Political Economy and Social Justice
in the New World Disorder

Philosophers have only studied the world in various ways;
the point is to change it.


INTRODUCTION There are many problems facing those who want to help build global and national political economy oriented to social justice. I am charged to reflect upon the papers presented at the session on Socialism and the World Capitalist System here today and to critique them, on behalf of the audience, in terms of some vision of how a people and a global governing body might move toward a more democratic and responsible political economy. 1

I have to say, at the outset, that I don't care too much for the term, socialism. Far too much, it conveys the idea of the state as a central repository of economic wisdom, agency and control. It implies a vast bureaucratic apparatus hostile to both human agency and variations on a theme. While the state may one day wither away, still theory and experience tell us to guard against such readings of our efforts here today. My own preference is found in the subtitle; what we should reinvent is not state socialism but a global political economy in which social justice concerns envelop and constrain extraction of raw materials, global investment decisions, and relationship to the means of production for diverse ethnic groups which seek to preserve their ancient heritage.

The papers before us are happily matched to such a project in a number of ways. Christopher Chase-Dunn (1989; 1991; 1992) provides us with an overview of the architecture of the global world economy. Any effort to build the socialisms of the future must consider its many features. Terry Boswell (1992) reviews some characteristics of the global economy which have made the building of a democratic socialism difficult while he insists that democratic socialist institutions are necessary at home and on a global scale. The other two panelists change scale to discuss the lessons to be taken from Nicaragua (Paige, 1992) and Vietnam (Murray/Vieux, 1992) today for a wise and decent economics tomorrow.

Chaos Theory My particular contribution to the session, other than illuminating the more salient points made here today and offering some other ideas useful to democratic socialisms for the 21st Century, is to encourage those in political economy and in the philosophy of science to consider the implications of a profound transformation reported in scientific literature variously called nonlinear dynamics, Chaos theory and/or the science of complexity. I am confident that nonlinear analysis will be foundational for social policy in three regards: first in describing the nonlinear behavior of actual economics (Berry, 1991) and in offering ideas about human agency about social change and thus about social policy--as postmodern science would see them (Young, 1991, 1992). I offer comment in passing below.

Chaos research reveals a profoundly different architecture of social structure from that presumed by modern science and its post-structuralist critique. One's conceptualization of structure is basic to both research agenda and to social policy. In general, those findings are hostile to central planning, close control, and monolithic policies. In general, the basic ideas of Chaos theory speak in favor of gentle intervention at key points on key variables while suggesting that there are more limits to human agency than perhaps we care to see. Chaos theory also offers a theoretical tool with which to understand the great discontinuities in global politics in recent days a bit better than the linear and totalizing theories of the past.

The difference in architecture of social structures between that presumed by Euclidean geometry and that uncovered by Chaos research is pivotal to the reinvention of a socialism which will work to human purpose. An entirely new vocabulary, loaded with entirely new understandings is required to grasp this most unusual science and transfer its insights to social justice concerns. Other essays in the series are available to that purpose and a large and rapidly expanding literature is in the bookstores. Brian Berry (1991) offers an overview of Chaos theory and Kondratieff/ Kutznet waves for those interested in developing a socialist economics geared to the new science of complexity. 2

I want to underscore the theoretical point made in the Chase-Dunn paper that there is a 'spiral' or interactive effect between global capitalism and socialist economics around the world. My small addendum to this point is that most salient point is that these dialectics are nonlinear. By that I mean that there are quite specific points, there are phase transitions in economics which bring surprise, renewal and challenge; these points of transition can be identified by the four Feigenbaum numbers which measure the rate of change of key parameters in system dynamics (Briggs and Peat, 1989:58).

And, in keeping with a major theme in Chaos work, I want to emphasize the curious causality found in Chaos work. Causality is fractal (it varies over a causal field); it is multilayered (there are varying connections from the microscopic to the macroscopic); and it is dialectic (the observer somehow enters into the field under study and affects the outcomes. The connectivity of causality is strange indeed since it appears to work over a distance in which events apparently unconnected by some direct mechanism are affected by distant events. I hasten to add that such causality is entirely natural in the sense that it is a feature of physical matter.

SCALE OF ANALYSIS If we are to build a democratic socialism, we have to know the shape, reach and run of the larger structures in which the fates of its parts are partly determined else face failure. Chase-Dunn and the world system school have made a compelling case that there are, in fact, macro-structures which, forms and preforms economics within nations and within blocs of nations. To deny the existence of this structure(s) is to blind oneself to the mountains and ridges into which one might fly. A large and growing literature, called post-structuralism, denies the causal efficacy of such structures referring to theories about them as 'meta-narratives' of doubtful authenticity. Chaos theory offers an understanding of structure which reconciles the postmodern critique to World Systems Theories. The facticity of such structures vary with region in a causal field and with scale of analysis. 3 Appendix A discusses the problem of structure in more detail than here, giving both evidence and analysis in terms of Chaos theory.

The global economy, until 1989, was composed of two separate economic blocs which, together, form a mega-system, the interactional dynamics of which still have profound impact upon each other. It is the interaction of that mega-system to which the Chase-Dunn paper speaks so directly. I must say, it is a pleasure to see a first rate intellect organizing a vast array of data over the scale of time and space in which Chase-Dunn and others in world system theories work. Yet it is the very disorderliness of such data which gives post-structuralists so much room for doubt.

Structures Among the more important 'structures' which Chase-Dunn invites our analytic attention are:

Connections In the sweep of economic history Chase-Dunn presents us, socialism shapes capitalism and capitalism preshapes the varieties of socialism. Socialism has forced capitalism to make concessions to workers since the spectre of communism always haunts the conservative conscience. Socialism forces capitalism to share out markets and technology where otherwise it would tend to stagnate. Chase-Dunn uses Korea as a case in point. The USA developed Korea as it did not client states in Central America since Socialist China sat an ominous option for workers and suppliers in that part of the periphery. Today, it is not the USA government and its direct intervention into peripheral nations which insert capital and reproduce market relations; it is private transnational corporate investors who do so to take advantage of competitive wages; favorable business climate (read few restraints on profit margins, profit expatriation or pollution controls along with more or less heavy repression/oppression of populist elements).

In his development of the concept of the Core-periphery system, Chase-Dunn uses a model most compatible with the fractal structures of Chaos theory. He notes that the core is comprised of several 'subgroups;' that no one core state represents the interests of world capitalism as a class. The multi-centric model of the global does two things for Chase-Dunn; it keeps the system competitive and capital moving while it presents no stable central target against which to mobilize working class struggle (1989:42). I have said that conceptualization is important to social policy since it sets the pathway of policy. Monolithic conceptualizations ignore the interactive effect of parallel economic structures. It is the particular virtue of Chaos theory that different modes of production can occupy the same time-space continua. The operative question centers around the nature of that interaction; Chaos theory suggests it is, variably, nonlinear. Sometimes capitalism smothers other economics; sometimes it parasitizes them; sometimes it augments and nourishes. This is a very different view of such dynamics found in orthodox capitalist and marxist literature.

Chase-Dunn utterly rejects the idea that the cold war is over; that capitalism has won and that all that remains is for capitalism to bring its many blessings to the undeveloped nations of the world. For both Chase-Dunn, Jeffery Paige, Terry Boswell and Murray/Vieux, the only interesting question is what form socialism will now take given the collapse of bureaucratic socialisms. Let us take a look at what they have to say about past in aid of reinventing future socialisms. In passing, I will add a few ideas which might be of value to such discussions.

The comments of both Paige and Murray/Vieux document this mega-structural dialectic in their review of the difficulties faced by Vietnam and Nicaragua in building socialism today. Cuba has been sitting at the grinding edge of these two tectonic plates for the past 30 years. Boswell takes up the idea to insist that, in order to act effectively within that mega-system, one must reinvent socialism globally rather than only locally. Boswell's paper is the most programmatic of the set in terms of a global strategy for reinventing socialism. I will save those ideas for separate review later.

ALTERNATIVE FUTURES Chase-Dunn, Paige and Murray/Vieux see the reintegration of many former socialist economies into the capitalist world system. Chase-Dunn quotes Gunder Frank's early work on this point which reported increased sales from socialist nations on the world market (not excluding military goods); increased imports (mostly for bureaucratic elites) as well as deals with transnationals for investment within their borders (1989:4). Chase-Dunn adds that such investments couples socialist economies with that of capitalist. The recent 'austerity regimes' in the core countries (for the workers, not the wealthy), privatization (of high profit not low profit lines), deregulation (of corporations, not unions), and the well received attack on welfare (for the poor; not for the rich) have had similar expressions at the same time in the socialist regimes (1989:5).

Import Substitution Chase-Dunn suggests that, given the downturn on the K-wave and given the coupling of the economies, all these tend to defeat any collective or common strategy in the mega-bloc of which he speaks (1989:5). Import substitution is his case in point. Although it worked out differently in socialist nations contrasted to semi-peripheral countries, in the end it failed as a development (and hence legitimation) tactic. It failed in the semi-periphery (Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore aside) since import substitution required either higher wages to support local demand or world market success. Trying to compete with established powers with favored status in client states is difficult; paying higher wages inimical to profit. In the socialist bloc, exploitation of workers produced foreign exchange and luxury goods for the bureaucratic elite and thus delegitimated such economics.

Corporativism It is noteworthy that national socialism cum corporativism is not feasible given the emergent world economy; neither Chase-Dunn nor Murray/Vieux mention it. They are right: no state functionary wants to be excluded from the world market by virtue of its closed and preferential treatment to local capitalists. Japan, Britain, and Germany have had some success in such corporativist politics and many in the USA, H. Ross Perot, for example, think that it is possible to have access to world markets and to restrict imports as well. That tactic is just not on given the hegemony of the big Seven and the powerful economic and political tools with which they have to work. South Africa, Iran, Iraq and other insular nations have learned to not opt for either a nationalist or a religious curtain to the flow of capital. 4

Commodification Chase-Dunn reflects on the limits of the commodification process and, by inference, the limits of capitalism. He says that only so much can be commodified before political regulation kicks in. In the USA, surrogate mothers now offer surrogate babies for sale. Body parts from aborted fetuses are an international commodity. One can buy the political process in any capitalist economy with judicious and discrete investment in campaign contributions and in marketing strategy. Religious dispensations for great crimes and small sins have always been bought and sold. Food, shelter, health care, education and recreation including sexual services are everywhere commodified. One can patent forms of life in the USA; Scientific American (June, 1992:62) celebrates such science. As long as capitalists are in charge and as long as workers are well paid, they will make and sell arms, cigarettes, alcohol and other dangerous drugs. Today, Wm. Buckley and other market liberals want to commodify street drugs.

Murray/Vieux report on the commodification in Vietnam. It is extensive. The Communist Party leadership in Vietnam instituted a new economic policy called doi moi (renovation) in 1986. It decentralized decision making, expanded foreign trade, permitted private profit, recognized multiply property relationships, and permitted many state enterprizes to respect market criteria in hiring, buying, selling, and raising capital. These enterprizes included coal, electricity, steel, chemicals, fertilizers, transport, as well as communications, textiles, paper and electronics (Murray/Vieux, 1992:10). The leadership retained control over thirty five state enterprizes including publishing, gold, alcohol, cigarettes, ports and major roads.

Paige, however, discusses the adverse effects of decommodification in Nicaragua (see below). Absent market incentives, Nicaragua's economy suffered greatly. Add corruption and political misjudgment and one has recipe for the devolution of socialism. Reinvention of socialism requires some kind of feedback mechanism to coordinate the whole complex, multi-centric and global process. One can see advantages to market as a feedback mechanism but capitalist marketing tend to amplify deviancy and lead to the destabilizing bifurcations inimical to the human project. Chaos theory teaches us that nonlinear feedback stabilizes while linear feedback explodes the causal basin in which it is found (Briggs and Peat, 1989:34-27). The lesson is that markets must be bracketed by politics but gently, lightly and judiciously. Roemer (1990) and Kenworthy (1990) are working assiduously on something called market socialism which might be worthy of consideration in reinventing socialism.

Is It Capitalism Yet? Both Chase-Dunn and Murray/Vieux appreciate that, at some point, the commodification of goods and services converts a socialist system into a capitalist economy. The operative question for Vietnam and other putatively socialist economies is which goods and services are to be commodified and which to be socialized; or, alternatively, how are the profits from production to be socialized to common goods. One must clarify such questions conceptually if one wants an answer.

The essence of socialism is that some part of the surplus value generated by economic practices is converted to the general community needs. Capitalism tends to appropriate surplus value to the needs of the capitalist class; common needs are secondary. Paige will tell us of the many reasons bureaucratic socialism failed in Nicaragua; two of interest here: the failure to generate sufficient surplus value due to the rigidity of central planning and the propensity to appropriate overmuch to nonproductive goods (weapons in the case of Nicaragua; consumers goods for an elite in East Europe and the USSR). The operative question is how can a democratic socialism appropriate surplus value in a way that does not discourage productivity, flexibility, creativity and cultural diversity.

Murray/Vieux (1992:9) tell us that the Vietnamese Communist Party retained control over gold, tobacco and alcohol. One assumes they did this in order to allocate surplus value to the common purpose. Murray/Vieux were too kind to pass judgement on such tactics but one wonders how extracting surplus value from tobacco use or alcohol sales answers to the human project. One wonders what other mechanisms are at work in Vietnam to generate surplus value and how wise is the party in allocating it to the general purpose considering the many competing priorities they must balance. One wonders if the Vietnamese Communist Party appropriates surplus value to its private use.

Chase-Dunn makes the trenchant point that even if all nations were, separately socialistic and democratic internally but continued to relate to each other with competitive commodity production, such productive would 'repenetrate' domestic institutions (p.14). Boswell makes the same point about former East European socialisms. There must be mechanisms to socialize surplus value at the global level else capitalism reproduce itself everywhere. None of the panelists focus on such mechanisms but the point requires careful thought. Capitalism has the World Bank, A.I.D. and other transnational instruments. These are in place and could work to redistribute capital on less egregious terms. Small user fees for travel and for transnational transfer of funds add up to large reserves for strategic investment by global institutions. Chaos theory instructs us that small changes can, if timed properly, make large differences (while large changes can be absorbed by the system). It takes a very sophisticated knowledge process in place to watch for transition points in every cell of the global economy but something of that sort is required.

A Role for the Market?? Any single country requires economic goods and services available only on a global market. The global nature of the market had telling effect on Nicaragua. Nicaragua had little more than coffee and cotton to sell. Absent market incentives, coffee production dropped 50% (Paige, 1992:6). Absent foreign exchange generated by coffee revenues, Nicaragua could not obtain needed goods and services. Jeffrey Paige allows us to look at the Nicaraguan case through the eyes of coffee producers. From their point of view, we can see the deep connectivity between socialism and a global economy dominated by market dynamics and exacerbated by the hostility of the USA.

From their vantage point, there were several uncertainties for producing coffee and other export crops. They included:

Chaos research suggests that most people can deal with one or two uncertainties but that far from stable behavior develops when three or more uncertainties in key parameters accumulate. These uncertainties in key parameters produce chaotic market dynamics for the producers and without the coffee revenue, Nicaraguan economy suffered.

Then too, there were low profits and unallocated production costs (depreciation, interest on loans). Market incentives were largely eliminated (p.4). Allocation of resources on political grounds is essential to redistributive justice but, from the vantage of coffee producers, allocation as practiced was extravagant and wasteful (p.5).

There were political incentives to produce (confiscation, political harangue, subsidies on interest and inputs, but no incentives to reinvest in either land or maintenance of equipment. These incentives comprise both positive and negative feedback; the use of both forms of feedback at the same time can be helpful if and only if there is care in their use. At the same time, a cardinal idea of Chaos theory is that nonlinear feedback is the best means to preserved near-to-stable dynamics. There is no direct evidence that the Nicaraguan government did this but, in the real world, special pleading and personal networks institute nonlinear feedback. Whether tailoring feedback by these means is congenial to stability is quite another question. Whatever transpires in the future, it would be wise to consider just what kind of exceptions, omissions, variations and reversals of policy are helpful.

One of the more defeating structural problems lay in the fact that the coffee growers had little voice in economic policy (p.7). It has always been a problem in any post-revolutionary time that one confuses between a class as enemy and a group of individuals as enemy. Marx teaches us that is social relations of production which are the focus of revolution; not the villainy of particular individuals. Coffee growers may have been contaminated by their former class privilege. Yet, absent an effective voice, their skill, interests and understandings were rendered useless to the new mode of production (p.8). Absent a voice in politics, prosocial policy ideas were difficult. Absent a voice, even pro-Sandinista growers came to believe that the only way to change economic policy lay with the Contras (p.9).

Paige offers the Conference seven pieces of advice to consider in the reinvention of socialism which I rephrase for added emphasis as well as generality.

Globalizing Socialism. Boswell (1992), along with Chase-Dunn and others offers several reasons why any reinvention of socialism must have a global and democratic strategy.

General Guides for Reinventing Socialism I would like to add to the papers presented here by setting forth other 'givens' which, in my opinion, might well inform the reinvention of socialism as we enter the 21st Century. As Boswell insists, the basic given is that socialism must be democratic or it is not true to the marxian/socialist spirit. This means that economics be bracketed by a profound humanism in which each individual is able to reach the fullness of their morality. Markoviç (1974) has specified a concept of praxis in which sociality, creativity, autonomy and self-determination combine in ever changing configurations. Some such dialectic between the acting individual and the integrity of a cultural whole must be central to a philosophy of human agency and the economics which facilitate it.

Peace and Justice Then too, we take it as given that one must start with things as they are and work toward things as they might be in a modality which minimizes the costs of transition to democratic socialism. Between us, capitalists and socialists, alike, we have already inflicted too much pain on the world in coercive efforts to reduce/retain the great inequalities which continue to beset us. Violence does work but the victims of violence are, preponderantly, the same victims of class, race, and gender privilege.

It is also counterproductive to try punish those who have benefitted to date; That sort of punitive game is just not on without still more death and destruction since those who now benefit have a vast array of political tools with which they can obstruct peaceable change and inflict much damage. Allocating blame and deciding guilt are exercises in futility in the first instance, dangerous in the middle and uncertain in the end. There are enough uncertainties with which to deal without inventing more. If the Paige analysis teaches us anything, it is that forgiveness and openness to former enemies is preferable to vengeance and exclusion.

The embargo around Cuba and Vietnam testify to the moral bankruptcy of those in the first world who exult at the pain we inflict in the third world. I do not exclude the Persian war from this indictment. Given peaceful means as an ideal, the question becomes what existing political tools are adequate to the task; what new tactics and strategies may we invent in order to effect peaceful transformations. Bloc formation and other democratic institutions of which Boswell speaks are important.

Then too, there is the false peace of domination. Domination can be instituted by ideology and pre-established choices. Religion, art, electronic science and medicine can be organized to support privilege. These technologies can generate the false peace of compliance. One does not need Chaos theory to understand that such false peace cannot long survive. People migrate; people go underground; people engage in self-destructive behavior and people strike out in pretheoretic rage at inequalities and iniquities.

Allocating Costs In the future, local capitalists and rich capitalist nations will have to bear more and more their full share of the costs of capitalist development. Neither domestic workers nor peripheral nations can or will absorb the great costs of development of the global economy as in the past. Demands to reallocate costs in keeping with the principle of distributive justice is one of the enduring legacies that 19th century socialism has left us. Whatever its faults and they are many, still historically existing socialisms have done much to rearrange the politics of economic development at home and more globally.

Cultural Diversity A third major given which informs our work here is a profound respect for the integrity of the several hundred cultures which enrich the human project today. Policies of economic development which homogenize, massify, or subjugate one cultural complex to another must be confronted and avoided. A thoroughly democratic socialism tries to bridge cultures rather than assimilate them to core values and politics.

There are those who will point to the imperfections of this or that culture and demand some sort of collective effort to force change upon the peoples involved. The political question is how to respond to oppression within a given political economy without great harm to the integrity of that culture. Postmodern sensibility warns us away from such absolutistic and partisan judgments. The Cuban style is to organize life in such a way that people desire to emulate it. Emulation is a superior change tactic to coercion by orders of magnitude. Given the reach of the media and the internationalization of scholarship which accompanies the globalization of the economy, success at home offers the best subversion of alienating relations elsewhere.

Positivities of Capitalism From an inspection of the papers that I have received, we are agreed that there are positivities in market dynamics which future socialisms must respect; Paige especially, makes the point as do Roemer and Kenworthy elsewhere. In any discussion of future economic arrangement, denial or dismissal of the many positivities of market dynamics would be counterproductive. Socialists need not be instructed on the negativities of capitalist hegemony but, in order to keep the dialectical nature of capitalism in full view, I summarize these negativities in Appendix A as part of the evidence for inferring structure.

To the extent that a capitalist political economy actually respects market dynamics, capitalism presents the most productive, most flexible, most creative and most liberating political economy invented to date. It demands a knowledge process that destroys the ancient myths as well as those folk theories which deflect and distract from effective agency. It has destroyed slavery, feudalism and has made great inroads upon racist, gender and ethnic privilege. Other economic system have been and remain more oriented to principles of distributive justice but have been burdened by technologic stagnation, by great inequalities and arbitrary politics. The task facing such conferences as this is to find a socialism that honors community and collective needs while it offers room and reward for creativity, change and renewal.

Those who work in the world system perspective will take as given that we speak of a totality of which every element is, variably and increasingly, connected. The concept of the totality embedded in the very idea of a 'global economy' implies that we may not neglect the part without consequence to the whole. As both Boswell and Chase-Dunn have told us, the new global economy '...has made autarchic national planning...anachronistic" (Chase-Dunn, 1992:5). In very direct terms, it means that we cannot live at the top of a great economic machine which uses and discards its workers, its wastes, and its competition--a machine which externalizes its costs--and still have a democratic socialist economy.

In the crassest way possible, I want to assert that those who are discarded can now exact a terrible price on even the richest and most protected family or capitalist nation. Mercy, compassion, equity and justice aside, as the world becomes more connected, such privatized behavior becomes more consequential to those who have heretofore evaded the consequences of inequality. We must live in the cities we neglect and we must breath the air we pollute--or those whom we love must. While street crime strikes out at the poorest among us, white collar crime and corporate crime are increasingly focussed upon the middle class; after all that is where the money is. And then too, we sleep with those who carry infections from afar. Uncertainties in health, jobs, and family for underclass individuals bring a larger uncertainty to politics for the rest of us. We have still to learn that lesson in a privatized economy.

Environment Boswell illuminates the political potential of a socialist strategy which husbands the environment and shelters the many species which inhabit the good earth unto, as the Iroquois put it, the seventh generation. Since all resources come from the land; food, ores, fibers and ceramics, it is to the land we must look for guidance in creating a politics and an economics. There are many lessons to be taken including the most political of all: that short term affluence for our generation brings long term distress for generations to come. There are few senior citizens, parents or environmentalists who will fail to heed this stricture. If we are to enclose economics within a normative structure at all; it is that we must give to the next generation at least as much as we received from the last. Simple justice requires.

Other Considerations: I said that I would add a few political considerations which a global theorist might want to weigh in the reinvention of socialism. Some are structural; some are cultural. Some derive from the negativities of capitalism; some from the more positive legacy of East European socialism. In Brief:

Bloc Formation In the last instance, it is people who will make the revolution. However structural factors weigh in. The fastest moving event in the capitalist world economy which will affect the growth of capitalism and the future of socialism is Bloc Formation. Murray/Vieux (1992:19) mention three which are in place now: the European Bloc, North American, and East Asia. I encourage Chase-Dunn and other world systems theorists to reflect upon the meaning of this new world order for progressive/regressive politics. I see at least ten blocs forming. These are listed in Appendix B. My own view is that bloc formation will dominate economic history for the next 20 years; the reinvention of socialism will have to be done in a time of great disorder and uncertainty. Indeed, the title of the paper is drawn from this certainty about uncertainty. I suggest a few key parameters in Appendix B, the interaction of which might will preshape bloc formation.

Debt Burden There comes a time when one can no longer support capitalism on national or personal debt. Vietnam has a large debt to the former USSR (Murray/Vieux, 1992:15). Debt service now absorbs 1 dollar in 9 of the USA federal budget. Personal debt service is in the same range. By the year 2000, it will increase to 1 in 7 or 1 in 6. At some point, political legitimacy deteriorates as tax burdens increase. I can envision the World Bank forcing the USA to adopt the same practices now visited upon 3rd world countries.

Demographics Age grade composition is very important to both politics and economics. Murray/Vieux (1992:16) note that some one million students enter the work force each year in Vietnam. The Party refuses to allow some unprofitable enterprizes to close since unemployment is already at 20% and there are discharged soldiers as well as former 'guest' workers from East Europe to redeploy in the economy. Market logic, in the short term, ignores disemployment; social justice demands economic justice. Wage based economic power is important to social justice but there must be nonmarket mechanisms to redistribute wealth.

In Europe, the concept of the social wage augments wage, salary and fee. Social wages are paid to those who do socially necessary labor in the unwaged sector: mothers (they socialize children); children (by learning, they reproduce a culture intergenerationally); poor people (they stand as a reserve labor force) and those who are ill (they hinder the spread of disease when they seek and use medical care).

In the USA, the largest and most progressive union is the AARP. Its membership is a powerful voice in Washington. It too, is concerned with demographics. In the first instance, it arose as the successes of market dynamics changed the demographic pyramid from a broad based demography with lots of young people to one with lots of older people. Now, those 55 and older constitute a powerful political bloc in terms of numbers and economic power. No one fools around with Social Security or health care benefits for the elderly. Lately its publications have taken up causes broader than pensions and pain. The President of AARP, Lovola Burgess, has confirmed and extended AARP policy, Intergenerational Action, to include health care, education and income security of all age groups.

I have mentioned the shrinking middle class and the growing underclass in the USA. The middle class is the swing vote for American politics. It has turned Right in the past twenty years. Given good politics, it may turn Left again as it did in the 30s and 60s. The AIDs problem and long term health effects of pollution will weigh in to affect capitalism. The cost of dealing with AIDs victims is prohibitive to both capitalist for-profit health insurance. Yet AIDs can infect the sons and daughters of the middle classes. It is in the objective interest of the middle classes to support socialized health care...and with it the impetus to appropriate surplus value from the capitalist class. If health is decommodified, other essential goods and services may follow.

Global Warming Middle Class students understand global warming and its meaning for both food supply and health issues. James Burke has a wonderful video series out that millions have seen. Global warming is a structural event that capitalism produced by its intrusion into the carbon cycle and the ozone layer. It will have some small effect on politics. The impetus to clean up earth, water, and air is an impetus toward socialism since such efforts are low profit lines yet essential labor.

The Drama of the Holy One should not underestimate the role of religion in politics. There are four major religious movements which will continue to mediate all politics in the world capitalist system. First there is the fundamentalist movement in Christendom which will want to politicize distribution of many commodities. Some commodities are to be excluded entirely from the market; others are to be restricted. The Muslim brotherhood is a powerful actor on the world stage. It will surely mediate economics in any future Arab bloc and in the global economy. Islam speaks powerfully to common needs in ways that Protestant Christianity does not. Liberation theology in its many forms will speak in a more democratic voice for Catholic Christianity as well as some of the more liberal protestant denominations. Liberation theology is the natural ally to socialism. Religion may be the opiate of some people but it is most certainly the hope, joy, and passion of more.
Then there are the teleministeries which extract wealth from the pious to uncertain purpose. Some are a dubious 'prosperity theology' which celebrates private accumulation as evidence of the grace of their god. Some are more responsive to the biblical charge to look to the children and to minister to the poor.

The operative point upon which to focus is that capitalism and the media have been very good at colonizing human desire to the profit needs of capital. Religion always tries to colonize desire to solidarity purpose. Sometimes the solidarity has ugly gender and ugly ethnic politics but solidarity is always enemy to privatization of wealth and power.

Postmodern Sensibility Many in the socialist camp have little patience with postmodern sensibility; they believe, rightly that it comes with late capitalism; has conservative impact and speaks against the grand narratives which describe the journeys of people through history. But there are affirmative varieties of postmodern sensibility (Rosenau, 1991).

Postmodern critique and Chaos theory together can change the knowledge process in ways most congenial to progressive politics since it decenters both modernization theory and the linearity of the modern scientific paradigm. What we do with postmodern sensibility is open in ways in which a god-hewn world or one subordinate to grand unified theory are not. Chaos theory provides an elegant theoretical envelop into which to insert revolutionary politics. It offers a view of human agency which at once respects structural factors and yet permits of intervention.

Natural Experiments Mr. Bush and many others look at Eastern Europe and see the end of history. What I see is a future with a wide variety of economic experiments some of which will be socialist. There will be, must be a time of experiment in which the limitations of the market must again be learned by this generation of Europeans. With all its many virtues, in the final analysis, capitalism is little more than a gigantic Ponzi scheme in which those who get there first win great rewards but most lose.

More analytically, the center of capitalism has shifted since 1500 from Venice to Brussels to London to New York and now to Tokyo. It will continue to shift; perchance to Hong Kong/China, perchance to Bombay/Calcutta; maybe to Rio and the Southern cone. Perhaps to the Muslim Arab world. But it will move. The center of socialism will move as well. I tend to think that some interesting experiments will come out of Eastern Europe which will serve to inspire socialists around the world.

The center of socialism has shifted from Moscow. It is now decentered as, indeed, the logic of democratic socialism requires. What will come out of Eastern bloc cannot be predicted but one can expect that some will be a reprise of the ugly ethnic fascist politics which we saw before the socialist era. 5 Yugoslavia is a tragic case in point. Some will be absorbed into West European economic bloc as has East Germany. I fully expect some to develop a democratic socialism which will stand as a model for the rest of the world to appreciate, adopt and modify to local culture and economics. There is simply too great a legacy from the past 70 years of socialism to dismiss from national or bloc economics.

Market Socialism Some of those natural experiments will be informed by the work of John Roemer, Lane Kenworthy and many others in market socialism cited above. They bear watching as one thinks about the future global economy. Market socialism offers a way to retain some of the positivities of capitalism but yet constrained to collective needs. Market socialism has several mechanisms build into it by which surplus value can be appropriated to collective needs of specific firms, of specific communities and of entire societies.

Sources of Progressive Social Change The historic question is who will make the revolution. Marx and others nominated the workers in core countries (except that Marx noted that the English workers would never be free as long as Irish workers were exploited to subsidize them; that American workers in the South would never rise up as long as slavery existed). Then there are those who think that progressive politics will come from the third world. Chase-Dunn agrees that these elements will be important but says that the semi-periphery is "...the 'weak link in the capitalist world-system. It is the terrain upon which the strongest efforts to establish socialism have been made, and this is likely to be true of the future as well."

Many will recall that Marcuse nominated an alienated/liberated intelligentsia together with minorities, students and other marginal elements as the repository of progressive politics of the first world. Boswell would see the nation-state as an important actor. Chase-Dunn and others look at the transnational corporation as key players in the future of the global economy. W. E. Deming and others in management science offer an interactively rich role for workers under the rubric of quality management.

Paige nominates small producers for a key role in both rebelling (p.1) and rebuilding (p. 11). He urges policies from what he calls the Zimbabwe/Costa Rican approach be included in the reinvention of socialism. Added support for such ideas is bracketed.

White Collar Revolutionaries I want to suggest two other sources of progressive politics; one tied to a specific class sector and the other more structural in nature. It seems to me that, as opportunities for profit abroad diminish for American capital--and as capital loses its distinctly American identity, the agents of capitalism will begin to squeeze white collar workers in terms of 1) wage reductions, 2) job opportunity, 3) increased tax burdens to pay for the many externalized costs of production and 4) in terms of deindustrialization. Some say the present recession is a white collar recession as corporation trim their workforce. Whatever the case, the occupational character of the American work force and that in the core countries is rapidly changing toward information production, value addition and mass market redistribution.

Wage reductions in the form of reduced health and pension benefits continue in the USA. Job opportunities disappear as US corporations automate middle class managerial tasks and hire 'temps' to replace tenured white collar workers. Regressive tax burdens have extracted about as much as they can from the lower working class and the underclass (lotteries remain a lively source of state revenue). There is only the middle class or the capitalist class left to tax--of the two, I nominate the middle class (which includes most of the American philosophers here). The flight of jobs to the 3rd world hurts the middle class directly since it is their sons, cousins, brothers and daughters who are disemployed. All in all the future is not rosy for the middle class. Some will turn against minorities as 'unfair' competitors; some will turn toward petite bourgeois fascism, however some will turn against the excesses of capitalism if we do two things right: first, we must continue critique of the many negativities of capitalism; white collar workers will listen. Then we must offer counsel of the sort given by Boswell, Paige, and Chase-Dunn; by all those who point toward democratic pathways.

Whatever we do, we must not exclude socialist economies from constructive critique as did so many in past years. It would be helpful to have concrete models of successful socialist activity; worker coöps, ESOPs, successful programs of social justice as well as well run socialist cities and states should be made very visible to the national and international press. Kerala state is virtually unknown in the media while the cities of Italy which do well compared to other Italian cities on so many measures are seldom mentioned. White collar workers look for and weigh such examples.

White collar workers have many values and understandings upon which to build programs of social justice. Most have taken liberal arts courses. Most have seen their own lives and values corroded by competitive and unregulated capitalism. All have brothers and sisters in the underclass who, in better times, did better. They read widely, talk politics avidly and, for the most part, embrace humanitarian values. All this is mixed with national chauvinism, with gender preference, with racist beliefs and with personal needs and desires but nonetheless, there is much potential in the middle sectors of core countries.

Macro-Collective Needs. To date there is no dependable mechanism for extracting and distributing surplus value to the collective needs of economic blocs or to isolated 'mini-economies.' Floods, droughts, famines and epidemics often are call forth great generosity from the people as people apart from their economic orientation. But such relief is post hoc and most uncertain. Many calamities go neglected. Often the tragedies themselves are produced by global economics; hunger in Africa comes, in part from the export of foods to Europe. Refugees are generated by the millions from the easy military ventures of the West or pretheoretic revolutions of the East. As the best land is privatized by wealthy firms and families, people settle into flood plains and die or are rendered homeless.

In the USA, homelessness itself is a consequence of state policy. Urban renewal has reduced affordable housing. States empty out asylums and populate the streets. Unskilled jobs which used to pay living wages are disappearing as corporations disinvest in the USA. Families and single women with children are a growing portion of the homeless in America. The S&L scandal has tighten loan requirements forcing families and generations to live together or to deny kinship obligations. Migrants by the thousands follow the food and profits North from Central America and live in sub-standard housing while they build $300,000 dollar homes for S&L executives.

Warfare There are many ways to wage war in post-industrial society. Military intervention is but one. I tend to think that warfare will continue to be vicious but it will constrained to the ancient animosities of clan and national chauvinism. Nuclear warfare between mini-powers is, in my opinion, far more likely than in the service of global capital.

Technology for other forms of warfare; largely economic and fiscal, continue to improve every day. Murray/Vieux report on the embargo Japan and the US place on Vietnam in order to contain and discredit socialism (1992:18). Communication satellites facilitate embargoes and the movement of money. World Bank, IMF and the Asian Development Bank along with other such fiscal institutions mediate more and more third world finance. Private banking form lending cartels which can withdraw credit. The C.I.A. has a large budget to destabilize 'unfriendly' countries and do not scruple to do so.

Management Science Actually existing socialisms tend to dismiss management science as a capitalist tool. Historically, that has been the case. However there are democratic versions of management science available today. The work of W. E. Deming (1986) and others have much to offer a fully democratic socialism. In any case, there is no point in making the revolution only to lose it to sloth, incompetence, ignorance and venality. L. Douglas Kiel and I have given some thought to how Chaos theory might serve for a postmodern and democratic management science (1992).

All future socialisms will have to give time, effort and resources to management science. In the past, management science was seen, rightly so, as a political tool working more on behalf of owners than oriented to quality, efficiency, and rationality. The chief contribution of Deming to postmodern management science has been his ability to get workers to invest their rare genius in setting and meeting production goals. This democratic self management approach has taken some of the prerogatives of ownership away and has redistributed profits but those firms which want to succeed in a global economy must look to the workers as does Deming and all those who follow his ways.

Wildcards There are several wild cards in all this; small changes can undo great nations and ruin whole economic blocs. Natural catastrophes can do the same: flood, fire, drought, and disease defy human agency. A resurgent militarism in CIS or any one of a hundred small nations can unsettle probabilities. Racism and the ugly politics of those who suppose ethnic superiority continue to simmer close to the surface of national politics. Religion can be progressive and encompassing or it can be vicious and exclusionary when linked to such narrow views of fellowship and confined to such narrow forms of compassion. New technologies appear daily which change the nature of the knowledge game. One wonders what effect a fiber optics network will have on global economics and politics. Such technologies, when mediated by class privilege do little to redeem their great costs. Yet with wisdom, patience, judgment and compassion, it is possible to move toward human dignity and social justice with such new events.

The end of history is not yet upon us. Nor will it ever end. There will always be nonlinear transformations which bring entirely new conditions for people to meet. In a fundamental way, each generation sits on the edge between several histories and several futures. If we are bright and creative enough, we can find and exploit those moments in history when change is possible. If we are wise and courageous enough, we can minimize the amount of pain which must be endured. If we are sufficiently compassionate, we can ensure that the unavoidable pain and travail which awaits is shared out more fully than is now the case; that the vast wealth in goods, services and cultural tradition is preserved to the human estate. The people gathered here in Cuba today embody some of that intelligence, courage, wisdom, judgment and compassion. It is my enduring pleasure to be a small part of all of this. I thank the organizers for their efforts and, in particular, salute Cliff Durand for all his energy and effort in bringing us together. Most of all I want to thank our Cuban colleagues for their most gracious hospitality.


Chaos and the Problem of Structure

THE PROBLEM OF STRUCTURE. It is the Chase-Dunn paper which gives the greatest attention to the postmodern critique of structural as a theoretic problem for the conference. It is a powerful critique and demands an answer; Is there a 'structure' out there which preshapes human behavior or, Is every economic act an idiosyncratic act made out of the raw will and desire of the single producer in autonomous exchange with each individual consumer? Conservatives argue that the market is the citadel of freedom by which they mean that there are no background structures which preshape the exchange act other than, perhaps, 'government interference.'

Class Structure The post-structuralists insist, along with capitalist theoreticians, that there are not classes as such. Feminists insist that patriarchy is the organizing structure. Minorities point to racism and the structure of racist privilege which permeates social relations. Without the concept of class structure, class analysis and class politics are irrelevant.

Some post-structuralists point to the many diverse forms of exchange within a given society and claim that there is no such thing as capitalism. How can one speak of a capitalist society when there are so many other economic forms at work. For them, capitalism is merely a meta-narrative which has no more truth value than any other story about a society or history; all are equally partisan and partial accounts of a much more complex and much denser reality. Chaos theory offers much of value with which to deal with such post-structural arguments. The case is complex and there are references below which explicate Chaos theory but the short version is that, in Chaos research, one finds several variously connected structures occupying the same time-space continuum. Modern science and its critics all assume euclidean geometry; Chaos research reports fractal geometries of great complexity.

Structural Dynamics Marxist and other socialists speak of the tendential laws of capitalism which work to shape economic acts apart from individual volition and effort. Capitalism, they will claim, is a structure and its has its own life apart from and largely independent from the will of any given producer or user. The case they make is also powerful and supports an inference of structure:

These dynamics permit one to infer capitalism as a really existing structure. It is, perhaps, war and its dead soldiers which offers the most compelling evidence of structure. In his review of that literature, Chase-Dunn (1989:162) singles out the correlation between war and Kondratieff waves (K-waves) as compelling evidence of macro-structure. In nine of ten K-waves since 1500 a.d., world war occurred near the end of an upward price cycle. His conclusion bears repeating; in discussing just when war is most likely, Chase-Dunn opts for the period just after the peak of the investment cycle and just before a downswing. He explains it thus:

Chase-Dunn notes that most of us who look at such data tend to think in terms of WWII. That War, however, occurred at a downswing in the price cycle rather than on an upswing or at the peak as have the other nine. The case is crucial since, if war occurs at more than one point on the K-wave, it can occur on any point on a K-wave. Then the causal connection between economic cycles and war disappears and, with it, some of the case for macro-economic structures which preshape human behavior. Chaos theory offers quite a different view of both causality and of structure (see Berry, 1991 for his work on K-waves and Chaos theory).

Chaos theory tells us that the structures in question are neither linear (hence causality opens and closes depending upon which dynamical regime is at hand) nor does structure have a euclidean geometry. This point is epochal to the philosophy of science since it denies the need to speak for or against 'totalizing' meta-narratives as do post-structuralists. They are, to coin a phrase, beating a dead horse. The geometry of a Chaotic regime is much more open than that of an euclidean structure. How open depends, as I have said, within which of five chaotic regimes a given system is to be found and, upon which scale of observation one wishes to speak. In Chaos theory both structural and facticity depend upon scale of observation. Those who believe in individualism are predisposed to conceptualize at a scale of magnitude in which structures are, in fact, not found. But that does not mean that such structures do not exist. It simply means that our vision might not be oriented to such macro-structures. Conversely, those macro-structures might not, in fact, be there. The facticity is always an empirical question; Chaos theory provides both the techniques and the concepts with which to look for and to quantify the fractal value of such putative structures.

For near to stable nonlinear regimes, structure is fairly tight in mathematical terms; tight enough to speak of structures at ordinary human scales of observation. In more chaotic regimes; say one with an eight or sixteen basin outcome field, geometry is very loose and structure much more local. Beyond a 16n outcome field, structure disappears at human scales of observation and one needs good solid time series data over decades or centuries in order to 'see' structure.


Bloc Formation in the New World Disorder 6

I. Emerging Economic Blocs in the Global World Economy 1992-2025

II. Key Factors Affecting Bloc Formation:

III. Factors affecting Social Justice within blocs.

IV. Social Justice Indicators:

V. Repositories of Morality/Transcendent Critique

VI. Dramas of the Holy

VII. Surprises and Discontinuities??? in Technology, Religion, Politics, Education, Demographics, other


Berry, Brian J.L. 1991 Long-Wave Rhythms in Economic Development and Political Behavior. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. [About Chaos theory and Kondratieff/Kutznets waves]

Briggs, John and F. David Peat. 1989 Turbulent Mirror: An Illustrated Guide to Chaos Theory and the Science of Wholeness. New York: Harper and Row.

Chase-Dunn, Christopher. 1989. Global Formation: Structures of the World Economy. Oxford: Blackwell Press.

Chase-Dunn, Christopher. 1991. Core/Periphery Relations in Precapitalist Worlds. Boulder: Westview Press.

Chase-Dunn, Christopher. 1992. The Spiral of Capitalism and Socialism. A paper presented at the 4th Conference of North American and Cuban Philosophers. Havana, June.

Deming, W. Edwards, 1986. Out of the Crisis. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Gleick, James, 1988. Chaos: Making a New Science. New York: Penguin Books. [A good introduction and social history of the development of Chaos theory]

Holden, Arun. 1986. Chaos, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986. [Applications in natural science].

Kenworthy, Lane 1990 What kind of Economic System? A Leftist Guide, in Socialist Review, V.20, No.2: 102-124.

Markovic, Mihailo 1974 From Affluence to Praxis. Boston: Beacon.

Paige, Jeffery. 1992 Agrarian Policy and the Agrarian Bourgeoisie in Revolutionary Nicaragua. A paper presented at the 4th Conference of North American and Cuban Philosophers. Havana, June.

Prigogine, Ilya and Isabelle Stengers 1984 Order out of Chaos: Man's New Dialogue with Nature. New York: Bantam Books. [Overview of Chaos theory and emergence of new forms of order]

Roemer, John 1990 Market Socialism. A paper presented at the Conference of Radical Scholars and Activists in Chicago, August.

Rosenau, Pauline. 1992 Post-modernism and the Social Sciences. Princeton: Princeton University Press. [A fine overview of postmodern literature by a progressive scholar].

Young, T. R. 1991 Chaos theory and Symbolic Interaction. The Journal of Symbolic Interaction, 14:3, Fall.

Young, T. R. 1991 Change and Chaos Theory. The Social Science Journal. 28(3). Fall.

Young, T. R. 1991 Part I: Chaos and Crime: From Criminal Justice to Social Justice. The Critical Criminologist. V. 3., No., 2. Summer.

Young, T. R. 1992 Chaos Theory and Human Agency. Humanity and Society. November. Nov.

Young, T. R. 1992 Chaos Theory and Management Science: Control, Prediction and Nonlinear Dynamics. With L. Douglas Kiel. Forthcoming J. Management Inquiry.