Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 2010

In the French book “We are all ruined in 10 years: Last chance for resolving sovereign debts” Jacques Attali described the history of the creation of sovereign debts since Europe Medieval Age and then the USA.  Chapter 5 offers 12 lessons that a review of this history revealed on sovereign debts.  This post is an abridged article and a few critical opinions.

Lesson one: Public debts are expenses created by current generations to be resolved by the next generations regardless of the consequences they had no saying in it. Public debts are contracted by a supposedly immortal entity that no one is eligible to verify the quality of services offered and this entity can pay only the interest portions indefinitely (without reducing the principal) as long as financial markets are agreeable to.  Public debts are meant to supporting current generation with expected future money generated by later generations.

Lesson two:  Public debts could be used for economic growth. When incurred debts are invested on infrastructure and educational systems then, internal market are expanded and economic growth permits increases in fiscal revenues.  Thus, savings in the budget can be allocated to repaying the interest on debts.  For example, US President James Mason borrowed money from a British bank to pay Napoleon of France the price of the Greater Louisiana colony that Napoleon used to fight England with.  This kind of public debt expanded the territory and the internal market of the US, and prevented France from further meddling on the borders of te US.

Lesson three:  Public debts encourage government for creating financial instruments that will ultimately be use against its advantage. A simple example and so relevent today, creating paper money covered by gold and then issuing more paper money than reserve gold can cover.  The US covers the surplus dollars by threatening with military interventions or enforcing financial embargoes if a State refuses to using the dollar as the main currency in trade and commerce.

Lesson four: External and internal public debts are directly interrelated. When a State decides to default it might start by temporary suspending paying interest on due date if refinancing negotiation failed; coupons of lesser values are issued.  Property values drop 35% within 6 years; share values decline 55% within 3 years; unemployment increases 7% within 4 years, and production rate drop 9% within 2 years.  If you notice that many of these consequences are effectively taking place then, your State has defaulted but was not transparent in declaring the difficult situation.

Lesson five: Public debts are condemned to increase naturally if a government does not take measures to reducing unproductive spending.

Lesson six: Public debts are more sustainable when financed internally. For example, Japan is able to sustain the highest ratio of 245% public debts to GNP because most of the debts are financed internally through the savings of the Japanese citizens and enterprises.

Lesson seven: Debtor States control creditors as much as the latter think they are in control. All indicate that trends in growing sovereign debts in the richer and developed nations are not going to change till 2014.  In that year, it is expected that Japan public debts (mostly internal) will reach 250% of its GNP, Italy 130%, England 100 %,  the USA 100% (or $20 trillion, the interest alone representing 400% of its fiscal yearly revenues), France 95%, and Germany 90% of GNP.  The US will have to reimburse $850 billion in 2012 and finance one trillion.

Lesson eight: As financial crisis is imminent, a government generally considers that his case particular and will eventually get out unscathed. In the medium-term after defaulting, a State witnesses increased internal unrests, in frequency and in violence; government creates a preemptive war on a neighboring State or to a weaker creditor State in order to absorb the surplus unemployed citizens in the lower middle class; and the State is reduced to a vassal position to more dominant creditor nations:  the defaulting State is unable to secure more loans for many years.

Lesson nine: Financial crisis relevant to public debts depends more on subjective confidence of creditor markets than on the ratio level of the debts to GNP or fiscal revenues. Invariably, States unable to generate enough fiscal revenues so that 50% of the budget are dedicated to paying interests on sovereign debts are in deep trouble.  Many developed Nations can sustain up to 300% of debt to GNP for several years (Japan and the USA), while developing countries crumble under 50% ratio, simply because the political system is unstable and unable to bring in at least 50% of the budget to cover paying interest on debts.

Lesson ten: Resolution of public debts gores through 8 strategies; inflation option is always one of the strategies. After WWII in 1945, the public debts of the England was 250% on its GNP, France 110% (which represented 10 fiscal years of revenues), and the USA was 100% of GNP.  These countries adopted the inflation plan for 30 consecutive years, factitiously reducing the ratio.  With steady economic growth, and since when prices of commodities increase they never come down, the average yearly income increased, but it was mostly hidden by the inflation factor. For example, the Chinese worker with a salary less than $1,000 is saving half his earning so that the Chinese government finances the growing external debts of the “rich States” in order to maintaining the “standard of living” of their citizens that effectively reflects 30 years of inflation policy.  Fact is, one of the methods for sustaining inflation was creating credit cards with limits up to 50 times the actual earning of the individual!

Lesson eleven: Almost all  heavily indebted nations end up deciding to defaulting on payments. In 1770, Adam Smith wrote, (England sovereign debts amounted to 140% of its GNP): “At a level of accumulation of national debts, there are no examples that the debts have ever been repaid.  Public revenues were always freed to be spent but never to paying off any debts. Governments prefer to defaulting, occasionally admitting the debts, occasionally pretending to have paid off debts, but always incurring a real debt.”

Lesson twelve:  All responsible governments must refrain financing the functioning of the government by public debts and limit investment on their capability for reimbursement. Thomas Jefferson recommended, and then imposed his view when he became President to the new Independent America, that loans should never be contracted out by States for longer than 19 years (related to life expectancy in those days) so that future generations do not have to suffer decisions of the living ones.  Any public debt contracted for preparing to war or fomenting civil wars is a capital sin that will diminish the power of the State and set the stage for direct meddling in its internal affairs. Generally, other powerful nations will come to the rescue of the defeated creditor State and rob the victor of any short-term benefits.  Consequently, the trade of the defeated State will be transferred to the next dominant powers in order to stabilizing its economy.

It is unavoidable from now on that complete transparency on sovereign debts be mandated to all debtor States since public debts are at the heart of geopolitical considerations and dangers.  Management of public debts must adhere to four principles:

First:  Comprehension of public debts must be disseminated to all tax paying and voting citizens.

Second:  Public debts must be controlled and reviewed at all levels of the government.

Third:  Political discourse must be oriented to discouraging the contracting of further debts.

Four:  Any decision for incurring additional public debts must be discussed at all political and social levels for the pertinent utility of the debts.  Budgets must define the dividing lines between public spending and private spending.

Note:   The emerging States and most of Latin America countries are experiencing steady drop of their public debts to an average of 40% of GNP by 2014 while the “richer and powerful nations” are increasing their public debts.  My question is:  If almost all States have incurred public debts then, who are the creditors?   China economy has saved 2.5 trillion and Brazil and Turkey less than 500 billion.  All these savings cannot cover the amount of necessary public debts required by the debtor nations.  Fact is, world finance is functioning on worthless paper money and other financial tools transmitted here and there to give the illusion that the system is functioning.

Aristotle attended Platon’s Academia for 20 years before his instituted his own school in Athens 25 years later.  Platon’s Academia lasted 900 years and was closed by political decree of the Christian Church in Constantinople, and not by lack of disciples.  There is this mania among scholars to opposing Aristotle’s teachings and positions to his teacher Platon, as if it is urgently necessary in order to comprehend Aristotle works on their own values. For example, you read: “The concept of knowledge to Platon is acquired by rational dialog, while Aristotle privileges demonstrations and experimental methods for gathering facts.”  How can anyone believe that Platon could deny demonstration methods and observations?

A professional in a disciple has a toolbox of techniques and methods relevant to his profession; he is familiar with this toolbox (among many other relevant toolboxes) for demonstrating or experimenting and gathering data and observations.  I don’t have to be proficient in a particular method in order to accepting the validity of what has been proven as true or how a phenomenon behaves.  I do have to be proficient in the method if I have to critique a peer-reviewed article and discover the errors in the design and manipulation of the experiment.  That is called dissemination of knowledge, and dialog is one method transmitting knowledge.  Fact is, professionals, especially scientists, rely on dialog by sending letters and documents to one another and attending conferences.  Scientists receive most of their ideas and concepts from communicating their research topics and difficulty facing demonstrations.

Another point that scholars permitted the two philosophers to come in a face-off challenge, is how ideas are generated? Are ideas produced by transcendental ways or by experimentation? Many scientists would claim that they had the idea in a dream or a form of transcending method; fact is, most probably, the idea or method was stored in their deeper layers of memories, in a different form, resulting from dialog, reading, and communication. How and when the idea was registered in memory?  Is not recollecting the idea or concept another way of agreeing in the transcendental approach?

Most philosophical debates are not on the proper scientific methods of comprehending the universe and living creatures but mainly siding to powerful institutions at specific periods:  The powerful classes (clerics or aristocrats or middle classes) that have vested interests in opposing the dissemination of a particular concept that they view will prejudice their status-quo privileges.

Collecting data or observations from haphazard experiments lead to no where:  It is only when a reasoned method or a proper design of the experiment is contemplated, run, and analyzed for interrelations among the independent variables or controlled factors that data make sense.  Adopting abstract logical deduction from a set of axiom cannot result in anything meaningful if the theory is not submitted to experimentation for validation.  A single advantage of mathematicians is that their discipline encourages development of abstract theories, even if no scientist cared to test any of them.  Thus, scientific methods in the various philosophies do not contradict the essence for reaching truth.

Mathematicians never claimed to be scientists, and scientists know that their work will not go far unless a mathematical law is generated from data collected. Scientists may spend years categorizing and classifying samples gathered in their research and this task is intrinsically a rational method otherwise, how links can be found if no implicit or explicit hypotheses are generated to compare among samples?

Note:  After the German Hegel exposed his theory in the 18th century that “human civilization has developed by historical dialectic or the historic process of thesis, antithesis, and followed by synthesis”. The theory meant that at one period, scholars and philosophers agree on a consensus of propositions to comprehending the universe and mankind (I think due to political pressures of religious institutions and the power-to-be).  The next period witness an opposite current agreeing on contrary propositions.  The following period necessarily work out a synthesis of the two previous periods for a consensus on equitable propositions that reflect new knowledge.  This cycle begins again with a new set of propositions, transformed and modified from the initial propositions in period #1, strong with acquired new scientific facts; and civilization advances in that historical fashion of thesis periods, followed by antithesis periods, and rearranged by synthesis periods.  Since then, most philosophers and philosophy critics think they are obliged to considering opposing sets of propositions before delivering their own synthesis.

Badge of honor to Foremost Indian “seditionist”: Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy has published in 1996 “God of the little nothing people“; it was translated in 40 language and earned the Booker Price.

The following book was “The End of Imagination” after India tested its first atomic bomb in 1998.  Arundhati Roy is now labeled “rajdroh” or the seditionist by both the State and opposition party medias.  The Hindu word droh means hostility and raj the monarch; and thus, Arundhati must be viewed as the hostile leader to the current Indian political trend. Why?

Arundhati got too bold to demanding the independence of Cashmere: it does not historically belong to India.

Cashmere is this naturally beautiful cold northern region, with vast majority of Moslems, that both Pakistan and India want as territory and is currently partitioned.  Cashmere witnessed the worst flood of the Indus River last years that crosses Pakistan; over 3 million people were displaced and international aides were shy and delayed. As if poor overpopulated areas deserve the fate of frequent displacement and transfer and the life under tents and unhealthy living conditions.

Arundhati Roy got involved in approaching the sticky and major problems in India, such as construction of gigantic hydro-electric dams, expropriation of lands for extraction of raw materials, savage industrialization, privatization of essential public utilities, counter-terrorism tactics, Hindu nationalism, the newer US imperialism meddling in internal India affairs, the Maoist or communist rebellion of the poorer tribes in the southern provinces who have been forgotten by the central government.

In October, 150 women from the Indian nationalist party BJP attacked Arundhati’s house.  Fact is India is experiencing a dangerous, close minded, feverish nationalist period.

Sedition allegations were leveled by colonial England against Mahatma Gandhi several times

In 1922, Gandhi wrote in “Young India”:  “I must say to the British court why I admit encouraging deliberate seditions against a government established in India by law.  The penal code in paragraph 124 is prime among the laws that tends to suppress citizens’ liberty.  We have no affection or sympathy for this penal code or the British government and I must be free to express my disaffection forcefully, as long as my conducts are non violent.  Many popular Indian leaders were accused under the sedition paragraph and I consider myself honored for the same accusation.”

Is Independent India about to bring up colonial penal codes for accusing India intellectuals, authors, and activist journalists?

Has the Indian government accused the Nobel committee for extending prizes to the Turkish/Kurdish Orhan Pamuk, the Iranian woman lawyer Shirin Ebadi, or the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo?

Wars: Uncanny connections to Sovereign public debts 

The direct connections among exorbitant levels of accumulated public debts and wars have been recognized for centuries, on black and white.

We witnessed that war is one of the preferred defaulting mechanisms on outrageous contracted debts, particularly when the creditor nation is weaker militarily.

In the last two centuries, the world witnessed 320 defaulting decisions by debtor nations.

Is it a coincidence that the last two centuries experience as many wars?

If you compare the two graphs of dates on defaulting and the timing of subsequent wars then, you realize that there are direct interrelations between the two factors.

1. In 1770, (England sovereign debts amounted to 140% of its GNP)

Adam Smith wrote: “At a level of accumulation of national debts, there are no examples that the debts have ever been repaid.  Public revenues were always freed to be spent, but never to paying off any debts. Governments prefer to default, occasionally admitting the debts, occasionally pretending to have paid off debts, but always incurring a real debt.”

2. In 1716 France, after the monarch Louis 14, was totally bankrupt:

The Scottish John Law convinced the French Regent to issue paper money covered by gold for easy circulation of money and internal trade.  To entice the public into accepting paper money, interests were added, secured by a special perpetual fund called the “General Bank“.

This bank was to be supplied by financial resources converging from the America’s colony of greater Louisiana.  The Mississippi Company, (later renamed the “Western India perpetual company“), was collecting indirect taxes for France.  Speculation by French nobility transformed the central bank into a machine for printing worthless paper money and the collection from Louisiana stopped to converge to France.

In 1748, Montesquieu in  “Of the spirit of laws” wrote:

“There are a few financial specialists disseminating the concept that public debts multiply wealth and increase circulation of money and internal trade.  Facts are, the real revenues of the State, generated by the activities of industrious citizens, are transferred to idle classes.  The consequences are that we make it more difficult on the industrious citizens to produce profit and worst, extending privileges to the passive classes.”

In 1781, Jacques Necker, France minister of finance, proclaimed that “There can be no peace in Europe unless public debts are reduced to the bare minimum:  Public debts are sources for increasing the military capabilities designed for destructive activities; and then more debts are accumulated for the reconstruction phase.  A devilish cycle that is anathema to prosperity and security.

Necker was the first financial official in France to present a transparent statement sheet of all the revenues and expenses for the budget and he encouraged the French monarchy to emulate England by submitting complete budged so that investors and lenders be informed of the financial situation and be encouraged to considering France as a viable country to invest money in.

At the time, England had replaced Holland as the financial center of the world and the central Bank of England was already established.

All indicate that trends in growing sovereign debts in the richer and developed nations are not going to change till 2014.

In that year, it is expected that Japan public debts (mostly internal) will reach 250% of its GNP, Italy 130%, England 100 %,  the USA 100% (or $20 trillion, the interest alone representing 400% of its fiscal yearly revenues), France 95%, and Germany 90% of GNP.  The US will have to reimburse $850 billion in 2012 and finance one trillion.

The emerging States and most of Latin America countries are experiencing steady drop of their public debts to an average of 40% of GNP by 2014.

My question is:  If almost all States have incurred public debts then, who are the creditors?  

China economy has saved 2.5 trillion and Brazil and Turkey less than 500 billion.  All these savings cannot cover the amount of necessary public debts required by the debtor nations.

Fact is, world finance is functioning on worthless paper money and other financial tools transmitted here and there to give the illusion that the system is functioning.

So far, the IMF and the World Bank are controlled by the G8 who can withdraw at will from these supposed to be international financial institutions.  This situation of relying on magical financial illusions cannot persist for long.

A third World War will be created intentionally by superpowers in order to starting from scratch before establishing sustainable financial institutions, rules, and regulations.

If you carry a credit card at an interest rate of over 20% then, you know that the principal could never be paid since the credit limit is 50 times your real annual income  in order to finance a purposeful inflationary policy to give the illusion that the ratio of public debts to GNP is being reduced.

Not only 20% interest rate is exorbitant, but adding unpaid monthly installements to the principal is what all ancient customs forbade.

For example, if people of “independent means”, called rentier in French, could invest in a productive businesses generating profits of over 20% they would not have lent their money.  It is imperative that payments on interest should not last more than 7 years and further monthly payments automatically directed to paying off the principal.

Thomas Jefferson recommended, and then imposed his view when he became President to the new Independent America, that loans should never be contracted out by States for longer than 19 years so that future generations do not have to suffer decisions of the living ones.

As life expectancy is increasing, I suggest that Constitutions should force governments and official institutions to restrict the life of any loan to be 5 years shorter of the lower number of the average life expectancy or the age of retirement of citizens in the creditor nation. 

Anyway, if the loan is a private one, the lender should be able to enjoy his placement while alive and not suffer from defaulting decisions.

Note:  Reviewing the history of public debts since antiquity, the consequences of incurring huge public debts are the same:  Whether the dept is contracted out to a person (the monarch) and the debt is cancelled once the individual is dead, or the public debt is shouldered by a sustainable “immortal” entity such as a State, the weaker creditor will be punished.

The militarily weaker creditor will suffer now or later; it is a matter of delayed punishment for loaning a more powerful debtor whether voluntarily or after coercion.

I decided to relegate the introduction last. Why?  I have read many articles on the critical problem of Sovereign Debts and what did I discover?  They are basically series of data, abridged definition of convoluted terms, and then nothing.  Without any serious analysis, who cares to consider conclusions that are politically oriented but inconsequential for learning anything?

State public debts may be contracted through external creditors (government funds, institutions, or private financiers), internal resources, and hidden debts such as social security funds…

There are 9 technical ways to resolving or camouflaging excessive sovereign public debts that State governments have invented through centuries of steady accumulation of debts:

Increasing taxes, direct, indirect, and hidden taxes that most citizens are not aware that they are actual taxes.

Decreasing expenditure in the budget and allocating the savings to paying interest on debts.

Increasing production and facilitating internal trades to increasing economic growth, thus, increasing fiscal revenues.

Decreasing the interest rates on contracted debts through financial transparency and political stability.

Increasing consumer prices by forcing inflation and a fictitious decrease of the debt rate compared to GNP.

Creating wars on the “enemy” creditors to defaulting on external debts (principal and interest portions).

Refinancing the debts by decreasing the interest rate or lengthening the due dates:  Creditors are willing to be paid something on regular basis than submitting to lengthy litigation procedures with the World Commerce and Trade organization.

Simply “defaulting” and letting the chips fall where they please (the most frequently adopted decision since the Middle Ages).  In the last two centuries, 320 cases of States’ outright defaults have been registered with frequent consequences of wars, swapping of colonies, and mandated power over military weaker nations.

What are the signs that a State is planning to default?

One: The newer elected government immediately demands refinancing the debts and renegotiating the terms in amount, interest rate, and timetable of payments.

Two:  Banking institutions threaten to declaring bankrupcy; meaning, the banks start to cut down on loans in amount and in numbers; thus, slowing down internal trade and the creation of small new enterprises.

Three:  Foreign creditors stop lending for many reasons.

Four: Financial institutions actually declaring bankrupcy and setting off a financial crisis so that government reacts promptly and comes to the rescue by infusing massive liquidity of the hardworking “citizens’ savings”

Why government generally goes for the policy of accelerated inflation in order to resolving sovereign debts?  First, consumer prices are allowed to increase by increasing tariff barriers for cheaper imports, encouraging monopolistic mergers, increased interest rates on loans, and slowing down internal production.  Inflation diminishes export competitiveness by an over valuation of the currency. Inflation is connected by dramatic rise in Real Estates prices called “bubble”.

What is the rational for creating inflation?

Debts not “indexed” on inflated prices (fiscal revenues are inflated since generated taxes seem to have increased and the nominal GNP shows increases) reduce the ratio of the debt to the GNP and the fiscal revenue, giving the illusion that effective amount of debt was reduced.  An annual inflation rate of 4%mechanically reduces the debt ration by 20% within 5 years.

What are the consequences of inflation?

If the salary is not indexed on the inflation rate then, the purchasing power of an individual diminishes and he has to borrow or find an additional job to making ends meet or be supported by his parents’ savings.  Usually, the State maintains all public salaries unchanged for several years in order to keep spending “under control”.

After WWII in 1945, the public debts of the England was 250% on its GNP, France 110% (which represented 10 fiscal years of revenues), and the USA was 100% of GNP.  These countries adopted the inflation plan for 30 consecutive years, factitiously reducing the ratio.  With steady economic growth, and since when prices of commodities increase they never come down, the average yearly income increased, but it was mostly hidden by the inflation factor.  For example, the Chinese worker with a salary less than $1,000 is saving half his earning so that the Chinese government finances the growing external debts of the “rich States” in order to maintaining the “standard of living” of their citizens that effectively reflects 30 years of inflation policy.  Fact is, one of the methods for sustaining inflation was creating credit cards with limits up to 50 times the actual earning of the individual!

When a State decides to default it might start by temporary suspending paying interest on due date if refinancing negotiation failed; coupons of lesser values are issued.  Property values drop 35% within 6 years; share values decline 55% within 3 years; unemployment increases 7% within 4 years, and production rate drop 9% within 2 years.  If you notice that many of these consequences are effectively taking place then, your State has defaulted but was not transparent in declaring the difficult situation.

In the medium-term after defaulting, a State witnesses internal unrests, higher in frequency and in violence; government creates a preemptive war on a neighboring State to absorb the surplus unemployed citizens in the lower middle class; and the State is reduced to a vassal position to more dominant creditor nations:  the defaulting State is unable to secure more loans for many years.

What kinds of financial mechanisms and financial tools (gimmicks) a powerful State resorts to amortizing the impact of a large sovereign debt?

One, the State may use special right of withdrawal from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is starting issuing worthless banknotes.  Two, the State may create special perpetual funds generated by particular taxes designed to repaying the debt (political exigencies always use special funds for missions not intended to it, under the pretext of extraordinary emergency events).  Three, the State may nationalize productive sectors in the industries and then issue bonds on public properties.  Four, the State may declare the land of the nation is public property and all private properties should be rented for a specific period.  Five, all the time, the State is just printing money with decreasing values as long as the sovereign debts is huge.

The financial clubs and institutions that the powerful nations used to recovering their assets were: One, the “Club of Paris” was established in 1956, constituted of all the creditor nations (the G7) and international institutions, to manage the public debts contracted by the third world countries.  As Germany and Japan accumulated surplusses in their economies they tended to convert their dollars to gold; Nixon decided in 1971 suspended the convertability of dollar to gold and starting the devaluation trend of the dollar.  That was the end for the fictitious “Gold Exchange Standard”.  Two, the “Club of London” was established in 1979 in order to gathering all the commercial banks creditors to poorer States.  Thus, debtors States had to first refinance or renegotiate their public debts with the Club of Paris so that the Club of London executes the details with the commercial banks. Three, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) began getting involved after 1983 when major emerging States suffered financial problems.

Invariably, States unable to generate enough fiscal revenues so that 50% of the budget are dedicated to paying interests on sovereign debts are in deep trouble.  Many developed Nations can sustain up to 300% of debt to GNP for several years, while developing countries crumble under 50% ratio, simply because the political system is unstable and unable to bring in at least 50% of the budget to cover paying interest on debts.

If you analyse the causes of wars since the 17th centuries you will discover the modern definition of war.  War is the unethical, immoral, but legal mechanism to rounding up the surplus turbulent and employed lower middle class citizens and suspending paying off interest on sovereign debts to “enemy” creditors, due to political and economic internal crisis.”

The expedient short-term political decision of aggressing other nations is reasoned to getting two birds in one shot.  First, The vast pool of unemployed lower middle class citizens, constituting 60% of the population, are sent abroad and thus, relieving the internal political pressures for any change in the political and economic structure; hopefully, many will die and reduce or eliminate the danger of political upheaval.  Second, the enemy is targeted to be one of the major creditors, invariably judged to be weaker militarily, so that the government will default on the contracted sovereign debt, not only on the interest portion, but on the principal as well.

What are the consequences?  On the short-term, we may consider two cases.

First case, the enemy creditor turned out not to be that weak militarily and the war lasted longer than expected (as is inevitably the case).  Thus, a treaty is signed after the cease-fire, and the creditor becomes a mandatory power controlling the economy; which means the creditor gets the right of cutting out its share first of any income before the government obtains its share.  In general, the creditor obtains the monopoly of the main exporting product  such any raw material, cotton, rubber, oil… The creditor might demand war reparation as well, if he judges that the political system of the enemy is strong enough to withstand political backlash.  In fact, all defeated governments have in mind projects and plans to preempting the high probability that the returning defeated army might revolt and demand political changes.

Second case, the enemy creditor lose the war, but since he is considered a developed “modern” nation, by the standards of the period, the victor will end up just defaulting on the sovereign debt.  Both nations are back borrowing like crazy in order to maintaining the political status-quo.  Now the creditors to the two warring nations are powerful nations and eventually will impose their control in the medium-term.  The two nations have been superseded in economic power. Historical examples are recorded of the fates of Venise, Genoa, and Holland.

The consequences of the third case are on relatively the longer-term. The enemy creditor is weak militarily and also considered among the developing countries.  The victor colonize the enemy creditor in order to generating quickly raw materials and opening another market for its products. The victor finds out that he needs to borrow money in order to build infrastructures in the colonized country for producing and transporting the raw materials.  Slavery turns out counterproductive:  First, there is resistance to foreign armies and colons; and second, harsh measures decimate the population and slow down production and market population; and third, the powerful creditors put pressures to having a share in the production.  In the long-term, the powerful creditors supplant the victor as the colonial power.

There are many examples to back up these real scenarios.  The US was the major creditor to colonial Spain and ended up taking hold of Cuba and the Philippines.  England was the main creditor to monarchic Egypt and got hold of the Suez Canal from the French who made it possible.  England allowed France to colonize Algeria hoping that France would be able to repaying its sovereign debts.  France withdrew from South Vietnam and left it to the US because it could no longer sustain a losing national resistance battle:  That was a mean French decision since the US will be broke after ten years of fighting the Viet Cong: Nixon had no choice in 1968 but to leave the dollar uncovered by gold, thus, forcing the US to back up its useless paper money through military threats that is going till now.  Unfortunately, China and Japan are no weak enemy creditors to chastise them at every political and economic crisis.

By 1914, Germany was the first industrial nation in Europe, the most powerful militarily, and the most populous after Russia (65 million).   Germany was the prime creditors of Russia, France, and even England.  All European nations adopted isolationist policies in trades, meaning setting high tariffs for imported goods in order to protect internal productions.  Germany needed the Congo (a Belgium colony) to export its surplus of goods and citizens, other wise, imminent political problems might be generated by joblessness and inflation if no resolution of its surpluses in goods and men were found.  France and England refused Germany any relief valves and were uncomfortable with being debtors to Germany.  The WWI could have been avoided if borders were opened for free exchange of goods among the European States.  The US was also very worried that opening the borders in Europe would certainly permit Germany to becoming the next superpower.  The war generated 18 million of casualty, and over 20 million during the flu epidemic, and set the stage for WWII.

The most current case is the Iraqi’s preemptive war that lasted already 9 years. In 2002, the US was broke, as usual, but also witnessing high unemployment rate.  Afghanistan was supposed to be the enemy. Wrong.  Iraq was targeted because of its rich oil production: “democracy stupid”.  A quick razzias was planned but turned out sour and deadly.  Not only oil production in Iraq slowed down drastically, but the US had to borrow over one trillion dollars to “prosecute” the war.  All the allies withdrew and China replaced the US in the vast African market under the helpless watch and tacit agreement of the US administration. To make things worst, sovereign debt of the US increased exponentially, as well as unemployment rate.  Back to the devilish cycle with a harsher financial crash.

This article approaches two points: First, the demonstration that scientists and scholars’ cooperation and prompt dissemination of colleagues’ works is the cornerstone for diffusion and development of new knowledge and inventions: This is the case of the intellectual climate of England in the 19th century, the period of Darwin analytical discovery. Second, the article will confront the misinterpretations and outright falsehoods heaped on Darwin and straighten out the correct positions of Darwin.

While France generated far more scientists, discovers, and inventors than England, the fact that England of the 19th century established sustained scientic institutions, in all fields of study, with mission of prompt dissemination, translation, and publications of scientific papers permitted England to become the hub of scientific progress in theory and application.

For example, Darwin frequently dispatched samples of what he gathered in his long trip, on his 5 years around the world, to the botanist professor Henslow in England.  These samples were promptly disseminated among the specialists in their fields for study; and monograms in geology, entemology, archeology, mineralogy, and natural sciences were written and conferences called at for discussing the findings.  Darwin was already well-known in England while far away on the Beagle.  

The preface of Darwin’s book “Voyage of a naturalist around the world” stated: “The manuscript contains a memoir of professor Owen on mammalian fossils, a memoir by Waterhouse on living mammals, a memoir by Gould on birds, a memoir of Jenyns on fishes, and a memoir by Bell on reptiles.  I added to the description of each species observations on its habits and habitats.   Doctor Hooker will present a description of the austral flora that I have dispatched from meridional America.  Professor Henslow published a list of plants that I gathered on the isles of Keeling, Berkeley describes my samples of cryptogamic plants….

In 1858, Darwin is ready to publish the results of 20 years of analysis when he receives the manuscript of Alfred Wallace “On the tendency of varieties to separate indefinitely of the original type”.  Wallace insists more on the ecological and climatic pressures on species selection and evolution.  Darwin does not deny the ecology factor but his main variable is based on sexual selection. 

In “Variation of animals and domestic plants” Darwin exposed his preliminary hypothesis: “Everything that nature made individuals acquire or lose under the influence of circumstances in which the race has been exposed for too long, and thus, under the influence of the usage of a predominant organ, this organ is conserved by later generations, given that the acquired changes are common characteristics to the two sexes.  This natural law of transmitting common traits to future generations has been observed in all species.”  This is what Darwin means by innate characteristics.

Many religious and political “scholars” started misinterpreting Darwin’s theory, consciously or for political advantages, a situation that forced Darwin to extend further clarifications, particularly on the evolution of mankind characteristics.  He wrote: “Man is distinguished from animals in the fact that his conscience replaces instinct, or that his instinct is a conscious one. As man advances in civilization and small tribes gather in larger communities, the simple reason advises an individual to extending his social instincts and empathy to all members of the community and to the nation, even though the member is personally unknown to him.  Once this stage in civilized life is reached, only artificial obstacles retains man from extending his sympathy to all men, regardless of race or color.”

On the issues of the inferiority of “savages” and female gender in the evolution process, Darwin had to clarify misunderstanding; he wrote: “Attached to the education of the kids and to a life less adventurous and less explorative than man, women had less opportunities to developing inventiveness and hardiness in their characters.  Women are nontheless the bearer of social instincts: they are formost in protecting, and defending the weaker members, common to the rescue and weaving social links; women are best in transmitting moral feelings.  Women as well as the colonized people are victims of society and not inferior by heritage.”

Darwin’s grand father, father, and elder brother were physicians; his dad wanted Charles to become also physician but Charles was interested in natural sciences; Charles’ father then relented and sent him to Cambridge to become an Anglican cleric.  Charles wrote: “I totally wasted my time these three years to learning theology”.

Charles  has three older sisters and one elder brother; he was 8 as his mother died.  His elder sister Susannah cares for his education.  “I was passionate for gathering all kinds of plants, insects, stones, stamps…and then classifying them and storing them in an orderly fashion. I was doomed to becoming either a systematic naturalist or an avaricious person.  It must have been an innate nature in me since no one in the family shared this passion for collecting things.”  Charles love fishing and hunting.

Charles’ brother Erasmus let him participate with him in chemistry experiments on their property lab. “This period in the lab was the best schooling I could receive:  I learned what is scientific experimentation” and Charles reads several treaties in Chemistry such as “Chemistry catechism” by Samuel Parker.

At Cambridge, Charles spends most of his time walking in the forest and collecting rare insects and the “British insects Illustrations” published his article.  Charles wrote: “Nothing is more magical than reading my name in the magazine saying “captured by C. Darwin, esq.”  Charles is assiduously being invited to Fridays’ gathering of scholars at professor Henslow’s who is a botanist and knowledgeable in the fields of geology, mineralogy, entomology, and chemistry.

In 1831, Charles accompanies the geologist Adam Sedgwick during his summer vacation exploring the geology of northern Galle of England.  He would later write: “When we examine for the first time a new region we feel dispaired by the chaoes of rocks.  As we start registering the stratification, or the nature of rocks and fossil in numerous locations, never stopping reflecting and predicting what we are going to find in the next location, then light grows little by little and the structure of of the whole region becomes intelligible.”

In 1829, Charles aspires to travel like Alexander Humboldt to Tenerife and Latin America that was freed by Simon Bolivar from Spanish colonialism in 1826; he talks about his project to Henslow.  This year, the French precursor to Darwin, Lamarck dies. Lamarck had exposed his theory that species evolve slowly and by ordinary generation and organic functions modified according to living conditions.  He claimed that all living species, animal and plants, are derived one from another, and extended the hypothesis that mankind is descendant of monkey.  Lamarck coined the name “biology”.  The other French colleague, Cuvier, stated that mankind is a “catastrophic creation” among this discontinuous series of species. The French Saint-Hilaire has also written : Species are formed of the same organic units and evolve slowly under the influence of the environment.

Charles has to finish another semester to getting diploma when Henslow finds him a place on a military navy the Beagle with mission to studying the cartography of Latin America.  The trip was for 2 years but it lasted 5 years. The 27.5 x 7.5 meters Beagle is crowded with 76 people  and lead by captain Fitz-Roy, who later will be appointed governor of New-Zealand.   Charles is 22 of age and embark on Nov. 27, 1831.  Fitz-Roy offers Charles a gift “Principles of Geology” by Charles Lyell.  

Lyell has postulated that earth is still slowly evolving and changing and current shapes and forms are the results of slow forces constantly acting on it.  The Beagle is carrying three men from the island of Fiji, on the southern tip of south America, to be returned:  Fitz-Roy had kidnapped them three years ago and were educated as Englishmen and the men expressed the wish to return to their island.

Charles has observed the treatments of slaves working in sugar canes in his travel and wrote: “I would not want to be a conservative Tory, those dry hearted people encouraging the worst Christian scandal: Slavery.  I have witnessed enough monstrosities in the disposition of colonial slavery to be totally disgusted by the lies and insane positions spoken about in England”.  Darwin is collecting snakes, lizards, birds, parrots, plants, stones, shelves…

The three men of Fiji are dropped on the island and the crew aid them build homes, and plow, and saw for survival and leave them tools.  Fritz-Roy is plagues with remorse and returns to check on them six months later, delaying the return of the Beagle.  Two of the men had left carrying all their belonging and a third was found with a woman, living in nature’s life-style. This observation will have an impact on Darwin’s theory on the evolution of mankind.

Darwin decided to categorize all his samples by himself for accuracy, and spent 20 years finding links among them.  In the meantime, Darwin would publish monograms on the batches he analyzed and described in details.  He wrote: “I had formulated a theory of evolution to work on, but I decided to spend time on further exhaustive analysis.”

He showed Lyle the manuscript of over 800 pages and the latter suggested to abridge and give recognition to Lamarck.  The published book is a thorough description of every collected specie in his samples and then the theory is expressed in a few paragraphs at the end. Darwin states his theory that acquired traits can be explained by an evolution taking into account the geographic isolation and the environmental climate of a specie.

Darwin wrote: “Last night, I reflected on the fact that there are far intelligent men who produce nothing original than the ones who discovers unknown realities.  I wondered if the art of discovery resides in the habit of searching for causes and their significance of what is generated.  This implies attentive observations and a deep knowledge of the subject matter.”

Karl Marx considered Darwin as an original communist and wrote to his disciple Ferdinand Lassale in Germany: “The work of Darwin offers a foundation, within the natural sciences, to the historic struggle among classes.  Darwin recognizes the division of work, the competition, the opening of new markets in the English society.” He sent Charles hi first volume of “Das Capital”.  Charles read the first 150 pages of the voluminous manuscript and replied: “I have no expertise in your line of study and cannot invest time on other fields of research.”

Thomas Huxley, a strong memebr within his powerful secert society, the “Athenee Club”, manages to have Darwin buried in Westminster Abbey in the greatest of pomp in 1882.  The autobiography of Darwin will be published 5 years later at his request.

I contend, in addition to Darwin’s findings, that a critical factor for survival is the acquired ability for “optimism maturity”.  A mature optimist has learned to discriminate among cases of life’s problems:  Problems with windows of opportunity to fight and resist for survival, versus problems that no actions can modify the course of events, thus, adopting a position of waiting for the storm to clear up while keeping focused on a window of opportunity to reacting decisively and vigorously.

Simon Bolivar (1783-1830): “Slavery is the worst human indignity”.

Biography of a leader who freed Latin America from Spanish colonial power

Before Simon Bolivar freed all of Latin America in 1826 from Spanish colonialism, many revolutions in this continent preceded him and few were successful.

Already Independent Haiti re-armed and supported two expeditionary attempts by Simon Bolivar.  The second landing in Venezuela secured the success of the revolution.

Toussaint L’ Ouverture (1743-1803) was a Haitian mulatto who became a general in the French army during Napoleon; he was sent to the island of Haiti/Dominican to dislodge the Spanish troops.   He did the job and then revolted against the French troops in the island to free the slaves and install an autonomous regime.   He sent Napoleon a respectful letter in 1801 declaring a new Constitution to Haiti and the wish to stay part of French protectorate.

The constitution written by Toussaint stated that f

1. “there cannot exist slaves on the territory of Haiti”;

2. “slavery is abolished and all men, regardless of color of skin, are born, live, and die free men”;

3. “Any man is admissible to all kinds of jobs and employment”; and

4. “The constitution guarantees liberty and security to all citizens”.

Napoleon responded to the letter by dispatching an expeditionary force.  Toussaint was made prisoner and died in a prison in the Jura region in France.

In 1802, a lieutenant to Toussaint, Jean-Jacque Dessalines defeated the French troops in “La Verriere” and was appointed Emperor to the Haiti Empire.  The new constitution of 1805 stated that

1. “The people living in the island decided to live in a free State, sovereign, and independent of any foreign powers”;

2. “Slavery is abolished and no white individual will be permitted to own properties as master”; and

3. “Every citizen will be called Black regardless of the color of his skin and will enjoy the same equal citizenship rights”.  That was the first time that Negro or “negritude” was advanced as a culture.

In 1801, local militants in Guadeloupe pressured the French General Lacross to return to France because he discriminated against colored officers in the army. Louis Delgres (1766-1802) led an insurrection in the island of Guadeloupe but refrained to go on the offensive to keep peace with France. The declaration of emancipation stated:

“Citizens of Guadeloupe; we are revolting as one people regardless of color of our skin.  Resistance to oppression is a natural right. Even divinity cannot be offended that we are defending a rightful cause: justice and humanity to all.  We will refrain to soil our cause by crimes.  Our forces are to defend your life, properties, and children by all means.  And you, posterity! Accord us a tear to our miseries and we will die satisfied”

As Bolivar was born in the valley of Aragua (Venezuela), Spain was controlling south America with the exception of Brazil that was a Portuguese colony.

In the 15th century, the Pope of Rome mediated between the two monarchs of Portugal and Spain and divided the world into two parts for colonization: West and East. Brazil was within the Easter part to belong to Portugal that started colonizing the world 50 years before Christopher Columbus discovered Americas at the sold of the Spanish monarchs.

Spain divided south America into four regions headed by viceroys appointed by the monarch:  New Spain (current Mexico), New Grenada (Colombia, Equator, Panama, and Venezuela), Peru, and Rio Plata (Argentina and Uruguay).

Up north, the same year Bolivar was born, 13 colonies of the USA won their independence.

In 1789, Joachim Jose Da Siva Javier demands the independence of Brazil.  The French Revolution has started. Bolivar, the fourth new-born is breast-fed by the slave Hipolita.

In 1792, Bolivar is orphaned at the age of nine:  His mother died of tuberculosis.  His uncle appoints Simon Carreno (a freemason) to educate him for two years, before Bolivar is sent to the academy preparing Spanish officers; he graduates at the age of 15 as Lieutenant of the white volunteer militias in Aragua:  His father was colonel before he died. Bolivar’s uncle sent him on a long trip to Europe in 1799.  Bolivar witnesses the poor conditions of rural Spain but is impressed by Paris and Napoleon and starts to appreciating Republican regimes.

Bolivar returns to Madrid and fall in love with Maria Theresa; they got married in 1802.  He is 19 and she is 21.  They reach Caracas in 1803.

Simon decided for a settled life-style, as his father, and take care of the vast plantation.  History changed when his wife died of fever 4 months later.  Bolivar is back to Europe.  He meets the geographer Alexander of Humboldt who had crisscrossed south America and explored the Andes mountain chains.  Humboldt told Bolivar that south America is ripe for independence and what it lacks is a leader.  Bolivar had the privilege of assisting to the coronation of Napoleon as Emperor in 1804.

Bolivar is in Italy with his former preceptor Carreno.  The anecdote goes that while on the Palatine Hill in Rome Bolivar swore: “On my honor, I will never find rest until the Spanish chains are broken in Venezuela“.  Carreno inducts Bolivar a freemason at the Scottish loge in Paris in 1805.

In 1806, England financed a revolt in Venezuela as the French troops of Napoleon occupied Spain:  It is a failure. Bolivar reached Charleston in 1807 and visits the battle fields and discovered the “rational liberty”.  In 1810, independence revolts starts in Mexico by two priests Hidalgo and Morelos as well as in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and the port of Cartagena in (Columbia).

In 1811, Bolivar urges the “Supreme Junta” to declare the independence of Venezuela and pronounced this speech in front of the national congress: “We are discussing what should have been decided long time ago.  Are you suggesting that we have to wait for the political outcome in Spain?  Why should we care if Spain sells its slaves in Venezuela to Bonaparte or retain them for its own profit since we have decided to be free?”  Venezuela became the first Spanish province to declare independence in south America.

By 1812, Spanish loyal to the monarchy recapture Venezuela.  Bolivar flee to the island of Curacao under the control of the Netherlands and manages to borrow money for another attempt from Cartagena.  He crosses the Andes with 573 armed men and captured the village of Merida, the first village in Venezuela .  His small troop increases; he tells the peasants: “The nation is the common land to all who were born and live in, regardless of caste, race, or religion.” It is June 23, 1813 and Bolivar, 30 of age, enters Caracas as the Liberator.

By September 1814, Bolivar is again taking the road to exile.He is badly received in Cartagena, and in Jamaica; he ends up in independent Haiti under president Alexander Petion who supports and arms Bolivar for another come back.  The expedition fails.  Unexpectedly, Petion supports and finances another campaign writing to Bolivar: “You failed: it happens in life to the better men.  Something tells me that this time around you will succeed.”

Things began to move faster in 1816.

The monarch of Portugal recognizes the autonomy of Brazil and the first university is founded.  General Jose de San Martin liberate Argentina and Uruguay and then march on to Chili and rescues the insurrection of general O’Higgins.

Chili is liberated in 1818.  San Martin advances to Peru and is liberated and then toward Equator.  Bolivar will meet San Martin in Guayalquil (Equator) in 1822.  San Martin is 45 of age and receives a dispatch informing that his wife is very ill. San Martin renounce all his functions as president of Argentine and as commander of a conquering army to be close to his ailing wife.  That is strength of character: refusing glory and power to be able to closely support his immediate family.

In 1817, Bolivar is re-conquering parts of Venezuela and consolidating his hold; he declares during a congress for writing a constitution: “It is far more difficult to maintaining the stability of acquired liberty than enduring the weight of tyranny.  It is the people who generally carry dictators to power.

Bolivar would admit: “Convoking the congress gave me more reputation than all my previous services: The surest way of pleasing people is to convene them to participating at the glory of the commander.

Bolivar appoints general Santander vice-president of Venezuela and marches on to Bogota (Columbia) and stays there for a year till 1820.  He liberates Equator and advance to rescue the independence forces of Peru.  The US is already worried of the European alliances to dividing Canada and south America; President James Monroe proclaims that any European interventions in the Americas would be considered as a declaration of enmity toward the USA.

In 1826, all south America is liberated and Bolivar is the man of the year in Europe and the USA.  He tried to convene a congress in Panama for a constitution to a federated south America but the US made sure to torpedo the convention.

Bolivar had his text ready: First,the constitution is for all the countries, including Mexico,  Argentina, Brazil, and Chili. Second, right to vote is not solely based on owning property but also on education and honorable conduct. Third, the supreme magistrate is for life and the vice magistrate is hereditary.  Fourth, a legislative branch divided in three chambers, one of the chambers the senate is constituted for the purpose of election crisis when politicians works for re-election instead of catering for the interest of the people. Fifth, the total abolition of slavery. Sixth, separation of State from religions; and Seventh, liberty of religious beliefs.

In 1830, Bolivar realizes that the federation of south America is not for any time soon and renounces all his power and functions.  He said: “Learn from nature:  Nature is an infallible master for mankind; nature will tell you the necessary laws. You will find your guide in the identity of our country from the Andes to the Orinoco River.

Bolivar is readying to embark to Europe when he is told that his most faithful general Sucre was assassinated.  Bolivar lost all hopes and died in the village of Santa Marta.

The body of Bolivar was repatriated to Caracas in 1842; the head was missing!

Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969): Vietnamese

Many famous nationalist leaders were not nationalist by choice.

For example, the Algerian prince Abdel Kader (1808-1882) was not destined to lead the first popular revolt against the new colonial power of France:  Abdel Kader was a mystic, Sufi, had done the pilgrimage to Mecca as a teenager with his father, and was deeply religious. The leaders of the  tribes elected him to be their Caliph at the age of 24 in order to lead the war against the French troops. After two decades of wars and over 100,000 of French troops amassed to quell the revolt with atrocious mass massacres, and no external support by the Ottoman Empire or any European monarchs, Abdel Kader surrendered and later became the staunchest supporter of France:  He worked hard to rally the Egyptians and clerics to the cause of the project of the Suez canal undertaken by the French government.

Another case is of Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) who reluctantly lead the revolution to freeing all south America from Spanish colonialism in 1826. At 19, he married a Spanish girl (from Madrid), two years older than him, and he was deeply in love and decided to lead a normal life, like his dad did on his vast plantations.  Suddenly, Simon’s wife died four months later from fever and everything changed in his life.  He returned to Europe, Spain and France, on another long trip before he decided to return to Caracas (Venezuela).

Ho Chi Minh or “source of light“, one of the many aliases he used in his clandestine life, was born Nguyen Sinh Cung in Annam or north Vietnam; France was already the colonial power of the current Far East Asian States of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

Ho Chi Minh didn’t finish his high school in 1909 for lack of finance and his father, a low civil servant at the French administration, was fired for alcohol abuse.  France had change the Vietnamese ideograms into Latin characters called “quoc ngu“.  In 1905, Japan had defeated Russia and the Vietnamese were flocking to Japan for education. Ho Chi Minh decided to go west and boarded a French merchant cargo; he worked in the merchant marine for two years as cabin boy and kitchen helper.

In China of 1912, Sun Yat Sen forced the emperor to abdicate.  Ho Chi Minh is in Marseille (France) in 1913; he is refused the application to attend the Colonial school forming administrators to France.  WWI starts and 92,000 Vietnamese are enlisted in this western war as replacement to French workers in factories and digging trenches.  Ho Chi Minh refuses to participate; he wrote to his Vietnamese mentor in France: “Destiny is reserving us surprises.  Within 4 months destiny of Asia will change.  The hell with those who decided to fight.  We have to wait calmly for the war to end.”

In 1916, Ho Chi Minh is in London and acquiring technical skills in electricity and mechanics.  The “Annamite patriots” are in Versailles in 1919 demanding to be freed from France colonialism.  Ho Chi Minh understood that independence will be earned by violent means and join the French communist party, recently adhering to the Comintern organized by Lenin in the new Russia Bolshevik regime. Ho Chi Minh  wrote: “ I like and respected Lenin because he was a great patriot who liberated his compatriots.”

Thus, Minh sided with the Lenin faction at the 3rd French International that gathered in Tour in 1919; he spoke saying: “The future of socialism is by allying to nationalist forces and taking greater interest in freeing colonized nations that are marching irresistibly toward independence.”

He is suffering famine in Paris but he publishes articles in French communist papers.  From Moscow of 1923, Dimitri Manouilski, commissar of agriculture in Ukraine, summons Ho Chi Minh to attend 18 months at the new communist university, designed to training members in clandestine activities. Ho Chi Minh is then a member of the Peasant International executive bureau, the Krestintern and attends the 5th International Congress in Moscow and sides with Stalin, Zinoviev, and Kamenev against Trotsky (chief of the Red Army who was for an International revolution.)

In 1925, Ho is sent to Canton (China) to train and teach 300 Vietnamese communist refugees, among them is the future Prime Minister Pham Van Dong.  The Chinese communists, lead by Zhu Enlai, Mao Tse tong, and Wang Jingwei enter Shanghai before their ally the nationalists of Tchang Kai-check who foment a massacre against the communists inside the city and expels them.  Moscow is no longer supporting the Chinese Nationalists and Ho is recalled to Moscow.  Ho is sent to Bruxelles, Berlin, and Paris. In 1929, Ho reaches Thailand from Vladivostok and unites various small Vietnamese communist parties into one and appoints Tran Phu as secretary-general.

Ho suffers jails in Thailand and China for more than a year and manages to reach Moscow after crossing 7,500 kilometers that lasted 6 months.  Mao Tse Tong is firmly established in the Hunan and Jiangxi provinces. By 1933, Stalin started the purge: 30,000 army officers will be executed along with the communist leaders.  Ho is feeling the heat and obtains the permission to Joining Mao’s forces and met with a young Vietnamese historian Vo Nguyen Giap (the military mastermind in defeating the US forces in 1973).

In Vietnam of 1940, the Japanese sealed a deal with the French army faction allied to Vichy and are controlling all the air bases and the ports. Ho returns to North Vietnam and settles in a grotto, having carried a typewriter while crossing the frontiers; he eventually forms the Viet Minh and organizes the peasants.  Ho is actively contacting agents for arms and support.  Ironically, only the US comes to the rescue, supposedly to defeating the Japanese in Far East Asia after japan bombarded Pearl Harbor (Hawaii) in December 1941.

The leader of the Trotskyist communist faction, Ta Thu Thau, infiltrated to the north from his bases in south Vietnam; the Viet Minh captured him several times and was released by orders of Ho Chi Minh.  To making a long story short, Ho’s priority was a unified front in the north and decided to eliminate Ta Thu Thau saying: “He was a great patriot and we are crying him.  However, whoever does not follow the line I traced will be broken down.”   Ho tried hard to finding a peaceful resolution with the French and attended the conference in Fontainebleau during 1946 and spent several months revisiting cities and meeting old friends.

By 1951, Ho is receiving arms and financial resources from both China and Russia while the French troops are supplied by the USA. Ho finally defeats the 12,000 French army in Dien Bien Phu in 1954.  In 1955,  France abandons all of Vietnam to the US in order to focus its military resources against the Algerian national resistance.

Ho is now establishing the Viet Cong guerrilla and army to fighting the US troops in south Vietnam.  He died in 1969 as his emissary Le Duc Tho started the peace conference in Paris with Henry Kissinger.  The US will vacate Vietnam in 1973.  Ho Chi Minh spoke fluently four foreign languages: Chinese, French, English, and Russian.  The Chinese ancient philosopher Confucius was Ho’s spiritual master.

Note:  This topic was mainly extracted from the French book “Lighthouses” by Jacques Attali


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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