April 20, 2008 (the date of publication in Russian)
SENILE SICKNESS OF LEFTISM
Denouncing corporatism along with progress of new industrial states, what do Euroleftists propose instead?
QUESTIONS WITHOUT ANSWERS
"The New Black Book of Corporations" ("Das Neue Schwarzbuch der Marketfirmen"), an extensive research authored by Klaus Werner and Hans Weiss, confirms the reputation of European leftists as aged but incurably infantile personalities, disappointed with reality but essentially unable to propose a productive alternative.
The two authors scathingly denounce top transnational corporations as Beyer, Nike, McDonalds, British Petroleum etc., etc. Featuring a revival of the XIX century's "wild capitalism" today, they depict terrible conditions of labor in the nations of Asia and Latin America, where industry is outsourced from the West. According to the authors, the exploitation is equally horrific in the royal Thailand, liberal Indonesia and socialist China. In these and other countries, corporate managers forbid workers to organize trade unions and even assassinate activists who attempt to break the rules. Around 27 million people of poor countries actually work for free, thus contributing to the superprofits of corporations like Nestle.
According to the authors, corporate manufacturing business is often as profitable as drug trade. Production of a pair of Nike trainers in Indonesia costs $5 for the company, while its sale for $100-150 in the US provides a 800% profit.
In the same way, the authors expose exploitation of oil miners in Nigeria, Angola and Myanmar where state powers reportedly use coercive labor and exterminate indigenous population. Oil is used by the Angolan regime of dictator Dos Santos for waging a civil war, write Werner and Weiss. This regime is as reportedly as brutal as that of Congo where millions are being killed, while corporations cheaply purchase precious rare metal ore, used for production of electronics, PCs and mobile phones, and thus finance the carnage.
What to do about all this? The authors propose nothing but boycott of corporate goods and actions of protests at the corporate offices, demanding increase of salaries and pregnancy allowances for Indonesian and Chinese women.
The image of evil, created by the two German leftist authors, is a specific kind of mixture. In fact, the image of ultraliberal colonialist private empire, reducing its costs by means of brutal social austerity, is deliberately amalgamated with what Karl Marx identified as the Asiatic type of production, regardless from the political form in which it is implemented.
The weakness of argumentation is revealed in the ideological patterns constituting the "sacred cow" of Euroleftists, and related to ethnic minorities with their allegedly indispensable right for self-determination. China is portrayed as a brutal oppressor of the Tibetan minority, the role of the Chinese presence in the region's economic development being conveniently blacked out. Okay, why not then denounce the French for oppression of Corsica, the British for occupation of Ulster, and the Spanish for the imperial rule over the land of Basques? Why, hasn't the United States imposed a colonial rule upon the indigenous peoples of Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Guam?
With similar indignation, the authors denounce the rightist parties of Europe, protesting against EU immigration policies. All of them are labeled as racist, with no regard for the concerns of the rightists for the employment of the national labor force. The leftists, by definition the protectors of the proletariat, are notoriously indifferent to the workers of European nations, including their German compatriots.
This achievement of leftist thought, representing a collection of theoretical senile grumbling of incurable infants, does not propose any blueprint of a better new world, though such kind of a design is of a great demand at the face of the old world's demise.
WHERE HAS THE NEW SLAVERY EMERGED FROM?
The Euroleftists fail to answer the key question about the origin of the arbitrary corporate rule they are describing. The picture of today is really reproducing the pattern of the XIX century capitalism of the times of primary industrialization, when miners walked in chains, and children were sold to owners of textile factories. In fact, the authors complain that the nature of private interest has not changed. Why should it change, if European governments have consciously agreed to outsource their industries to the "third world"? This temptation of exploitation of labor was deliberately donated to capitalists by a political decision. In their turn, the political powers of third-world, especially African states, allow their fellow citizens to be exploited.
The authors don't bother to discern the African type of colonial pressure with the practice of Asia, including the liberal Japan and Korea, the Moslem conservative Malaysia, the royal Thailand, and the socialist China. The political powers of these countries realized that their progress and competitiveness, as well as the very survival of their numerous population, requires large-scale industrial development. Allowing Western corporations to enter their countries and use vast rural lands for new industrial development, they sought to create a competitive labor force which is today of demand also outside their nations.
The complaints of the authors that Asiatic nations today implement gigantic projects of nuclear plant construction are equally hypocritical. Don't those educated scholars realize that large-scale industries require energy? Having allowed national industries to be outsourced to Asia, one has to admit that these industries will be supplied with efficient sources of energy generation. In case the Chinese continued to use coal for old-fashioned thermal energy plants, the conditions of labor the authors are so hysterical about would be much worse. Disavowing the right of Asiatic nations for modern, highly efficient means of energy production is an essentially racist judgment.
In many nations of Western Europe, nuclear energy production is curtailed. Though in a long run, the policy of replacement of nuclear plants with vast amounts of windmills are unfavorable for domestic, especially agricultural production, Western states can allow themselves such a policy while the abovementioned corporations provide much higher standards of consumption in their "economies of services" than in the nations of Asia that provide the bulk of consumer goods for Europe.
The proposal to undermine corporate production by means of public protests targets not only corporate bosses but also, and mainly, the labor force they brutally exploit. These protests alone won't solve any problem, especially the central economic problem of Europe, the continent the authors represent – namely, the ripening imperative of re-industrialization. This imperative is related not only to economic self-sufficiency but also to political independence.
DOOMED TO SERVE AS "YOUNGER BROTHER"
Getting rid of the "outdated" industry and thus boldly entering the post-industrial era, European nations have liberated themselves also from responsibility for scientific and technological progress. While timid Africans and Asians allow of exploit themselves under the threat of unemployment, Europeans conveniently benefit from the superprofits gained by corporations. Why don't they ask themselves where most of these superprofits are invested? Are they being spent for creation of super-technologies of future, or for inflating the bubble of financial speculation?
Share the guidelines of the self-discredited but still politically dominating concept of globalization and postindustrialism, the Euroleftists ignore the fact that its further reign inevitably leads to intellectual degeneration of the European community. Developing industries of the new industrial nations absorb the best technological minds of Europe. Nuclear engineers of Germany are now employed at the new energy facilities of Brazil, India and China.
In order to keep the present system afloat, EU strategists could at least demand from corporations to invest more in aerospace industries, in order at least to guarantee long-term independence and survival by means of military self-protection. This effort, in its turn, suggests a system of education of skilled personnel that logically, requires a deliberate effort in demographic policies.
This effort is not undertaken in EU nations for purely ideological reasons – not only due to environmentalist obsessions but also from fears that any effort of pursuing military self-sufficiency would arouse suspicions of "reproducing the Nazi model" for any. Thus, European ideologues doom their nations for serving as an obedient "younger brother" of the heavily militarized empire of the United States that did not abhor utilizing the technological intellect of the Nazi regime for the buildup of their own aerospace potential.
Refusing from use of nuclear energy, Europeans find themselves completely dependent from imports of oil and gas – and therefore, from imperialist operations of the United States. The whole concept of diversification of oil and gas imports is based on the assumption that the "rogue" Iran would be involved in the heavily advertised and US- designed Nabucco project that necessarily suggests a coercive political change in Iran, as in other way, this country would not be forced to serve to the consumers of the post-industrial Europe rather than to the increasingly profitable industrial potential of China.
CAN EUROPE ESCAPE FROM THE DEADLOCK?
At the March 2007 summit in Brussels, the European Union confirmed its commitment for boosting environmentally secure (that is non-thermal and non-nuclear) energy production and thus allegedly achieve progress in technologies. In practice, this approach is going to reduce investments into all spheres of science except the massively advertised but narrow sphere of "environment-friendly" bio- and energy technologies, and force more productive industries out of Europe. In both aspects, the EU authorities are thus rendering the economies of EU nations even more dependent from corporations.
Since that time, neither the Euroleftists nor the Eurorightists from the parties, dominating in the European Parliament, have proposed a plausible alternative of economic development. The former are too dogmatically obsessed with the scare of nationalism, and the latter are to fundamentalist in respect of free market, while the progress of Europe requires large-scale development of national productive forces and equally broad social programs, restricting corporate egoism.
Thus, the perspectives of Western Europe are currently determined with two options: either a new progress-oriented political force emerges of an all-European level, or Europe is going to be dragged by the United States into a quagmire of recession – with easily predictable implications of ethnic conflicts between the European and immigrant population that already splashed out into the outskirts of Paris in 2005.
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