An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Michael Klare follows:
In the 1980s, encountering regulatory restrictions and public resistance to smoking in the United States, the giant tobacco companies came up with a particularly effective strategy for sustaining their profit levels: sell more cigarettes in the developing world, where demand was strong and anti-tobacco regulation weak or nonexistent. Now, the giant energy companies are taking a page from Big Tobacco’s playbook. As concern over climate change begins to lower the demand for fossil fuels in the United States and Europe, they are accelerating their sales to developing nations, where demand is strong and climate-control measures weak or nonexistent. That this will produce a colossal increase in climate-altering carbon emissions troubles them no more than the global spurt in smoking-related illnesses troubled the tobacco companies…
In promoting such policies, Exxon’s executives are careful to acknowledge that growing concerns over climate change are generating increased resistance to fossil fuel consumption in Europe and other First World areas. When it comes to the rest of the planet, however, such concerns, they claim, should be outweighed by a “humanitarian” impulse to provide cheap fossil energy to poor people.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
The more strategic alliances that transnationals, in energy and all sectors, make among countries, the more important it is for compliant media to spin the idea that countries’ ruling classes aren’t in fact ‘one’ ruling class – residing in Richistan (http://bit.ly/SO3Fl6). That’s where stories of dramatic conflicts between commie Putin and spying Chinese come in. Lots rides on the version of reality that omits the octopus of corporatocracy and plays up the idea of independent nations states that, when the cause is just, sometimes find themselves in coalitions of the willing (which, upon closer inspection, usually turn out to be coalitions of one – uncle Sam – or a couple). Are our leaders ‘our’ leaders, listening to us and society-building ‘with’ us? Or is something else going on?
Independent states reflect the reality of the masses and their democratic will. We have inherited nation states and their respective geographical boundaries. Over time, countries acquire their distinctiveness and their cultures (formed of new elements and bits of old cultures) and the people will seek to preserve those and their politics will reflect that fact. Politicians who fail to respect the will of the people, who in turn are moved by the spirit of their land and culture, will fail to win support, and they know that. And they – politicians in the neoliberal era, for sure – act accordingly, but not in good faith.
Their idea of culture is ‘capitalism’ and ‘winning’. (re- the National Security Council memorandum 68: US planners’ idea of democracy was: The world will see things our way, period. Everything we propose will be righteous. Everything else will be evil. Chomsky, in discussing this cold war document, noted that planners were hell bent on avoiding the “curse of neutralism.” The world would be ‘one’ – under American rule. Raise a glass of Coke to the American Empire! See the chapter titled “Cold War: Fact And Fancy” in “Deterring Democracy.”) Call it mafia capitalism. And there is nothing noble about the spirit they show. They hew to a ‘riches for the strongest’ philosophy and, by achieving dominance in society – via the breaking of agreements – they can easily live with such an approach to life.
When you’re on the bottom, the idea of people looking after each other – naturally and practicably – is preferable. And American government planning records reveal that, as Chomsky notes. The great fear among planners was not the military might of the Soviet Union (which was never a match for the US, even if it did constrain US adventurism), but the ideology it embraced. Why wouldn’t people prefer the idea of a society where everyone protected everyone, as opposed to a capitalist dog eat dog approach to life?
John Lewis Gaddis “…agrees with George Kennan’s consistent view – standard among rational policymakers and analysts – that “it is not Russian military power which is threatening us, it is Russian political power” (October 1947).” – page 22 of Deterring
One wonders what else is in the US planning record? I’m thinking of the record of later years, when Africa became more important to the old energy corporations and their political allies. Africa is a continent full of ‘non OECD’ countries. Africa doesn’t have the history of South America, which has been through so much US-directed terrorism and meddling, with the cycle of oppression and revolution getting shorter (and people’s memories getting relatively longer) until, now, you see a great deal of rejection of the Washington Consensus (of ‘one’, as Chomsky would quip) by not only the experienced and wary citizens down south, but even some of their leaders. (Naomi Klein makes much the same point on page 551 of her book, “The Shock Doctrine.”) Which isn’t to say that uncle Sam has gone away and left them alone, as the revelations about the CIA’s use of social media to stir up trouble in Cuba attest.
Todd Gordon wrote “Imperialist Canada,” which, in my view, makes him another Canadian Noam Chomsky (along with Yves Engler and others). Which might explain why I don’t hear much from him, although his book gets a plug from writers (Thomas Walkom, Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin, James Petras) who I have a lot of respect for. Capitalist expansion, Gordon explains, is loveless, relentless and follows it’s own logic and it has a geographical dimension. Resource extraction companies for example, will go where there are resources, and the character of the enterprise will be revealed most clearly where those who should own sought after resources are weakest. Watch the predators pounce.
“Exploiting Vulnerabilities: Creating an Indigenous Labour Market – Creating a working class out of indigenous peoples also figured prominently in the state’s colonial plans. Establishing the conditions whereby indigenous people have no alternative but to turn to the labour market in order to make a living – to sell their labour to someone else for a wage – has always been an aim of the Canadian state…
“Canada and Indigenous Peoples in the Neoliberal Age – The development of neoliberalism in Canada has led to a renewed intensification of accumulation by disposition directed against indigenous people…
“As Deb Simmons argues, dispossessed and/or desperate indigenous people, subject to a systematic discrimination expressive of the deeply rooted racist character of Canada, offer a potentially significant pool of cheap labour. Indeed, the proletarianization (the transformation into individuals who make their living by selling their labour for a wage) of indigenous people, and the latter’s resistance to this process, is a key concern of the state’s policy toward them. Laliberte and Satzewich, in their study of the agro-industry in Alberta, note that “[t]he proletarianization of Native people was (and is) a well known objective of the Indian Affairs Branch of the federal government.” Reservations were organized, and are still viewed by government, they maintain, as a pool of cheap labour.
“This focus on the labour potential of indigenous people appears to have sharpened since the emergence of neoliberalism.” -pages 71, 78, 79 of Imperialist
Imagine?! You steal people’s land and force them to help you do it. How… demonic. How God-like. How utterly loveless. But I suppose God can just decide to call love, ‘hate’ and vice versa. Who’s to stop him?
Just as Big Energy pushes the line that it’s expansion into non-OECD countries is a ‘humanitarian’ endeavor, so too do colonial powers, such as Canada, refer to their decimation of indigenous communities as nothing but good, as Todd notes:
“Promoting the market integration of First Nations is a preoccupation in Canada, matched only by the state’s promotion of resource development in indigenous communities. Although the state’s efforts here are presented to indigenous people and the public more generally with a charitable veneer – “economic development,” “sustainability” and “self-government” are typical buzzwords in government literature – and in the interests of the colonized first and foremost, the reality remains that “economic development” of indigenous communities is premised on the negation of their self-determination.”
I guess that’s a step up, while it lasts, from what poor Indians in resource-rich, underdeveloped areas of India (and elsewhere no doubt) get from their government, which just labels them all Maoists, by which they mean ‘terrorists’, and let their own military murder them into non existence. See the November 8, 2010 Democracy Now show titled “Acclaimed Indian Author Arundhati Roy on Obama’s Wars, Poverty and India’s Maoist Rebels.” I wonder about China. We all remember Tiananmen Square. But Naomi Klein writes in “The Shock Doctrine” that the Chinese are coming out of their shock and protesting in huge numbers. I never get hits on my blog from China. Never. This is 2014. The Tiananmen Square massacre took place in 1989. Naomi also wrote about China’s All Seeing Eye, namely the security/surveillance network, which Western corporations helped build and Western politicians were impressed with, clearly. We know about how George W. Bush’s (re) declaration of the war on terror green lighted corporatocracy/ police states everywhere to deal with their ‘internal threats’ via the easy resort to that imperative. Since Snowden, and all that the US government has confessed to, proudly, in regard to his revelations about their goal to eradicate privacy worldwide, Should we expect that a ruling class such as China has does not feel like it has a green light to go even further with it’s “Golden Shield”?
And now, for your edification, Deep Purple’s “The Shield”: