From Wed Mar 10 07:45:08 2004
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 08:01:09 -0600 (CST)
Subject: [NYTr] Overthrow the Power Elite in 1st World, First
Article: 175031
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

First World more important

By Joost van Stennis, Jing Hong, 10 March 2004

Dear readers,

The masses in the Third World still have a long way to go before they can undertake autonomous activities to close the gap between the eliteworld and the massworld. Only in the First World can masspeople achieve such a fundamental change.

More than half the Indian population can hardly read or write, and the situation in other countries is only slightly better. Masspeople can hardly communicate with each other. In big cities newspapers are available but in the countryside the news comes from radio and TV that are extensively controlled by the elite.

I am now travelling in China. The 6% of the Chinese population who use the Internet number 80 million people. However they mostly use it for entertainment, love relations, leisure-time hobbies and other non-political subjects. While there, I have been able to view the CNN website but not the BBC's (in fact news sites are blocked in several countries). Before access to the Internet, my passport number and the locals' ID-number have sometimes been written down, which restrains any use of the Internet for political purposes.

At the close of 2003, only 30 million Chinese computers were connected to the Internet, with private possession of a computer beyond the reach of most people. Internet dissidents belong to the middle class. The masses have not enough time to become internet dissident and hardly any knowledge about the situation of fellow masspeople in other parts of the country or in other countries.

In many parts of the First World, masspeople have secured a decent level of education, housing, food and other basic living conditions. In the Third World, the masses must work hard to survive and events beyond their control can suddenly throw them down into wretched poverty. Illness, unemployment, financial crises, natural catastrophes, wars caused by dissident factions of the elite, etcetera can ruin their lives. Masspeople still have many ‘easy’ demands to fulfil, like eradicating poverty and getting a social security net, before they can begin to oust the greedy elite.

Another reason why fundamental change must initiate in the First World is the protection that Third World elites enjoy from the mightier First World elite whom the Third World masses cannot reach. The work of NGOs benefits some masspeople but does not bring the Third World masses any closer to the Third World elite. Many political commentators and activists focus on events in the Third World, but few consider how to change the power relations in the First World.

I concentrate on what First World masspeople can do. Third World affairs are of minor importance to the struggle to break the power of any elite. The events in Iraq have hardly any effect on global power relations.

Only once the power of the First World elite is broken by activities from its own masses, can Third World masses successfully attack their own elite.

Yours sincerely, Joost van Steenis