The Romans claimed to have always fought “just wars.” The fact is they mostly, in the devious road of imperialism, exploited the subjects for the profit of the sovereign citizen.
The imperialism pattern, with minor historical adjustments, always follows the same scrip: to control key human and natural resources and markets.
Basic concepts hadn’t changed that much through History. The modern world has seen a first phase of this devastating enterprise as the conquest of the Americas by European mercantilist powers, and the second phase as the colonial subjugation of Asia and Africa.
However during the twenty and twenty first centuries, we are witnessing the beginnings of a third wave of devastation by imperialist expansion of North Americans and, to a lesser extent because of their own military limitations, Europeans, encouraged by the collapse of the Soviet system and populist nationalism regimes in the Third World. I’m not just referring to certain political policies of aggression, conquest, and foreign control, but more importantly to an economic system, capitalism, that depends upon such policies for its very existence. This is a profound new meaning for the term imperialism.
Globalization, the natural evolution of capitalism, is the intention to create a more integrated and interdependent world economy based on free markets. It is the main target of capitalism in the twenty first century, but it is not even a stage, nor the highest stage: from the beginning, it is inherent in capitalism’s expansion.
To fulfill this promise of global capitalism, all nations must be invited to the global picnic, something that so far is not happening, and is not on the agenda of Western governments. Rather the opposite, the way forward for the U.S. is to transform this republic into a global empire.
In an era of instant global communications, how this perverted project is developing, under your nose, while being ignored by the masses?
The subtlety of those modern empire builders clearly overshadows the Roman centurions, the Spanish conquistadors and the European colonial powers. In their eagerness to progress towards a global empire, corporations, banks and government (the corporatocracy) use their financial and political power to ensure that schools, businesses and the media (90% of U.S. media comes from the same six corporations) support both the concept and its no less fallacious corollary. We have been led to a point where our global culture has become a monstrous machinery requiring exponential fuel consumption and maintenance, to the extent that it’ll eventually devour all available resources and finally have no choice but to devour itself.
Depending on the peculiarities of the targeted country, handsomely paid executives of U.S. engineering and construction firms (with the veiled support of the intelligence community) encourage leaders to become part of the extensive network that promotes U.S. commercial interests around the world. Ultimately these leaders just finish caught in a web of debt, which guarantees their loyalty. The U.S. can use them whenever necessary to satisfy the political, economic or military needs. In exchange they consolidate their political position because they bring to their countries industrial complex, central power generation and airports. Meanwhile the owners of U.S. engineering and construction firms (Halliburton, Bechtel, Brown & Root, Stone & Webster, etc.) become immensely rich.
Those executives diddle billions to countries around the world, channeling loans from the World Bank, the Agency of International Development (USAID), Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, etc. (under the tutelage of the international “aid/controlling” organizations as the IMF, GATT, WTO) to the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a handful of wealthy local families who control the natural resources of the planet. Its tools include fraudulent financial advice, rigged elections, bribery, extortion, sex and murder traps. That game is as old as empires, but takes on new and terrifying dimension in our era of globalization.
Like fellow Mafia, those executives grant favors. These take on the appearance of loans for infrastructure development: electricity plants, roads, ports, airports, or industrial complex. One of the conditions of these loans is that the design and construction must be carried out by companies from the U.S. The result is that, in reality, most of the money never leaves the United States. Essentially it is simply transferred from Washington’s banking empires to construction companies in New York, Houston or San Francisco. A good chunk is lost in the world of the tax-free offshore banking though.
Despite the fact that the money comes back almost immediately to corporations that are part of the corporatocracy creditor, the recipient country is required to fully repay the principal plus interests. If the executives have worked well, that debt will be so large that the debtor is declared insolvent within a few years and unable to pay. When this happens, like the Mafia, U.S. claims its part of the business, which comprises often one or more of the following consequences: captive votes at the United Nations, establishment of military bases, or access to precious resources as oil -or the Panama Canal. The debtor, of course, still owes U.S. the money … and another country is added to the global empire.
However (and this is an essential qualification), when corporations fail, another species much more sinister get involved. The jackals. These are themselves more direct emulators of those historical empires above mentioned. The jackals from CIA and NSA are always there, lurking in the shadows. When they act -see Ukraine recently- the heads of state fall, or perhaps die in violent “accidents” –Allende, Torrijos, Arbenz, Roídos, etc.-. And if it turns out that also the jackals fail, as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq, then the old models resurface. When the jackals fail, young Americans are sent to kill and die.
Finally when all above fails, as in Shah’s Iran or Chavez’s Venezuela, part of the money is lost. But that is not a mayor problem. U.S. prints the bills. The ability to print money gives them immense power. Means inter alia that they can continue to grant loans that will never be repaid … and they themselves can also accumulate a stratospheric debt.
If you are willing to open your eyes, today you could see the devastation resulting from this system. U.S. and European most respected companies are hiring workshops in Asia that exploit labor under inhuman slave-wages conditions. Oil companies carelessly throw their toxins to rivers in the rainforests, purposely poisoning humans, animals and plants, and perpetrating genocide against ancestral cultures. Pharmaceutical Companies deny millions of Africans infected with HIV medicines that could save them. In the United States itself, 46.5 million do not know what they will eat tomorrow. The financial business has led to Lehman Brothers, AIG, Merrill Lynch, and HBOS. The energy business has led to Enron. The audit business has led to Andersen. The very same day three thousand people were killed by terrorists -on September 11, 2001-, twenty-four thousand died from hunger and other consequences of poverty around the world. And the day before … and the day after. The decade-long American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would end up costing as much as $6 trillion, the equivalent of $75,000 for every American household, where the United Nations estimates 45,000 millions would be enough to provide clean water, proper diet, health services and basic education to all residents in the planet.
The developing world now spends $1.3 on debt repayment for every $1 it receives in grants. Nigeria borrowed around $5 billion and has paid about $16 billion, but still owes $28 billion. That $28 billion came about due to bias in the foreign creditors’ interest rates. 7 million children die each year as a result of the debt crisis. In the 52 Jubilee 2000 countries, a total of 1 billion people shoulder a debt burden of £286 billion. It is interesting to note that this is less than the total net worth of the world’s 21 richest individuals. In 1999, $128 million was transferred from the poorest countries to the richest for debt repayments –each day. Of this, $53 million was from East Asia and the Pacific, $38 million from South Asia and $23 million from Africa. Canceling the debts of all 52 Jubilee 2000 countries would only cost one penny a day for each person in the industrialized world for 20 years.
More than half of the “globalized” world’s population lives on less than two dollars a day per head, roughly the same as received in the early 1970s. Meanwhile in the Third World 1 percent of more rich households accumulates between 70 and 90 percent of private wealth and property holdings of their countries (the percentage varies by country to consider).
This is the history of the United States, the first truly global empire. Past has taught us that, or we change course, or we are securing ourselves a tragic end. Empires never last. All have ended very badly. All have destroyed cultures in their career towards greater domination, and all have fallen in turn. No country or group of countries can prosper in the long term by exploiting others.
Corporatocracy – By Dugutigui (on some excerpts by John Perkins)