Gov. Bill . . . from page 22 The transfer of Vice Adm. Kenneth M. Can from a post in Nevada to the top-security E-Ring of the Pentagon was done so rapidly and slickly that the head of Reagan’s inner-Pentagon transition team, William Van Cleave of USC’s Defense and Strategic Studies program, had to read about it in the press. Clements later said there wasn’t anything sinister about having Carr installed behind the transition team’s back, and that the admiral was simply a very capable sailor who knows his missiles. At about the same, the Washingtonminded Clements fired his original appointee, ex-Tower staffer Dave Martinez, as head of the Office of FederalState Relations in Washington in a move to tighten his grip over the activities of that lobbying service, which the legislature has been eyeing greedily of late. And, of course, Clements will be practically a neighbor of the Reagans anyway, since he still owns the Virginia farm where Ronnie and Nancy lived in the waning weeks of the general election campaign. So that when Bill Clements wants to get a few military thoughts off his barrel chest, it won’t be the governor of Texas talking to the President of the United States. It will just be another landlord telling an ex-tenant how he ought to arrange his firearms for the common defense. L.J. present world-wide economic crisis. They saw the imperilment of social and economic justice by stagnation and inflation, and, because of their certainty that monetarism would soon fail, they feared that militarism would be the next solution. To a person they agreed that the present crisis requires the restructuring of political, social and economic institutions, processes and relations. The United States, they argued, is on the threshold of profound change for good or ill. The corollary is that the restructuring that must take place in advanced industrial societies is inevitably intertwined with the lives and hopes of the Third World. Tony Benn and others stressed that political life must be refounded on a concept of morality on compassion, concern and community fundamentally on the belief in human dignity. “This,” he said, “is the essence of socialism.” By contrast, he noted, those who are guided by the principle of profit and loss spit out the word socialism “as some sort of virus.” “Socialism!” they snarl. Tony Benn probably didn’t realize just how right he was, for in the United States even liberalism is now treated as a virus. In a recent excess of candor brought on by the flush of Ronald Reagan’s victory, Joseph Sobran, the Los Angeles Times columnist, argued: “Liberalism has failed. It is unnatural. It expects people to subordinate their concern for their families and themselves to an attenuated compassion for remote strangers. You can’t build a society on a principle so contrary to human nature. It is becoming more possible to say that in public now,” Sobran noted. Some commentators have suggested that the election of 1980 represents an overwhelming mandate for the Republican platform, particularly its call for getting government “off the backs of the people.” No promise was made more regularly by Reagan, and, apparently, none more enthusiastically received. Of course, Reagan’s mandate emanated from only about 26 percent of the electorate \(Carter’s had been only 27 New York Conference were eager to present the case for those who strongly disagree with Reagan and with Republican supply-side economics. Republicans, various participants asserted, believe that government regulation stifles investment and contributes to inflation. Social spending at the “excessively high levels” we have in the U.S. is “fuel to the flames.” Accordingly, the GOP says, our policy should be to cut corporate taxes, offer subsidies to business, lower wage standards and intimidate or “bust” the unions. And, for symbolic as well as 30 DECEMBER 26, 1980 practical purposes, we should abolish recent Democratic innovations like the Department of Energy. According to William Winpisinger, such a Republican program will not only fail to help working people \(when money “fails to trickle down and put people tion of the values it professes. It puts immense public decision-making power in private hands. It also gives corporations the key to the public larder while holding unions at bay. Such a program, said Winpisinger, is little more than “socialism for them and free enterprise for the rest of us.” What would a program of social and economic reconstruction tailored to human needs look like? Above all it would be democratic. Not just the political system, the social and the economic systems, too. All would be subjected to the democratic process. To comprehend that, hear Olof Palme: “Democracy is at the core of political, social and economic development. For the individual, life is of one piece you can’t speak of political democracy without social and economic democracy. Economic and social rights are as selfevident as political rights. Socialists uphold the value of work work is the foundation of all being. People have an entitlement to participate in working life. Full employment is the basis of freedom. And because you work, you have the right to influence power. We must humanize industrial society and provide for a renewal of working life.” In planning for economic democraCy, Palme argues that, while details may be for experts and professors, the big issues the value judgements are for ordi nary people with their common sense and their dreams for a better life. Swedish Social Democrats believe in worker participation in decisions on investment and production. “After all,” Palme said with a smile, “if the ownership of capital is such a joy, why shouldn’t the workers share it?” Under a plan developed by Rudolf Meidner, economist for the Swedish trade union federation \(the 20 percent of firms’ profits would be distributed as shares of stock to the trade unions, which would in time become the majority stockholders. Democratizing multinational corporations will prove more difficult, and they are an increasingly dominant presence in many countries, advanced or Third World. Again, the rhetoric of the Reagan campaign suggests, and many Americans seem to believe, that corporations are more efficient than government. This view, rooted solidly in free-market ideology, implies that corporations lack bureaucracies and therefore can avoid bureaucratic inefficiency. Conference participant Richard Barnet, author of Global Reach, pointed out that such a view falsely dichotomizes the issue. Corporations regulate production and distribution. They differ from government in that their decisions are made on the basis of profit and loss; governments must be concerned with much wider effects. And, while corporate decisions may have far-reaching consequences, they are made in the absence of popular control or constraint. Yet even if multinational corporations are efficient in the narrow economic sense, they may not benefit the economy or workers in their “home country.” For
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