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<nettime> Digest: Stahlman / Stalder on Human Rights and World Governeme
Felix Stalder on Mon, 12 Apr 1999 19:21:31 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Digest: Stahlman / Stalder on Human Rights and World Governement


[Mark Stahlman's post '"Human Rights" is a Cover for Deadly Imperial Power'
(1.4.98), appended at the End of the this message,  was originally rejected
by the nettime  moderators.  The following exchange ensued.  The comments
in [] for easier orientation
[Stahlman 1] = quote from Mark Stahlman's original message
[Stalder 1] = quote from Felix Stalder's reply to Stahlman
[Stahlman 2] = Stahlman's comments to the reply.]


[Stahlman 2]
Felix:

Calmly . . .

[Stahlman 1]
<< >Folks:
 >
 >From the earliest attempts to mobilize campaigns and the first efforts to
 >draft international conventions, "human rights" has been intimately
 >associated with various plans to undermine national sovereignty in favor of
 >WORLD GOVERNMENT -- otherwise known as the NEW EMPIRE.

[Stalder 1]
 General: there is no such thing as a world government, There is a
 dominating global logic, embodied in the financial networks and
 institutionally embedded in the large multinationals, financial firms and
 international organizations (IWF, WTO etc). But this does not amount to a
 government in any sense.

[Stahlman 2]
There is a great deal of literature on this topic.  Sometimes it is called
"world state" sometimes "new world order" and sometimes "world government."
No one involved, as far as I can tell, has ever suggested that elections be
held but as you are well aware, technocratic forms of rule do not look for
elections for legitimacy.  Whether these institutions -- including UN, NATO,
IMF, WIPO, World Court -- constitute a "government" or not is clearly a
matter of opinion.

[Stalder 1]
 OK, there can be debate about that, but the point is, government sound like
 -- conspiracy. If I have never heard of the government, but it really
 exists, that is it has a institutional reality and specific program of
 governance, then it must have been formed in secret, that is conspiracy.

[Stahlman 2]
Nothing that I'm speaking of here is in any way a "conspiracy."  This is
standard historical material available to all in any library.  Again, some
involved call it a "government", some don't.  But the cumulative effect of
the undermining of national soveriegnty clearly has a "governmental" impact.
Where on earth do you get the notion of "conspiracy" from a potential
disagreement over terms?  And, why don't you object to the line of reasoning
in Ronda's posts regarding ICANN, in that case?

[Stalder1]
 This is too easy. Let's say the real power is embedded in the large
 financial firms, the so-called institutional investors. The biggest ones
 are the US pension funds, the control about 6000 billion. But are their
 managers really leading those funds with any degree freedom? No. They are
 puppets. But puppets of what?  Is there a conspiracy behind the conspiracy?
 No. They are puppets of a logic that reduced all values to a bottom line.
 By laying filter over filter, the hyperabstract regimes cut the ties
 between cause and effect, thus making it possible to create all kinds of
 paradoxical situation.

[Stahlman 2]
I don't know why you think that institutional investors have any power.  That
would be too easy.  Having spent 10+ years on Wall Street, I can assure you
that they do not.  They are driven by a "logic" as you note but have no
interest or even understanding of global power relations, in general.

Read Alvin Toffler on all of this.  His 1994 "Creating a New Civilization:
The Politics of the Third Wave" treats what he calls the "Decision Division"
at some length.  Or, for the origins of all this in his work, read his 1975
"The Eco-Spasm Report."  Or, look at any number of survey books on the topic.

[Stalder 1]
 Who leads? This is at least difficult to say. There are, of course, those
 who sit on the positions of making lots of money and those who don't. But a
 world government? Nay.

[Stahlman 2]
Yea.  Politics is much more than money.  And, the undermining of national
soveriegnty which has dramatically escalated with the NATO bombing of Serbia
-- which has no obvious money angle that I can see -- is the immediate case
in point.  Geo-politics and the conflict of power-blocs is far more elaborate
than anything Wall Street can deal with.


[Stahlman 1]
 >Any participant in "human rights" efforts or any student of these campaigns
 >must recognize that no matter how laudible the stated goals may appear or
how
 >beneficial the immediate results may indeed be, this activity is all
 >inherently in the service of a larger purpose -- a purpose which could very
 >well rob all humans of their dignity, self-determination and, ultimately,
 >their very humanity.

[Stalder 1]
 While I'm willing to accept the colonialist tradition of exporting a
 western concept to other cultures. The argument that human rights rob
 cultures of their right for self-determination sound to much like a
 neo-fascist "right to difference" (which means, right to domination).

I'm not familiar with neo-fascism in this sense.  What does "right to
difference" mean?

The new imperial structure is still being built.  It is perfectly reasonable
for me to speculate that "self-determination" will be sacrificed over time.

 [Stahlman 1]
 >Events today in Yugo/Serbia/Kosovo are totally consistent with nearly a
 >century of similiar, cynical usage of the average person's natural impulse
to
 >try to help innocent victims along with their all-to-common shortcoming of
 >not thinking things through to their sources and their consequences.  "Human
 >rights" propaganda carries the deadly logic of using one's inherent, human
 >sympathies to actually harm both the "innocents" along with the population
 >targetted with these techniques.  It turns simple decency into a deadly
 >weapon against those who are decent themselves.
 >
 >Perhaps most notorious in the annals of "human rights" campaigns is the WW
II
 >effort -- stimulated directly by publicity about the Nazi crimes -- known as
 >the "Sankay Declaration of the Rights of Man."  Named after a now
 >long-forgotten British politician in order to disquise the fact that the
 >"Declaration" was in fact written by H.G.Wells.  This effort was ultimately
 >recast into the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights and is generally considered
 >to be the source/foundation of all modern "human rights" organizing.
 >
 >Printed as an appendix and discussed at some length in Wells' 1942 book
 >"Phoenix", the "Declaration" begins with the words, "The Rights of the World
 >Citizen."  "Phoenix" is the final recasting of Wells' once-famous 1928
 >manifesto, "The Open Conspiracy" (against which Aldous Huxley published his
 >much-more-famous satire "Brave New World" in 1932).  In "Phoenix" Wells
 >restates the three-sided mantra of the Open Conspiracy -- no war, no growth,
 >no nation-states -- in the following fashion:

[Stalder 1]
 Here enters the paranoia. You shift from an official document, to its
 hidden author and from there to another piece of this secret author which
 is much more extreme, thus reveals the true intentions. This is conspiracy
 style at its best.


[Stahlman 2]
Huh?  The authorship of "Sankey" was well known at the time and is widely
discussed in the literature.  There was only a thin disguise at any time.  It
was Wells who used the term "Open Conspiracy" and you should read the book
before throwing names out at me for bringing it to your attention.  I haven't
a drop of paranoia.  Imaging that "institutional investors" have power is far
more paranoid than anything I've said.

"Phoenix" was published and read by many at the time.  Wells' spells out a
great deal of the motivation behind "Sankey" and none of this has been
disputed as far as I know.  You just simply haven't read the material.


[Stahlman 1]
 >"These constitute the threefold imperatives which a world revolution must
 >obey.
 >
 >"First, the establishment of an overriding federal world control of
transport
 >and inter-state communications throughout the entire world.
 >
 >"Secondly, the federal conservation of world resources.
 >
 >"Thirdly, the subordination of all the federated states of the world to a
 >common fundamental law." (page 20)
 >
 >Think about it.  Have you ever heard these ideas before.  Are they described
 >as a "revolution"?
 >
 >Internet globalization.  One world market.  Dissolution of nation borders.
 >Multinational corporation and PoGO's effectively in control of transport,
 >communications and resources.  Unaccountable.  Unelected.  Totally above
 >sovereignty.  Totally "revolutionary."
 >
 >Or, as a leading imperial apologist, R.W. Apple Jr. of the NYTimes put it
 >today, in a "News Analysis" piece entitled "It's the 21st Century Arriving
 >Early":
 >
 >"Kosovo could be a template for the century to come . . . It is not about
 >ideology . . . One catalyst for the Kosovo 'war', if that is the right term,
 >is the mounting belief in much of Europe and North America that human rights
 >matter more than national sovereignty . . . Another is television . . . On
 >the same day [that this bombing began], England's highest court ruled that
 >Gen. Augusto Pinochet could be extradicted to Spain . . . Both events
 >dramatized the weakening of sovereignty, a development that disturbs China
 >and Russia."

[Stalder 1]
 Yes, maybe. But what does that mean. Why is the sovreignity of nations such
 a holy principle when it is barely 200 years old? I can find nothing,
 absolutely nothing wrong with arresting Pinochet. This was one of the few
 events that made me hopeful. Serbia is more complicated, of course, but the
 fact that Serbia is supposedly a nation state does justify killing a
 significant part of the population.

The fact whether you agree or disagree with the vital need for nation-states
is quite irrelevant to your role as moderator.  We could certainly have a
fine discussion about what will replace the nation-state -- right on nettime,
if you wish -- but your opinion belongs in your own posts on the topic.

 The problem here seems not to be the violation of a nation state's sphere
 of influence (domestic affairs) but the selective application of the
 principle of human rights. Pinochet was first, let's hope Kissinger is next
 (unlikely, I know.)

[Stahlman 2]
No, NATO bombing is a major and unprecidented violation.  The NYTimes and
many others correctly identifies it as such.

[Stalder 1]
 So, why did the post not get approved? It starts out with an extremely
 provocative statement,

[Stahlman 2]
I disagree.  The association between "human rights" and the attack on
national soveriegnty is one that is well documented in the historical record.
 To make such a connection on nettime is only provocative because,
presumably, you and others are not familiar with history.

[Stalder 1]
 then weaves it into a tale where secret actors pull
 the strings behind the curtains (Wells) to disguise the true intentions for
 world domination

[Stahlman 2]
Huh?  Wells is only a "secret actor" to you.  He wrote dozens of books and
articles on what he called the "World State."  His true intentions were made
very public. He never intended "world domination."  You are making all this
up.  It is not in my post.  You have a fixation on "conspiracy" which is
personal, I have to presume.  I don't deal in conspiracy of any sort here.
I'm discussing well documented historical material.

[Stalder 1]
 and then ends in a way that the conclusion is either: Oh
 god, we are lost, or a crypto-fascist 'reaction.' I believe that this was
 not your intention, but this is how I read it and why it didn't get
 approved.

[Stahlman 2]
We are only lost if we don't understand what is going on.  And, what sort of
alternative is "crypto-fascism"?  Indeed, what is "fascism" to begin with.
Am I allowed to discuss that matter on nettime?

We will not understand what is going on in our lives if "moderators" refuse
to allow historical reviews to be publically posted.  You may read my post
however you wish but, as you say, your reading is not my intent.  Your own
confusion or lack of background is certainly not license to block such
material, is it?

Far from making sweeping "we are lost" sort of statements -- which, as
opinion, appear all the time on nettime -- I'm trying to point people to well
documented history, which is even understood by the NYTimes, so that silly
opinions do not rule our behavior.

Please tell me how to modify this post so that it will not provoke your
misunderstanding, if that's what is going on here.

Best, I hope,

Mark



------------------------- Original Post ------------------
From: Newmedia {AT} aol.com
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 15:51:33 EST
Subject: "Human Rights" is a Cover for Deadly Imperial Power
To: nettime-l {AT} Desk.nl


Folks:

>From the earliest attempts to mobilize campaigns and the first efforts to
draft international conventions, "human rights" has been intimately
associated with various plans to undermine national sovereignty in favor of
WORLD GOVERNMENT -- otherwise known as the NEW EMPIRE.

Any participant in "human rights" efforts or any student of these campaigns
must recognize that no matter how laudible the stated goals may appear or how
beneficial the immediate results may indeed be, this activity is all
inherently in the service of a larger purpose -- a purpose which could very
well rob all humans of their dignity, self-determination and, ultimately,
their very humanity.

Events today in Yugo/Serbia/Kosovo are totally consistent with nearly a
century of similiar, cynical usage of the average person's natural impulse to
try to help innocent victims along with their all-to-common shortcoming of
not thinking things through to their sources and their consequences.  "Human
rights" propaganda carries the deadly logic of using one's inherent, human
sympathies to actually harm both the "innocents" along with the population
targetted with these techniques.  It turns simple decency into a deadly
weapon against those who are decent themselves.

Perhaps most notorious in the annals of "human rights" campaigns is the WW II
effort -- stimulated directly by publicity about the Nazi crimes -- known as
the "Sankay Declaration of the Rights of Man."  Named after a now
long-forgotten British politician in order to disquise the fact that the
"Declaration" was in fact written by H.G.Wells.  This effort was ultimately
recast into the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights and is generally considered
to be the source/foundation of all modern "human rights" organizing.

Printed as an appendix and discussed at some length in Wells' 1942 book
"Phoenix", the "Declaration" begins with the words, "The Rights of the World
Citizen."  "Phoenix" is the final recasting of Wells' once-famous 1928
manifesto, "The Open Conspiracy" (against which Aldous Huxley published his
much-more-famous satire "Brave New World" in 1932).  In "Phoenix" Wells
restates the three-sided mantra of the Open Conspiracy -- no war, no growth,
no nation-states -- in the following fashion:

"These constitute the threefold imperatives which a world revolution must
obey.

"First, the establishment of an overriding federal world control of transport
and inter-state communications throughout the entire world.

"Secondly, the federal conservation of world resources.

"Thirdly, the subordination of all the federated states of the world to a
common fundamental law." (page 20)

Think about it.  Have you ever heard these ideas before.  Are they described
as a "revolution"?

Internet globalization.  One world market.  Dissolution of nation borders.
Multinational corporation and PoGO's effectively in control of transport,
communications and resources.  Unaccountable.  Unelected.  Totally above
sovereignty.  Totally "revolutionary."

Or, as a leading imperial apologist, R.W. Apple Jr. of the NYTimes put it
today, in a "News Analysis" piece entitled "It's the 21st Century Arriving
Early":

"Kosovo could be a template for the century to come . . . It is not about
ideology . . . One catalyst for the Kosovo 'war', if that is the right term,
is the mounting belief in much of Europe and North America that human rights
matter more than national sovereignty . . . Another is television . . . On
the same day [that this bombing began], England's highest court ruled that
Gen. Augusto Pinochet could be extradicted to Spain . . . Both events
dramatized the weakening of sovereignty, a development that disturbs China
and Russia."

Ask yourself who or what will take advantage of this "weakening"?
Representative democratic governments?    Who will benefit from this radical
power-shift?  Honest, hard-working artists?

The "leading democracy" in the world today, the U.S.A., clearly isn't a
nation-state any more.  And, as the bizarre events surrounding Bill Clinton's
inability to get any satisfying sex unambigously reveal, absolutely no one is
charge over here.  What many Europeans seemed puzzled about is really quite
simple, all you have to do is read H.G. Wells. The American presidency could
have been a speed-bump in the relentless drive for for domination known as
WORLD GOVERNMENT.  So, the presidency had to be taken out and shot in the
back of the head. Contrary to some signs in the center of Belgrade, Serbia
*is* Monica.

Using the cover of "human rights" and the pathetic old women and
forever-scared children of Kosovo as hostage/shields, the NEW EMPIRE
cynically undermines national sovereignty in order to lay its own claims to
world power.  That was and is the only objective of this attack.  This is the
first time that NATO has bombed a sovereign country.  It won't be the last.
Mission accomplished.

H.G. Wells is smiling, wherever he may be.  His world revolution is a 2,000
pound bomb falling on your rooftop.  For some"revolutionaries", happiness is
a warm gun.

Mark Stahlman

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