Monday, September 10, 2007
Free-Market Propaganda Antidote
'Soon after US petroleum production had peaked, official policy began emphasizing 'free trade' as a global panacea for unemployment, underdevelopment, despotism and virtually every other economic or political ill. Through its manipulation of the rules of global trade, the US sought to maintain and increase its access to natural resources worldwide. Those rules - written primarily by US-based corporations and encoded in the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) as well as in treaties like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - essentially said that wherever resources lie, they must be available for sale to the highest bidder. In other words, whoever has the money to buy those resources has a legally defensible right to them. According to these rules, the oil of Venezuela belongs to the US every bit as much as if it lay under the soil of Texas or Missouri. Meanwhile technology, or 'intellectual property', was regarded as proprietary; thus nations with prior investments in this strategy were at an advantage while 'underdeveloped' nations were systematically discouraged from adopting it.
In the early 21st century, growing opposition to globalization - peaceful and otherwise - began to emerge in mass public demonstrations as well as in terrorist attacks. Most Americans, however, informed only by commercial media outlets owned by corporations with energy resource interests, remained utterly in the dark as to what globalization was really about and why anyone would object to it'
From The Party's Over : Oil, War And The Fate Of Industrial Societies by Richard Heinberg
Image is Dusk on the Promenade des Anglais, Nice by Peterinlille, found on Flickr