terrible to know but dangerous to forget:n”Of the three million—or more—ndead whose bones now lie in thenPensioners’ PowernJeremy Rifkin and Randy Barber:nThe North Will Rise Again: Pensions,nPolitics and Power in then1980s; Beacon Press; Boston.nby Harold C. GordonnIn the mid-1920s, when Russia’sntriumphant Bolsheviks realized thatnworld revolution was not forthcoming,nthey settled down to the grim businessnof building “socialism in one country.”nIn the same way, our own revolutionaries—thenyoung radicals of the latensixties and early seventies—are proposingnto establish socialist enclaves here.nIf not socialism in one country, theynassert, then socialism in one city, onenstate, or one region—in the manner ofnthe French and Italian leftists.nThe target of this offensive is then”Graybelt,” or the sixteen states thatnform our northeastern quadrant. Thenregion has for years been declining innterms of industry, jobs, and population,nand is therefore presumably ripe fornsocialist proselytizing.nThis is the conclusion drawn by twonyoung American radicals, Jeremy Rifkinnand Randy Barber. When last heardnfrom, Messrs. Rifkin and Barber werenrunning the Peoples (sic) BicentennialnCommission, a propaganda organ devotednto enshrining Mao Tse-tung andnChe Guevara as the spiritual heirs ofnthe Sons of Liberty.nTheir current project is no less audacious:nthey are out to destroy the Americanncapitalist system. The instrumentnfor its destruction is to be the $500nMr. Gordon is Director of SpecialnStudies for the United States IndustrialnCouncil in Nashville, Tennessee.nKolyma permafrost there is one finalnpoint to make. They were, virtuallynwithout exception, entirely innocentnof the charges brought againstnthem…” nnbillion currently held in employee pensionnfunds.nAmerican workers have become thenreal owners of American business. Thisndevelopment was first made widelynknown by social scientist Peter Druckernin his 1976 book. The Unseen Revolution:nHow Pension Fund SocialismnCame to America. As noted by Drucker,nand echoed by Rifkin and Barber, thisncountry’s employees are the indirectnowners, through their pension funds, ofnroughly 35 per cent of the equity capitalnof American business. This is morenthan enough for present control, andnwill probably reach 50 to 60 percentnby the year 1985, if not sooner. Slightlynless than half of this $500 billion figurenis held by public employee pensionnfunds, which are administered by governmentnat the local, state, and federalnlevels. In the private sector, the bulknof the remaining monies are in corporatenpension funds that are jointly administerednby unions and management,nalthough there are of course funds thatnare exclusively administered by one ornthe other. According to the Bureau ofnLabor Statistics, over 79 percent of allnprivate pension plans in 1970 were noncontributory,nor in other words fundednentirely by corporate profits.nWhatever one’s ideological bent maynbe, employee ownership is a fact—justnas the economic stagnation of thenNortheast is a fact. The question is,nwhat construction is to be put on thesenfacts? Here, Professor Drucker’snshrewd, pragmatic, and deeply probingnanalysis must be regarded as far superiornto the marxian cliches of Messrs. Rifkinnand Barber.nnnV>ontempt for the capitalist systemnis the most striking feature of The NorthnWill Rise Again. In the authors’ view,ncapitalism is the root cause of the Graybelt’snmanifold woes. Having exploitednthe region like an economic colony fornyears, and finally milked it dry, the corporateninterests “are moving on to exploitnnew colonies, using the wealthnthey extracted… as a major weapon innthe drive for new conquests.” By this,nthe authors refer to the growing numbernof business firms who are quittingnthe high taxes, militant unions, and deterioratingnsocial conditions of thenNortheast, in favor of the low taxes,nopen shops, and attractive lifestylesnof the “Sunbelt” states of the Southnand West. In this natural, and entirelynunderstandable, migration, Rifkin andnBarber see a sinister plot by the “reactionary”nelements of this country tonpunish the “progressive” elements forntheir liberalism. H taxes are higher innthe Graybelt, they argue, it is for twonreasons: the “humane” policies thatnthe states in the region have pursuednwith regard to their poor and underprivileged,nand the fact that the Graybeltnstates receive less money fromnWashington than they pay in federalntaxes while Sunbelt states receive more.nThe latter argument may be disposednof in fewer words than the former. Itnis true that some disparity exists in thenflow of federal dollars between the twonregions. This disparity may be explainednin part by the many northerners eligiblenfor VA, Civil Service, Social Security,nor other federal retirement benefitsnwho relocate in Florida or other Sunbeltnstates, and in part by the superior porkbarrellingnskills of southern politicians.nWhen welfare-related payments are considerednseparately, however, thosennortheastern states with high concentrationsnof urban poverty receive morenfunds than Sunbelt states. Their higherntaxes, therefore, cannot be blamed onntheir being shortchanged by Washington.nNeither can they be attributednto the region’s “humanity” toward itsn^mammimmmmmmmnChronicles of Culturen