being produced.  At the same time they send in these “Experts” (who call themselves “economists” and “political theorists”) who educate the new generation (and the future middle-class) to a widely contested neo-liberalist perspective and analysis of Armenian economy without any account of International Political Economy (IPE).  This is the imperial domination through modes of knowledge! 

The same thing happened in Russia on a larger scale – the industries there are debilitated, while the growth is simulated by the re-nationalized, re-Putinized petro-dollars.  And the Imperialists are interested to see the same economic industrial debilitation in smaller economies like Armenia – they call it IMF’s “Structural Adjustment Programs”, which our government gladly accepted word-for-word.  Ultimately, it is not Roberto, Serjio and Gago who is behind the whole scheme of things – these 3 are just small-potatoes, small-time hustlers, little businessmen who are just backed by bigger fish who want to see the industrial potential of the economy to be crushed and replaced by an economic dependency on global capital flows.  These are the same Imperialst forces that want to see the worker’s culture for self-organization and self-control of their production crushed, annihilated and replaced by totally privatized economy and cheap labor subsisting on the brinks of poverty and wage-slavery.

Here, read this.

It’s a fight to the death on a global scale! And Armenia is right in the middle of it. Ultimately it is up to us to take our autonomy and industrial power into people’s control.

But history is of our (people’s) making!  We must start to organize, spread the information to the lowest strata of Armenian society and help the workers and peasants to organize themselves and take control over their own production.  Given the immediacy of their poverty, in many communities it could mean a difference between life and death — it could mean the only chance for survival. 

We are not communists, so we don’t like re-Nationalization of the means of production.  Instead, we advocate Collectivization of the industries and agrarian production by autonomous self-governing councils, cooperatives and syndicates consisting of the people who directly work in these particular industries or collective farms.

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5 Responses to “The War behind the War… and economies like Armenia in between”

  1. Observer said

    cheers! 🙂

  2. Observer said

    Iran accuses West of misinforming world on its nuclear intentions

    VIENNA, Austria — Iran accused the United States and its allies Wednesday of misinforming the world about its nuclear intentions, saying they cooked up “poisonous food” and served it to the UN Security Council to force it to act against Tehran.

  3. Observer said

    you know that it will be difficult – i mean even the remote notion of “Collectivization” will get everyone shouting at you… however, I have very good reasons to believe, that you are actually quite right on that…

    have been re-reading joseph stiglitz recently: what an exposing view on the global realities, global capitalism, etc… i guess i’m soon going to have to translate some stuff from this book into Armenian and make a youtube channel – exposing important truth’s about IMF policies, foreign investments and AMD floating rate… i wish i had a better economic education: would be immensely helpful in creating such a channel…

    so anyway – i’ll let you know when i do get something like that started – and maybe you can help with advice and economic know-how?

  4. kronstadt said

    Observer, I think this is a very VERY good idea – a YouTube channel (or googleVideo or any other channel) channel that would show an alternative view from the state controlled information. I mean they can take away the license from A1+, but they can’t take away the license from YouTube. When I saw Blogian’s video, I thought “wow, simple, short, to the point and better then having to write long long paragraphs of text” — more videos like that should be produced.

    How many people in Armenia will be able to view them? It’s another way of asking how many people in Armenia have broadband? It would be viewed by the middle-class, which is already important.

    Another importance of such a channel is that given the dual citizenship, the Diaspora (which is more internet-connected) is going to play an increasingly significant role in Armenian political life.

    In terms of knowledge of economics, macro-economics and international economics… sure, I can help (I studied Economics for 7 years, but that was a long while ago and that’s not my main specialisation). What you need is a basic knowledge of the science that is called International Political Economy (IPE) and it’s quite easy and anybody can understand it (if he wants to). Some of the noteworthy scholars here are Immanuel Wallerstein, Charles Tilly, Susasn Strange, Theda Skocpol and others. And there are loads of internet resources for basic and even advanced self-education in IPE.

    Once again the cool Wikipedia provides a good general starting point http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_political_economy

    But if you’ve read Stiglitz, then you are already pretty familiar with the general picture.

    And you can also download Antonio Negri’s & Michael Hardt’s famous book EMPIRE from this website here: http://www.angelfire.com/cantina/negri/
    Some cool dude scanned the pages and made a PDF out of the entire book. Many people regard this book as the “communist manifesto of 21st century”, but I don’t think it’s “communist” in strictest terms — and Antonio Negri who wrote the book from prison in Italy and Michael Hardt, who is a professor at Harvard are definitely not a communist… they are “something else” 🙂

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