Neoliberalism on Trial: Totalitarianism as Usual
By lucas@endneoliberalism On 1 Nov, 2015 At 12:49 PM | Categorized As Neoliberalism on Trial | With 0 Comments

Dictators continue to be an effective mechanism for multinational corporations to secure their monopolies due to their capacity  to ban union laws and environmental laws that would otherwise increase the cost of production. Maintaining fair wages and tax rates and lowering the supply of resources through regulations would automatically decentralize the global economy, by allowing the forces of demand and supply to transform the market equilibrium to one of real value. This, however, goes against the interests of the One Percent.


The United States continues to subsidize multinational corporations, both by direct intervention and by providing military support to dictatorial regimes. At approximately $600 billion per year, the United States spends 40% of world’s military spending. [i] US military spending now comprises 60% of discretionary spending.


The amounts pumped into this large and evil industry are astronomical: between 1992 and 2003, the United States sold $177.5 billion in arms to foreign nations, and to this day continues to sell arms to undemocratic regimes[ii].  This trend has increased dramatically in the past two years. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress, “In 2011, the US led in arms transfer agreements worldwide, making agreements valued at $66.3 billion, an extraordinary increase from $21.4 billion in 2010!”[iii].


The majority of these countries are saddled with debt and struggling with poverty, and the weapons they acquire are used to repress the impoverished population, while the countries’ resources are emptied out by multinationals. As Eduardo Galeano documents in Upside Down, Saudi Arabia headed the list of weapons purchases in 1996 at $9 billion, together withthe list of countries that violate human rights. In exchange, the United States obtains 1.031 million barrels per day from Saudi Arabia.[iv]  By 2011, Saudi Arabia was purchasing $33 billion worth of military equipment from the United States.[v]


Alison Raphael reports that “Chevron and Total have a contract with Burma’s military junta to provide security for its operations along the vast Yadama pipeline area. Since oil began to be extracted in the Niger Delta 50 years ago, the police and military have consistently ignored and violated the rights of local communities.”[vi] The New York Times reports that, after mining giant Freeport entered Indonesia in the 1960‘s, an estimated 160 people were killed by the military between 1975 and 1997 in the mine area and its surroundings, while Freeport continued to support the military after the Suharto dictatorship, giving high ranking military and police officials nearly $20 million between 1998 and 2004.[vii]


Some corporations have gone even further, to the point of negotiating with terrorist organizations. As Sibylla Brodzinsky reports: “Chiquita Brands International admitted in US court that it paid $1.7 million to Colombia’s brutal right-wing militias over the course of eight years. Coal mining giant Drummond, Nestle, and Coca-Cola have been targeted in civil lawsuits in the US that claimed these companies paid paramilitaries to kill or intimidate union workers. In the banana belt alone between 1997 and 2004, paramilitary forces are blamed for 22 massacres in which 137 people were killed, according to government figures”.[viii]


[i]Singer, Peter. W.Comparing Defense Budgets, Apples to Apples. Time Magazine September 2012

[ii]Aslam, Abid. US Selling More Weapons to Undemocratic Regimes That Support ‘War on Terror’. 2005

[iii] Globes. Israel among top arms exporters and importers. August 28, 2012. The jerusalem Post

[iv] Galeano, Eduardo. Upside Down: A Primer for the Looking-Glass World. Picador. Oct 5 2001


[v] Mehta, Aaron. U.S. sets record arms sales in 2011. The Center for Public Integrity. August 28, 2012

[vi] Raphael, Alison. Oil Companies’ “Self-Policing” a Dismal Failure. Inter Press service. September 24, 2008.

[vii] Perlez, Jan and Bonner, Raymond. Below a Mountain of Wealth, a River of Waste. The New York times. December 27, 2005.

[viii] Brodzinsky, Sibylla. Chiquita Case Puts Big Firms on Notice. The Christian Science Monitor. April 11, 2007

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