By Jurriaan Maessen
governments of Europe, the United States, and Japan are unlikely to
negotiate a social-democratic pattern of globalization - unless their
hands are forced by a popular movement or a catastrophe, such as
another Great Depression or ecological disaster"
Richard Sandbrook, Closing
the Circle: Democratization and Development in Africa, Zed
Books limited, London, 2000.
1991 policy paper prepared for the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development (UNCED) by self-described
outlines a strategy for the transfer of wealth in name of the
environment to be implemented in the course of 35 to 40 years. As it
turns out, it is a visionary paper describing phase by phase the road
to world dictatorship. As the professor states in the paper:
"To be meaningful, the
strategies should cover
the time-span of several decades. Thirty-five to forty years seems a
good compromise between the need to give enough time to the postulated
transformations and the uncertainties brought about by the lengthening
of the time-span."
In his paper "The
Next 40 Years: Transition Strategies to the Virtuous Green Path:
Sachs accurately describes not only the intended time-span to bring
about a global society, but also what steps should be taken to ensure
"In order to stabilize
the populations of the
South by means other than wars or epidemics, mere campaigning for birth
control and distributing of contraceptives has proved fairly
In the first part of the (in
accurate description of the years to come, Sachs points out
redistribution of wealth is the only viable path towards population
stabilization and- as he calls it- a "virtuous green world". The
"The way out from the double bind of
environmental disruption calls for a fairly long period of more
economic growth to sustain the transition strategies towards the
virtuous green path of what has been called in Stockholm ecodevelopement
and has since changed its name in Anglo-Saxon countries to sustainable development."
"(...) a fair degree of agreement
seems to exist,
therefore, about the ideal development path to be followed so long as
we do not manage to stabilize the world population and, at the same
time, sharply reduce the inequalities prevailing today."
"The bolder the steps taken in the
near future", Sachs
asserts, "the shorter will be the time span that separates us from a
steady state. Radical solutions must address to the roots of the
problem and not to its symptoms. Theoretically, the transition could be
made shorter by measures of redistribution of assets and income."
Sachs points to the political
difficulties of such
proposals being implemented (because free humanity tends to distrust
any national government let alone transnational government to
redistribute its well-earned wealth). He therefore proposes these
measures to be implemented gradually, following a meticulously planned
"The pragmatic prospect is one of
transition extending itself over several decades."
In the second sub-chapter "The Five
Ecodevelopment", professor Sachs sums up the main dimensions of this
carefully outlined move to make Agenda 21 a very real future prospect.
The first dimension he touches upon is "Social
"The aim is to build a civilization
of being within
greater equity in asset and income distribution, so as to improve
substantially the entitlements of the broad masses of population and of
reduce the gap in standards of living between the have and the have
This of course means, reducing the
standards of living
in "The North" (U.S., Europe) and upgrading those of the developing
nations ("The South and The East"). This would have to be realized
through what Sachs calls "Economic Sustainability":
"made possible by a more efficient allocation and management of
resources and a steady flow of public and private investment."
The third dimension described by the
professor is "Ecological Sustainability"
which, among other things, limits "the consumption of fossile fuels and
other easily depletable or environmentally harmful products,
substituting them by renewable and/or plentiful and environmentally
friendly resources, reducing the volume of pollutants by means of
energy and resource conservation and recycling and, last but not least,
promoting self-constraint in material consumption on part of the rich
countries and of the privileged social strata all over the world;"
In order to make this happen Sachs
stresses the need of
"defining the rules for adequate environmental protection, designing
the institutional machinery and choosing the mix of economic, legal and
administrative instruments necessary for the implementation of
Dimension 4: "Spatial
"directed at achieving a more
configuration and a better territorial distribution of human
settlements and economic activities (...)".
The fifth and last dimension
described in the UN policy paper is "Cultural
"looking for the endogenous roots of the modernization processes,
seeking change within cultural continuity, translating the normative
concept of ecodevelopment into a plurality of local,
ecosystem-specific, culture-specific and site-specific solutions."
But to realize such a dramatic new
direction for the
world, Sachs once again stresses the importance of incremental
implementation. A matter of boiling the frog slowly as opposed to
throwing the poor animal into a boiling-hot cooking pan:
"Even if we know where we want to
get, the operational
question is how do we proceed to put humankind on the virtuous path of
genuine development, socially responsible and in harmony with nature.
It is submitted that UNCED 92 should give considerable attention to the
formulation of transition strategies that could become the central
piece of the Agenda 21."
This is the word- Agenda 21: the UN
redistributing the wealth accumulated by the "North" in order to create
a completely "balanced" world society- under auspices of the United
Nations of course and the private central banks controlling it. This
can only come about by destroying the middle-class. A sudden
redistribution and industrialization would not do- for the middle-class
would undoubtedly rise in defiance against it. Therefore, Sachs argues
for an incremental and carefully planned dissolution of the
middle-class phase by phase:
"To be meaningful, the strategies
should cover the
time-span of several decades. Thirty-five to forty years seems a good
compromise between the need to give enough time to the postulated
transformations and the uncertainties brought about by the lengthening
of the time-span. The retooling of industries, even in periods of rapid
growth, requires ten to twenty years. The restructuration and the
expansion of the infrastructures requires several decades and this is a
crucially important sector from the point of view of environment."
Then Sachs plunges into
his most shocking
"However, the single most important
reason to consider
the transition strategies over a minimum of thirty-five to forty years
stems from the non-linearity of these strategies; they should be
devised as a succession of changing priorities over time. A good
illustration is provided by the population transition. In order to
stabilize the populations of the South by means other than wars or
epidemics, mere campaigning for birth control and distributing of
contraceptives has proved fairly inefficient."
Sachs argues that "an accelerated
programme of social
and economic development of the rural areas should be the outmost
priority in the first phase of a realistic population stabilization
Who or what is to coordinate all
this, according to Sachs, and how exactly is the UN to take control?
"The solutions", says Sachs, "can
vary in terms of
their boldness and take the form of global, multilateral or bilateral
arrangements." These arrangements should as far as Sachs is concerned
ensure "at least partially the automacity of financial transfers by
some form of fiscal mechanisms, be it a small income tax or an array of
indirect taxes on goods and services whose production and consumption
has significant environmental impacts."
Over time, gradually, these taxes
"Starting the operation with a one
per ten thousand tax
and increasing it so as to reach one per thousand in ten to twenty
years seems a fairly realistic proposal, the more so that the scheme
creates an interesting market for the private enterprises involved in R
Reading all this, the question as to
what entity should take charge is not difficult to answer. Sachs:
"In order to generate maximum
synergies between the
national strategies and global action, the United Nations should create
a forum for the periodical discussion and evaluation of these
strategies and a research, monitoring and flexible planning facility to
put them in a global perspective.(...). The forum should have a fair
representation of all the main actors involved: governments,
parliaments, citizen movements and the business world. Given its
importance, it should be lifted from specialized agencies to a central
place in the UN system."
The "fair representation" Sachs is
talking about is of
course only a pretext to get everybody on board. As the recently
surfaced "Danish Text" clearly illustrates, the IMF and World Bank will
always have final say in the construction of any international system.