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

1 comment:

Likedeeler said...

I agree. Personally, I know no one (I'm German) who ever believed the weapons-of-mass-destruction reason for the attack on Irak. It was quite plain for everyone who wanted to be taken seriously that it was a propaganda lie, way before the invasion. Now, even a person like Alan Greenspan can say, in passing, that it was the oil, without the opiated masses noticing whatsoever. Hard to believe that anyone could have thought otherwise, ever.

In hindsight, the destruction of the WTC was overdue. An atrocious crime, yes. In comparison to the crimes of western imperialism it pales to insignificance.

Our popular reaction reveals an embarrassing indulgement in narcissictic mortification. If the victims were killed once by terrorists, they have been killed another hundred times since then by abusing their suffering in the quest for oil and power.