Difficulty Along the Way
In hindsight, the development of Peace Economics has always been in a race against the increasingly strong forces of the dark side of empire. The 1984 election, when I was on the executive committee of the Democratic Party of Oregon, elected a delegate to the national convention, and later put on the electoral college slate, has always struck me as a complete vindication of George Orwell’s book “1984.” Yes, newspeak was alive and well with peacekeeper missiles in Europe. Reagan resuscitated the military industrial complex, busted the unions, and freed the rich from high tax rates, paving the way forward to today’s population control oriented national security state. Now Princeton and Jimmy Carter agree we no longer have a democracy, just an oligarchy, a plutocracy.
The 1983 brochure that launched Peace Economics lay quietly in my files while I fought that re-election, so two years later in 1985 I realized something was amiss. The newspapers showed no sign of Ruth Sivard’s brilliant work. When I took it to the next level, a county commissioner friend of mine offered to submit my work to the Pulitzer Prize committee. But someone named Matt threw me out of the Progressive Magazine offices in January 1986, so incapable was he of believing the military hurts the economy, because the New York Times said the opposite. But WORT put me on the radio, WISC on the TV, and the Capital Times put me in the newspaper. I met my old grade school principal at the World Federalists meeting I talked to. Later back home in Eugene Oregon, a friend lent me his MacIntosh to write my first book, then helped me settle on the term Peace Economics for the title. But going to a Rainbow Coalition meeting in DC, I sold a copy for $20 to a government employees union agent who never paid me. Then I sent a copy to the Journal of Peace Research in Oslo and was invited to send in an article. But I was afraid to even attempt the academic process then, and when I visited the offices in Oslo thirteen years later on my way to the Hague 100th Anniversary Peace Conference, editor Nels Petter Gledisch no longer knew who I was. In 1986 a friend insisted that my 99.7% correlation would be greeted by social scientists as evidence I did something wrong in my calculation. My reaction was to think the word “social” before the word scientist was like the word “social” before the word promotion. In 1987 I found a publisher, only to have him depart for another job and they refused to tell me where he had gone. His substitute did not understand me.
Early Academic World
In my first forays into the academic world, more mixed blessings. I followed the footsteps of a CPA who taught a class in Beyond War in the philosophy department, and used the Innovative Education department to teach in Sociology. I was friends with the department head and had taken courses from two of his three professors in political economy, so approval went smooth at first. I had ignored grading a football player listed as taking my class, since he never appeared, Then my department head friend went on sabbatical and I got an angry letter from his successor as I was teaching my second class. I was demanded not to publicly say that I was teaching a class at the university in the sociology department. Since I am so honest I never in my life have learned to tell a good lie, that letter baffled me. So I switched departments for my third class. Later the head of International Studies confided in me that people resented my work, even as he recognized that it was good work. Then he told me how he’d written papers on credentialism, so he recognized the exaggerated value of peer reviewed academic work. A friend of mine in the economics department knew I’d have trouble with conventional economics, so he recommended I give a paper to the Union of Radical Political Economists. I went there three years in a row, then a fourth time several years later. By now I had decided to get a doctorate in economics. But the head of MIT economics called Jay Forrester a charlatan in the business school, and I knew something was wrong with economics, for I found Forrester’s work very useful. Then the head of Oregon economics told be using data to create a model was cheating. Flabbergasted, I eventually figured out what he meant, but I knew that was not the scientific method to ignore data until after the model was created. By now I knew how treacherous the academic pursuit could be.
Many angels have come to my aid, and many devils have bedeviled me in the years since the Cold War end also slowed Peace Economics down a lot too. And twenty years of putting Peace Economics on the back burner to make a living in accounting have ended. Now things are picking up for me again. Madison’s famous snobbery has held me back here, as I had a great reputation in Eugene. But I’m slowly gaining traction again. Unfortunately, the grip of empire on America has finally impinged the academic world, and the myth of the so-called conspiracy theory has allowed the national security state to get away with murder, so to speak. So I recommend the story of empire to help see what we are all up against. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, Bush fiddled while New Orleans drowned, and the new barbarians seem to be the Tea Party extremists, eagerly destroying many a great American institution like the Universities.
Stages of Empire Decay:
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Dr. Peace, Dr. Robert Reuschlein
Real Economy Institute
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