Det danske Fredsakademi
Kronologi over fredssagen og international politik 20. maj 2012
/ Time Line May 20, 2012
19. Maj 2012, 21. Maj 2012
NATO i Chicago
NATO holder sit 2012 topmøde i Chicago den 20-21 maj.
Mødet, der arrangeres af præsident Obama, vil blive
lukket for offentligheden. De forsamlede statsledere forventes at
drøfte fremtiden for konflikten i Afghanistan, NATO
forsvarspolitiske spørgsmål, herunder eventuel fornyet
overvejelse af den rolle, atomvåben i NATO spiller, og andre
/ The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will hold its 2012 summit
meeting in Chicago on May 20-21. The meeting, hosted by President
Obama, will be closed to the public. The assembled heads of state
are expected to discuss the future of the conflict in Afghanistan;
NATO defense issues, including the possible reconsideration of the
role of nuclear weapons in NATO; and other matters.
Litteratur: CRS: NATO’s Chicago Summit. / : Paul
Belkin. 2012. - 17 s.
Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons. / Hans M. Kristensen.
- Washington, DC : Federation of American Scientists, 2012 - 86
Benefits Of Equality
By John Scales Avery
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a
piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed
away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory
were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or thine own
were...” (John Donne, 1572-1631)
The Industrial Revolution opened up an enormous gap in military
strength between the industrialized nations and the rest of the
world. Taking advantage of their superior weaponry, Europe, the
United States and Japan rapidly carved up the remainder of the
world into colonies, which acted as sources of raw materials and
food, and as markets for manufactured goods. Between 1800 and 1914,
the percentage of the earth under the domination of colonial powers
increased to 85 percent, if former colonies are included.
The English economist and Fabian, John Atkinson Hobson (1858-1940),
offered a famous explanation of the colonial era in his book
“Imperialism: A Study” (1902). According to Hobson, the
basic problem that led to colonial expansion was an excessively
unequal distribution of incomes in the industrialized countries.
The result of this unequal distribution was that neither the rich
nor the poor could buy back the total output of their society. The
incomes of the poor were insufficient, and rich were too few in
number. The rich had finite needs, and tended to reinvest their
money. As Hobson pointed out, reinvestment in new factories only
made the situation worse by increasing output.
Hobson had been sent as a reporter by the Manchester Guardian to
cover the Second Boer War. His experiences had convinced him that
colonial wars have an economic motive. Such wars are fought, he
believed, to facilitate investment of the excess money of the rich
in African or Asian plantations and mines, and to make possible the
overseas sale of excess manufactured goods. Hobson believed
imperialism to be immoral, since it entails suffering both among
colonial peoples and among the poor of the industrial nations. The
cure that he recommended was a more equal distribution of incomes
in the manufacturing countries.
Interestingly, TED Talks (ideas worth spreading) was recently under
fire from many progressive groups for censoring a short talk by the
adventure capitalist, Nick Hanauer, entitled “Income
Inequality”. In this talk, Handauer says exactly the same
thing as John Hobson, but he applies the ideas, not to colonialism,
but to current unemployment in the United States. Hanauer says that
the rich are unable to consume the products of society because they
are too few in number. To make an economy work, demand must be
increased, and for this to happen, the distribution of incomes must
become much more equal than it is today in the United States.
TED has now posted Hanauer's talk, and the interested reader can
find another wonderful TED talk dealing with the same issues from
the standpoint of health and social problems. In a splendid lecture
entitled “How economic inequality harms societies”,
Richard Wilkinson demonstrates that there is almost no correlation
between gross national product and a number of indicators of the
quality of life, such as physical health, mental health, drug
abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, trust,
violence, teenage pregnancies and child well-being. On the other
hand he offers comprehensive statistical evidence that these
indicators are strongly correlated with the degree of inequality
within countries, the outcomes being uniformly much better in
nations where income is more equally distributed.
Warren Buffet famously remarked, “There's class warfare, all
right. But it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and
we're winning.” However, the evidence presented by Hobson,
Hanauer and Wilkinson shows conclusively that no one wins in a
society where inequality is too great, and everyone wins when
incomes are more evenly distributed.
Suggestions for further reading:
• John A. Hobson, “Imperialism; A Study”,
• Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, “The Spirit
Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better”,
Alan Lane, (2009).
• Nick Hanauer, “Income Inequality”, -
• Richard G. Wilkinson, “How economic inequality harms
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