Saturday, 5 January 2008

Pirates of the Corporation

I imagine there are many on the libertarian right who will scoff at the report that foreign energy companies are treating this country like 'treasure island', convinced that the ever-loving Hidden Hand is guiding all these plundering corporations in the best of all possible worlds.

Indeed, there seems a willful blindness towards the sins of capitalism (or what goes under that name) which perhaps springs from a desire not to complicate matters, or concede anything that may be seized upon by socialists or statists and other such heathen, and thereby undermine the ideals of free trade. For such people, the privatisation of our utilities was a crowning mercy of the Thatcher era. Ironically, however, we still have many state-owned companies - only they are owned by foreign states.

On the world stage, Russian state-owned Gazprom is in an acquisitive mood, at the moment seeking to plough investment into Nigerian gas and oil production, and China is busy hoovering up mineral rights wherever the dollar is still accepted. Other sovereign wealth funds are doing likewise, and in the shell-game of international finance vast amounts of imaginary money are circulating, as the utilities and infrastructure of this nation and most others are snapped up and passed around like drunken girls at a Manchester United Christmas party.

This is not economic liberty, but monopoly capitalism - its very antithesis. However, my (strawman) rightwing libertarian sees no evil.

6 comments:

aDM said...

'sins of capitalism'

Can i ask a stupid question?

When i bring this issue up over at ATW why do i always get told that i fail to understand the difference between capitalism and corporatism?

Also what do you think of Rasta's comment on my blog. He's written some posts on the topic and im not sure i get his point. I guess he means clear the slate?

Trooper Thompson said...

I don't know whether you do fail to understand the difference, in any case, what travels now under the cloak of capitalism IS corporatism, only the dumbed down mass of so-called informed opinion can't see it.

I can't comment on what happens at ATW, but what we're looking at across the world is monopoly capitalism and corporatism running rampant. What the right and the left need to understand is that both of these terms lead to the same place as communism, which is why China is the ideal place for the corporations: cheap labour and no rights. Far from capitalism in this present dominant form being the opposite of communism it is virtually the same.

aDM said...

Well i didn't think so...i mean this:

"what travels now under the cloak of capitalism IS corporatism"

is what i figured too, i think. Interesting about China. It always irritates me that we are opening up the country to China and the Saudis.

Trooper Thompson said...

Sure, it seems worse when its being done by countries such as China and Saudi, but these global corporations are no higher up in terms of morality.

The IMF and the World Bank model of control is:

a) let third world country rack up huge debts (whilst turning a blind eye to the bulging Swiss bank accounts of the few at the top)
b) demand 'access' to the country's markets and 'deregulation', i.e. allowing the corporations to buy up all the utilities and infrastructure

The same thing has happened to this country as well, of course, and the USA.

wildgoose said...

As a Left-Libertarian I agree entirely. We should put an absolute limit of say 25% on any foreign governmental holdings.

Richard said...

since the cold war ended the monopoly capitalists have effectively worked out that they dont owe us anything now. during the cold war they had to support a certain level of social policy as counter weight to that of the "other side". that experiment is now over.
we now see the true face of capitalism, which is effectively that of the late 19th early 20th century. the only thing holding them in their place is the social policy wins of the last century, which they are determined to unravel.