cj#685> “China vs. Globalization” 3/3


Richard Moore

             Begin part 3 of 3 - "China vs. Globalization"

Epilog - The global megacorp state
The current world system, now coming to an end,  is an anarchistic
(not centrally controlled) one - based on nation states, shifting
alliances, imperialism, warfare, and trade.  Just as capitalist
monopolies constitute the natural final stage of an anarchistic
economic system, so political/military monopolies constitute the
natural final stage of an anarchistic political system.

Thus over the past few centuries, as technology has been knitting a
global infrastructure, we've seen ever more powerful empires vying
for dominance.  At the end of WW II, the system finally reached the
stage where a single nation-state had achieved an effective near-
monopoly of political/military power, cold-war rhetoric

When a system reaches its final stage, that stage may be stable or
unstable.  If it is stable (eg  ancient Incas and Egypt), then that
system may persist until outside events intervene.  But if it is
unstable, as happened with Rome, then the result will be either
degeneration/fragmentation or else the birth of a new organizing
principle - a principle strong enough to bind together the elements
brought together by the predecessor system - but a principle that adds
greater stability.

Within the context of the anarchistic nation-state world system, the
all-but-implemented final stage is a Global Imperial America.  But
if such were to be formally instituted, it would be highly unstable.
Uncle Sam trying to rule a traditionally-structured world empire
would make the Vietnam debacle look like a Sunday picnic.

It is a tribute to the acumen (I didn't say wisdom) of our world
leaders that they were well aware of this final-stage instability,
and that they took effective steps to institute a new organizing

Preparations began during WW II (FDR & Churchill's United Nations
Declaration) for the first-ever hierarchical world system.  Since
that time, by means (both overt and covert) of treaty arrangements,
economic/political pressures, and military interventions, the US has
used its dominant position to guide, bribe, and coerce the world
into its current globalist phase.

Globalization brings the necessary new organizing principle, a
principle stable enough to create and maintain a new world order - at
least for a while.  The new principle is capitalist/corporate
hegemony, and the infrastructure which supports it is the
collection of transnational corporations, with their astronomical
resources and control of the global economy.

To a large extent, the megacorps already are the world system.
They operate globally, they directly control global finances and
much of the world's economic activity, and they've put together a
set of mechanisms (WTO et al) that regulates, on a harmonious
collaborative basis, the rules of their collective game.

Globalization, at its heart, is the yielding of political
sovereignty to this proven corporate system - acknowledging that
nation-states have evolved themselves into a historical cul de sac.
If the corporate elite can keep the world-system trains running, so
to speak, that seems to be preferable, to many, to the uncertain
future of nation-state political developments.

The price to be paid - disenfranchisement and exploitation of the
citizenry - is not clearly marked on the price tag of globalization.
As the price becomes widely evident - as it already is in the Third
World - instability will arise from citizen unrest.

Police-state structures are being rapidly implemented (more about
this later) to contain such unrest in the First World, and have
already been deployed in the Third World.  Meanwhile, the soporific
mind-control mass media carries the primary burden of population

The transition to megacorp rule is being accomplished in the First
World by the dismantlement of national infrastructures, the
bankrupting of governments, and the imposition of treaties which
officially grant authority over the world's major economic and trade
(and other) policies to corporate-dominated commissions (WTO et al).

This transition program was launched in the early 1980's by Ronald
Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, acting as crowd-pleasing standard
bearers for the corporate-sponsored agenda.  With the rhetorical
flags of "efficiency" and "reform" flying high, the wheels were set
in motion for dismantlement (privatization and program cutbacks),
bankruptcy (corporate tax cuts and reckless borrowing), and
transfer of social and economic sovereignty ("free trade" and
GATT).  This program is rapidly spreading, with occasional temporary
setbacks, from its original US-UK base to the other leading Western

In most of the Third World, corporate domination has been a fact of
life for some time.   Over the past several years the IMF, using as
leverage the immense Third-World debt burden, has been increasingly
assuming the authority to dictate, at a micro level, economic and
social policies in Third World nations.  In India, for example, many
public officials take their instructions directly from the
international commissions, rather than bothering to go through the
central government at all.

The transition program for First-World nations, as outlined above,
has the effect of downgrading the First World to Third-World status.
By ceding control of their own infrastructure (privatization), by
undertaking unmanageable levels of debt, and by subscribing to
disempowering treaties, First World nations are voluntarily caging
themselves into a permanently weakened position.  Regardless of
which future governments might be elected, and regardless of what
agendas they might espouse, First World nations will find themselves
as powerless to overrule the dictates of the corporate commissions
as do Third-World nations today.

Already the commissions, and the corporations which they serve, are
beginning to lay down the law to the First World.  The WTO just this
month overruled the EU's ban on US hormone-treated beef, and the
Ethyl Corporation is using the NAFTA agreement to sue Canada for
$251 million over a new Canadian environmental law.  Earlier a
Canadian no-fault insurance law was repealed, in preference to
defending against expensive litigation by a US insurance firm.
Under the guise of "free trade," we can expect domestic social,
economic, and environmental polices to be increasingly dictated to
the First World by the new globalist regime, as has already become
commonplace in the Third World.

The policy agenda of the WTO, therefore, should be of serious
concern to citizens everywhere, given that it is the agenda they'll
be living under.  That agenda is being determined totally un-
democratically - the membership of the commissions is dominated by
megacorp representatives - and is being drawn up outside of public
view.   The agenda is not entirely secret, however, and what is
known about it is more than a little alarming.

A highlight or two from this agenda will serve to illustrate the
magnitude of the problem.  The Codex Alimentarius Commission
(Codex), for example, is taking charge of worldwide food and drug
regulations.   We learn from the FDA's world-wide-web site that
"Since its inception, Codex has developed in excess of 200 Commodity
Standards, more than 40 codes and guidelines, about 2,500
pesticide/commodity maximum limits, and has reviewed the safety of
over 500 food additives and contaminants."  Codex is dominated by
the largest pharmaceutical companies, and it is their profit
interests that will determine - without any meaningful review - the
health and safety of all of us.  Among the radical measures being
pursued by Codex is the outlawing worldwide of all non-prescription
vitamins and health products.

Scott Nova and Michelle Sforza-Roderick of Preamble Center for
Public Policy, Washington, D.C., describe the work of another
    "Virtually unreported, the latest and potentially most dangerous
    of these agreements is now under negotiation at the Organization
    for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  The purpose of
    the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), as the proposed
    pact is known, is to grant transnational investors the
    unrestricted 'right' to buy, sell and move businesses, and other
    assets, wherever they want, whenever they want.  To achieve this
    goal, the MAI would ban a wide range of regulatory laws now in
    force around the globe and preempt future efforts to hold
    transnational corporations and investors accountable to the
    public. The agreement's backers (the United States and the
    European Union) intend to seek assent from the 29 industrial
    countries that comprise the OECD and then push the new accord on
    the developing world."

The scope of the issues being addressed, the radical nature of the
policies being adopted, and the pace of the proceedings should, by
rights, make the work of these commissions one of the hottest news
stories of the day.  But the story shows up not on the front page,
but, if at all, in the business pages.  The commissions have no need
to build public constituencies for their endeavors, since they are
outside the province of democratic process, hence the corporate mass
media has no reason to inform the public about what's going on.

Similarly, as the elite-controlled multinational force takes over
control of international affairs, the media has recently announced a
planned reduction in coverage of international news.  Purportedly
reflecting changes in viewer preferences, the reduced coverage can
more reasonably be taken as a verification of the fact that military
interventions are now to be decided above the level national
governments, and that popular rabble-rousing for such activity will
no longer be required.

What I'm describing, in case it's not apparent, is the death of
democracy.  After a brief two-centuries of existence, democracy is
being superceded by a corporate variety of neo-feudalism.  Weakened
and subservient nation-states are becoming hardly more than
fiefdoms, whose governments have little role other than to keep the
population in line and extract tribute (personal taxes) to be passed
on to the corporate overlords as repayment of debt.    All foreign
policy and activity, and most domestic policy and activity, is to be
managed offline from the democratic process by the lords of the
manor - corporations and their representative agencies.

The democratic institutions themselves may continue to exist, with
elections, legislatures, courts, etc., but the governments are being
disempowered, and the whole notion of meaningful popular sovereignty
via representative democracy is rapidly becoming only a nostalgic

Thus the anarchistic nation-state world system is being replaced by
a hierarchical world system with the WTO et al at the apex of the
social and economic power pyramid, and the US-NATO axis at the apex
of the military power pyramid - both controlled by the same elite
corporate interests.  This leaves us, however, with an anarchistic
economic system.  To be sure the WTO et al lay down the ground
rules as a central authority, but the operating economy itself - who
owns what, which development projects are to be undertaken, whether
beans or corn will be planted, who will merge with whom, etc. - is an
anarchistic competitive game.

The endgame of this economic scenario is readily predictable from
numerous historical precedents: a small number of monopoly
operators will emerge and dominate each industry and market.  Just
as competitive nationalism leads ultimately, as we have seen, to a
single dominant clique, so does unrestrained laissez-faire
capitalism lead ultimately to fraternities of monopoly operators.

The classic example, of course, is the Seven-Sisters gang of major
oil companies - transnationals long before their time.  More recently
we've seen a dramatic spate of mega-mergers in the media and
communications industries - creating whole new merged-industry
categories of commerce.  One could also mention the airline
industry, retail food chains, book sellers, discount bulk-shopping
chains, and many others.  The advantages of scale - not only cost
savings but the ability to control markets and pressure suppliers -
are so overwhelming that large monopolies do inevitably form, force
the development of similar competitors, and drive everyone else into
marginal market niches.

This is a familiar pattern.  It ran rampant in the latter half of
the nineteenth century, leading not only to extreme wealth and power
concentration, but also to wide-scale corruption and chronic
economic instability, signalled by frequent and severe depressions.
The lesson became clear to everyone at the time that capitalism's
invisible hand works best if government creates a level playing
field and forces competition on the markets.  The regulations which
evolved from that hard-earned lesson, and which succeeded in
stabilizing Western economies, are the very regulations which are
being wholesale abandoned as part of the globalization process.
History is being totally ignored, while "market forces" is being
touted as a brave new idea, whose beneficent economic efficacy
should be self-evident to all - a blatant example of Orwellian
historical revisionism, accomplished by omission.

The disenfranchisement, exploitation, and instability that is in
store for everyone is bound to lead, as noted earlier, to chronic
social unrest in the First World as well as the Third.  In the
meantime, social services, unemployment, infrastructure maintenance,
and crime have all been greatly worsened by the intentional
bankrupting of governments.  Already we've seen massive protests of
globalist measures in the First World, including Australia, France,
and Germany.

This prognosis for the future may appear speculative and perhaps
even surprising to some readers, but it has been understood for some
time by those pushing globalism.  In preparation for containing the
expected increase in social unrest, there has been a decades-long
concerted campaign to appropriately re-invent law enforcement across
a broad front:  more prisons, mandatory sentences, paramilitary
police forces, significantly reduced civil protections, increasingly
arbitrary conspiracy laws, diminished right to trial by jury,
routine surveillance of persons, transactions, and communications,
and, last but not least, the development of a prison-labor industry.

Not only can a greater quantity of troublesome individuals be
processed by these modernized crime-management systems, not only can
those individuals be put to profitable use while incarcerated, and
not only does the criminal justice system drive a profitable
industry in its own right, but  the new enforcement regime is
particularly well designed to monitor and disband any politically-
oriented organization that might threaten to rouse the population in
protest to its disenfranchised, serf-like status.

It has been a testament to the effectiveness of media spin-masters
that this wholesale installation of a police state - a globalist trend
being led as usual by the US and UK - has been largely a stealth
affair.  Under cover of the mania over drugs, crime, and terrorism,
the various repressive measures have been adopted one after the
other, each time with debate - and hence public awareness - stifled by
some media-linked crime or act of terrorism that was receiving
intense news coverage at the time.   One need only recall the
Oklahoma bombing and how that event helped rush through the far-
reaching Anti Terrorism Bill, or the World Trade Center bombing and
the new precedents set there for conspiracy convictions, or the TWA
800 crash and the invasive airport security measures that were
promptly adopted.

The point is not that the problems of crime, etc., aren't real - it's
that the "solutions" don't solve the problems, couldn't reasonably
be expected to solve the problems, and have "collateral"
consequences that move us systematically toward a police state.
This process may appear to be a case of incremental, if faulty,
responses to difficult problems - indeed it's been designed to appear
that way - but it has been in fact the very preparation - and none too
soon - necessary to manage popular unrest under the rapidly
foreclosing globalist regime.

This then is the overall picture of our globalist future:  nations -
possibly devolved in size - reduced to police-state, tax-collecting
fiefdoms, paying tribute to outside-the-law corporate overlords - who
in the meantime are organizing themselves into global monopolies
while they operate the world's affairs.  One is reminded of the
evidently prophetic visions of such futuristic films as Rollerball
and Blade Runner, with their haunting images of megacorp splendor
contrasted with social squalor, repressive police, and political

If at a future time some nation might decide to re-assert its
sovereignty through repudiation of treaties and debts and the
expropriation of corporate facilities, then the multilateral force
can make short shrift of such boldness, much as the US has done for
decades in Latin America.  That which globalism joins together, none
may dare set asunder.

    There's a proud array of soldiers -
    what do they round your door?
    They guard our master's granaries
    from the thin hands of the poor.
            Lady Jane Wilde (1826-96): The Famine Years

It is perhaps ironic that the final end of major warfare - an
achievement right-thinking people for centuries have yearned for -
seems destined to usher in an ominous new Dark Millennium.  Be
careful what you ask for, warned the sage,  you might get more than
you bargained for.  So true.  But there is a ray of hope: corporate
globalism is not the only possible future.  It is not mandated by
natural forces - media propaganda notwithstanding - but is the
intentional result of think-tank research, elite planning, and
corporate political activism.

For a few years yet - very few - democratic institutions may retain
enough power that an aroused citizenry could achieve political
ascendency in their several nations in time to moderate the plunge
into a global laissez-faire corporatist regime.  The time is running
short for political movements of sufficient breadth and vision to
emerge from the sea of vague dissatisfaction and provide a focus for
citizen awakening.  Any potential leaders and organizers who want to
make a difference had better focus on the Main Problem and seek,
with others, to form broad, inclusive, coalition movements around
reclaiming democracy, reasserting national sovereignty, and
restructuring  the relationship (tax and regulatory) between
governments and corporations.

    ...Can't add my name into the fight when I'm gone
        And I won't be laughing at the lies when I'm gone
        And I can't question how or when or why when I'm gone
    Can't live proud enough to die when I'm gone
    So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here.
                                 Phil Ochs: When I'm Gone

                  End  - "China vs. Globalization"

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