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Empires

Entry 156, on 2005-04-11 at 14:54:41 (Rating 3, Politics)

The dominant power in the world today is obviously the USA. In the past we have had empires which were established by military force, and allowed a country to control other areas of the world and exploit their resources. Today the US is using more subtle means of doing this (although they clearly haven't ruled out military force as a tool).

As well as their self-centered wars to gain control of the world's resources, they also control organisations, such as the World Bank, to exert control over the poorer nations of the world.

This theory of empire building came to me when I heard an interview this morning regarding how the World Bank, IMF, and World Trade Organisation are being operated. The World Bank, for example, doesn't hand out US sponsored funds to poor countries as I had assumed. Instead they raise the money through the markets, and loan it at relatively high rates of interest to needy countries.

That is fair enough, I guess, but it goes beyond that. In return for receiving the loan the poor country must agree to a process of "modernisation" of its economy. This usually involves freeing up trade barriers and allowing foreign investment. These are the two primary mechanisms powerful countries, like the US, increase their economic empire.

Even though the US makes no significant contribution to the WB it still has tight control over it, and to make things infinitely worse, now we have Paul Wolfowitz about to take over as president of the Bank. Its hard to imagine anyone who could be much worse. He's clearly indicated he will use whatever means he has to further the US control of the world. This is not good news.

I also recently heard a good example of how the invasion of Iraq has been turned to the advantage of big business. According to an expert on Iraq, its farmers aren't allowed to re-use seed when planting their crops. They have to buy new seed from one of the most corrupt companies of all, our old friend Monsanto! This is just so bizarre it defies belief, but apparently its true!

Empires tend to reach a peak of corruption and then are destroyed by the people they seek to control. This will happen to the US. How long it will take I'm not sure but the signs are already there.

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