The theory of "free trade", appearing in the 18th century, was initially formulated to prevent the Dutch from closing their colonial empire to English commerce. It served as the political rationale for British colonial expansion, imposing an international division of labor that revealed itself to be much more effective for pillaging resources than the colonial system itself.
In 1941, the Anglo-Saxons devised, as an aim of the war, a shift from the prevailing mode of colonial exploitation to that of unequal exchange in the aftermath of victory over Nazi tyranny. The Atlantic Charter promoted decolonization, free trade and freedom of the seas. This model was formalized in 1947 with the GATT Agreements. This was reinforced during the Reagan-Thatcher era by a vast movement of privatization and deregulation.
In 1991, President Bush announced his vision of a new world order: globalization. The objective was to fill and profit from the void created by the disappearance of the USSR and extend Anglo-Saxon domination in a manner that closely twinned economic and military expansion.
The new model encompassed not only the free trade of goods but also of services and capital, to be regulated by an arbitrating tribunal that would constrain the sovereignty of individual states, which is today embodied in the World Trade Organization.
In the 21st century, this on-going process has led to the dematerialization of the world economy. Favoring the expansion of military-related industries while manufacturers of domestic consumer goods shut down, the Anglo-Saxons created an economy based on "financial products’ (meaning speculation) and the profits derived from "intellectual property" (so called "fair use"). They extended their control over the free trade of goods and services in air space using the "war on terror" as a pretext and over the seas under cover of a "war on piracy". In the meantime, however, the exorbitant costs of the neocolonial occupation of Iraq in 2003 nearly brought about the complete financial collapse of the empire.
At this point, President Obama and Prime Minister Brown attempted to save the system by eliminating foreign financial positions thus compelling capital to migrate in the direction of an Anglo-Saxon fiscal paradise. Additionally, Western governments have in a concerted way placed their means of public finance entirely in the hands of a small number of private banks. As a result, these are now in a position not only to avert collapse but also to acquire firms as they spiral into failure, accelerating the already gigantic concentration of riches.
This week at the G-8 in Edinburgh the European Commission will be arguing for a significant boost on development assistance for developing countries. This money is needed for Africa and this aid has to be accompanied by a debt relief and a policy that in the end would enable this continent to benefit from global trade. Debt relief and humanitarian aid have rock star advocates. Unfortunately, aid for trade has none of this high-profile glamour. Yet, this matter is essential for Africa’s (...)
The Gleneagles summit gave the G-8 leaders the once-in-a-life-time opportunity to take significant actions to reduce global poverty. Nothing stands in the way to eradicate extreme poverty. There has to be evidence of political will. And today, the world and public opinion are mobilizing to firmly support the struggle against poverty.
As responsible for two world communities that would greatly benefit from a strong political commitment in favor of eradicating global poverty, we harbor a (...)
After my visits last week to South Africa, Mozambique and Congo Democratic Republic, I depart for the G-8 summit convinced that the changes in that continent are a vital problem for my generation, not only in Europe but also in Africa. In the South African village of Orange Farm, I gave Ma Williams the telephone which would enable her to get in touch with all her collaborators. She runs a center for public aid that teaches a million South Africans to make their rights that were obtained so (...)
The G-8 meeting where the most industrialized countries were gathered takes place two months before the World Summit of New York in which the leaders from the countries of the U.N. will meet to make decisions about the situation, security and dignity of all human beings. Five years ago, leaders from all over the world approved the Millennium Declaration that provided perspectives for progress, whose conception was further argued at Monterrey and Johannesburg Summits in 2002.
We know what (...)
On June 12, The Observer announced in a headline: “Relieved 55 billions from Africa’s debt”, “a victory for millions of people”. This last quotation is of Bob Geldof. This time, the Irish singer reaffirmed: “Tomorrow 280 million Africans will wake up without owing us any penny for the first time in their lives.” The nonsense of this would have been breathtaking if it had not been continuously repeated by Geldof, Bono, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, The Observer and company.
The African tragedy has (...)
I think Europe is closer to chaos than the United States. I do not make long term statements; I am Keynesian. In the long run, we will die, that was what he used to say. Anyway, in a short run, the United States has built a strong State. A group of radicals or extremists have taken control of the country. They did it first with the Republican Party, thus hampering the American democracy. The extremists confiscated the Congress and presidency, and now they are confiscating justice, thus (...)
Unknown to the French, lawyer Christine Lagarde became the Foreign Trade Minister of the government of Dominique de Villepin. Only a few years ago, she was defending the interests of US multinationals to the detriment of French companies. Her political positions perfectly match her status as a member of the CSIS, the think tank of the oil lobby in the United States.
We do not celebrate Independence Day, we celebrate Russia’s Day: a holyday. Our independence must not be questioned, nobody does. Fifteen years ago now, we lived in a sovereign State, quite a short time for a country like ours. A border separates us from Ukraine, but we are together like good neighbors, like bride and groom. That’s how we must think.
We must learn to live together and resolve our problems. We are eternal partners, just as Yushchenko said. May nobody doubt about it. A (...)
I thank everyone here. Welcome to the White House. I want to express my gratitude to the five presidents who are with us today: President Mogae of Botswana, President Kufuor of Ghana, President Guebuza of Mozambique, President Pohamba of Namibia and President Tandja of Niger, five great patriots, democrats and friends.
All the presidents gathered here represent countries that have organized democratic elections this year. What a great assertion of how important democracy is for the (...)
Genocides (two in ten years), wars and insurgencies have distressed Africa since the days of hope for independence. Today, the Jihad combatants multiply in that continent. They are in two oil-producing countries (Nigeria and Algeria). Out of 400 foreign combatants captured in Iraq, 35% came from Africa.
Economically paralysed, many African countries lose grounds. This led Tony Blair to turn Africa into the focus of the British chairmanship of the G-8. Twenty-eight million Africans have (...)
Different reports from experts who are examining the blights on Africa showed similar conclusions: Africa needs more investments to combat hunger, poverty and disease, and these investments should be mainly financed by the rich countries. Europe has begun to do it but the United States should follow this action. Yet, the White House is reluctant. The investment priorities in Africa are in four areas:
Health, major problem in Africa since the continent must fight AIDS, malaria and other (...)
A year ago, when I suggested Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to establish a Commission for Africa, I expected in secret a political success, open up a public debate about the greatest problem of our time. The success or failure of our efforts greatly would depend upon the will and capacity of the African governments to rule effectively and tackle corruption.
The debate about this matter had extraordinary proportions and went on during the G-7 meeting. The national discussion allowed to define (...)
We frequently hear discussions about the fact that media outlets do not pay attention to the conflict in Congo. However, this reflection does not make the media talk more about it, the deadliest conflict since World War II. It is an absurd situation whose consequence is the absolute silence about the 1,000 daily deaths resulting from starvation or epidemics caused by war.
In 2003, after four years of a civil war that involved eight countries, a government was shaped in Kinshasa. However, (...)
Dominant powers have often run relay races among each other throughout history. Today, globalization and technology can increase the speed of those races, which, in the past, would take centuries to be finished.
We are told that a third of the world population lives in China and India and that a demographic explosion is feared. Actually, it’s not the number of people what matters but their actions. In a Marxist economy, a numerous population necessarily leads to famine, while in a market (...)
From a long time ago, China has assumed the great power condition and is ready to defy the United States, even on a global level. This is also due to the fact that, after the downfall of communism, Confucianism remains the only model for state development, capable of representing an alternative for the Western values. Many of the military strategy changes that have recently taken place in the Far East are not only made against Korea, but, as Washington likes to say, also against China. (...)
The relationship between the United States and China is based on ambiguity. In the United States, both parties almost completely agree on having good relations with Beijing. Washington clings to the policy of only one China and George W. Bush, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice make all efforts so that their relations with China are as good as possible. However, some media and a few in Congress toughen their position with regards to China. For many people, the Chinese development is the main (...)
One of the paradoxes of our time is that regionalism is gaining strength along with globalization. Europe has already abandoned its traditional frontiers. The Americas also follow the path of unification with free trade agreements. Globalization and regionalism are the two sides of a coin created by market forces. After the fall of communism there is no other sustainable alternative for that market. The tendency of regionalism prevails, with less strength in East Asia. Its definite shape (...)
This month, China and the European Union are celebrating 30 years of official relations; relations that have evolved with time and it is time to ask ourselves about their future. China is currently having an exceptional economic growth but it also causes internal turbulence. It has to manage this new wealth and to maintain its growth while it reduces poverty and inequality, and respects the environment, but it will not be able to do it alone.
Sustainable development is a challenge for (...)
The unilateral military policy of George W. Bush has led to the creation of new geo-strategic alliances. The most interesting one is that of China, Iran and Russia.
The increasing ties between Moscow and Beijing are one of the most important events of the last 18 months but it has gone unnoticed. This new close relationship has even included a joint military exercise in 2005. Weapon sales between both countries flourish and develop along with non-military exchanges, particularly in the (...)
We intend to establish an association with Gazprom and Rosneft and we signed a mutual memorandum of understanding regarding the common exploitation of four oilfields located in Russia and China. Over the last six years we have received deliveries from Yukos and, in the last two years, from Lukoil. Transportation difficulties have significantly affected this source of supply and we hope the Russian and Chinese governments can soon solve the issue of the construction of the pipeline between (...)
The threat of the former Soviet Union was Washington’s successful argument to get the support of the western countries and the Third World. Thus, America’s vassals felt free to act independently, especially the European and East Asia allies. The so-called war against terror is, undoubtedly, Washington’s new excuse to convince the remaining countries to follow its plans.
The monthly rise and fall of economic indicators are not important. If we analyze the fundamental ones we see a huge (...)
Henry Stimson is best known for having been Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary of war, but before this, 80 years ago, he played a memorable role in the history of Latin America. He acted as a mediator to put an end to the civil war in Nicaragua; negotiated a ceasefire as well as free elections, but this agreement was rejected by General Sandino. War continued, Sandino was assassinated and Somoza seized power. Following that event, Stimson stated that Central America was not ready for democracy. (...)
Anyone who doubts the benefits peace can bring should visit Northern Ireland. It is the United Kingdom’s fastest growing economy after the signing of the peace accords that put an end to the civil war. Actually, the process that began with the accords has not finished yet and that is why we can not really speak of peace. However, the situation remains in calm and violence has stopped. That has been enough to improve the living conditions in Northern Ireland. The Irish Protestants and (...)
The World Bank spent much of last year discussing with the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli government and the international community about what has to be dome to revive the Palestinian economy. Growth does not guarantee peace but stagnation makes it more difficult.
When the Israeli government announced its plan to withdraw from Gaza, in June 2004, the World Bank was asked to analyze its repercussion in the economies of the region. The Bank concluded that the economic situation would (...)
I recently visited China to participate in the Boao Forum on China’s “peaceful rise”. Now, the question is not whether China is developing but whether this development will be peaceful. Let us not dream: renewable sources of energy in China will always be secondary. As a consequence, China will consume energy from traditional sources and will try to procure them anywhere and by all means. It will form new alliances, some of which may be in conflict with the West, which could destabilize many (...)
Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank, published on May 9, 2005, his “Barometer on the Ability to Govern from 1996-2004”. Experts compared the policies implemented by 209 countries based on six criteria: receptivity of the citizens’ opinion, political stability, efficiency of administrations, deregulation, respect for contracts and corruption control.
Of course, these criteria reflect the objectives of the Bank: to congratulate docile governments who accept opening their national (...)
A hybrid product of the 1968 hippy revolution and Friedrich von Hayek’s reactionary theories, the Cato Institute went from the promotion of sexual liberty and the liberalization of marihuana to defend the multinationals’ interests against ecologists. It focused mainly in the destruction of the welfare state and, in particular, in the total privatization of pensions. One of its executives, fascist Chilean former minister José Piñera, was responsible for the reform George W. Bush is going to implement as a priority during his second term.
Brought together in Santiago, Chile for the 12th Asian-Pacific Summit (APEC), twenty-one heads of state and government applied themselves to ignoring US proposals and to forming new commercial relations without Washington. Vladimir Putin positioned himself as the adversary to US imperialism. Hu Jintao successfully thwarted the US in Latin America. Meanwhile George W. Bush, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, got into a punch-out with Chilean police.
At the beginning, the occupation of Iraq was that of a classic war of predation. But today, the impossibility of peacefully exploiting the oil resources and the cost of maintaining an extremely large contingent has made of it a financial pit. Nevertheless, the US has decided to continue on and to pay the price. This shows, aside from its long-term strategic objectives, that there is an indirect economic interest in their military deployment. This demonstration of force is indispensable in order to safeguard the unique status of the dollar, alone capable of compensating for the instability of a United Statesian economy on its last legs.
In his last book “Why I am not an ’Anotherworlder’” of which we reproduce its introduction, the former president of the Commission of Foreign Relations of the French National Assembly, André Bellon, describes globalization as an ideology and not as an unavoidable phenomenon. By not making concessions to what he considers a new way of oppression, to make it more bearable, he restores the right of political and intellectual resistance.
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