Commentary - 07/01/2008

Escape Trails Paved With Gold

This 1977 story, retrieved from Hong Kong Newspaper Clippings compiled by the University of Hong Kong Libraries, tells this story: Vietnam Escape Trail Paved With Gold [pdf][See Note below]

A well-organized syndicate with contacts among Vietnam's military and civilian administrators is making millions of dollars in gold smuggling people out of the country.
My point is that owning gold gave people their chance to escape possible murder. Gold was not quite as manipulated then as now, and it provided many their opportunity to start a new life in another place not quite so hostile as their homeland.

For example, this article Paul Musco's Day Job: Gemini Industries published in the Orange County Business Journal:

The first break came from Vietnamese refugees living at Camp Pendleton in the late 1970s. They brought gold with them. The refugees were looking to exchange it for dollars. Gemini stepped in as a buyer. It was able to purify and resell the gold at a higher price.
So you see, gold is readily transferable from country to country, and most trading done with gold results in some profits to everyone concerned. Who got the best deal depends strictly on their viewpoint.

However, Vietnam's own version of Homeland Security now aims to prevent such events.

The article that precipitated today's commentary was published recently by Times On-Line, with the headline: Markdown of dong, the Vietnamese currency, seen as act of desperation:

There have been no requests for emergency loans from the International Monetary Fund, but the Government is adopting measures that reveal a growing shortage of orthodox methods to control the ballooning trade deficit and currency turmoil, including suspending gold imports. The rocketing trade deficit is hugely influenced by the $1.8 billion of gold imported in the first half of this year.
It is very important to a Homeland Security department NOT to allow citizens to protect themselves against their own government, no matter what country you may live. This is why they would be "suspending gold imports."

It is important that their citizens learn to "love their servitude." This was expressed by none other than the author of Brave New World, way back in March 20, 1962, at one of America's most progressive universities at the time [Berkeley]: To Listen! Transcript

It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude. This is the, it seems to me, the ultimate in malevolent revolutions shall we say, and this is a problem which has interested me many years and about which I wrote thirty years ago, a fable, Brave New World, which is an account of society making use of all the devices available and some of the devices which I imagined to be possible making use of them in order to, first of all, to standardize the population, to iron out inconvenient human differences, to create, to say, mass produced models of human beings arranged in some sort of scientific caste system.
So, do you like where you have been positioned?

Unfortunately, Sometimes The Dragon Wins

NOTE: If you get a search menu for Hong Kong Newspaper Clippings OnLine, simply copy "Vietnam escape trail paved with gold" into the field. It will bring up one entry, so click on that. Sorry, but that's the way their site is programmed.
2008 by Edward Ulysses Cate
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