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Frames No Frame

"Connecting the Global to the Local"

P. O. Box 77, Middletown, MD 21769-0077 November-December 2000
301-432-7512; FAX 301-432-7514 Vol. 2, Issue 6


What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world but loses his soul? What is more precious than silver or gold? The soul. What is the second most important commodity in the world? Freedom. The ability to chose what you will be, where you will live, and how you will live. However, as we officially enter the Third Millennium, more rights are in the process of being taken away. However, we have a few carrots for the time being: credit cards, computers, and our ability to live how we want. But the storm clouds are amassing in the stratosphere: the possible escalation of war in the Middle East, a change in credit policy by the Federal Reserve, and the continuous change in our governmental structure through Bill Clinton and Al Gore=s AReinventing Government@ program.

Benevolent Feudalism

Most recently I read a book published in 1902 called, Benevolent Feudalism in which the author discussed the evils of the Industrial Revolution in which most people left the land to go to the city to work for a corporation. He discussed the fact that they became slaves--feudalistic slaves. He wrote that the land allows each person to be independent whereas the city took away their independence, as they were reliant on outside forces to feed and clothe them. In talking to a friend of mine, he said, AWell that=s right. When a country is a service industry, they are in slave labor because they consume whereas when they are a producing industry, they are free because they have something to sell.@

The process by which America is being changed from producer to consumer is almost complete. Look at our farmers, they believed the government when they told them that they could afford large, new and expensive pieces of farm equipment to farm with. Within a year or two of buying their shiny new equipment, America had an economic downturn--the 70's, which led to the farming crises of the 80s. Many lost their farms due to high-energy costs, high equipment costs, and unfair competition from large corporate producers. The demise of the American farmer was exacerbated when GATT--the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs was passed. Now called the World Trade Organization, it basically made every farmer compete with all the other farmers in the world. Since all of the trading walls in the world have come down, making us all one big world, the local farmer no longer competes with just the farmer down the street or in the next city, he now competes globally with the farmer in Vietnam, France, China, and Russia, etc.

The small businessman no longer competes with those in his association but with all of the other small businessmen in the world. On my way home from my first UN conference in Cairo, I had a plane change in Paris. On that part of the trip, I was seated in a section of the plane where there were all these well-dressed Frenchmen. They had an American tour guide so I asked her what kind of tour she was leading. She explained to me that these were French businessmen who were going to America to learn about how to do business there.

From what I understand of GATT, it is the intention to make Central and South America the food basket for America and this Hemisphere. Scary thought that you and I will have to go--back to the land-- in order to raise food! When my husband and I moved to the country and I planted my first garden, I was so green--still am. I was reading the many books I have purchased just to make sure that I didn=t have to do anything more than put the small piece of potato in the ground and water it and make sure the ground was loose.

I write about public-private partnerships because I don=t think I even understand the full ramifications of America being auctioned to the highest bidder. At some point, there will be no assets for corporations to buy-out. Then they will have power plays between themselves. Interestingly enough in 1999, the former Rockefeller Standard Oil which has been divided into Exxon and Mobil Oil in 1911 with the passage of anti-trust laws were re-united as one. What this signals is the power of the big and the weakness of the small.

Reinventing Government

Under Reinventing Government, the structure of power has shifted from the Congress to the Executive Branch and its local agencies. The form is no longer representative government but global corporate fascism--the merger between government and business. We find ourselves116 years after the invention of the Dow Jones with new entities--multinational and transnational corporations--which would have been the future dream of entrepreneurs-Bto have power far beyond the national level. These entities have unlimited access to capital through Wall Street and the desire of every trust fund, mutual fund, 401k, profit-sharing and pension plan to invest their monies in. They grow fat with every turn of the business cycle. Their power and assets exceed that of many Third World Countries. Contrast these powerful global entities with any kind or level of government which, 67 years after the economic policies of John Maynard Keynes, are broke. Local, state, county, and federal government are in the red. The only way to fix them, according to Clinton=s "Reinventing Government@ program, is to have a corporate bailout through a public-private partnership. While I have diagramed public-private partnerships in chapter two of the United Nations’ Global Straitjacket, please refer to page 9, I have continued to ponder its ramifications.

How do we explain to people its impact and how it forever changes representative government? When I was in grade school my teacher read us this story about a teacher who is telling her third grade class about a Awonderful@ change. To celebrate, she suggests that they take the old American flag off of the flag pole and cut it up so each of them could have a piece to remember it by. In its place they would put a new flag which would be used in the future. I remember having to ask the teacher to explain what happened. I just did not get it and she patiently explained to me that the story talked about a time when America would not be America--after all, this was only a story.

Public-Private Partnerships

How to explain public-private partnerships (PPP)? Just like the story above, America is being cut up into pieces and given to the highest bidder---the corporation. All over America, in every hamlet, town, city and borough, they are buying through public-private partnership arrangements water, sewer, air traffic controller, electrical systems which were formerly owned or controlled by government. You see when our Forefathers set up America and our freedoms; they also set in place a fair system by which government would be fair. Over the years, government acquired a certain number of responsibilities which carried with it service in return for a tax. Today it is these assets which are being sold to the highest bidder, leaving us without representative government, without due process, and without recourse. Where do we go? Who will protect our God-given rights? The corporation will only protect the rights they give you or allow you to have so long as you do what they ask you to do. If you don=t volunteer, if you don=t adopt their Agreen policy@, if you don=t go to the special classes on employee performance or sensitivity training, you will not have a job.

The Financial Times

In order to understand how all of the governments of the world are using public-private partnerships to carve up the assets of the government and transfer them to corporations, the British financial newspaper, The Financial Times, recently had an insert entitled, APublic-Private Partnerships.@ In it they write about what the British Government is doing.

AEight years ago when faced with a massive public spending deficit, and completely strapped for capital for public investment, Normal Lamont, the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer (Secretary of Treasury], launched the Private Finance Initiative [PFI]. More than 12 billion pounds worth of PFI deals have been signed--with more than 16 billion pounds worth if the Channel Tunnel rail link is included. According to Treasury figures, another 16 billion pounds worth of projects are in procurement and PFI has evolved in many ways not least becoming a sub-set of a much wider involvement of private finance in public sector projects, with the whole new traveling under the umbrella of public-private partnerships. These range from the mighty and still highly controversial plan to refurnish the London Underground, to a 10 billion pound investment in air traffic control if the government gets its bill to permit the semi-privatization of the system through Parliament. But they also include the >wider markets= initiative where the aim is to launch new businesses on the back of products, expertise, or intellectual property development in the public sector so that the taxpayer as well as the private sector makes money. PPPs are becoming an international business. The definition of what is a private finance project becomes appreciably hazier when some of the arrangements being used elsewhere in the world are included. One of the more unusual PPPs--the creation of Partnerships UK (PUK), the former projects arm of the Treasury=s private finance initiative task force as a PPP in its own right---also appears to be going smooth. Later this month or nearly next month it aims to raise 20 million pounds of private capital needed to turn itself into a private-sector led body as 49% still owned by the government to expand its role in supporting the public sector in drawing up deals.@

Unfortunately many states are setting up quasi-governmental corporations to facilitate their entry into public-private partnerships. The State of Utah is in the process right now! However, we must take a look at several other applications of public-private partnerships: Charter Schools, Social security, churches, and peacekeeping.

Charter Schools

Guess what! The public school system has failed. Our kids just aren=t learning. Something is wrong. Hence after all of the millions of dollars pumped into the government funded school system, a new type of school has emerged. The Charter School which is a public-private partnership. After all, business needs to train their future employees in their image. Again, we are seeing every aspect of the functions which government used to perform be transferred to business.

Retirement and Social Security Programs

Again, in looking to truly understand what is happening and how our form and structure of government is changing, we must look at how the government is spinning off various components of responsibility which it has assumed over the years. Related to this is the spin off by corporations to reduce their retirement burdens by changing retirement programs from the very costly pension and profit-sharing programs to 401K where the employer only matches retirement if the employee chooses to save for their own retirement. Both Gore and Bush supported privatizing Social Security by investing a portion of their Social Security taxes in individual retirement accounts, taking a smaller pay out from the program when they retire but supplementing their benefits with the private investments.

Earlier we discussed the fact that the economic and financial power of the corporations is fed by the various types of savings programs. If the U.S. government privatizes Social Security, look at the additional economic power they will be given as millions of Americans rush into the Stock market to invest. Do you see the transfer of assets from government to business? Do you understand the shift which is taking place and how it will impact the Abalance of power@ as corporations continue to vie for the natural capital (oil, gas, gold, diamonds, copper, agriculture, forests etc), human capital (you and I), and manufactured capital (buildings and roads) of the world as stone-broke governments look for a bailout? Interestingly enough, when I first started to report the IMF/World Bank meetings, they have tons of books, reports, and other kinds of material available for reporters. I remember picking up and reading several books and magazines, which were devoted to the privatization of these kinds of state-owned assets. At that time I did not understand public-private partnerships. My initial reaction to the fact that countries were Aprivatizing@ or selling off major natural capital assets was shock. It was not clear who was buying them because it was very apparent that some of the buyers were front organizations. Therefore, what I have concluded is that the IMF/World Bank was set up to facilitate the sale of state owned assets for the sole purpose of transferring power from governments to corporations and other non-governmental entities!

Lastly, with the financial structure of government being changed, it is the corporation which has the ability to create jobs, stimulate the flow of money and keep the peace as a result of created wealth. In order for governments to create jobs, they have to raise taxes whereas corporations pay tax!

The Church

The government is not the only level in which we see public-private partnerships. Unfortunately, churches and other Afaith-based@ organizations have been targeted. It is the desire of President-elect Bush to reach out to churches and other groups in order to help them get involved with the community to assume more responsibility for the needy. In return they will be given additional tax breaks and other incentives. He plans to allocate $8 billion for this endeavor. What we are seeing is the second stage of public-private partnerships. When government is no longer able to protect or help the poor due to downsizing, lack of funds, or because the whole structure and function of government has changed, then someone has to do it. Enter the churches. While it has always been their responsibility to feed the poor, somewhere along the line, they forgot and the government took over. Now the government is handing the job back to the community via the Afaith based communities@ for them to enlarge their umbrella with government money. Will churches understand the global net they are being asked to participate in or will they be sucked in without understanding what it really means? Does not the Bible tell us that "broad is the way, but narrow is the path"?

Corporations as Peace Makers and Peace Keepers

What is the ultimate responsibility of government? Peace. At the Gorbachev State of the World Forum, the PWBLF sponsored a number of workshops. One of them was called, ATHE BUSINESS OF PEACE@. While I was extremely interested in the workshop based on its title, as I sat there, I wondered if I had made the right decision. It was not until I realized they were discussing the role of the corporation as peacemaker and peacekeeper that I realized the ultimate and final transfer of government responsibility! If the corporations are now making peace in place of or instead of government, what does that indicate? What does that make Prince Charles? A peacemaker. Think about the ramifications. In Prince Charles the Sustainable Prince, I discuss his lineage, his power, his position, and the role he has carved out through setting up public-private partnerships. As such, he has crafted and perfected fascism through his Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum. He is creating and implementing global corporate government rules and guidelines. I was able to interview for one hour a very key individual with his organization. No name is used since the person interviewed did not want to be named.




VEON: The more I learn about the Prince I realize he has been a visionary way before his time with the environment, public-private partnerships and now peace making through conflict resolution, could you comment on these.

PWBLF: He definitely is a visionary--he has an incredible ability to convene people, bringing together people who might not ever sit around the table, often behind closed doors which doesn=t get media coverage. He doesn=t necessarily ask for that and he cares very deeply about sustain ability, about helping to sustain a world where values and local culture and ethnic and religious diversity are celebrated and respected (emphasis added). I think he has an amazing ability to think in a holistic way so that he sees a connection between inner city kids who don?t have education or work opportunities and violence and conflict and lack of sustain-ability and environmental problems. He has many different programs which many think are not connected but he really does have an understanding of the human side, nature, medicine, science, are all part of the whole to create a better world. Different organizations he is involved with focus on different elements of that.

Our organization focuses very specifically on the role of business and society. This has gone from environmental issues, to PPP, to the new work on human rights and conflict which wasn=t even on the business agenda a few years ago except for a few industry sector. As we see, internal conflicts particularly in the transition economies B the former Soviet Union and Central Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia where many international companies are now going to invest, increasingly they are recognizing that the business of peace is something that the companies need to think about. As our President, he encourages us with the work we do in business to look at that. We are also doing work in South Africa and Latin America on HIV/AIDS, looking at business and their contribution to cultural heritage in St. Petersburg, the link between large-scale business and micro-enterprises in Indonesia, we are doing a range of different things around the world. All of them have at their core the positive role that business can play in society. He has a wonderful way of bringing business together with civil society and government to address these issues.

VEON: His uncle the Duke of Windsor, there was criticism about him--he could have done many things but he lived a life a leisure whereas Prince Charles has gone into business and all the things that have been non-traditional for someone in his position

PWBLF: He has a wonderful ability and has an incredible reverence for tradition and culture, be it culture or political tradition which is also part of the modern world and recognizes that having something on the internet is important. The Duchy of Cornwall, which is involved in organic farming, which he has set up as a way of articulating his, values and practices. He continues to have an enormous respect for tradition and looks at innovative and creative things he can do to address modern day challenges and build a bridge between tradition and modernity and recognizes the role they all have to play.

VEON: Sustainable Development has become a core philosophical global value. He was one of the first to congratulate the Brundtland Commission for their role in developing sustainable development. What gave him the impetus to understand sustainable development before it was a phrase it was used.

PWBLF: I can't speak for him personally but back in the 80's he had a vision that sustainable development and the environment were critical issues for the future of the world and has been and continues to be an incredible strong advocate for that. I cant speak for him but he has listened and spoken to an incredible range of people from all walks of life, many cultures, countries and perspectives. One of the things which he has distilled out of that is the critical importance of sustainable development.

VEON: He set up the PWBLF in 1990 with 100 companies, how many companies are members and what kind of growth.

PWBLF: We never had 100 companies. At our first meeting we may have had 100 but our membership is never more than 50 or 60 companies which is our core support so that we can keep a focus on keeping it small enough that we can have a relationship with them. But it is our membership that sustains and supports us and acts as a champion for what we do but then we outreach to thousands of companies in the work that we do, not only to companies but also to the World Bank, civil society, the UN. Our core support comes from about 50 companies from around the world

VEON: What kind of evolution have you seen in those corporations?

PWBLF: Our evolution is reflected in what they have been doing and we have evolved as they have evolved. Human rights is a good example where we have encouraged them to look at it more seriously than what they were. Others of them have been pioneers in the filed and have encouraged us to look at it. So I think we have moved the whole corporate responsibility and sustainable development field from being a side line issue to being a mainstream issue for a small group of pioneering companies [BPAmoco, TRW, Volkswagen, 3M, CocaCola, BMW, The Perot Group, and others] many of which we are fortunate enough to have as our members (emphasis added). So they are constantly pushing the envelope and constantly challenging themselves but also us. Then there are numerous companies around the world which aren=t our members [as well as] numerous companies who don=t yet [understand] these issues in a strategic way or how strategic these issues are. [For them] we are having wider communications.

[Therefore,] we are working much more closely with companies who [do] understand the issues and who are trying to operationalize them. What we have seen is a couple of trends which is a core responsibility have gone from margins of management to the mainstream, telling and asserting what they do to being much more accountable. Then you have the area of stakeholder dialogue has become a key issue for a lot of the companies we work with. They have also gone from a paternalistic approach of corporate largess--charity and philanthropy to a much more partnership based approach with communities, governments, and other stakeholders in trying to address the social challenges. You see much more collective action between individual companies on the HIV/Aids issues--the Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS, national level initiatives by business-urban regeneration by business coming together to work collectively. I think the whole field of corporate responsibility is maturing. It is a vanguard group of corporations which is pursuing it.

VEON: Don=t you look at yourself as a pioneer--spearheading?

PWBLF: We are one of the pioneers. I would love to take credit but I think there are a number of business coalitions like ourselves who are doing different work in different way--the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, (WBCSD) European Business Network (EBN), Social Cohesion (SC), the South African World Business Council for Sustainable Development. We have all been doing things.

VEON: What was the impetus for all of this action in the 90's?

PWBLF: A lot of it was set up by the companies themselves. We would not have been set up if it had not been for the companies had not come together. Obviously the Prince of the Wales took the leadership to convene them. But they could have said to him, AThanks for lunch@-- but they didn=t. They said, ALook we will work with you to make this happen.@What brought the companies to the table is the changing world in which we live in since the Berlin Wall came down, rise of civil society, rise of international media, the internet, all of these changing pressures on business also increasing society pressures and at the same time they are also facing increasing competitive pressures realizing that they have to create more societal value. So I think a lot of the impetus was from individual companies saying, ‘We have to do something.’

Organizations like ours being set up with the leadership of the Prince of Wales who said, "Fine we will help address it.’ We really act as a catalyst but what we do would not be possible without the companies taking it on and acting on it (emphasis added),

VEON: I just came across the book, UN and Business by UNOPS. It says that the Prince met with the United Nations. What prompted him to take the initiative to approach the United Nations?

PWBLF: Basically we had been doing a lot of work with various UN agencies around the world with our companies. The prince has been aware of that and very supportive of it. He felt that it was the right time to meet with Kofi Annan. They had an initial meeting and then through that we took a delegation of business leaders to meet with Secretary Annan and some of the heads of his agencies. From that we ran a series of training programs at the United Nations Staff Training College to brief senior UN officials and senior business leaders [so that they would] really get to know and understand other [in order] to realize that we really do have some common agenda items that we could work on together. We are now running a program to help the UN think how they can train their people to work in the field to work with business (emphasis added).

We are doing this at the UN Staff Training College so we are working with them to help build partnership capacity. A college of mine has been working with them in thinking through about how they can train UN staff instead of us doing it since our own staff is so small. We are doing catalytic work in helping them and then the UN Staff College will pick it up. There is the World Business Partners for Development and a number of international agencies doing this work--some we have had a big role in, others we have not had a big role in. Where there is efforts to build the capacity because partnerships don’t just happen in a vacuum because you need the capacity and skills to build them. From that initial meeting with the business leaders we have developed a whole set of actions around the world, bringing UN people, business people to try and work together.

VEON: I read in the UNOPS book that PPP originated in the 15th Century.

PWBLF: At the end of the day there is the tendency to think that something is new. PPP as an organizing principle for society at the national, international and local level. It is relatively new because have are seeing the UN, local community organizations talk about it, we are seeing national level initiatives. It is happening all over the world because I think in todays incredibly complex world it is one of the organizing principles we have to address vary complex issues (emphasis added). But having said that it is not easy and everyone talks about it. It sort of trips off of everyone’s tongues as if it is easy panacea. It is very difficult to bring together a real solid PPP, particularly if you are going to bring in civil society and government and business to the table together. The most effective examples are at the national and international level and have taken many months of trust building, relationship building, understanding everyones languages and objectives. In fact I have a copy. I wrote another report, Partnership of Alchemy--which looks at some of the challenges of partnerships but recognizing that it has enormous organizing principle for social progress.

VEON: The reason for all the questions on public-private partnerships is because it first appeared in the United Nations Habitat II document in 1996. At that time I did not quite understand the terms--what is civil society. Then it was I ran into at the IMF Bank - Prince Charles "Business in the Community." I devoured that book. Now a few years later I come here to my second Gorbachev State of the World Forum and the UN Millennium Assembly and I am now understanding new facets, new dimensions. This is sort of a like a prism. As you turn the prism, the light gives you a different understanding, a different view, a different color.

PWBLF: This is a lovely way to look at it. That is why I hesitated when you said, "You are the pioneering organization" because we certainly are one of the pioneers and we are very proud of it. We certainly could not have done without it literally millions of people--individuals, organizations--community organizations, international organizations, which are doing different things in different ways. We are at the interface of a lot of things. Again we are only 30 people in our organization. We have our net work of companies and work with international organizations (emphasis added).

VEON: But you are tapping?

PWBLF: Our focus is to live at the interface of business, government and civil society and at the interface of north and south, east and west. So we are--that is our whole philosophy about how you bring those various groups together (emphasis added).

VEON: So I come here and I thought I understood globalization. I have defined it as ?the integration, harmonization of social values, ethics, governments, economies, politics, religion become one. Well I come here and I realize that it is much more than that. Then when I looked at "The Business of Peace" I said, "O my goodness, globalization is the melding together. It is the melding together of more than just people" (emphasis added).

PWBLF: Yes, there it is. It definitely is more than the melding together of just people. I think it is a really contradictory thing. It has incredible benefits and opportunities but it also has incredible problems and challenges. It is the equation for leaders--be they a leader in business, government or civil society. The equation by which they have to work is so much more complex than it has ever been and the only way they can begin to deal with it is to try and understand these different facets --different parts of the prism--that are part of globalization.

VEON: Look for Joe Average what I do is take these concepts and then chewing what you have already chewed, I am internalizing them and then diagram what I have then understood to say, "this is what is happening." I see my role as a facilitator--defining the global for the local.

PWBLF: I was making that same connection. It is the biggest challenge we face. How to take this stratospheric dialogue, concepts, and jargon and actually make it real for real people, real communities on the ground. I am trying to write so that the lay person can understand (emphasis added).

VEON: I have been doing this for six years with my head in a bowl of jello for two years. One day I came out of the jello and now I am getting my PhD. that no college is going to give me in understanding. I now understand the downside of globalization. When all of the walls came down [economic, trade, political], the world became one which moved people from little bowls to one big bowl to fight it out for themselves. me turned to war, some to this, so when I look at what you are saying, Of course. When the corporation goes in, they have the ability to make the job, create money movement in a country and now to keep peace (emphasis added).’ That is why your organizations enter into conflict resolution–it is so absolutely incredible.

PWBLF: We are not going to do it ourselves but demonstrate that business has an interest and a strategic interest in stability and peace. There are all sorts of things business can do to achieve that. There are wonderful organizations that actually go into conflict resolution and we have no claim or capacity to do that. We are trying to shine the light to show business what they can do--be it HIV/AIDS, to conflict, to environment, it is all about what role the private sector can play and helps their own bottom line and their own long-term survival. But at the same time, help society. This is what we are about. The main streaming of corporate responsibility and strategy.

VEON: I see that the world philosophy and structure is being redefined.

PWBLF: Yes, I agree with that since the early 1980s and 1990s we live in a very different world–the roles and responsibilities of government, business, civil society, international, local, national are all so much fuzzier at the moment--everyone is shifting trying to figure out where they fit and what their role is. I think it is a very exciting time and potentially a frightening time. There is a lot of flux and uncertainty in the world. Somehow after the Cold War was over everything would settle down to nice, easy existence is not happening. What has fundamentally changed is that it is not the nation-states that have all the answers, if they ever did. They are recognizing that they alone dont have the answers. The big challenge now is how do we develop NEW INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURES, NEW RULES OF THE GAME, NEW RULE OF OPERATING THAT BRING CIVIL SOCIETY AND BUSINESS [TOGETHER]. By way of definition nation-states--government that is either elected or not elected--but there is a government (emphasis added). You want the business in Brazil--who sits at the table--business is an amorphous thing. It is not a big monolithic thing. Civil society is amorphous. So the big challenge in the world today. We talk about business, government and civil society but which government, business and civil society which different players which roles and it is in trying to understand that that it is the challenge of our time.

VEON: I read in a Majesty Magazine a question about Prince applying to become head of the European Union. The answer was that he did not have enough experience as a world leader. Do you see Charles as perhaps the future leader of the EU?

PWBLF: He doesnt apply for things. I dont know the story.

VEON: What I noticed recently-Wales is a principality--equal to Monaco and Liechtenstein--it has a certain amount of autonomy. Do you think they would ever become part of the United Nations?

PWBLF: [gasping] As long as they are part of the United Kingdom which is a member of the United Nations, I don’t think so.

VEON: What are you working on next, or the new core, or new structures you are looking at?

PWBLF: Human rights and conflict, enterprise development all the different things business can do in developing countries. We are looking at a program to develop future leaders in business, we are working with business schools and student networks but looking more and more at leadership development.


Let me state that when business takes over the governmental structure and the responsibilities which accompany it that we are seeing is the demise of government as we have known it and the rise of fascism which is an intermediate step to total control. What we have not addressed is the problem of rising taxes. What are we paying tax if we no longer benefit from them? Perhaps what has happened is that with the fascism we have reverted back to feudalism. In a feudalistic system, the serf pays a tax to the lord, duke, prince, or king of the manor for the benefit of living on his land.

In Conclusion

The things that I write which I hope help you to –connect the dots-- are very difficult and weigh on me because I have to understand a very complex agenda in order to "see the big picture." But what is all of the above? A battle for power and control which is motivated by pride, lust, and greed. Where did all of these begin? In the Garden of Eden. What did God do in order for us to have forgiveness? He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. What I have outlined is the political and economic battle which contribute to the very serious spiritual warfare all around us. History repeats itself. You can read about the same control for power, peoples, riches, and land in the Old Testament and you can read about the rise and fall of the Babylonian, Egyptian, Roman, and Greek Empires. The difference is that we are in the middle of a cycle for control. We must understand the day and the hour, we must prepare to battle (spiritually) by understanding the various facets of the battle. When the Apostle Paul was facing the last days of his life, he wrote in II Timothy 4: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith."

Perhaps we need to remember the words of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", first four stanzas:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightening of his terrible swift sword -- His truth is marching on

I have seen him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps; They have builded him an alter in the evening dews and damps; I can read his righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps -- His truth is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never sound retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat; O be swift, my soul, to answer him; be jubilant, my feet! -- His truth is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me; As he died to make men holy, let us live to make men free -- His truth is marching on.

This past year has been tremendously difficult for me as I have struggled on every level of life---interpersonal relationships, my first business with keeping money safe (or trying to), TWIMG, theY2K house we bought two years ago, the de-coupling of society as a result of the Internet and globalization, and growing reality of world government. I have very great and grave concerns for America and for freedom. As I read the Bible, I see Gods hand in history--His Story! There are stories about those who obeyed God and were blessed all their life (Abraham, Ruth, Esther), those who went through captivity (Hezekiah, Jeremiah, Amos, and Daniel), the prophets who warned of God’s judgement (Elisha, Elijah, Habbakah, and Jonah), those who met Christ personally (the twelve apostles and Mary Magdalene), those who lived in world government (Jesus, Mary, Joseph, John, etc.) and those who stood in the gap in a time of world government (Paul, Peter, other apostles and the early church). Should America avoid the judgment of the Israelites for turning their backs on God? No. Those of us who trust in Jesus Christ the Son of God, must keep in mind one phrase, "Fear not." "Fear not for I am with you always until the end."
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