Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
November 6, 2000
Elections a charade in new global order
So, we're facing another election. What does this charade really mean in an age when elected governments have to ask permission from the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank to implement policies?
Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians says, "corporations have spent the last 50 years fighting communism. Now they are fighting democracy itself."
What's more, they seem to be winning. The ruling parties around the world, without hardly an exception, have become more acolytes to the high priests of corporate rule, the gospel of globalization and the god of the marketplace.
No wonder there is voter apathy. All the candidates are singing out of the same hymnbook. Those who don't are virtually excommunicated.
The World Trade Organization, the main architect of the new global economy, has struck down government legislation and programs around the world that conflict with corporate interests, such as laws protecting the environment, health and safety standards, and social programs.
Entire countries and continents are sacrificed on the altar of economic prosperity through structural adjustment. The majority poor of this world are willingly or unwillingly led to the slaughter. Those who benefit from the new economic order are encouraged to "take and eat."
Now, this has been going on for some time. Not just in the developing world, but right here at home.
In 1990 Mulroney announced, on the advice of the IMF, that "free trade, structural adjustment and budgetary cuts are tough, but they're needed to strengthen the Canadian economy." An American advisor was hired for a million dollars to teach us how to become more competitive.
In 1995, Canada joined other countries at the Copenhagen World Summit on Social Development and pledged to eradicate poverty. That same year the IMF leaned on the minister of finance to implement policies to increase privatization, cut federal spending and increase interest rates and keep a so called "natural rate of unemployment" to control inflation, nullifying any pledges to reduce poverty.
Armine Yalnizyan, author of The Growing Gap, illustrates how in 1973 the richest 10 per cent of Canadian families earned 21 times as much market income as the poorest, and by 1996 the richest tenth earned 314 times as much.
Mel Hurtig, in his book Pay the Rent or Feed the Kids, eloquently details the tragedy and disgrace of poverty in Canada as a result of us buying into the new world religion of rampant corporatism.
The only exception to the WTO dogma is that it allows governments to invest in the military to define its own "national and security interests."
"In this new global economy that favours the military," says Steven Staples, "peace activists are losing their ability to work for peace and human rights."
Susan George of the Transnational Institute spells it out for us in a quote from a Pentagon official: "The de facto role of the U.S. armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault."
She points out that this sounds a lot like the WTO recipe of facilitating the flow of capital and restriction on labour and the WTO's intellectual property agreements on patented life forms. The Pentagon statement continues ominously: "To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing."
Welcome to the new world of unfettered corporatism. If you care for democracy, don't just vote, but register your protest. You owe it to your children.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.