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Thursday 10 November 2011

Colonisation to Globalization-3-India-USA

In a way India is following in the footsteps of the U.S.A. the rich poor gulf is ever widening, and the government in both countries is controlled by corporations.
There are starving illiterate millions in both countries.

 India As An Example:
 Bannerjee-Guha states that in India operations of MNCs are associated with unevenness, inequality and distorted growth. At the level of production capital-intensive technology and foreign control, at cultural level conspicuous consumerism and at the fundamental level of development creation of regional inequality, export industries and extreme urban-rural-class divides.
With the demise of Soviet Union, floodgates of neo-colonialism were opened. The Indian governments, irrespective of the party flag sold out forests, crops, patents, and water and built dams. At one point Indians could not grow ginger and turmeric or use their extract as medicine with out paying royalty to patent holder, which, of course was a global corporation. Small farmers were forced out of their hearth and home. Jag Mohan former Union minister in India 2006 (manmohan @ India has the largest number of poor, illiterate and the undernourished in the world. Over 250 million of its people go to bed hungry. Out of 150 million children in the world who do not go to school 130 are Indian. 640 million do not have access to sanitation, 170 million to safe water and 293 million to health services. From 1998 to 2003, one hundred thousand farmers committed suicide in India. China India has 300 million under the poverty line to China’s 30 million.
A documentary on Link TV (link showed an even uglier face of Globalization of India-.  Wang a research worker at Johns Hopkins laboratory in Baltimore MD, USA developed an anti cancer drug. After inadequate preliminary animal trials she passed the drug on to the India based employees of the drug company G SK. Cancer patients, with out being made aware that the drug had not had sufficient animal trials, that they were a part of an experimental study, or that there could be side effectswere put on human trial 34. On the contrary they were reassured that they would get better and made to thumb print a consent form written in English which they could not read. If they refused to sign they were told in no uncertain language that they would not get the drugs they were already on. In fact they had been kept off the drugs for a month to wash out the system and not interfere with the new chemical. Numerous operable cancers advanced to an inoperable stage.  The same firm tried untested drugs on patients suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis.
 Employees of another drug company Johnson and Johnson (J&J) in India similarly put severe cases of psychiatric illnesses on experimental drugs with scant regard for informed consent and consequent manic crisis. Medical director of J&J in NJ, of Indian extraction himself, blandly claimed that informed consent was always obtained.  Indian drug control czar also parroted the J&J official. Physicians who broke the scandal to media were given exemplary punishment.
The unkindest cut of all, Wang sent an e-mail to investigative reporters that the drug trials though not good enough for American patients were all right for India.
            Doctors in Nazi Germany were put on war crimes trials for such experimentation.

Capitalism has changed its essential character:
National capitalists used to install manufactories and industrial plants in their own countries, loot the raw material from actual or virtual colonies and push the end product into captive markets. Industry and commerce in the West, USA included, developed on this basis. 
Skilled and unskilled workers in the home country had to be employed and paid minimum wages. With empowerment of the workers, especially with the advent of communist rule in Russia, unionization of labor took rapid strides. Workers demanded and got living wages.
Capitalist tried all kinds of tricks and stratagems. Adverse laws were no problem. Legislatures were their own kin. Union breaking with the help of mafia did not take them too far. Union leaders had to be bought at great cost. Color and race were used blatantly to cause dissension in the working class. This worked a little better.
But the world had run out of expendable and willing whites. Other races-Latin Americans in the USA, Arabs in France, Indonesians in Holland and people from the Indian sub-continent in the UK- were imported. It kept native workers in line for a while, but foreigners had brought religious baggage and that helped racist fires get out of control.  That was not too good.
Then capitalists hit the jackpot. Jobs could be out sourced. Their virtual slaves in home legislatures obeyed the commands and reduced tariffs on imports. In the past if a US Corporation bought a shirt for a dollar in the USA and sold it for a dollar and twenty-five cents and got the same shirt made in Bangla Desh for ten cents, USG would impose ninety cents as duty. The overall profit would be the same. They might as well have it sewn in the states. With changes in legislation the corporation pocketed ninety cents in addition to the mark up for profit.
It was recently reported on Free Speech TV (2007) that a popular line of shirt named after an actress made in Mexico for five dollars sold for seventy-five in the US.   Recently Delphi, a former subsidiary of General motors asked its employees to take a drastic cut in its salaries. Workers threatened strike. The workers were told that Delphi already had a functioning plant in next-door Mexico.  Workers could continue to work at Mexican wages or go unemployed.

The Situation in the USA:
Unemployment is at an all time high. Millions of homes are being foreclosed and more are on sale. People can not afford medicines. Brain washed by the mainstream media, there was surprisingly little resentment among the populace. Blissfully unaware that forty six million Americans did not have health insurance and twice that number had inadequate coverage leading to bankruptcies in the event of prolonged illness, they believed that National Health Service in Canada rationed treatment and medicines and that they had the best health service in the world (Obama backed off on the public option in the so called Health Reforms to hand over more of tax money to Health care and related corporations).
 Inexpensive education meant little as few wanted to go to college. Higher taxes were bad, free loaders were an evil; that they themselves were on welfare was conveniently forgotten. They voted for the lesser Bush (I owe this apt term to Arundhati Roy) in2004 again because he was pro-life, never mind the hundreds of thousands Iraqi and American lives lost since the man lied his way into the Iraq misadventure.
Obama did not turn out to be any better except in a cosmetic sense. He continued the war in Iraq and gave in to conservatives on the issue of tax breaks to the rich
Global corporations have industrial plants every where-in South Korea, India, Far Eastern countries, Latin America and China. Training local labor, logistics of the operation, sending out operatives from main land USA (who were told to travel abroad frequently or join unemployment lines) was cheaper than paying decent wage to workers at home.
If global corporations continue to have a free hand, and on the present record there is no reason to think other wise, the land of hope and freedom would in a not too distant future be left only with service industries-hotels, banks, holiday resorts, airlines, TV and Radio stations, a few newspapers and magazine offices and shops. Among the professions lawyers, accountants, investment bankers, financial advisers and elitist Physicians, dentists and academics will cater to the rich.
Legions of third world immigrants, legal and illegal are already in the USA to serve the rich. Young women are favored and not for their physical stamina alone. One big bonus of the arrangement is that global workers movement would be nipped in the bud. Bitter rivals for the same job are not likely to get together on the same platform.
 But there is a catch to this otherwise flaw less scheme. The unemployed in advanced countries would claim benefits from the state won with their sweat and blood and grudgingly conceded by the government. With swelling ranks of the discards it would cost a pretty penny. A solution had to be found. Legislatures were at their beck and call. Welfare program like Medicare, Medicaid and income and child support, subsidies to state universities have been cut back. National loan has sky rocketed.
 One more hurdle stands in the way of the fast sweep of Globalization of economy and is potentially the most important as originates in the capitalist societies themselves. It is a politically conscious public. Occupy Wall Street of late 2011 was a welcome wake up call. Global capitalism has not yet found an alternative to popular opinion and movements.
But awareness depends on free dissemination of information. An astute young man observed that USG had learnt the lesson of Vietnam very well indeed. Casualties are down played. Bodies in bags are not displayed on TV and devastation of the country is carefully kept under wraps.  Independent reporters from Europe are not allowed unescorted to scenes of mayhem. They are told that it is for their security, and to drive the point home some were killed on the pretext of being in the line of fire.
 Economic cost is also hidden in other headings. Tax on air tickets adds nearly thirty percent to the basic cost. Price of gas (petroleum) per gallon reached over three dollars in most of the country (2011). Property and school taxes have gone up. If investors in US bonds and stocks were to cash in even 25% of their holdings, markets will come crashing down. If even ten percent of foreign deposits in American banks were to be with drawn, the whole system would collapse.
 As a part of disinformation academia have been suborned. Lucrative fellowship in think tanks, tenured professorships and hefty book contracts are all on offers for those who comply. Dissidents and non-conformists have a rough time keeping their jobs and of course miss all the plums.
 But the most effective ploy has been purchase of the news media. All the mainstream TV channels, Radio channels, newspapers are owned by global corporations and publish and broadcast news according to a well-defined program. They color events slant the report in such a way, which is akin to calling white black and vice versa. People believe what ever is repeated again and over again.
 They have had remarkable success. A majority of people still believes that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, that he played a leading role in 9/11 or that he had close links with Al-Qaida. They have never been told that he had been a key ally of the West for a long time or that US ambassador April Gillespie gave him a go ahead to invade Kuwait. They have not been told that Osama ben Laden (OBL) was a full partner of USG in the fight against USSR occupation of Afghanistan. That USG agents trained and provided arms to Taliban is not common knowledge. They are not made aware of the fact that Musharraf’s successors and Karzai, the US satraps are negotiating with Taliban and Al-Qaida to serve as bulwark against the Shia in Iraq and Iran.
 True, there is an independent media. But an average American has only heard vaguely of  Free speech or Link TV or Pacifica Radio. True, demonstrations are organized against world trade moots. But the coverage they get is scant and the leaders have taken to preferring obscure cities to meet in.
 Insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan, demonstrations against globalizations moots all over the world, and resurgence of radical forces in South America and the Caribbean, have slowed the pace of globalization. But they are mionor impediments.
 Critical mass will develop only when workers in the developed countries wake up.
They will gradually feel the pinch. Jobs are going away to cheap labor countries. When they have remained unemployed for long enough they will forget the animosity they bear for workers in less developed countries and will make common cause with the wretched in the third world. Being situated in core countries they will have less difficulty in overthrowing the system.

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