For a Kinder, Gentler Society
The New CommonWealth
From Autocratic Corporatism to Socialist Capitalism
  • Claudiu A. Secara
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The New CommonWealth. From Autocratic Corporatism to Socialist Capitalism
Sound Bite
The notion of a worldwide perestroika driven by the global elite continues to gain credibility. The book examines, in a historical perspective, the most intriguing paradoxes in the Soviet Union's "collapse", its convoluted path from workers' paradise to robber baron casino capitalism and back to the social-democratic traditions of socialist capitalism Ã?¢Ã??' and speculates on the global implications. The New CommonWealth presents an analysis of major historical developments that indicate the outlines of the coming new world order, including a comparative study of several economic market models.

About the Author

The author, after successful careers in the socialist East and in the capitalist West, analyzes worldwide political and economic developments of the past decades, particularly economic change in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Claudiu A. Secara suggests that Russia will be reinvigorated by compromising both models — the old communist orthodoxy as well as the new casino capitalism, which should bring Russia back to "socialist capitalism," through which the country may well become the dominant power in a Eurasian commonwealth within a new world order quite different from the one most Americans imagine.

Secara graduated from the University of Bucharest in 1972 with an advanced degree in Philosophy and Political Economy. He worked as a journalist in Bucharest for several years before resigning over the issue of journalistic independence; the next several years he devoted to travel and independent scholarship, teaching, odds jobs, reading and writing.

Later he bailed out of the peasant-socialist cum "state-capitalist" system entirely. He arrived in New York in 1983 and earned a Master's degree in Political Science from New York University in 1986. He earned a doctorate in International Business and a doctorate in Information Systems from Pace University in 1992, providing consulting services in international business and computer technologies for clients such as Panasonic, Bankers Trust, and Deutsche Bank. 

Secara departed from his consulting work at the World Trade Center in New York, in February 2001, in good time, and turned again to full-time research and writing. He wrote Time & Ego: Judeo-Christian Egotheism and the Anglo Saxon Industrial Revolution, a philosophical essay, Post-Soviet Euroslavia,  and the broader work, The New Commonwealth: From Feudal Corporatism to Socialist Capitalism. Since 1994 he has been expanding Algora Publishing, which he had launched years before.

Secara combines the talent of what was once called 'reading Pravda between the lines' with a classical education and independent analysis. He remains a self-described socialist, atheist, committed to enlightenment and liberty of thought.

About the Book
This book examines in a historical perspective the most intriguing dialectic in the Soviet Union's evolution: from socialism to capitalism and back to socialist capitalism; and provides a unique interpretation of events unfolding in Eastern Europe...
This book examines in a historical perspective the most intriguing dialectic in the Soviet Union's evolution: from socialism to capitalism and back to socialist capitalism; and provides a unique interpretation of events unfolding in Eastern Europe within broad historical, economic, military and political contexts. The author predicts that the United States, bastion of "free markets", will be forced to move toward socialistic policies just as the Communist nations inevitably integrated more elements of capitalism into their systems, and he speculates on how these shifts will affect the main players' positions in the global power game. Will US Government bailouts bring the US closer to socialism? Were Roosevelt's policies socialistic? Are there limits to the capitalist model, and is there a place for unemployment benefits, Social Security pensions, health insurance, and food stamps? If so, why is the "safety net" feared as unAmerican?
Introduction

For anyone who has followed closely the events in Eastern Europe for the past thirty years, the systematic absence of one possible scenario from the mainstream media dialog is baffling namely that today's Russian troubles may be only a shield behind which a more powerful regeneration is in progress. The New York Times Magazine, August 10,...

For anyone who has followed closely the events in Eastern Europe for the past thirty years, the systematic absence of one possible scenario from the mainstream media dialog is baffling namely that today's Russian troubles may be only a shield behind which a more powerful regeneration is in progress. The New York Times Magazine, August 10, 1997, brings up one of many questions to which modern history awaits a convincing answer. On the occasion of former Defense Secretary McNamara's revisiting Vietnam, it reminds us of one such unelucidated inconsistency: "If the reason [for the war in Vietnam] was to fight communism, why did the U.S. not help China in 1949, or why did the U.S. not help the Batista regime in Cuba in 1959?"

There are indeed significant and puzzling inconsistencies in the story of the Soviet Union's "collapse." Consider the artfulness, bordering on the Machiavellian, and the lengthy effort that went into its demise and one has sufficient grounds for a different tale. The process of "collapse," basically from 1983 on, came about as the country's establishment applied blow after blow to the highly coherent and resilient Soviet system.

The most intriguing aspect of this incredible series of events is that behind it was the political will of the elite the Soviet elite who had decided that the Soviet system must be dismembered, while the so-called disgruntled masses played a minor role. That amounts, but only on a superficial look, to the impression that the elite itself might have voluntarily decided to dismantle and demobilize its own lines of defense and submit to a condition of servitude to the rest of the world.

On the contrary, I am not only in agreement with Weir and Kotz and others who ascribe perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet system to the Soviet elite, but I suggest that today's troubles are not a result of a failed perestroika but are only Phase II of perestroika.

From socialism to capitalism and back to a superior form of socialism is how the old Marxist dialecticians would phrase it. By compromising both models the old communist orthodoxy as well as the newer aspirant, casino capitalism the power establishment makes it possible to bring the country safely back to socialist capitalism. But if one accepts this hypothesis, then it becomes the premise of an unsettling line of reasoning.

The elite of the second most powerful corporation in the world, the Soviet Union, must have had a self-serving reason to take such risks and must as well have had the opportunity to reformulate its modus operandi. If this is so, the further implication would be that the "collapse" was possible not in reaction to a stronger U.S. but precisely because the other superpower also showed every sign of weakness and crisis so that it could not mount any credible offensive, economically or militarily, while the Soviet Union went through its own version of the Great Depression en route toward economic restructuring and political modernization.

The most plausible interpretation of the series of international issues of the 1980s (the new economic assertiveness of Western Europe and Japan, the war in Afghanistan, the Iran-Iraq craze, the Solidarity movement in Poland, the world debt crisis, etc.) is that they were already setting the framework for a future covenant "the new world order" between the former superpowers, to their mutual advantage.

That presupposes an early, even pre-1980, agreed armistice and rethinking of the exhausting confrontation. If Russia was in a position to let down its guard to the extent that we are witnessing today, it was only because it found itself not in a weak position but in the strongest military-strategic position in its history, free from imminent outside threat as enshrined at Helsinki in the 1975 Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Given its control of the world's richest reserves of oil, gas, nuclear material, and raw materials, together with its educated professionals, an unmatched nuclear arsenal*, space technology leadership, etc. all Russia needed was to repackage its system as a benevolent system, to make it into a soothing and attractive social and economic model, to launch a successful public relations scheme. To succeed at that would be worth the costs and the risks!

From such a strategic viewpoint one may infer that the dismantling of the Soviet Union was only the first step of the former Soviet elite's new policy of Soviet "market" outreach to the West as well as to the South. In the west, Western Europe today seems at its zenith, however, its fate may well have been determined by (1) its military emasculation (by the Treaty of European Conventional Arms Reduction, the 1988 Soviet-U.S. Intermediate Nuclear Forces agreement and START II) and (2) its dependency on Russian controlled oil and gas. In the south, oil producing Iran and Iraq, isolated by United States' Middle East diplomacy, are quietly and slowly sliding further into the deadly embrace of the northern bear.**

The centuries long Russian-Anglo-American love-hate relationship has been evolving dramatically from late 1978 until today, for sure. However, one might notice that it is being redesigned in such a way as to accommodate in the long run a more assertive, more successful and more powerful Russia overlording its European and southern peripheries. A first sketch of such an analysis I presented in 1992 at the ISA conference in Atlanta. For a more detailed analysis of the historical background, of the economic, military and political circumstances of such a probable scenario, you are invited to read the following pages.


Table of Contents
Chapter I. The Social Market Chapter V. The Global Economic Scene Social Market Capitalism The Soviet Union's Dramatic Decline The Accounting Nature of Capitalism The United States' Deter
Chapter I. The Social Market Chapter V. The Global Economic Scene Social Market Capitalism The Soviet Union's Dramatic Decline The Accounting Nature of Capitalism The United States' Deteriorating Leadership Closed vs. Open Capitalist System The Question of Labor Shortages in the Modern Economy Individualistic vs. Communitarian Capitalism Russian-Style Industrialization Forms of Socialized Capitalism The Russian Agricultural Revolution The Profit Motive More Labor through Service Automation Social Capitalism Reinventing the Feudal Work System The Social Market Commonwealth The Industrial Technocracy Chapter II. The Historical Context The Historical Curve toward Global Market Socialism The International Power Market Chapter VI. Pitfalls of a Competitive Market The German Way The Market Economy and Privatization The American Way "Free Market" without Markets The Russian Way Growing Transatlantic Trade Disputes The Interconnected World System European Investments vs. American Investments The Mediterranean Ecosystem Similarites in the Former Comecon Countries' Reforms European Inland Farming Playing the Market along with the Socialist Nomenklatura The Affluent Farming Societies Playing Socialism at the Stock Market The Emergence of the Military-Industrial Corporation The Concept of Managed Markets The Anglo-Saxons and the Slavs Chapter VII. The Invisible Revolution The Battle over Europe Ownership Distribution in the United States The Balkanization of the World Employee Stock Ownership Programs Chapter III. The Economic Models Question In Pursuit of an Industrial Policy with a Capitalist Face The Interventionist Philosophy A Historical Framework The Traditional Centrally Planned Model The French Auto Industry's Experience To Reform or Not to Reform The Japanese Semiconductor Industry's Experience Internal Factors of Decline The German Steel Industry's Experience External Factors of Decline The United States' Experience In Pursuit of Socialism with a Human Face Chapter VIII. The Making of Eurasia Reforms and Their Results Convergence within Europe Motivation vs. Management The Thaw, Finally The Ambiguities of Decentralization Events within Regularities the Cycle of History Market Competition under Central Planning The Aristotelianism of Global Politics International Markets National Competition Soft vs. Hard Style Management Managed Social Markets Hypothesizing on the Future Chapter IV. Life Cycle of the Cold War Industries Intelligentsia in Power The American Pursuit of a Military Economy The Air Industry The Air Industry's Support Industry The Militarized Economy of the Soviet Union D tente
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Romanian Language Translation INTRODUCERE CAPITOLUL I. PIAÃ??Ã?¡A SOCIALÃ??' Capitalismul Social de PiaÃ??'ºÃ??Ã?? Natura ContabilÃ??Ã?? a Capitalismului Sistemul Capitalist nchis versus celui Deschis Capitalism Individualist versus Capitalism Comunitar Forme ale Capitalismului Socializat Motivul Profitului Capitalism Social Commonwealth-ul PieÃ??'ºei Sociale CAPITOLUL II. CONTEXTUL ISTORIC PiaÃ??'ºa Puterii InternaÃ??'ºionale Modalitatea...
Romanian Language Translation INTRODUCERE CAPITOLUL I. PIAÃ??Ã?¡A SOCIALÃ??' Capitalismul Social de PiaÃ??'ºÃ??Ã?? Natura ContabilÃ??Ã?? a Capitalismului Sistemul Capitalist nchis versus celui Deschis Capitalism Individualist versus Capitalism Comunitar Forme ale Capitalismului Socializat Motivul Profitului Capitalism Social Commonwealth-ul PieÃ??'ºei Sociale CAPITOLUL II. CONTEXTUL ISTORIC PiaÃ??'ºa Puterii InternaÃ??'ºionale Modalitatea GermanÃ??Ã?? Modalitatea AmericanÃ??Ã?? Modalitatea RuseascÃ??Ã?? Sistemul Mondial Interconexat Ecosistemul Mediteranean Agricultura EuropeanÃ??Ã?? InternÃ??Ã?? SocietÃ??Ã??Ã??'ºile Agricole mbelÃ??'¢ugate ApariÃ??'ºia CorporaÃ??'ºiilor Militare Industriale Anglo-Saxonii Ã??'¢i Slavii BÃ??Ã??tÃ??Ã??lia asupra Europei Balcanizarea Lumii CAPITOLUL III. PROBLEMA MODELELOR ECONOMICE Filozofia IntervenÃ??'ºionismului Modelul TradiÃ??'ºional de Planificare CentralizatÃ??Ã?? A Reforma sau a Nu Reforma? Factorii Interni ai Declinului Factori Externi ai Declinului n CÃ??Ã??utarea Capitalismului cu FaÃ??'ºÃ??Ã?? UmanÃ??Ã?? Reformele Ã??'¢i Rezultatele Acestora MotivaÃ??'ºie versus Management Ambiguit Ã??'º ile "DescentralizÃ??Ã??rii" ConcurenÃ??'ºa de PiaÃ??'ºÃ??Ã?? n Cadrul PlanificÃ??Ã??rii Centralizate PieÃ??'ºe InternaÃ??'ºionale n Timpul ConcurenÃ??'ºei ntre NaÃ??'ºiuni PieÃ??'ºe Sociale Conduse 124 CAPITOLUL IV. CARACTERUL CICLIC AL INDUSTRIILOR N TIMPUL RÃ??'ZBOIULUI RECE 129 Preocuparea AmericanÃ??Ã?? pentru o Economie MilitarÃ??Ã?? 134 Industria AeronauticÃ??Ã?? 141 Industria de Spijin a Industriei Aviatice 145 Economia MilitarizatÃ??Ã?? a Uniunii Sovietice 150 DetentÃ??Ã?? 166 CAPITOLUL V. SCENA ECONOMICÃ??' GLOBALÃ??' 177 Declinul Dramatic al Uniunii Sovietice 177 Deteriorarea SupremaÃ??'ºiei Statelor Unite 188 Problema Crizei Muncii in Economia ModernÃ??Ã?? 181 Industrializarea in Stil Rusesc 185 RevoluÃ??'ºia AgricolÃ??Ã?? sin Rusia 190 Mai MultÃ??Ã?? MuncÃ??Ã?? prin Automatizare 194 Reinventarea Sistemului de Lucru Feudal 197 TehnocraÃ??'ºia IndustrialÃ??Ã?? 200 Curba IstoricÃ??Ã?? a Socialismului PieÃ??'ºei Mondiale 204 CAPITOLUL VI. CAPCANELE PIEÃ??Ã?¡EI CONCURENÃ??Ã?¡IONALE 209 Economia de PiaÃ??'ºÃ??Ã?? Ã??'¢i Privatizarea 210 "PiaÃ??'ºa LiberÃ??Ã??" fÃ??Ã??rÃ??Ã?? PieÃ??'ºe 212 Intensificarea Disputelor Comerciale Trans-Atlantice 213 InvestiÃ??'ºii Europene versus InvestiÃ??'ºii Americane 214 Similitudini n Reformele Fostelor Ã??Ã?¡Ã??Ã??ri ale Comecomului 214 Jocul de-a PiaÃ??'ºa n Timpul Nomenclaturii Socialiste 216 Socialismul Jucat la BursÃ??Ã?? 220 Conceptul de PieÃ??'ºe Dirijate 224 CAPITOLUL VII - REVOLUÃ??Ã?¡IA INVIZIBILÃ??' 233 Redistribuirea ProprietÃ??Ã??Ã??'ºii n Statele Unite 233 Programul DeÃ??'ºinerii AcÃ??'ºiunilor de cÃ??Ã??tre AngajaÃ??'ºi 239 n CÃ??Ã??utarea Politicii Industriale cu FaÃ??'ºÃ??Ã?? CapitalistÃ??Ã?? 244 Cadru Istoric 245 ExperienÃ??'ºa Industriei Automobilelor Franceze 250 ExperienÃ??'ºa Industriei Japoneze a Semiconductorilor 252 ExperienÃ??'ºa Industriei Germane a OÃ??'ºelului 255 ExperienÃ??'ºa Statelor Unite 257 CAPITOLUL VIII - CONSTITUIREA EURASIEI 259 ConvergenÃ??'ºa n Cadrul Europei 259 DezgheÃ??'ºul, n Final 264 Evenimente n Continuitate - Ciclurile n Istorie 268 Aristotelismul Politicilor Globale 269 Stilul de Management Soft versus Hard 271 Ipoteze Asupra Viitorului 272 InteligenÃ??'ºia la Putere 273 NaÃ??'¢terea Euroslaviei 276
Reviews
Noam Chomsky, MIT | More »
Tina Rosenberg, World Policy Institute | More »
John Stopford, London Business School | More »
Michael Szemberg, The American Economist | More »
Bertil Haggman, Center for Research on Geopolitics, Sweden | More »
Edward Jovanovich, Fairfield University | More »
BOOKLIST review March 15, 1998 | More »

Pages 296
Year: 1997
LC Classification: HB501.S49
Dewey code: 330.12/2 21
BISAC: POL011000
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-9646073-4-7
Price: USD 24.95
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