Thursday, October 04, 2007

Good for you, Jimmy Carter!

Something about this article on Jimmy Carter taking on a hostile bunch of cops in the Sudan [title link] reminded me powerfully of my dad (H.A. Carr). When he got the bit between his teeth he was going to get wherever he had determined to go, and no one, nothing, was going to stop him.

Where questions of human rights, and more basically human lives, are concerned it's about time we stopped letting the democracies, juntas, and dictatorships give us the royal runaround.

We all need a bit of the Jimmy Carter spirit to start getting things done.

Myanmar, Darfur, Egypt, Palestine, Uzbekistan, DR Congo, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Guantanamo, Kosovo, North Korea, Saudi Arabia (and much of the M.E.) , and then the almost complete blind spots like Indonesia's Papua and Borneo...

Places like DR Congo, Myanmar, and the Indonesian islands, are kept under wraps quite actively by the MNCs that quietly operate there. We have posted about the timber mafias before and this recent TIME article shows how the MNCs, backed solidly by their hypocritical countries of origin, have gone so far as to subvert critically important international aid organizations like the Wold Bank to help them to quietly do their dirty work.

The World Bank is actually governed by government representatives, so without the involvement of the various governments...

It isn't just a matter of quietly making money with a bit of biosphere rape thrown in. The MNCs-govt. nexus always results in human rights abuses. The countries involved will also end up being permanently crippled by the corruption and unequal distribution of wealth and power that the MNCs have encouraged.

Such then is the hidden nexus in today's world, where supposedly democratic and freedom-oriented, nations are actually actively subverting the world's poor (and raping their hapless environments) through their corporations and just for a bit of quick 'filthy lucre'!


john doyle said...

Of course the argument put forward by capitalist supporters is that a crappy job with a multinational is better than the even crappier jobs people were stuck in before, and that market forces will gradually improve the workers' standard of living. Last night I listened to an interview with Noam Chomsky, who said that the condition of slaves in America had improved by the nineteenth century -- does that mean that slavery was good for the slaves?

Unknown said...

The reality is that local economies that should actually be developing with their own networks and market forces are severely disrupted by the MNC activities. Obviously the MNCs will pay a pittance more than local businesses, but all that does is to feed inflation while a false rich-poor divide opens up. In the meantime, there will be a flight of foreign exchange which weakens the local currency and all the in-built systems come crashing down as external markets start manipulating prices and products to their own satisfaction.

In places like Myanmar and Malaysia, local varieties of rice have disappeared and been replaced by MNC imported GM crops. The small farmers who tried to hold on to their traditional patterns of agriculture were wiped out by a couple of consecutive years of imports of cheap rice from Thailand. The Thais had in turn already had their own indigenous ways wiped out a few years earlier!


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