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Lectures to the Chinese by Alfred De Grazia

PART TWO:  The Eight Goods

7. Making Friends

Confucians taught ta t'ung, a world order and unity, centuries before the Stoics taught the same doctrine to the Roman world. Both had in mind, of course, that their own great civilizations would be the center of the world.

Today we know differently. At least the Americans do. No one travels around America these days foretelling an American world order. It is understood that if a world order is to be, or must be, then nations such as China and the Soviet Union, whose political systems are distinct from the American, must collaborate voluntarily in its creation.

What can be the basis for a world order composed of powers that stand in opposition? China cannot offer "communism" as the beginning and end of all things. Nor can the U.S.A. offer itself as the "super-power." Both peoples had this period of exultation. They cannot stand still now and live by inhaling its air. They cannot stop thinking and stand back for all the world to fall into their hands. Or are they like the famous farmer of the Han Fei Tzu?

There was in Sung a man, who tilled a field in which there stood the trunk of a tree. Once a hare, while running fast, rushed against the trunk, broke its neck, and died. Thereupon the man cast his plow aside and watched that tree, hoping that he would get another hare. Yet he never caught another hare and was himself ridiculed by the people of Sung.


Much more plowing is needed before "communism" and "super-power" become "peaceful cooperative world order." What are the programmatics? What institutions are needed?

The world is paralyzed by inaction in the face of problems that scream for concerted solutions. The list of problems is like a set of sentences pronounced before execution, to the roll of drums. Overpopulation; energy exhaustion; pollution; collapse of authority--each produces long faces, a grave nodding of heads, a mumble of "amen" and "so be it." For few persons believe that they in the flesh will be dragged out to the execution. The solutions that dominate the press and the minds of leaders dwell upon hopes of evasion and escape in the narrowest senses of those terms.

I must apologize for speaking now in specific terms about restructuring the world as if I had authority to do so. But problems need to be solved in the framework of structures. You cannot take a great leap into the air without launching and landing pads. "Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind"; thus spoke Jefferson. A world order must have a government, or if it pleases you, a governing conference, for it must carry out tasks beyond the powers of the United States or of any other country.

Considering the worst problems first, the world order conference has to institute strong population controls and organize relief and rescue missions against famine. Immediately thereafter should come agreement on world marine resources, and on measures against atmospheric pollution. These policies can be adopted through the United Nations Security Council.

The United Nations itself should be moved from New York to a location nearer the center of world population and world cultures. Istanbul (Turkey) or Alexandria (Egypt) are good possibilities. I think that it generally is understood that the United Nations organization is not competent constitutionally or administratively to carry out a new set of world directives. A new World Constitution and organization should be readied at this time that would involve the major nations in a progressive disarmament agreement and a basic economic guarantee to the world's people of food, clothing, and medical care.

The Constitution should engage the people of the world on five levels of participation--as individuals, as workers in principal industries, as members of large urban communities, as members of a regional culture, and as members of nation-state. A World Congress would be formed. As individuals, the people of the world might be formed into one hundred constituencies of equal numbers for the purpose of electing representatives to the World Congress. Here, the Chinese (not China as such) would be heavily represented.

An additional group of one hundred congressmen would be elected from associations of world industries in proportion to their numbers of workers and the volume of their production or services. Here American interests (not the U.S.A. as such) would be heavily represented.

Still another group of one hundred congressmen would be elected by the one hundred metropolitan communities into which the world would be divided on an equal basis. Ten great cultural regions of the world would supply ten congressmen each. The national governments, combining, if small, into larger equal constituencies, would select one hundred congressmen.

In all, a Congress of five hundred members would be empowered under the new World Constitution an would elect a Principal Coordinator (called Chairman or President) and a set of committees of congressmen to work with the Office of Principal Coordinator in each of the areas with which the world government was concerned. These would be logically nine: the five roles and the four administrations. The five roles are those already named -National, Regional, Associational (functional), Metropolitan, and Public (personal). The four administrations are Finance, Armed Forces, Courts, and agencies to administer the five roles. So nine committees of Congress and nine Assistant Principal and approved by Congress, are contemplated.

The general jurisdictions of the Congress and its committees can be imagined. The Metropolitan role is to reduce population and produce medical care. The Public role is to protect personal liberties and expand free expression. The Functional Association role is to allocate and oversee the use of world resources and guide productivity. The National role is to provide territorial law and order. The Regional role is to expend educational opportunities and to develop the potential of the great world civilization-Islamic, East European Socialist, Chinese, African, Latin American, North American, Western Pacific, European, Indian, and South Asian-Malayan.

The Congress, controlling the Office of Principal Coordinator and confining it to executive operations, would also approve a member of each of the great cultural regions as a High Commissioner, and this group of ten High Commissioners would act as the ceremonial representative of the world order.

The system of world order could begin at any time and at any point and with those policies that are most urgent and acceptable. Not all countries or regions need join for the world order to form. It would come into being in fact whenever two central forces of two regions decide to begin the work of the world. They would logically seek to avoid any actions that would imply that they were constituting a sheer military alliance, or that they were aiming to seek a monopoly of resources of any kind.

The impetus for the joining of the first groups would come from governments, but preliminary agitation for and support of the move can develop within the nations and among the supporters of world order everywhere. Fundamentally, it is pansympathia, the wish for world friendship, that must push forward and capture ideals and morale. Wherever possible, the public must agitate, propagandize, and bring pressure to bear on the authorities.

Since you have grasped what I have tried to say in these lectures, you will not be surprised or suspicious if, in America, the strength for world order emerges out of chaotic and variegated disturbances, and through the medium of very mixed supporters in which the intelligentsia plays a large role. By the same token, Americans should not be surprised if, one day soon, the Chinese Communist Party, acting according to its own nature and processes, announces itself prepared for world order. In both cases, the means of arriving at the result-the readiness to combine into a world order-are bound to be different but also likely to be equally effective and reliable.


The conventional mind in America thinks something like this:

For $80 billion a year, Americans can get all the protection that they need. Our fleets are off China and off Greece. Our armies are in central Europe and on the Pacific shores. Our Air Force is at many places. Our missiles are pointed at appropriate targets in Russia and China. Why should the Americans bother seriously with a world order? Let the United Nations talk and help countries here and there with U.S.A. funds. Let the Chinese, the Russians, and the Indians fume and curse at us. Eighty billion dollars is a high price to pay but less than other nations pay, relative to their wealth. What does America need from the world that its purchasing power and armed forces if need be, cannot obtain?

Under present world conditions, Americans can even feel that they have behaved with ordinary morality. We need not feel guilty. The conduct of the Russians, Chinese, Arabs, British, Japanese, French, Germans, Italians, Indonesians, Israelis, Africans, and other nations has been no better and sometimes worse than anything that the U.S.A. has done. Exploitation, genocide, breaking agreements, stimulating hate campaigns, imposing tariff barriers, and domestic repression are ordinary behaviors in the world.

If America has used up great quantities of world resources, that is exactly what every other country would have done if it had been able to do so. Those countries that have come under American domination have emerged free and better off form the experience: Western Europe, West Germany, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Japan, even Panama. The people of Eastern Europe deeply regret that they were not occupied by the Americans after World War II.

Think, too, of the risks of a new course in world affairs. Americans would have to trust powerful states, such as China and the Soviet Union, whose congenital hostility has often been manifested. Instead of, or in addition to, the $80 billion a year that goes to the military, $100 billion annually or more would be given to the world in goods and services to alleviate scarcities and strengthen economics everywhere. Meanwhile the world would be charging more for materials it sells America-minerals, metals, transportation charges, and so forth-so that the $100 billion here mentioned would probably incur higher prices on everything we buy, since it would be a net addition to the poor countries income.

If American military spending were cut in half, many millions of American would be made to feel resentful and nervous. Their lives would change substantially, and to what end? They would feel less secure in their defenses, and to what end? Would not the specter of the military-industrial conspiracy, which is only a statistical specter today, harden into a reality?

Now look at the world order from the standpoint of a Chinese. What is to be gained by it? How can the Americans contribute anything to China? Let us suppose that one fourth of the $100 billion a year was directed to helping China. What form would it take? China could accept it in foodstuffs, cloth, medical supplies, transportation equipment, and the construction of machine-tool factories and industrial plants. Would China cut back on its military appropriations and population growth in proportion to the aid received? We doubt it. The military and civil bureaucracy might resist strongly such changes, even if the party cadres decided upon them.

China can presently engage in commerce with Japan and the United States. Unfortunately its natural resources are not sufficient for its own future needs if its standard of living rises considerably. Therefore it cannot easily trade off its minerals and metals for manufactured goods in great quantities. It can invite factory enterprises of the type found in Hongkong, to manufacture radios and clothing, partly for export. Can a poor country let its workers work at low and gradually increasing wages for the world markets and thus creep up upon its competitors slowly with the surplus earned from its labor? This can be done, but it is a minor step, not a great leap. Many such steps can be taken, but China does not need a world order to take them., It can do so by ordinary agreements with particular governments.

I could take you on a world tour in this manner. I could show you all the pairs of countries and how they could find good deals to make with each other. However, every bilateral deal in a world jungle has the shadow of discrimination against other parties hanging over it. What of India, if America and China make lavish mutual arrangements? And what of Japan? And what of the Soviet Union? Exclusive dealing often pollutes the atmosphere with suspicion; and many exclusive deals can add up to a bad deal for all. So even a widening international trade may have more dangers than benefits. It is good for a bird to feather its nest, but does it know that a wind that is gathering 2,000 li away will blow its nest down tomorrow?

Let us reexamine the situation, as stated above. I feel that the selfish position ascribed to the Americans, and Chinese, and all others, is kind of delusory game among those who play it. It implies that there is somewhere a pay-off for the spending of one's life energies. But do parents ever get paid off for their children? Do men and women really get paid in a concrete sense for their work? Do soldiers get paid for dying? Do the parts of moving machine pay for each other? Do the many organs and dynamisms of the body pay each other off? If all of these do pay off, it is only seemingly so, that is, the pay-off is ideal, and comes from the mysterious breath of a holy spirit being imparted to their relationships. Then there is, magically, a pay-off. And so world order pays off if you believe it does.

If Americans were to take up an isolationist position, then everyone else would. The sum of $80 billion per year for arms is no small price to pay for a hoped-for isolation. Any small war would quadruple the cost to $320 billion, with, at the end, the resumption of heavy annual costs.

The very people who would feel most anxious and insecure about would order would also form a drag on the domestic reforms that are needed in America. Indulging them out of fear or sympathy for their aggressiveness would only lend them arrogance.

I have already pointed to the many benefits a progressive military organization could contribute to the country and the world: the taking up of new civil services; the contributing of leadership in many new domestic and international enterprises; the contributing of leadership in many new domestic and international enterprises; the conduct of educational and vocational programs; and so forth. One has to have faith in the capacity of military men to choose the better of two paths open to them and their country. Everything must be done to avoid isolating the military, depressing them, making them feel that they have not as much or more to contribute to a world order than any other social formation.

The same policy holds for the workers of America. Do they wish to live in a declining world, squabbling over fewer an fewer jobs and goods? Or do they wish to live in a world that offers them personal fulfillment in tasks more important than they, or any worker's formation in history, have ever attempted? And so to women. And so to the managerial class. And so to the bureaucrats.

Self-named "practical" men are forever neglecting the dynamic force of the grandeur and glory that is yearned for by the humblest of citizens but never spoken for because of embarrassment. It is for the leaders to let the people know that those immaterial and spiritual goods that they want for themselves and others are of far greater value than the narrow material compression that they are told is realism in values.

If there is any contradiction in Marxism that goes beyond all other contradictions, it is that communism had to be girdled in economics and Realpolitik. For below this pretense and masquerade beat the drums of humanitarianism, a pansympathia for workers and farmers of the world beyond all boundaries. All the sarcasm and viciousness of Marx's rhetoric was sprung from an agonizing identification with the great masses of the world. If world order is an impossible ideal, then certainly communism has never made a shred of sense.

There is an indignation in Marxism that is really a pansympathia. Behind all the brutality and massacres of the communists as they have risen to the top of many countries is a poignant regret, a regret of the kind that Nikita Khrushchev conveyed in the period just after the death of Stalin, a regret that led Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the writer, and many of his kind to bewail the destructiveness upon which communism has had to be built.

And turn to the Americans, now, who can well be imagined to be isolationist and reasonably, selfishly so. Are they? As I write these words, and the President is about to be impeached and thirty-five of his aides have been indicted for crimes, and after the moral defeats of Vietnam, and the coming of the three exponentials and the four disproductions, and amid Old and New Poverty, and as a super-power, in a world disenchantment, and knowing they are disliked, how do ordinary Americans react? I quote a survey announced on March 20, 1974.

More than 68m percent of the public supports the principle of providing assistance to the poor countries; even when faced with budgetary choices, nearly 1 of every 2 Americans favors maintaining or increasing the allocation for foreign economic assistance.

Americans consider world hunger and poverty a very serious problem. While they give higher priority to domestic poverty programs, they do not see the solution of domestic and international problems as conflicting.

The cold war no longer provides any part of the rationale for development assistance; the basic reason for the concern of Americans with the poor abroad is moral and humanitarian.


If a world order cannot be built upon a public like this, then it is the fault of leaders-their training, their fears, their skills. If they cannot find a way to lead such a public in the future, they should resign and be replaced.


America and the world are in need of programmatics, not "meliorism," "nit-picking," "escapism," and rear-guard actions. Surely there will be many obstacles and all will not be achieved without violence. If programmatics are reality, they hit blind spots, ignorance, and vested interests at many points. Indeed it is no exaggeration to say that programmatics that are effective and good are bound to cause some suffering to everyone on Earth, whether it is the American giving up his next vehicle or the Indian giving up her next baby. If programmatics are adequate, they are bound to be attacked as impossible. They are bound to encounter cynicism, polemics, and violence. They are bound to enrage people, if only because people hate to be told the truth and what has to be done.

In a way you are better equipped mentally, though not technically, to deal with the objections to world order, because the Chinese now have become programmatically disciplined, and respond to programmatics. Contrariwise, Americans feel a distaste for general programs and prefer to go from one solution to another in their own good time.

Problems no longer possess "their own good time." I do not see a world order coming about on particulars and over a long time. I think that particular solutions are the enemy of general solutions when so many things are going wrong with the world at any given time. This is the technical answer to particularism in reform: the total 360 degrees or global body of programmatics at the same time, so that the solution of one contributes to and buttresses the solution of all the others. No sacrifice of arms without assurances of food; no assurances of food without assurances of population controls; no assurances of population controls without attractive alternative life-styles; no alternative life-style unless they be made available to all social formations; no access to benefits to all social formations unless the face of bureaucracy changes; no changes in the face of bureaucracy unless work and organization are decentralized and made representative; no acquiring of a new vision of work without a foundation of universal benefits; no universal benefits without a creation of new initiatives and programmatics for leaders; no new leadership of society without the cooperation of military leaders; no cooperation of military leaders without the vision of a new role for the military; no new role for the military without a sacrifice of arms--and the circle of interacting policies and consequences goes on and on, spiraling into an infinity of progressive measures for a new world order. Wherever a mind blocks or obstructs, a danger to the whole system of change is signaled, and must be removed.

The world order cannot appear on the scene slowly. Else its details will be both uninspiring and obstructive to existing solutions, and cause disproportionate opposition. Violence to some degree may be required, civil and international; but violence to a larger degree is to be expected otherwise as well. The "great leap" to world order is necessary to create emotional "violences," that enthusiasm which makes people live well and happily even in their suffering. There is enough of suffering endlessly for nothing. That a free country is worth suffering for has been in my mind to prove. That a free world order is worth even more suffering is just as evident.


When Hsun-Tsang journeyed far, his golden monkey saved the monk form danger many times. "The golden monkey," writes Mao, "fiercely swings his powerful staff, and the jade universe is cleansed of a ten thousand li dust." Where are we journeying and who is our golden monkey?

Fable of the Bridge

Imagine a great procession of all peoples approaching a bridge over a chasm. Suppose that they are in good spirits. They wish each other well. They are in good order. They believe and behave as equals. But their supplies are running low. Now the bridge is complicated and long but it will hold only a few people at a time; yet all wish to cross it as soon as possible because like is richer on the other side. This is the situation of the world today.

If everyone rushes upon the bridge, it will collapse and no one will cross.

If the first people in the procession walk across first, their preferred position will continue thereafter and it will be a long time before all will cross.

If the technicians run ahead and cross first, they might use the materials on the other side to strengthen the bridge, and throw across a second and a third bridge.

But who will choose the technicians and who will ensure that they promptly build the new bridges instead of enjoying the riches of the new land?

If leaders are chosen, these leaders can choose the technicians and see to it that the bridge are built.

But how are the leaders to be chosen? If a few people claim to be leaders, many fights will break out. Confusion and death will befall many. Someone may dash across and let only his friends pass.

If the leaders are chosen by all, those who set up their election will be the real rules. These few, after promising to get everybody across, may simply bar the bridge to enjoy the riches for themselves, bringing some technicians over only to exploit the riches rather than to build new bridges for all.

So the idea may arise in the crowed that, since there is no way to guarantee a crossing for all, no one should cross and that the procession should turn to the right or left, or even backward, and that the riches on the other side are a myth fostered by troublemakers.

There are even many who are so discouraged by the prospects that they wish the whole procession to begin marching off the cliff into the chasm; this view is expressed principally by those in the rear of the procession, who feel that after all those in front have fallen into the chasm, those in the rear who survive will be able to cross without difficulty.

To the question, then, of "Who is the golden monkey?" there is no simple solution. There is great danger that the procession will dissolve into a fighting, starving mass. If the bridge does not promptly collapse, the few who manage to cross it will be too disturbed, suspicious, and incompetent to do anything but continue their fight on the other side until they destroy the riches of that land as well.

One idea insists upon recognition, even though it displeases most.It is unsure; it appears risky; it grants certain people credit who have not deserved much credit.

This idea is to select from the procession a group that already exists and has shown its ability to achieve a disciplined movement, to build bridge, and to think of the interests of others.

That is to say: as humanity approaches the chasm, there is neither possibility nor time to use random methods or equal methods or pure methods to say who is to move across first and build bridge for the rest. One studies the procession and chooses the most promising element as the best instrument for the purpose of the whole.

This Golden Monkey is known by five criteria:

It is strong in numbers of leaders and technicians.

It is skilled through recent experience and technology.

It is already at the head of the procession.

It has shown signs of dedication to the task.

If these four criteria are present, a fifth-and most important-criterion can be added: authority; that is, the belief on the part of many throughout the procession that the best chance for all rests in the delegation of powers to this best available instrument.

So as this idea grows, the instrumental element has to multiply its sings of dedication by changing itself: it refocuses its attention upon new goals; it cuts back certain expensive and useless practices; it commands itself as others would have to be commanded; it reforms. The changes must be sincere, radical, and rapid; time is short. The hardships of those at the end of the procession are becoming ever more apparent. Signs of dissolution are alarming the world crowd. Panic and regression threaten. The bridge itself may by stormed and destroyed.

Quickly, then, the Golden Monkey must appear. Which is the actual instrumental group? Would the Soviet Union qualify? It has numbers of leaders and technicians, and allies in many countries. It has some experience to apply. It is near the head of the procession. It has shown few sings of dedication. And to establish its authority over the procession would require an immense turnabout in beliefs all over the world. Its practice of destroying, instead of employing, large social strata in which knowledge and experience are concentrated would throw the whole procession into turmoil.

Would China qualify? China is short of technicians; it is toward the end of the procession in time and in effective (as opposed to visualized) progress. It has shown certain signs of dedication. It has had little experience in leading a world movement. It too has destroyed skilled social strata in moving forward. It lacks the means of moving up in line, and across, and building bridges for the world. It lacks potential authority, largely because it has lived within itself for so long a time.

The U.S.A. is in a better position to assume the task if it would set itself in order at the same time. Obviously, the better the job it does with itself, the better it can do abroad, for, in general, the domestic and external tasks are similar and related, and success at home ensures more authority in the world.

A better Golden Monkey would be a consortium of nations that would operate as effectively as some of the multi-national corporations of narrow scope that work around the world. If the U.S.A. were to combine with the Western European countries and Japan, the impetus to world reorganization would be truly impressive and effective. As more energy is devoted to consolidation of forces, less is temporarily available for external operations. To temporize in search of European-American unity might jeopardize the plan. We return to the first idea, that the U.S.A. must act as if unity will come provided that it behaves properly by itself.

To actualize the fable, then, a leadership must seize real, not ideal, opportunities, but conduct itself so as to leave no doubt that, in the end, it is humanity as a whole that will proceed across the bridge in good order and to the universal benefit.


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