The Final Facet of Globalization

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green DesklampThis world of ours is globalized (Link) to an incredible degree. With every increase in technology, we have observed exponential growth in the level of interconnection and access afforded to nearly all of the world’s inhabitants. The internet alone serves an unbelievable role in making the world a truly global society—allowing the instantaneous sharing of information which would previously have taken weeks, or even months.

Planes, trains, and automobiles have provided the means to efficiently move physical resources around the globe—meaning that formerly exotic commodities can now be found as easily as a trip to your local grocery store. Science as well has played a pivotal role here—advances in refrigeration, preservation, genetic modifications, and more have helped us share the bounty of this world far and wide…for those capable of paying for it.

As a result of this process, leading nations draw labour, resources, and wealth from the poorest nations in the world, always at offset values. By outsourcing easy labour jobs to nations with lower (Read: dismal) minimum wages and few to no laws protecting workers, Corporations have managed to increase their output, up their profit margins, and generally thrive in a relationship which can scarcely be described as anything short of parasitic.

Yes, for every gain there is a cost, and despite the progress made, it would seem that the one big concept which nations have refused to show any global regard for is that of human rights and minimal standards of living.

In a world with sufficient resources and scientific knowledge to keep everyone fed and healthy, the fact that one woman may drive a million dollar car while a child elsewhere does without a 5 cent pill is entirely unacceptable. In fact, it’s downright despicable.

The exchange is rather one-sided to say the least—and year after year we may observe new wars started, new sanctions imposed, new government-facilitated coups to install more ‘cooperative’ leaders, and other such heinous acts all in the name of increasing the profit margins of large-scale Corporations. Human rights violations in much of the world are ubiquitous; from the factories which provide us our clothing, to the plantations which grow our food.

Of all the resources and technologies we have managed to import and export on a global scale—it would seem the most obvious and easily renewed is yet to meet that lauded status; specifically, I’m referring to empathy.

The atrocities which are committed in the name of profit are the inevitable result of a system which treats empathy with the same cavalier and disposable attitude we reserve for so many other resources. But this view of empathy as a resource is rather telling—for if it is to be viewed as a resource, then it is essential that we recognize it as a wholly renewable resource. As such, caring for others and striving for a new global best is not a zero-sum game in which everyone is competing for limited supplies and the gains of one must be the losses of another. No, the truth is that the gains of one may be shared unilaterally, and if one society flourishes, this should—and must—benefit everyone involved.

But this is rarely the case. We import resources from around the world and utilize the cheap labour available, but what are we offering in return? The most common answer is that we act as a force of freedom, democracy, or protection for the rest of the world—but this claim is entirely indefensible for even the simplest mind with the vaguest understanding of global politics (Link). To glean all the potentially beneficial resources from a nation yet contribute nothing to it in return is not a globally beneficial system, but rather something more akin to an exploitative, imperial domination.

As it stands, misery and despair are the most evident exports of the so-called first world.

When we deal in such unjust ways, we may be importing more than we bargain for. We’ve defined ourselves with callous disinterest and self-serving malice abroad, and now the chickens come home to roost. International resentment is growing at all times, and even the local populace is losing faith in its leadership and stirring under an ever increasing sense of anxiety and civil unrest.

So perhaps this whole arrangement needs to be revisited. Trade and grow we must, but if we continue to do so with such a total lack of regard for human decency, we will come to find that our imports tend to reflect our exports in a far more sinister manner than we anticipated.

No other outcome is possible—that’s just the nature of the deal. When we short change our trade partners on a regular basis, we soon find ourselves cut out of the loop entirely. Fair trade must be fair in all senses. Financial growth must mean human liberty, and for every measure of progress in science, technology, and resource access, there must—in any civil society—be a commiserate gain in compassion, kindness and equality.

The change needed cannot be more evident—we must make the imperative shift into a trade relationship based on equity, empathy, sustainability, and virtue. Empathy—this key renewable resource, must become a staple export of our society—an example of decency and righteousness used to set the standard not only around the world, but at home as well. Until we make this crucial change, and plant the seeds of charity and kindness abroad, we can never honestly hope to reap them at home.

-Brad OH Inc.

The Global Scale

purelyspeculationYou may have noticed that here at Brad OH Inc., we tend to cover a lot of issues centering on the politics of the good old U.S. of A. Now, this shouldn’t be overly surprising, as we’re really only following the lead of the news world at large, but an interesting fact is that we are in fact based out of Canada. Now, undoubtedly we’ll eventually relocate to a more convenient tax haven—the Canary Islands perhaps (Source)—but until then we are firmly entrenched here in the great white north.

Given this consideration then, why do we tend to cover so many American issues? Well, the quickest answer is that American issues are world issues, plain and simple. The issue of Corporate Imperialism is a global one, and while many of the relevant stories are centered in America, it is in no way defined by national boundaries. In fact, many of the crucial concerns we have right now with global politics revolve around the obfuscating and intentional subversion of national boundaries.

American Imperialism is nothing new. Under the governing principle of ‘Manifest Destiny’, America has spent its entire existence working to expand its global influence (Source). Now this article is not about American Imperialism per say, but focusses instead on the ways in which the subversive corporate process tends to seize control of not only single governments, but entire global systems.

In ‘Democracy Incorporated’, Sheldon S. Wolin (Link) describes this process as one of ‘Inverted Totalitarianism’. As greater and greater leeway is made for corporations to expand, it becomes easier and easier for such exceptions to be made. The civil ruling in the case of Citizens United (Source) saw corporations legally defined as persons, and their use of money in politics was defined as protected under the freedom of speech amendment.

This allows for corporations to spend unlimited sums of money to fund lobbyists and special interest groups which can affect the political process—thereby ensuring the passing of further laws designed to benefit the corporations while damning the rest of us.

With the power allotted to them, corporations, both American based and otherwise—an especially tricky notion to even define given the ongoing ability for corporations to take advantage of ‘Corporate Inversion’ loopholes, changing the legal base of their operation in order to avoid paying taxes (Source)–can exploit overseas markets to take advantage of indecent foreign labour laws and low wages. This takes jobs out of local economies, while reinforcing a split world notion of what’s good for us is too good for them.

This issue is conflated by political embargoes on trade, such as that placed upon Cuba. Further, because of the global impact of corporate power, laws passed in American court rooms inevitably affect the rest of the world as well. Consider climate change for instance. Here, American courts can pass laws governing the environmental impact of the corporations operating within them, even though these laws ultimately affect the world as a whole. Another easy and timely example of this is the issue of net neutrality (Source).

Meanwhile, the power afforded to lobbyists and the open door between corporate firms and government positions, allows corporate pressures in Washington to go so far as to effect war time policy; destabilizing foreign governments in order to ‘crack open’ new markets.

Clearly then, while the basis of much of what we read in the news is centered in the U.S.A., the system is ubiquitous, and defies any conception of national boundaries.

Neither is this an issue to be solved by American politics. In the same way that the effects of this system have spread to the entirety of the globe like a contagion unchecked, so too is the solution beyond the voting power of the American electorate.

This is not an issue of one misguided leader or party, and therefore the solution will not come from the other misguided leader or party. It is not a calculated, intentional process made by a cartel of greedy and deeply informed plutocrats—although there has undoubtedly been plenty such deals made along the way.

The process leading us here was an understandable though unjustifiable series of small exceptions. It can be thought of as tantamount to favours between friends; ‘well I usually wouldn’t do this, but…’ is the mentality driving it. Politicians accept huge sums of money from their corporate lobbyists, and then pass bills to support them. Few of them, with the exception of the above mentioned Citizens United, have been terrible to the ‘man who sold the world’ extent, but their cumulative effect certainly is. The unnatural coupling of unchecked capitalist ambition with backdoor political deregulations has spawned a new and terrible sort of brute.

Corporate Imperialism is an infectious and wild beast, reared on its own legal momentum, and driven by the cumulative greed of all the snakes writhing at its rotten breast. The ceaseless need for expansion will continue to push the boundaries of what is legally excusable, all the while reinforcing the western world in their role as exploiters, and relegating all the rest to the forgotten underclass of the forgettable exploited.

This is not a political viewpoint or ideology, but an unintentional by-product of ongoing mistakes. It is self-perpetuating, growing cancer-like with utter disregard for consequences. It is the fetishization of money, and money acting with its own power to expand its reach. Greed is the engine behind this, and a system which allows greed to change its workings in favour of its own expansion that has allowed the situation to get to where it’s at.

This is why when I write about America, I’m not writing about the country as a singular problem, but rather the resulting corporate contagion that’s dominating global politics.

In conclusion, let it be known that the mission of Brad OH Inc. is in no way meant to be interpreted as Anti-American. No, we are anti-world at this point, and underlying all is the fundamental belief that greed and self-service shall not be the driving factors in globalization. Equality, decency, and the betterment of humanity are the platforms we are interested in, and if that rings as starry-eyed idealism to you, you might do well to put some serious consideration into the alternatives (Link).

The change that’s needed is not a new political party in America or elsewhere, it’s a global revolution.

-Brad OH Inc.