Saturday, February 24, 2007

Global Capitalism, Welfare State, and Lebanon

First: Shocking Numbers of Capitalism under US Imperialism and the World Trade Organization

- Top 100 economic entities are divided as follows: 51 Corporations & 49 Nation States (Susan George, From Corporate Globalization, Anti-Capitalism: A Guide to the Movement, Bookmarks Publications Ltd., London 2001, P. 11)

- The top 200 firms are responsible for about a quarter of all measured economic activity in the world – or the gross world product. Also, over 3.4 Trillion dollars rotate the globe per day in terms of Direct Foreign Investments leaving the market volatile. (Susan George, From Corporate Globalization, Anti-Capitalism: A Guide to the Movement, Bookmarks Publications Ltd., London 2001, P. 12)

- Some statistics reveal that only 10% of the world’s available force are working in the Trans National Corporation (Ibid, P. 12)

- Suzan George says: “a mere 1 percent shift in the holdings of these giants is equivalent to more than a quarter of the entire stock market capitalization of all the emerging markets of Asia taken together, and to two thirds of the value of all Latin America.” (Ibid, P. 13)

- Transportation, the number of employees who have their jobs outside their country increased 200% in 1970 – 1990 ( Teresa Brennan, Globalization and its Threats (Rout ledge, 2003), P. 23-25)

- This is demonstrated in the unequal distribution of wealth were 60 percent of global wealth is concentrated in 11 percent of the world’s population excluding the middle class. (Tony Cliff, Marxism at the Millennium, 2000) (MFL notes: the difference differed as Samir Amin revealed in his book Obsoletism Capitalism)

- The WTO officials always argue that their institution fights to help for the poor. By 2001, more than 85% of the world’s population lives in nations with increasing inequality. The debt of the Third World countries have been increasing rather than the opposite, and has become a devastating weight on the people living in those countries. The corporation has shut their governments’ voices through the World Bank and International Mutual Fund, but they were wrong if they keep their people silent for long. (Amory Starr, Global Revolt, Zed Books 2005, P.33-37)

- By 2000, this ratio was totally reversed and now: 90 per cent of international transactions are from financial flows that are not directly related to trade in goods and services. (Ann Petifor, Anti-Capitalism: A Guide to the Movement, Bookmarks Publications Ltd., London 2001, P. 43)

- Top 10 banks in the world (mostly American, German, and British) control 52% of the international market. (Robin Round, Globalize This! Common Courage Press, Maine 2000, P. 178)

- Despite the “economic growth,” global unemployment has also increased. This means that one third of the world’s labor, which is one billion workers, is either unemployed or underplayed, which means the workers need to work more. (Teresa Brennan, Globalization and its Threats (Rout ledge, 2003), P. 26-27)

- The number is 1.4 billion, and that number is specific to urban residents. With increased fossil fuel consumption and telecommunication networks. The WHO European Office concluded that 80,000 deaths are due to air pollution in Europe alone. (Ibid, P. 41)

- For how long the world can tolerate the starvation, in December 10 2004, UNICEF issued its annual report that shocked the social movements, and focused on how around 1 billion child are denied their childhood. “Almost one billion children all over the world are denied at least one of seven commodities deemed essential: shelter, water, sanitation, schooling, information, healthcare and food. At least 640 million children lack adequate shelter, while 140 million have never been to school. Safe water is something that 400 million children are denied while 500 million live without basic sanitation. No less than 90 million starved.” In 2001, the number of estimated children starving was much less. As capitalism advances with time, the number of people hurt increases. The demand for action also increases, and the more people are hurt, the more activists are joining the lines. (Defense of Marxism, December 14, 2004, Maarten Vanheuverswyn: One Billion Children In Extreme Poverty, A Holocaust At A Global Scale, link)

Also, over 3.4 Trillion dollars rotate the globe per day in terms of Direct Foreign Investments leaving the market volatile.

Second:Downfall of the Welfare State

While Social Democracy focused, prior the eighties, on the Welfare State (like Sweden), now the Third Way is abolishing the welfare services system. The governments of the OCED figured out that privatization are a good way to save money burdens on their institutions. The logic of the Welfares is to have everyone follow the policy of “pay-as-you-go”, along with progressive taxes in order to ensure money to the needy of the society. With privatization, things took a different curve. Cutting welfares on the poor overall does not cause a political fuss from the overall population, especially those who can make their voices heard. Ever since privatization has taken place, in the reign of globalization, securities have been gradually declining. The Third Way assumes that the citizens should have more responsibilities, and should take care of themselves more often.

One problem rises with that logic, the progressive taxation system, which focuses on each person paying their taxes in percentage of their income has been reversed. The elites do not pay taxes as they should, and the corporation officials have been offered taxation incentives. The logic behind the hosting country to a TNC is that TNCs open job vacancies in an economy. Yet, it is the middle class, who are gradually being eradicated, and the lower classes that pay the prices with increased taxations and shortage of welfare services. The burden goes even more deeply especially governmental revenues are switched from corporate taxes to the people. Eventually, welfare services and pension funds are gradually being abolished due privation and globalization.

Third: Lebanon

As mentioned in several posts, the late ex-prime minister, Rafiq Harriri, wanted to bury Lebanon in such a system to attain independence from Syrian Hegemony + to suit his own business interests. Aoun and Hezbollah do not oppose the entrance of Lebanon to the World Trade Organization (WTO) rather they worry about the increased Value Added Taxes instead to what system Lebanon is going to enter. A topic I will tackle more and more in details to shed light to what system we are entering rather watching Junblatt, Jaajaa, Aoun, or Moussawi making monkeys out of their followers.

That is why I do not believe in any form of nationalism, whoever will take power, they are going to starve their people. The rich will get richer and the poor poorer. I may sound a defeatest in this theory, but if the WTO organization and its horrors, to which we will become members in 2007, does not push activism to a new level with a better class awareness, then Lebanon is a sitting duck to economical imperialism as well as Lebanon lacking any social movements/political parties to oppose the hegemony of the market. The world is bigger that tiny Lebanese nationalism, and in the end, whoever wins in this clash, we will remain disgusted from the situation.

As you see, Lebanon is entering that system without any capability or social movement/political party to face such a system. Moreover, class inequality already on the increase and we shall be buried to ashes with debts. Till now, only Chile is successful to eliminate its debts. Lebanon already lacks welfare system, and worse, if we had a minimum structure, it will be demolished except for those who can afford it. The government and the opposition neglect that fact while the opposition are worried about the increase in TVA (VAT) rather what system we are entering. A topic I will tackle in-depth.

Down with the Opposition and Government, they are going to starve the people in all cases.


PS: There is no war but class war, the rest of the wars are irrelevant in the long run


Anonymous said...

check out the shia death squads

Renegade Eye said...

Really good post.

If you could figure out how to break oppresssed people from nationalism, you'd accomplish much. Much of the struggles in modern time, was only national liberation, and to heck with anyone else.