Saturday, November 14, 2009

The spread of central bank political unaccountability


"We predict that countries boost the independence of their central bank from the political power as their exposure to foreign trade, investment, and multilateral lending increases. We also model the cross-national dynamic process of diffusion of central bank independence by examining the impact of cohesive and role-equivalent trade relationships between countries. We test our hypotheses with information on 71 countries between 1990 and 2000, using both event-history modeling and fixed-effects panel-corrected regression. Controlling for domestic variables of a macroeconomic and political nature, we find empirical support for each our predictions. We conclude that globalization pressures have the effect of strengthening certain parts of the state at the expense of others, and raise concerns about the degree of democratic oversight of technocratic institutions."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

3 views on the Crisis

David Harvey, The Crisis Today: Marxism 2009 July 15, 2009:

The Roots of the World Ecological Crisis
by John Bellamy Foster, October 29. 2009 (starts at ~17'):

Tom Reifer, July 8 2009
Histories of the Present: Giovanni Arrighi, the Longue Duree of Geohistorical Capitalism, and the Current Crisis

Monday, November 2, 2009

Déjà vu

/ history / repeating itself /

1. The military and political situation in the country is characterized by an exceptional tension, and the increasing aggravation and instability. A deep political crisis of the Afghan society is obvious... [Democracy has] entered the phase of "rollback". The coalition of social forces continues to change in favor of the [insurgency]. The state regime is not capable of stopping the insurgency on its own without principally new cardinal changes.

2. We should honestly admit that our efforts over the last 8 years have not led to the expected results. Huge material resources and considerable casualties did not produce a positive end result -- stabilization of military-political situation in the country. The protracted character of the military struggle and the absence of any serious success, which could lead to a breakthrough in the entire strategic situation, led to the formation in the minds of the majority of the population of the mistrust in the abilities of the regime. That objectively led to demoralization of the masses, and to the erosion of the social base of the revolution. The experience of the past years clearly shows that the Afghan problem cannot be solved by military means only. Within the framework of the old thinking, old approaches we are doomed to the negative end result in... Afghanistan. We should decisively reject our social illusions and undertake principally new steps, taking into account the lessons of the past, and the real situation in the country. . . .

3. The national reconciliation, announced by the Afghan leadership, has not led to a breakthrough in the military-political situation in the country and will not lead to one.

Letter to USSR Minister of Defense on the Situation in Afghanistan, 13 August 1987
by Colonel K. Tsagolov

See also:
Regarding the Further Measures in Afghanistan
Politburo Session, 13 November 1986
About the Results of Eduard Shevardnadze and Anatoly Dobrynin's Visit to Afghanistan
Politburo Session, 21 January 1987

Same old mistakes in new Afghan war
Soviet military archives show latest international intervention in Afghanistan has learnt nothing from the war two decades ago