MAY'S GLANCE

By William Markiewicz

What Lima Showed Us

Terror, like nuclear war, like gas warfare, is among the ultimate tools in the arsenal of totally ruthless war, where nothing counts but victory. No place for 'niceties' like humanitarian rules. Terror is the nuclear bomb of the poor and the kamikaze are the ultimate form of terror. Why did the terrorists in Lima lose? Because they misunderstood where their power lay. Time is the enemy of terror. They lost the momentum. They put themselves into a position of a besieged fortress, a long term prison. This is a situation in which alertness sooner or later wears out. You cannot overcome those on the outside with patience. The guerrillas allowed too many unknown, uncontrollable factorsto develop with time. For instance, it seems that communication was established between the hostages and the outside behind the rebels' backs. The hostages, and by the same token the rebels, had to be supplied with food from the outside. Would it have been possible then that they were administered an extremely mild tranquilizer, imperceptible to the taste and to the mind but still strong enough to dull reactions? Terrorists who'd give an ultimatum in terms of a one week or less time limit would have had much greater power of persuasion.

"Mega"

There is turmoil in Toronto because the authorities want to impose a 'mega-city', for the sake of better management, they say, while the inhabitants struggle against it in order to maintain local autonomy. The promoters of the megacity speak about global economy, global politics, presenting it as a modern world tendency. But what they fail to perceive is that modern "globalism" is the sum of local autonomies, not elimination of local autonomies. All the mega-structures in the human and animal world show the same basic characteristics: pyramidal structure, inflexibility, suppression of individuality. In the animal world those are hives and anthills. The human mega structures were the empires of Egypt, Incas, Aztecs, China, Ottoman -- meaning absolutism at the very top and practically slavery for the rest of the population. Such structures can exist for centuries when in static equilibrium. But the Western world has evolved toward a dynamism based on smaller harmoniously collaborating communities. Changes can only bring crashes and doom. Mega-City means that decisions that normally should be initiated and decided at the local level to resolve local problems will depend on far away mandarins. Only those who have no choice will submit and stay. The more prosperous will flee before big problems arrive.The result will be urban misery for those who cannot move away. The 'Mega' is a generator of future urban ghettoes. At the top it will create a huge class of bureaucrats at the expense of politicians who will be eliminated. The difference between the bureaucrat and the politician is that the politician wins or loses his/her job by popular decision while the bureaucrat is hired and fired by the mandarin at the top who is guided more by "theory," or advice (or corruption) than by true knowledge of the territory and concern for the problem .



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