Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 13th, 2010

  • Poor States: Can globalization function for them?
  • “The Orientalist” by Tom Reiss
  • Levant Union States?
  • Sobering up consumerism?
  • Part two. Spreading myths: Hezbollah?
  • My money smells
  • “Obssession for men”, “Air du temps”, jaguar, leopard, virgin men
  • Hannibal: All time gentleman soldier?
  • Justice and myths: Pre-Islam Arab cultures
  • How Globalization can function adequately for the poorer countries? 

                Globalization is functioning according unilateral “rules of the games” in international institutions. Joseph Stieglitz, Nobel Prize for economics, had written a book in 2002 “The great disillusion” where he critiques the function and ideology of the international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization.  I have already published reviews in two parts of the book.

     This post focuses on Stiglitz’s recommendations for the international institutions (supposed to be public institutions) to reform in order to give a chance for Globalization to effectively comes to the rescue of the developing States. Thus, in order for world economy and financial stability be the norm then, three urgent reforms are needed.

                First, the international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization have to focus on collective global problems that require collective participation.  For example, when global market economy is not running satisfactorily; when one State harms others and gets away with it (no indemnization procedures) then there are over production of certain commodities and under production of others. We have to tackle defense spending that does not generate any public benefits. 

    For example, public education sectors must be financed by international institutions since private sectors have failed to consider that urgent facet in states’ economy.  For example, we have the environment, oceans, atmosphere, CO2 emissions and the other harmful gases, sanitary challenges and discharges, clean water sources, diffusion of contagious diseases, famine, and natural calamities are becoming global problems that require global resolutions and cooperation.  All the global problems are interrelated: poverty leads to degraded environment and deforestation which in return increases poverty.  There are financial interventions that are beneficial locally in reducing local pollution.

                Second, the mode of governance such as control, management, decision-making and administration of international institutions has to be drastically reformed.  The economic and financial interests of developed States have established unilateral set of rules and regulations on how to be applied globally without any serious input from the concerned parties in the developing countries. Developing States were targeted for hegemony behaviors. For example, in the IMF administration it is the finance ministers of the developed States and their central banks governors who are presiding as decision makers. In the World Trade Organization it is the ministers of commerce in the developed countries that run the show: they have particular perspective in matters of global trade.  Who has the right of vote in these international institutions? The poor States and the workers have no representatives in these institutions to offer pertinent alternative feedback as to their difficult situations. The voting rules and representation around the table of decision makers have to be reformed drastically.  The fact is that the IMF is rich because it is the developing countries that are reimbursing their debts at high interest rates.

                At least, reforms in the structures of official direction in the IMF and WB can help in the short-term. For example, African delegates should be allowed to participate and be listened to even if they still cannot vote. Participation in meetings can aid the developing State representatives gather pertinent information and intelligence on world problems may partially fill the gap in intelligence dissemination. The IMF and WB should invest in developing “think tanks” institutions in the developing countries in order for their representative to be at par with ongoing discussions.

                Third, transparency within the international institutions administrations have to be made public since they are public. Public pressures should be directed toward greater transparency in management and decision processes; on time data should be available for the concerned parties and not only for the multinationals and the developed State governments. There is urgent need to open the working environment to independent and free press and researchers of developing countries.  Transparency is best catalyst to encouraging democratic tendencies in developing States and fair availability of information in a timely fashion.

                Thus, favoritism in behavior and focus on the interests of the richer States must be examined and expressed by the public before conditions escalate to global problems. As deliberations in international institutions become accessed directly to larger audiences, instead of being held in closed chambers, then the environmental challenges and the interests of the poorer sections in world societies will be heard and discussed openly. The current decision processes are not critiqued and analyzed by the public on a timely manner: it is generally too late to critique wrong decisions before they are applied.  Public access to timely information and intelligence would pressure the IMF and WB to reconsider their debatable economic assumptions and ideology; so far, what is decided is restricted on “what is good to the financial institutions”. 

    Mass protests in World Forums were mainly targeting the secrecy and opacity of the decision processes. So far, the disseminated information by the current structures of the international institutions is viewed with great suspicion by the poor States; so far, reforms were lukewarm and basically the kind of talked intent for reforms but not effective in practice.

    Tom Reiss investigates the identity of an author who wrote in German “Blood and oil in the Orient”, “Ali and Nino”, and “The daughter of the Golden Horn” and signed under Kurban Said.  Kurban Said was known in Germany of the 1920’s as Essad Bey who was the first to describe Stalin in details and accounted for the tormenting period of Baku (Capital of Azerbaijan on the Black Sea and “Zarathustra” land).

    It turned out that Essad Bey was Liova Nussimbaum, nicknamed Lev (1905-1942).  Lev is a Jew born in Baku of a rich oil baron from Baku (Abraham) and a mother (Berta Sluzk).  The Sluzk were Jewish serfs working for Prince Sluzki in Ukraine and many converted to Christianity to improve their living conditions.

    Berta had left Zürich, headquarters of Russia revolutionaries, and ended up in a Baku.  Lev’s father noticed Berta who was serving a prison sentence at the Baku prison and arranged for her to be set free and married her. Berta resumed her “revolutionary” activities and extended money to the revolutionary groups (that will later be called Bolshevik) between 1905 and 1912. Joseph Stalin, under the code name of Koba, was 28 years old and was leading the Bolshevik groups that asked ransoms in order to provide protection for minority ethnic groups.

    Berta committed suicide by poison after she was found out of communicating with the revolutionary gangs and then, she became an embarrassment to her family.  Lev was then 9 years old.  Berta bequeathed her library to Lev and Abraham respected his wife’s will and allowed Lev to occupying the library and reading all day long.

    Lev was mostly forced to be secluded in his home and library because of the dangerous conditions outside.  In the rare outings, Lev was surrounded with body guards and a nurse: He was considered of fragile health.

    Lev and his father fled Baku in 1917 during the First World War: the armies of Tsar Nicholas II were defeated by Germany and Baku was becoming a hotbed for instability and chaos.  They crossed Turkmenistan and then Iran and had many adventures.  Lev gave accurate description of locations, dates, customs, and fashion of the regions they travelled, but his accounts were mostly fantasies that he dreamt of during his seclusion in Baku.

    Father and son returned to Baku as the Turks and Germans occupied it briefly before the English returned.  Azerbaijan experienced independence for less than a year before the Bolshevik returned in 1920 and Azerbaijan became part of the Soviet Union. Father and son managed to flee Baku, separately, in order to avoid close surveillance. Lev reached the second city of Gandja (ancient capital) walking.  The citizens in Gandja chased out the few Russian soldiers for a few days before the Bolshevik army encircled the city and entered it with the accompanying massacres.

    Lev managed to get out of Gandja and stumbled on a German colony-village (Helenendorf) by the borders with Georgia.  This colony was established in 1813 after the Napoleonic wars and Tsar Alexander I encouraged many Germans to populate the Caucasus region.  As Germany invaded Russia in 1940, Stalin made sure to transfer all the Germans in 1941 to Siberia; very few Germans returned to Germany in 1991.

    Lev spent some time in Tibilissi (Capital of Georgia) and then, boarded an Italian boat with his father in 1921 to Constantinople.  The French, English, Italian, and Japanese troops had headquarters in different quarters of Constantinople.

    Apparently, Nazi Germany studied extensively the procedures and tactics of the Bolshevik Tcheka (secret services) and added its refinements.  Lev and his father settled in Berlin of the 1920’s and wrote his books that were translated and appreciated in the USA.  Lev converted to Islam in 1923 at the Turkish Embassy.  He died in Northern Italy at the age of 35 but looked seventy.  Lev was the first to publish Stalin biography since the Pockennarbige (smallpox face)or Iossif Djougachvili knew Lev’s mother and he stayed in their home in 1920.

    I might publish another post on Lev Nussimbaum as I finish reading the book.  You may read my account on Baku https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/bakou-1905/

    Near East: Levant Union States?

    Levant (Rising sun with respect to Europe) is the name given by the French mandated power to the Near East independent States of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine.

    The current total population of the Levant is about 30 millions, or less than half each of Turkey, Iran, or the third of Egypt and about the number in Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula (all bordering the Levant region).

    Thus, focusing on internal trades among the Near East States will not make a serious dent toward expanding economic development in the short-term, but that is the best economic strategy for establishing a complementary economy that satisfy internal needs.

    At least 70% of the land of this union is mostly desert and its total area is barely the third of France, but it is relatively rich in water compared to the neighboring larger States with the exception of Turkey.

    The advantages of a policy of opening up the borders among these States for trades and easy communication are enormous.

    For one thing, an economic coordination of the Levantine States can negotiate better deals with the bordering larger States by constituting a larger common market that may ease up the frequent tensions and anxiety that the people have been experiencing for so many centuries.

    A few guidelines may go a long way toward a project of common market.

    First, it is inevitable that all borders among the Near East States be definitely demarcated, resolved, and registered in the United Nation.  This first step will eliminate foreign interventions in our internal affairs and appease unfounded fears of forced or implicit annexation.

    Second, The Levant Union States (LUS) should drop all territorial claims with the neighboring States (except with Israel) that do not agree with the UN drawings.

    Third, the LUS needs to institute a restricted Parliament that deal with the most urgent laws applicable to the union.  The prime areas for legislations are: Water resources, agriculture and industrial production coordination,  financial coordination, infrastructure, education, military, and energy resources.

    Fourth, the establishment of a unified internal currency for internal trades among the States and leaving the States independent national currencies for external trades.  Thus, the central banks in each State will set aside reserves for the internal united currency to cover up any internal difficulties for conversion into particular “national” currencies as the internal market expand.

    Fifth:  The institution of a central bank for managing and administering the internal currency to satisfying the growing internal trade.

    Sixth, establishment of standards for armed forces and internal forces in the eventual coordination for securing the borders of the LUS.

    Seventh, establishment of standards for public schooling systems in order to facilitating transfers of students among the States. It is essential that uniformed textbooks in geography of the region, its common history, and the various civic educational systems be introduced to all citizens.

    Eight, establishing “Free trade zones” with neighboring States.  For example, one in Iskandaron (Alexandretta) between Turkey and Syria on the coast, one at the junction among Turkey, Iraq, and Syria (in the Kurdish populated zone), one between Syria and Iraq in the desert region on the Euphrates River, one among Jordan, Syria and Iraq, one in Gaza between Egypt and Palestine, and one in Aqaba between Jordan and Saudi-Arabia.

    Nine:  Having coordinated foreign political positions with respect to the UN assembly.

    Tenth, setting up a high political command in charge of negotiating any peace treaty with Israel as a Union of common interests.  The piece meal negotiation process with this antiquated vassal mentalities is not going to insure any lasting peace.

    Note: This post is an ongoing process and will be frequently edited for more details.  Your focused comments will enrich the re-editing process.


    adonis49

    adonis49

    adonis49

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