Tuesday 16th of August 2022

the values of the new world order .....

‘This is a story that implicates all of us. Torture, and fear of torture, are factors in holding costs down in our new-age globalized production system. Take just-in-time delivery, add a touch of submersion in shit, fear of beating, fear of drowning, and voilà! You get Wal-Mart’s everyday low prices. 


That’s not quite how the story gets conveyed in the business press, however. When American economists and executives opine about China, you don’t hear about the jailing and abuse of workers who seek decent living standards. There’s nothing new in this: Our guys in the oil business have never said word one about the repressive Saudi regime, and United Fruit was always the Latin American banana-republic dictator’s best friend.  


But China is different. It’s not just one benighted sector of American capitalism that’s made its accommodations there. Virtually every major U.S. firm involved in manufacturing and marketing is beating a path to China’s door - and surrendering there any political principles they may have brought with them. Rupert Murdoch’s agreement not to air any officially disapproved broadcasts over his satellite TV system is just one, albeit egregious, example. 


So the next time China has a Tian An Men Square–like convulsion, don’t count on American business to support the Chinese democrats trying to stop the tanks. A more democratic China means workers with more rights and higher wages. For which reason the U.S. government is likely to be conflicted as well. Even now, while the Defense Department views China as a threat, the Commerce Department views it as a trading partner, or even an extension of the American system of production. Nor is it a given that a Democratic administration would be less immune than the Bush administration is to this political schizophrenia. It was the Clinton White House, after all, that promoted China’s no-questions-asked admission to the World Trade Organization.’ 


Low Prices, Widespread Torture 


And lest anyone think that our global business elites are simply helpless pawns, adapting to the new realities of the global world order, let’s take a look at some of the uninhibited behaviour of the world’s largest corporations …. 


‘On issues like war crimes, torture, toxic dumping and stifling freedom of speech, corporations like Coca Cola, Chevron and Philip Morris are way out ahead of the rest. 


Corporations carry out some of the most horrific human rights abuses of modern times, but it is increasingly difficult to hold them to account. Economic globalization and the rise of transnational corporate power have created a favorable climate for corporate human rights abusers, which are governed principally by the codes of supply and demand and show genuine loyalty only to their stockholders. 


Several of the companies below are being sued under the Alien Tort Claims Act, a law that allows citizens of any nationality to sue in US federal courts for violations of international rights or treaties. When corporations act like criminals, we have the right and the power to stop them, holding leaders and multinational corporations alike to the accords they have signed. Around the world - in Venezuela, Argentina, India, and right here in the United States - citizens are stepping up to create democracy and hold corporations accountable to international law.’  


The 14 Worst Corporate Evildoers



Oi, Oi, Oil!

From Daniel Ellsberg on Exiting Iraq :
... Not that this is just about oil, it is about anti-terrorism, too. The essence of the Bush policy is a meld of plentiful oil and anti-terrorism. Right or wrong, the White House Iraq Group believes we cannot confront the bankers of Bin Laden, because they are also our local filling station. We will only be free to stand up to the Saudis when we are less dependent on their gas pumps. This must have put the Bush family’s personal relationship with the royal Saudi family to the test.

There is a larger problem, though. The pipeline Iraq can offer the U.S. will be secure only as long as it is secured, and that means US military bases, perhaps “over-the horizon,