An Elder considers Y2K and socialist revolution

May a long-in-the-tooth old Marxist offer some comments about Louis Proyect's quote of the Globe and Mail (Toronto) article about "Army Fears Civil Chaos from Millenium Bug," from a Canadian pespective?

When this story first broke in Canadian dailies yesterday and today, this reader was struck with two emotions: alarm, and elation. There is something very dubious about this full-blown, well worked-out, and enormously expensive plan for the Canadian military to work full time for the next year and beyond to cope with a still-uncertain and problematic national crisis. And all this at a time when the army is thoroughly disorganized by a lengthy series of scandals, disasters and charges, as well as low morale in the ranks.

If Y2K were actually the crisis feared, would not the government more realistically organize a campaign to compel businesses, industries, municipalities and other public bodies and institutions to get the lead out and get down to serious measures to avert a crisis? At the very least, THEY would then bear the cost of the effort rather than the taxpayers directly....

On the other hand, there IS a very real crisis facing the national economy

that the Canadian news media has been strangely reluctant to inform its readers of. (For the benefit of Americans, I doubt they realize or would believe that there is not a single daily newspaper in all of Canada that is not owned by one or another of three corporate monopolies that also own most of the remaining local and weekly smaller papers.

The very real crisis that, for reasons of their own (sic), our monopolized Canadian dailies have all but ignored, was the collapse during recent months of N Y-based Long-Term Capital Management LP involving hedge funds of $1.25 Trillion as reported in the New York Times September 26, 1998. This collapse involved the funds of most of the largest banks in the U S, Canada, and Switzerland, and of so many other international banks and other financial institutions that a global financial collapse was barely averted--and maybe only postponed--by the U S Federal Reserve Board

and the Secretary of the U S Treasury "putting a gun to our heads" --as some bankers of the 14 banks involved complained. They were compelled to

pony up a bail-out fund of $3.5 Billion to avert total financial disaster.

Reading letters in this Marxist Mailing list, I get the feeling that we are living in the midst of Marx's final stage of capitalism, Finance Capital, and are seeing daily evidence that the financial wallahs of this global enterprise have lost control of their loot and and are frantically hoping for someone to get them out of their mess.

The world is literally awash with trillions of dollars under nobody's control, and if a single company's blundering greed can cause the collapse of the entire bloated global structure--as Long-Term Capital's $1.25 trillion very nearly did, the collapse of the entire capitalist system is at hand.

In previous times of economic and political collapse, monopolists of the ilk of our Canadian press barons and others were fully aware of the precariousness of their control and bigbucks, and what would happen if citizens suddenly discovered their money wouldn't buy anything.

What capitalist satraps have done before was clearly enough demonstrated by Hitler and Mussolini, and by other tyrants of their like today.

When the Canadian Army and Navy, RCMP, local police forces, firemen, and everyone else who wears a uniform is preparing to mobilize today, one seriously doubts that a technical dating problem with computers is the reason for it.

To be blunt about it, I think the world financial crisis has got the bankers and individual bigbucks scared shitless that there is going to be a Revolution; and they are preparing for it the only way they know how: with brute force. As one who was an NCO for 13 years in the Canadian army I can applaud their choice: they will be digging their own graves!

Be of good cheer,


(Gerald R Van)

PS: I first addressed this reply to and for some unknown reason it was returned as undeliverable.

You asked if I am Megan's friend who is over eighty? Yes, but I'll add that she may have other friends who are over 80 too, so I'll add that I'm the one who is over 90.

I'm glad of this opportunity to express my great admiration for your Marxian scholarship and articles. Megan did me a great favour when she introduced me to your Marxian mailing list; for an old Socialist and Marxist whose infirmities of age tend to somewhat isolate, you have opened up a new world for me; I am beginning to think that I am closer to realizing the dreams and ideals of my youth that I ever dreamed I might live to be.

My grateful thanks.