Contemporary Affairs

Contemporary Affairs covers the events of today that are shaping our tomorrows. This obliges us to take measures to understand their antecedents as well as their current and future implications.

These are serious time, of HISTORIC proportions, and in our opinion this thing is very likely to prove even more catastrophic than the Great Depression, primarily because the military options used to alleviate the pressures of that Depression are really not available today. It would not be rationale to initiate a third world war, given that so many of the big and medium powers are now nuclear powers, and therefore a third world would involves the real possibility of destroying the planet, or at the very least making it inhabitable for human beings.

No people, no profits...even the most rampant speculator-cowboy capitalist has to think twice about that...but, on the other hand, how long can this "stimulus-bailout" hustle, the powers that be are using now, continue before people get sick of it and say enough is enough? Which in that case would put the issue squarely at the danger point between a war to gain some one else's capital and wealth or dismantling the current political economic structures that dominate the globe to collapse totally? That is a situation where the current discredited political economic structure is replaced by something that is at least tolerable to the majority of the globe's population and thus conducive to preserving and advancing human life, civilization and society. Tough choice, I admit. But one that we seem more and more destined to face with each passing day more will require even more from us.

Whatever the eventual outcome, for the intermediate period all of us regular people will have to husband our resources carefully and shrewdly to avoid being pushed into a state of destitution. And don't doubt that it is happening to many people just like you and I. If you do doubt it, check out these two articles:

The Gaza Tragedy

The courageous attempts to assist the besieged Palestinian community of Gaza by people such as the Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, who was part of a maritime effort to bring medical aid to the people of the area, the forthright denunciation of the zionist aggressors by many adherents to Judaism such as UK television personality Alexei Sayles and many others of his faith, the outrage of groups ranging from regional semi-governmental agencies such as the African Union, the Arab League and the vast majority of the United Nations Organization to civil and human rights organizations, are indicators of the rapidly diminishing support for the Zionist agenda.

The aggression against the original people of Palestine at the hands of those who style themselves as Jews is especially tragic. The Jewish faith has derived many benefits from it historic association with the original Palestinians. For example Canaan's great Mother Goddess Asherah which the Jewish faith initially borrowed from Palestine Canaan being the Greek name for the Phoenician area of Palestine. (See the numerous works of Dr. Diana Adelman of the UK's University of Sheffield and Dr. Bill Dever University of Arizona on the subject of Asherah).

In fact it was the integration of the Jewish religious community into the Canaanite society that was the critical factor of the survival of those who embraced early Judaism. Ironically, in recent history (the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries) many who claim to be followers of Judaism have embraced the sick imperialism and colonialism of their tormentors in Europe.

This very dangerous turn of events has led many of the Jewish faith to denounce the zionist state as practitioners of Nazi like atrocities. Here are the words of a British MP, who was brought up as a zionist himself:

"Sir Gerald, who was brought up as an orthodox Jew and Zionist, told MPs: "My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town .. a German soldier shot her dead in her bed.

"My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza."

"The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt from gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians."
"MP makes Israeli troops Nazi link"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/manchester/7834487.stm

His words, whether he intended them to do or not, make it clear, one must choose between belief in Judaism and the amoral creed of zionism.

Analysis of Global Integration

This analysis of the expanding global economic integration tendency is from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Cultural View does not agree with the majority of the views of the CSIS expressed in this piece but it is an excellent source of information of a statistical nature which can be used to construct a more people friendly analysis of globalization. The first thing to remember is that there are two main elements of this phenomena. There the system that most people think of when they hear phrases such as global trading system, globalism, global economics, commerce and finance -- namely, the lop-sided economy of the global system as currently constituted. And then there is the multi-faceted movement around the world to build alternative continental and regional options to the status quo such as the African Union and the Bolivarian effort in South America and Cuba.

The point is this, no matter which side of the issue you come down on, you are bound to find something of use in this short piece.

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Economic Integration

According to the UN Development Program, the accumulated wealth of the 225 richest individuals in the world is equivalent to the combined annual earnings of the 2.7 billion people at the bottom of the global income ladder.

March of Globalization

Despite the rising international debate against continued economic liberalization, we believe that further global integration will continue out to the year 2025. The benefits of integration to both developed and developing countries are clear. The Euro area's GDP now rivals that of the United States while the
UN maintains that economic integration has allowed a number of developing countries to achieve in 30 years what it took industrialized nations up to 100 years to accomplish.2 Consider, for example, that real per capita GDP in Asia more than doubled between 1980 and 2000. While there may be temporary setbacks along the path to deeper integration, the world has clearly benefited from liberal economic reforms and continued momentum for greater integration appears to be likely in the long-term

“BRIC” Economies

The “BRIC” countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China—will increasingly define the world's new economic center of gravity. According to a report from Goldman Sachs, if they can consolidate conditions conducive to structural growth, the total GDP of the “BRIC” economies by the year 2025 could equal half the aggregate level of the G-6 countries (United States, Japan, Germany, UK, France and Italy). By 2040, assuming strong and sustained growth rates by the BRIC countries, they could overtake the G-6 altogether. However, the massive populations of the BRIC countries—equal to 40 percent of global population in 2025—will prevent economic growth from being translated dramatically in per capita income gains and the concentrated growth will exacerbate growing income inequity. For instance, “Forbes Asia” magazine's annual list of the richest Chinese found that there are now ten billionaires in China compared to three only a year ago. Meanwhile, GNI per capita in China remained under $1,300 in 2004.

Inequality

Income disparities will not be limited to the BRIC countries alone. Global aggregate output growth has increased on average by more than 3.6 percent annually over the last quarter century, and we expect the trend to continue through 2050. While this growth in global GDP and falling poverty rates indicate a rising economic sea level, global income inequalities have also grown. The fact remains that a staggering 2.8 billion people live on less than $2 a day. The costs for basic commodities continue to fluctuate, meaning that it is increasingly difficult for the poorest of the poor to meet daily requirements for life. These disparities - between the “haves” and “have-nots”- are fueling populist backlash against global inequity and integration. Globalization's greatest enemy is not its absolute success, but its relative
concentrations.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • During the 1990s the economies of developing countries that were integrated into the world economy grew more than twice as fast as the rich countries. The “non-globalizers” grew only half as fast and continue to lag behind.3
  • During the 1990s, the average annual rate of growth of gross domestic product (GDP) for developing countries as a whole increased to 4.3 percent.4
  • 15 percent of the world's population, located in the high-income countries, accounts for 56 percent of total consumption, while the poorest 40 percent, living in low-income countries, accounts for only
    11 percent of consumption.5
  • The poorest 10 percent of the world's people have only 1.6 percent of the income of the richest 10 percent, and the richest 1 percent receives as much income as the poorest 57 percent.6
  • Multinational corporations virtually control economic integration; two-thirds of international trade is
    accounted for by just 500 corporations.7
  • International trade is expanding faster than the world's economy – adding evidence to the claim that trade is one of the main engines of economic growth.8
  • International trade has grown 12-fold since World War II and is expected to grow 6 percent
    annually for the next 10 years.
  • In 1947 the average trade tariff on manufactured imports globally was 47 percent; by 1980 it was only 6 percent.9
  • The US and Canada are the largest trading partners in the world. In 2003, two-way trade in goods
    and services surpassed $441.5 billion.10
  • In absolute terms, FDI to developing countries increased from $36 billion in 1991 to $178 billion in
    2000.11