It seems Trump’s failed attack on US democracy is insignificant when compared to previous successful US Government attacks on US and third world democracies. Here are some examples:

“In 1965, with the aid of weapons and intelligence from the United States, Suharto hunted down and killed between 500,000 and a million of Sukarno’s supporters in one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century”

“The US felt it had no choice but to shift to a more aggressive stance and resorted to the tactic they had used in Guatemala and Indonesia – the good old-fashioned coup. It was executed on 11 September 1973, by General Augusto Pinochet with CIA support under the code name Operation Fubelt.

British-made bombers – sent on the order of the CIA – came in low over the rooftops of Santiago and pounded the presidential palace with mortars and missiles. The rooftops and walls exploded in columns of billowing dust and smoke, putting an end to Salvator Allende and the hopes of his people”

These quotes are from  The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions, by Jason Hickel. In fact, global outrage against Trump may be the key to allowing Joe Biden and the Senate to achieve what Obama was prevented from doing.

Jason Hickel quotes from a range of sources and the Endnotes to the book provide references to relevant pages, see examples below. Talks at Google provides a 13 Nov 2020 interview with Jason Hickel.

Hunger

Page 15 (data provided by Eric Holt Gimenez,  agroecologist, political economist, lecturer and author).

“In 1974 at the first UN Food Summit in Rome, US Secretary of State Henry Kissenger famously promised that hunger would be eradicated within a decade. At that time there were an estimated 460 million hungry people in the world. But instead of disappearing, hunger got steadily worse. Today there are about 800 million hungry people, even by the most conservative estimates. More realistic estimates put the figure at around 2 billion – nearly a third of all humanity.  It is hard to imagine a greater symbol of failure than rising hunger, especially given that we already produce more than enough food each year to feed all 7 billion of the world’s people, with plenty left over for another 3 billion.”

 

The Poverty Gap

P16 (data provided by R Lahoti and S Reddy )

“In 1960, at the end of colonialism, per capita income in the richest country was thirtytwo times higher than in the poorest country. That’s a big gap. The development industry told us that the gap would narrow, but it didn’t. On the contrary, over the next four decades the gap more than quadrupled: by 2000 the ratio was 134 to 1. We can see the same pattern if we take a regional view. The gap between the United States (the world’s dominant power) and Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and the developing countries of the Middle East and North Africa has roughly tripled between 1960 and today…..And in early 2017, as the World Economic Forum met in Davos, Oxfam announced that the richest eight people had as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion.

 

The Age of the Coup

P115 (data provided by Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine , see also youtube documentary, and  Noel Maurer, The Empire Trap )

“When President Dwight Eisenhower took office in  the United States in 1953, he took a decisive stand against developmentalism, which he regarded as a threat to the commercia; interests of America’s multinational companies…..But the Eisenhower administration knew that it would be difficult to justify attacking a movement that was so obviously rooted in the principles of equality, justice and independence. He had to find a way to get theb American public onside. He did it in the end by drawing heavily on cold war rhetoric: he painted developmentalism as the first step on the road to communism, and by connecting developmentalist governments to the USSR he was able to tar them in the minds of American citizens.”

P116” Iran became the first target of Eisenhower’s backlash. Iran’s democratically elected leader, Mohammad Mossadegh, had become a stalwart of the developmentalist movement. Tall, dignified and Paris-educated, Mossadegh had risen to popularity in his country as a progressive politician. As prime minister, he introduced unemployment compensation and benefits for sick and injured workers. He abolished forced agricultural labour. He  raised taxes on the rich to fund rural development projects. And, most famously, he sought to renegotiate ownership of the country’s oil reserves, which at that point were controlled by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, now BP. When the Company refused to cooperate with an audit of its accounts, the Iranian Parliament voted unanimously to nationalise the company’s assets.

The move further boosted  Mossadegh’s popularity at home. But it enraged the British government, which quickly turned to the United States for assistance. The option of military intervention was on the table, but they worried that it might provoke the USSR into coming to Iran’s aid and set off a proxy war….First, they bribed politicians to whip up anti-government sentiment and paid demonstrators to take to the streets to create the false impression that Mossadegh was unpopular. Then they convinced the military to depose Mossadegh and hand power over  to the Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. It worked: the coup in August 1953 toppled Mossadegh and the Shah assumed power as an absolute monarch alongside a military government. He governed Iran for the next twenty-six years, most of that time with US support and with policies that were friendly to the Western oil companies – just as in Saudi Arabia, the West’s other main client state in the region. Mossadegh, for his part, spent the rest of his life under house arrest.”

P120 “After gaining independence from Dutch rule, the leader of Indonesia’s nationalist struggle, Sukarno, son of a primary-school teacher, assumed the presidency and rolled out classic developmentalist policies. He protected the economy from cheap foreign imports, redistributed wealth to the poor and evicted the IMF and the World Bank. Western powers resented Sukarno for these policies, and for the key role he played in mobilising the Non-Aligned Movement. So when he began to nationalise American and European assets, such as oil and rubber facilities, they took the opportunity to intervene.

When the CIA made it clear that they would back a coup, General Suharto – who was upset with President Sukarno for supporting policies that undermined the military’s power – offered to lead it.

In 1965, with the aid of weapons and intelligence from the United States, Suharto hunted down and killed between 500,000 and a million of Sukarno’s supporters in one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century.”

P130 “At the time (1970), much of Chile’spopulation was still mired in extreme poverty, while a small elite controlled most of the country’s vast land and wealth. Allende was lifted to power on his promise of a fairer society: better wages, public education, healthcare, housing and fairer rents. His victory was an impressive achievement, given that  the CIA and US corporations had attempted to manipulate the outcome of the election in favour of Allende’s right-wing opponent, Jorge Alessandri.

Allende’s government delivered. He established a minimum wage, reduced the price of bread, rolled out school meals, expanded low-income housing and extended public transportation to working-class neighbourhoods. He nationalised the copper mines and capped land ownership at 80 hectares (fully compensating private owners), ending the latifundia  and redistributing land to peasant farmers….

At first , the United States tried to force Allende to back off his nationalisation by applying non-military pressure….But all these efforts came to naught: by 1973, Allende was still in power, In fact, his party had gained support during those three years.  The US felt it had no choice but to shift to a more aggressive stance and resorted to the tactic they had used in Guatemala and Indonesia – the good old-fashioned coup. It was executed on 11 September 1973, by General Augusto Pinochet with CIA support under the code name Operation Fubelt.

British-made bombers – sent on the order of the CIA – came in low over the rooftops of Santiago and pounded the presidential palace with mortars and missiles. The rooftops and walls exploded in columns of billowing dust and smoke, putting an end to Salvator Allende and the hopes of his people”

An Adjusted World

P158 (data provided by Robert Pollin, Contours of Descent, and World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2007

“The IMF and the World Bank promised the world that structural adjustment would improve economic growth and reduce poverty. But intended up doing exactly the opposite. Instead of helping npoor countries, as they were supposedly designed to do, SAPs basically destroyed them, reversing all gains they had made during the developmentalist period. “

Regenerating Hope

P302 “and new research from the Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania, although not yet peer reviewed, says sequestration rates could be as high as 40 per cent, and if we apply regenerative techniques to the world’s pastureland as well, we could capture more than 100 per cent of global emissions.”

The Good News

Jason Hickel points out that the Global Inequality Solutions have until now been actively and forcibly suppressed by the US and other Western Governments. Their propaganda has been highly effective, but the Trump actions on 6th January 2021 has been an eye-opener. Joe Biden and the Congress now have a way of moving forward. As Joe Biden said:

But today’s reminder is a painful one, democracy is fragile.

And to preserve it requires people of goodwill, leaders who have the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to the pursuit of power or the personal interest pursuits of their own selfish interests at any cost — but of the common good. Think what our children watching television are thinking. Think what the rest of the world is looking at.”

https://www.wbur.org/news/2021/01/06/transcript-joe-biden-capitol-chaos


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