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New World Order Explained - Part 1


“I will merely repeat that we are at present working, discreetly but with all our might, to wrest this mysterious political force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local national states of our world. And all the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands...” Arnold Toynbee – 1931 - Copenhagen, 4th annual Conference: Institutions for the Scientific Study of International Relations, of ‘The Royal Institute for International Affairs’; It is also in his article “World Sovereignty and World Culture, 1931 pp. 760)

"NAFTA will represent the most creative step toward a New World Order taken by any group of countries since the end of the Cold War. What Congress will have before it is not a conventional trade agreement, but the architecture of a new international system. The trade agreement with Mexico is the vital first step for a new kind of community of nations, a first step toward the New World Order." – Henry Kissinger, "With NAFTA, [the] U.S. finally Creates a New World Order.” Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1993, pp. M-2, 6.


The End of the Nation-State

By Bi0hazardx

The political and economic structures of international trade in the last century have generally operated within the borders of national territories known as nation-states. The nation-state standard of international mediation functioned on national market economies and systems of local self-determination. Under this system, the states and their industries would have the ability to maintain national sovereignty through retaining local control over their national economy, industry, and market barriers. Accordingly, if local control of the national economy provides national sovereignty, transitions from national political economies to global political economies transplant the economic control and motives of national markets into the grasp of transnational interests. This presented new structural requirements towards the protection of economic and political operation under new grounds of borderless international order. (Chomsky 1993). As a result, a large portion of control concerning the local sovereignty and agency of national self-determination has the potential to become forfeited. Furthermore, trans- and supranational finance, foreign direct investments, and corporate decisions affect the exchange and interest rates, GNPs, and ultimately the national environment of economic and commercial interdependence which, as will be covered in more detail, threatens the sovereign agency of nation-states and their political economies. (Stiglitz 2003). This is especially pertinent to free-trade capital markets and the new terms of international monetary cross dependency and the ability. This consequently yields direct influences on the nation-state’s ability to engage in self-directed actions of sustainability and national control over the political economies of their borders which define the political jurisdiction and accountability of social and economic activity. As such, the potential and frequency for the exploitation of nation-states becomes magnified with each movement towards transnational interdependence and supranational regulation. These declines in state sovereignty, control, and agency create grave concerns for the interlocking functionality of the developing global order as well as the livelihood of nations and humanity as a whole. If the nation states are going to function as the localized intermediaries of this interconnected global structure of production, trade, and economic demands, there are some monumental threats to democracy, local interests, transnational accountability which need to be examined (Scholte 1997, 10-12), (Robinson 2002, 4), (Sklair 2002).

  The level of global authority and ascendance of transnational structures and their shareholders has expanded expediently under the plutocratic favoritism of neoliberal “free trade”. (DEFINE) When massive corporations of unmatched wealth and power are put into liberalized trade agreements which exercise mass deregulations and the removal of national border protections such as laissez-faire capitalism, there are sweeping repercussions on national markets. As we now see, neoliberal economic frameworks will lead the already powerful corporate domination of small business into a greater worldwide relationship of hegemonic global sovereignty and dependency. This new age of free-trade markets under supranational regulations and overarching court jurisdiction, constructs a state of industrial domination that previous imperialist empires only dreamed of implementing. The danger posed by the aforementioned circumstances, allows for unquestioned influence and dictation of national markets and their economies and political sovereignty. As a result, nation-states which run the risk of becoming indebted and vulnerable to the international market are more likely to become subject to increased privatization and further exploitations of national markets, labor, and economic pressures (Stiglitz 2003). The consequential adversities of loosing national control, jurisdiction and democratic agency under supranational laws and courts, present serious threats to the future benefits and balanced distribution of supranational systems of trade.

As early as the beginning of this century, there have been suggestions by world-renowned economists such as Adam Smith for a worldwide liberalization of the national trade and labor barriers. The first era of free trade deregulation is referred to as laissez-faire capitalism. Its philosophy of operation revolves around the liberalization of an international free markets through the removal of governmental regulations and control over local capital and its exchange. Although,  laissez-faire economics prevents national governments from manipulating prices and exchange it places the terms and concequences of unregulated open trade in the hand of non-governmental industrialists and international financiers. This sets the stage for private influence and forced interdependence between national political economies and the autocratic drives of cut-throat transnational capital and its shareholders. In the classical system of laissez-faire capitalism the free market liberalization removes the royal and national regulation over the capital, while inherently opposing overarching structures of trans-, or supranational regulation that could confine or dictate the interactions of industrial exchange. As such laissez-faire capitalism removes the sovereign influence of capital interactions which national economies and territorial governments could instate; this liberalization pushes towards a general opening up of the international market under the reciprocal terms of its own deregulations rather than any overarching structures of influence (Hill 1964, 394). In short, although it does not impose far reaching laws of top-down regulation over the liberalization of trade, it does achieve wide spread modifications over the national and royal sovereignty of territorially enclosed political economies. This changes the structure and terms of causality behind national self-determination and international interdependence while promoting increased competition under notions of global free trade unhindered by governmental impositions (Sorenson 1952, 250-255). As a result the proliferation of business cartels began to expand, especially in Frankfurt Germany which illuminates the desires for shared capital interests. In so far as it can protect and advance common transnational economic infrastructures of borderless exchange just as national industries have done under the shared interests of political economies operating within and between territorial borders. (Kittrell 1966, 614) Although, the image of laissez-faire capitalism is presented as “free enterprise”, it could easily move towards private consolidations of wealth and influence into the  hands of a few dominant companies, similar to environments leading up to the Anti-Trust movements. This shows clear strides towards industrial supremacy of international proportions, in which the capability for other companies to openly compete begins to push away from the open conditions of exchange and fair access to the market that free enterprise claimed to provide (McGill 1948, 518).

 The structures and functions of classical laissez-faire capitalism in certain ways foreshadowed the industrial advancements and environments of protection that development in neoliberal free trade. This transformation embodied the movement from local deregulations of free market capital exchange between nations towards the neoliberal structures of global markets  Evidently, this global centralization of private regulation is contradictory to the philosophy of free markets and laissez-faire trade given that it pushes for trans-, and supranational institutions of regulation that is outside of national law and jurisdiction and generally instated around central banks and monetary funds. Moreover, these neoliberal claims towards a system of free trade and democracy is quite counter intuitive to its structure of operation which instates top-down international hierarchies which not only regulate and determine the contexts of procedures and agency of national industries, but it also hands supranational jurisdiction to private international organizations who have massive stakes in the global capital market (Chomsky 1993).

Even though neoliberalism borrows laissez-faire’s principle philosophy of forming free trade through the removal of national barriers and territorial control over the process of national trade and political economy, it conflicts its own institutional purpose by imposing greater centralized control over global trade. Furthermore, this centralization generally concerns industries, monetary structures, and economies of private trade which have continuously been  slipping out of the control of national industries and statesmen. In this way, although it still benefits the dominant economic industries as laissez-faire would there arises a new structure of international governing which essentially claims itself as a natural system of trade that is free from the governmental control of nation-states (Hill 1964). Neoliberalism argues that regulations of the free market under terms of national protectionism and government based programs creates economic inefficiencies in individual trade. Accordingly, neoliberalism pushes for the opening up of national markets to the international economy while recommending a larger focus on export industries. This push for a global proliferation of export industries creates a greater transnational interdependence between national political economies and the global private market but it also positions countries for a seamless transition from neoliberal ‘free trade’ to supra-national capitalism under autocratic hegemony.  In short, the drives of neoliberal policy pushes towards centralized and overarching jurisdiction and control over transnational capital and trade that is catered to the prosperity of direct foreign investments and the interests of the dominant global corporate community.

Despite the amount of warnings brought forth by economists and international elites concerning the implications of supranational regulations under unchecked and borderless global capitalism. It appears that the current developments towards the quasi-autocratic regulation and jurisdiction of NGO’s and transnational corporatism are illuminating the critical function and necessity of national barriers concerning the rule of law and conduct of markets.  The control of local labor and political economies are one of the few safeguards of national sovereignty and self-determination under the dominant and overarching hands of global finance. These barriers help regulate the influence of foreign manipulation on the national labor, exchange rates and agency of political jurisdiction which are not strictly dependant on the control but most importantly the protection of the capital infrastructure in which the political realm is able to operate. This proposed movement towards the competition of ‘free trade’ under the removal or greatest possible minimization of government regulation is quite similar to the international structures of neoliberalism that we see today. As has been noted the function of neoliberal policies are similar to that of laissez-faire capitalism where a select unchecked conglomerate of private interests are allowed to control as much industry, regulations, and authority over social life as possible (Handman 1931, 4). If one takes into account that the motives behind these regulations function through the  ideological drive of maximizing personal and private corporate profit, it becomes increasingly apparent that the more the corporate infrastructure becomes a transnational entity the interests it must protect falls further and further away from national economies and their local industries (Chomsky 1993). In perspective, around the same time in the early twentieth century, critics of corporate suppression and unregulated hegemonic subservience labeled fascism as “capitalism with the gloves off”. This posited that capitalism without democratic rights or the separation of hegemonic organizations, exercised a level of industrial or institutional control over authority and self-determination of nation-states. In which local and national control over the economic, trade and sometimes political infrastructures were stripped from the powers of the state or its civilians (McChesney 1999, 8).

Large constituencies of international bankers and financial globalists such as the Rockefeller’s and Rothschild’s have voiced a strong advocacy for the liberalization of trade barriers that would act in concert with supranational expropriations of the legal and institutional authority of nations. This allowed industrial powerhouses to define the terms of international production and trade while simultaneously sidestepping the agency of nation-states and most importantly the strength of governmental political economies that could threaten the global corporate infrastructure (Cheney and David Rockefeller discuss implementing the FTTA at a Council on Foreign Relations meeting, 2006). Such strides towards supranational institutions which govern the transnational market generally advocate systems of bureaucracy which structure their own terms of operation and accountability via private closed door agreements of non governmental representatives from the industrial and financial sectors.  These drives towards international institutions which can privately dictate their own terms of operation, such as the Rockefeller’s requisition for the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, is but an expanded carbon copy of the supranational authority and court jurisdiction already achieved through the NAFTA and CAFTA. They claim that freedom and democracy will appear in the local and foreign marketplace and thus the lives of workers if supranational systems of neoliberal free trade are standardized around the world. First of all, such a posit is quite hypocritical due to the undemocratic nature of bureaucratic institutions such as the financial sector which typically expand and consolidate assets unchecked. The key objective of these institutions is to protect their economic sustainability at all costs—thus attenuating the already narrow space it gives to democratic ideals. The two-headed monster of the so-called 'free', but simultaneously private, hierarchical and politically self-oriented capital institutions rears its head today in a manner more audacious than years prior. Furthermore, the transnational banking and capital elite profess that unregulated free trade will provide a greater system of stability, capital distribution, and individual agency than systems in the past.

According to the bankers and international elites, the aforementioned results of neo-liberalized trade regulations would allow underdeveloped nations to take part in free and open global financial exchanges such as trade without the previous frustrations and economic costs of commerce between national barriers. In other words, the foundation and frameworks for any capital transactions, such as is in free trade, will be on the economic terms of bureaucratic transnational corporations and the developing formation of supranational institutions and trade agreements. This for-profit framework of top-down operation is essentially the antithesis of the democratic formation which allows action from the bottom-up (Hoppe 1990, 60), (Chomsky 1993).

Even supposing that this new transnational system of trade is meant to distribute resources and financial opportunity to the rest of the world under free trade and democracy, it is also quite contradictory that the Federal Reserve, IMF, Bank of England and others participating in this global system do not follow their own visions and provide free banking. Instead, they advocate private centralized banking institutions which continue to consolidate wealth and power as an unopposed monetary creditor, as a bureaucratic socialist bank would do (Hoppe 1990, 60-61). The outcome of these systemically unbalanced economic policies serve to shift political power into the hands of private industries, which regardless of their wealth have been traditionally exempt from acquiring executive control of states or feudal societies. However, such executive powers over the political economies of nations can now be achieved by transnational corporations and international laws which are not only decided by private interests, but function outside of the nation-states they control. The deregulation and consolidation of economic and business forces in neoliberalism can be seen as an attempt to remove any competing economic interests and their structures of economic and political power. The bureaucratic top-down agendas of these liberalized institutions and transnational conglomerates is to systematize the legal and economic structures of political power on all fronts. Robert McChesney and a massive amount of scholars on capitalism and imperialism believe that the end goal is to institutionalize global systems, which make it excessively difficult to challenge transnational business infrastructure and near impossible for non-market and democratic forces to compete or exist at all (McChesney 1999, 9-10).

“In short, the ‘house of world order’ will have to be built from the bottom up…  An end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.” – Richard Gardner, 1974 - Foreign Affairs Journal

Although, the notions and implications of unregulated international markets are much more apparent in this century, the formation of the first transnational corporation dates back to the 1700’s with the birth of the East India trade company. The East India Trade Company had national and economic ties to Great Britain and was the first company to act as a transnational corporation. The Company operated on the commercial pretense of continuous expansions in the trade and raw material markets, while pushing for maximal profits of their own transnational industry. This private for-profit campaign was fortified by trade outside the borders and commercial dependencies of its own nation-state. By 1884, the bourgeoisie had become the ruling class of Central inner-Europe and held large economic and commercial wealth. Although, the bourgeoisie had attained a level of economic predominance, they did not hold political agency. This was preserved for the feudal lord or statesman (Arendt 1973, 123).  As a result, the development of the bourgeois industry and its financial and commercial powers formed collective efforts under the shared objective of protecting their industrial infrastructures and courses of expansion which augmented their profits. These collaborations also functioned to influence the national management of their economic and commercial interests within the political structures that were out of their control. These conglomerates of commercial interests had a shared view that the state would not adequately protect and advance bourgeois industry. In response, the top financial, industrial, and commercial enterprises began forming private organizations and institutions directed towards protecting their capital expansions from state regulation. Beyond strategies of protection, the ruling capital class also shared a common vision of acquiring complete jurisdiction over any competing or dissenting political or economic body. This understandably posed a conflict between the authority of the state and the bourgeoisie’s drive for control of their industry; which accounted for the majority of states national assets.

The above mentioned objectives of the industrial ruling class sets up the grounds for the commercial consolidation of capital interests and economic strength. The goals of this conglomeration were to create a unified economic force which could remove the political sovereignty and its control from the state, while transferring economic and political sovereignty to its own mighty commercial industries.  The basis of this industrial revolt is immensely pertinent to the current supranational abrogation of nations’ political and economic sovereignty under the modern infrastructure of free-trade. Similarly, the strangling of national self-determination and agency is achieved under the power and economic force of transnational corporations and their close ties and ownership of international institutions such as the IMF. It is then not surprising to learn that prior to supranational trade regulations and the removal of national barriers, the drive for unregulated expansions and protection of capital interests were economically and thus politically restricted by the national barriers and sovereignty of political economies. It is further revealing that both the causes and consequences of globalization are remarkably bound in capitalist political economies and their environments of local and foreign influence. (Scholte 1997, 428). 

In order to advance the aforementioned drives of international commercial profit, Cecil Rhodes held discussions with top bourgeois industrialist to form institutions which would be able to carry out these specific objectives. He discussed the absolute need for the expansion of national markets, international trade, and access to the raw materials of other countries around the world. The idea of empire building had, however, become somewhat unfriendly in the hindsight of the Roman Empire and was cautiously questioned by the statesmen who would lose sovereign control if their industries and economic assets were to move outside of their territorial structure of their political economy (Arendt 1973, 124-125). Cecil Rhodes explained to the commercial elites that “patriotism is best expressed in money making” and that the national flag is in itself a commercial asset of the national economy. Under these terms, the bourgeois industry might be able to integrate its cross-dependency, dominant commercial industries and other untold selfish goals into the world market in order to bring international capital subservience under systems of overarching corporate sovereignty. Consequently, Rhodes fused the protection and expansion of his global interests with the national image and drives of Western commerce and its national industries (Arendt 1973, 132).  He used persuasive arguments of mutual benefit and interdependent requirements to expand the acquisition rate of raw materials around the world (Arendt 1973, 124-126). Furthermore, Rhodes believed that notions of national and international patriotism could be directly harnessed to provide pragmatic support for the development of an international capital infrastructure, which eventually would supersede the sovereign control of nation-states.

            By 1910, a semi-secret organization of lobbying bodies known as The Round Table groups was founded under the industrial goals of Cecil Rhodes to federate and then dominant the capital world by means of imperialism. The society was organized by Lionel Curtis, Philip H. Kerr (Lord Lothian), Thomas W. Lamont, and Colonel E. Mandell House in 1908-1911. As stated on their present website, the formation of these groups was carried out on behalf of Lord Milner, who was the dominant Trustee of the Rhodes Trust from 1905-1925. Accordingly, the money originally used to form the organization came strictly from the Rhodes Trust funds (The Round Table Founders 2006), (Quigly 1975, 950). At the end of the war of 1914, the industrial and imperial interests of the groups had expanded and brought on the formation of two front organizations. Once again the task was entrusted to Lionel Curtis to establish the British expansion of the Round Table Groups called The Royal Institute of International Affairs, which was founded in 1920 and had its nucleus based in the existing Round Table Organizations. In 1921, a sister front of the organization was established in the United States after the rejection of the League of Nations. J.P Morgan and Company, Colonel E. Mandell House, and interests of Lamont and De Beers were the main organizers of the U.S front known as the Council on Foreign Relations. The original plans for the development of these two front organizations were headed by the Milner group and were drawn up at the Paris Peace Conference in a large conglomerate of financiers, industrialists, and bankers from the Bank of England and Federal Reserve (Dockrill 1980, 667-668), (Quigly 1975, 952). It is revealing to point out that every single U.S. Secretary of State, Defense, and War since 1939 has been a member of the Council of Foreign Relations (Quigly 1975).

"The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government of the U.S. since the days of Andrew Jackson."-- U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a letter written Nov. 21, 1933 to [Colonel E. Mandell House. - The Royal Institute for International Affairs


            The next section will discuss the article World Sovereignty and World Culture (1931) by Arnold J. Toynbee, who was the director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs from 1925 to 1955. Toynbee was also a member of the Round Table Groups, The Fabian Socialist Society, and the Fabian academic institutions called the London School of Economics. His famous quote “I will merely repeat that we are at present working, discreetly but with all our might, to wrest this mysterious political force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local national states of our world. And all the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands...”  The central idea of this article concerns the need to instate a world sovereignty and culture in the hands of a predominant global industrial force (Toynbee 1931, 760). In the article, he outlines that the push towards an international economy and monetary system dates back thousands of years but became especially clear during the industrial revolution. This revolution not only provided the technologies of mass production needed to sustain greater international capital markets, but also provided the potential for the industrial ownership of mass production to be dominated by the financial and industrial powers of the Western world (Toynbee 1931, 753). Toynbee continues to express a sense of fear for the self-determination of sovereign nation-states. This was especially due to the degree of political force and local support they possessed, which he believed threatened his colleagues’ ability to exercise international regulation and worldwide sovereign control under a borderless global society. In response, Toynbee recommends a concentrated financial and industrial effort to impose limitations which infringed on the sovereignty, self-determination, and independence of the local sovereign nation-states. (Toynbee 1931, 758) Furthermore, Toynbee posed a couple campaigns and techniques to bring the sovereignty of nation-states under overarching institutions of global regulation, interdependence and control. In consideration of what this structure would be; Toynbee doubted that structures such as an international church would work for such a task, and that it would more likely have to be a structure such as the League of Nations (Toynbee 1931, 760)

            Toynbee continued to explain that under a structure such as the League of Nations, local states could be stripped of their sovereignty without parting from the familiar features which already make up their bond as local patriots, such as their: “vernacular language and folklore and customs, and the local monuments of the historic past” (Toynbee 1931, 760). This is increasingly true if the Western cosmopolitan material culture were to be forcefully imposed around the world during the process of globalization. Furthermore, he elaborated that if the nation-states continuously refused to surrender their sovereignty, it would be effective to advance irrational and destructive clashes between local states on the basis of pragmatic expansions in the name of material interests, which would end in a violent “knock-out blow”. This knock-out blow would not only be directed at local state sovereignty but at very existence of certain states and nations, by means of destructive coercion and physical force (Toynbee 1931, 761). “On this alternative,” the national sovereign self-determination “will be ended not by agreement, but by force; not by the organization of a League of Nations, but by the imposition of a universal empire through the victory of one militant nation over all the rest.” (Toynbee 1931, 761) Consequently, whether this militant force were ultimately successful or not, it would create vast international pressures to transfer supranational authority to institutions such as the United Nations in order ensure peace in the seemingly endless imperial conflicts between nation-states.

Accordingly, with the ratification of supranational institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization, NAFTA, CAFTA, and GATT the international economic and political communities have undergone unprecedented global transformations towards Toynbee’s vision. The territorial and political relationships between national market economies and transnational shareholder economies have continued to strip the local control and self-determination of national political economies and their state-hood throughout the world. In addition, the shift to a “free trade economy” which more appropriately should be called “unregulated cross-border transactions,” has provided transnational corporations with the ability to control national industries and their territorial sovereignty predominantly outside of national jurisdiction. The national socio-economic and political susceptibility to external pressures of foreign direct investments and transnational exchange markets leaves the fate of national economic and political sovereignty in the hands of transnational shareholders and financiers of the global corporate class (Stiglitz 2003).

These aforementioned entities exert control over the creation of overarching trade regulations as well as the international court systems which decide the future of these transnational structures and the terms and precedents of their accountability. This closed door lobbying of international laws and jurisdiction which concern trade and corporate accountability is especially disconcerting when contrasted with the notions of Free Trade Democracy which the Western world is imposing around the globe. These concerns are multiplied by the historical examples of manipulative, corrupt, and economically driven hierarchical operations of these international institutions. During the 1980’s and 1990’s the advice of the Washington Consensus on the developing world called for fiscal prudence, privatization, and fast transformations of market liberalization (Stiglitz 2003, 53). The use of privatization, which transfers state run industry into private ownership, has in certain cases allowed for unnecessary increases in commodity pricing trends. As a result, the ability to leverage and compete against local overpriced markets becomes vastly out of the hands of the state governments, which were coerced or economically forced to forfeit ownership and control of their industries which could undercut and essentially force the market prices down. As a consequence, the local markets and prices of goods are transferred to a state of oligopolistic hegemony and hurt the ability of locals to purchase necessary materials such as food, gas, and education (Stiglitz 2003, 54, 56). Parallels can be drawn between the massive effects of oligopolies in the developing world, and the less intense but still harsh effects of overpriced commodities such as gasoline on the economies of the developed world. Further examples in the Western world, can be illustrated through the creation of the U.S. Federal National Mortgage Association, which was constructed as a result of the private markets conscious refusal to provide reason rates to low and middle income families (Stiglitz 2003, 55). When these effects of foreign investments and local privatization of state industry are combined with the neoliberalization of national borders and their domestic markets, it spawns an environment which is highly susceptible to transnational corporate hegemony and the global expansion of oligopolistic corporate control.

Although, the IMF, World Bank, and Free Trade Agreements claim to balance competition and help redistribute and protect national economies and their capital markets. There are clear examples of their concealed bureaucratic nature which above all protects transnational shareholders and financial profit margins. This has been historically prevalent even when the means to these ends involves outsourcing, bankrupting, or others actions which stab nation-states in the back in order to protect the international corporate class economy. Similarly, this form of protecting global corporate plutocratic structures over national interests is not limited to poorer nation-states but also hurts the sovereignty and conditions of labor in western industries of national self-determination. It is important to understand the financial interests involved in the formation and function of these institutions. To illustrate, the architects of the Federal Reserve System had a large role in the foundation of the IMF and World Bank. Therefore, it isn't shocking that the U.S. Treasury is the largest shareholder of the IMF and subsequently is the only country that has veto powers. As a result they play a large role in the process determining the policies implemented by the IMF as well as those which it rejects (Stiglitz 2003, 102). More will be said about the hypocrisy of international institutions in the following section. There will also be discourse on the causes and effects of the East Asian trade crisis which will serve to delineate the inner-workings of international hegemony.

After the collapse of the Thai baht in 1997, the global economic community witnessed one of the greatest monetary crises of this past century. Although, it was initially a problem concerning East Asian exchange rates, the international consequences threatened national banks, stock markets, and economic infrastructures on domestic and international proportions. Upon the onset of this crisis, many international institutions and financiers failed to take the threats seriously. However, as the economic tragedy became unquestionably apparent the IMF and Western powers blamed the Asian institutions and markets for being rotten (Stiglitz 2003, 89). The neglect of the IMF to discuss the influence that TNCs, FDIs, and market liberalization had on the exchange rates and economic stability of national economies was quite appalling. This is especially striking given the economic booms and stability of these same East Asian institutions which had been able to reduce poverty while expanding their economy at rates unprecedented by any other region in the world (Stiglitz 2003, 90). If these institutions were so ‘rotten’, how were they so successful in the free trade market that is overwhelmingly supported and advanced by global capital interests and their institutions such as the IMF and World Bank?

During this impressive capital expansion, the East Asian countries were able to save extensive amounts of their profits while effectively investing their funds. Stiglitz attributed this phenomenon to the level of economic and industrial sovereignty which provided their national governments a great amount of control over the implementation of economic and market policies. However, he argues that this self-determined control over such policies and their effects were degraded overtime with further liberalization and international dependencies on foreign regulations, investments, and privatization (Stiglitz 2003, 91). The amalgam of large saving rates, government investments in education, and state-directed industrial policy functioned to create an infrastructure of massive national economic power. This was a result of state agency in the economic and capital market policies and is also largely supported and strengthened by the level of national and governmental investment from within the structure. These techniques of maintaining sovereignty in national political economies are contradictory to the IMF’s policies of international market deregulation and its influences which Stiglitz claims was the single most important factor behind the East Asian economic crisis. Although, the East Asian government agreed with the importance of maintaining macrostability, the policies of the Washington consensus focused on the advancement of industry dealing with exports. In many cases, there was even circumventing of the impediments placed on importation which would be crucial during times of domestic industrial crises (Stiglitz 2003, 92).

The Washington consensus also believed that industrial policies shaped by local governments which would influence and direct future economies “was a mistake”. Accordingly, the consensus pressured the East Asian market economies towards their international pillars of austerity, market liberalization, and privatization under local and transnational ownership. This was advocated instead of allowing the level of government or state influence which had provided the economic ‘miracles’ prior to the crisis. This was consistently enforced even when the East Asian governments felt it was imperative to the sustainability of their national economic and political spectrums to exert national regulation. The IMF and Washington consensus, however, believed that policies of minimalist government intervention would be appealing to foreign investors. They claimed that these restrictions of government regulation would provide increased growth under greater international investment. However, such claims did not mention their explicit or implicit consequences of increased international regulation and sovereign control over the East Asian industrial and capital interests as well as their infrastructures (Stiglitz 2003, 92). This action of the international financial community resembles in a sense the objectives of Rhodes and Toynbee in which political economic sovereignty is a mistake in the development of the international industrial world.

As a result of the repercussions congruent with the aforementioned impositions, the East Asian markets continued to fall out of state, government, and national control. The IMF and the likes of international figures such as the Rhodes Scholar Bill Clinton dismissed the increases in East Asian instability under pragmatic views of unfounded confidence, while continuing to impose further the liberalizations of East Asian capital markets. This took place despite the strong accusations of East Asian leaders that their susceptibility to the market liberalizations and Western exploitations of low interest rates known as ‘hot money’ was proliferating the damage of their national economies and was essentially a major factor of their instability (Stiglitz 2003, 93). This evoked dire concerns as to the amount of nationally detached funds that the transnational corporate infrastructure could use as hot money. To illustrate, in 1995 the global gross of foreign exchange transactions was estimated at $5 trillion a day, in contrast to a total of only $4 trillion dollars a year in exchanges of actual goods and services. The $1821 trillion annual difference between gross foreign exchanges and the actual exchanges of goods and services shows the proportion of fractional reserve loaning, speculative transactions, and financial derivatives which have been detached from the productive economies of the world (Saul 2006). It is nothing short of baffling that neoliberal policies which Stiglitz believes led to the East Asian crisis would be offered as a solution to its own destructive effects, especially considering the muscle of such unprecedented detached funds and their influence through the process of hot money.

Stiglitz argues that the East Asian leaders actually knew what could and needed to be done to save their capital infrastructure, but felt helpless to enact such policy and actions. They understood that if they seized governmental control they would be condemned for disobeying the IMF’s policies directed at minimizing governmental regulation. This could easily result in large losses of foreign investments and capital on which the nation-states had become dependant for economic survival. Consequently, Stiglitz suggested a course of action that he believed would pull East Asia out of this quagmire. He proposed that the East Asian countries should collaboratively impose capital controls that would function to protect their economies and markets from the amount of speculative money that would be moved out of their countries (Stiglitz 2003, 93). However, before the East Asian economists returned home to start implementing their recommended policies of protection the crisis intensified and spread to Indonesia and then South Korea. Although, South Korea had tightly controlled its economy and financial markets during its transitional period in the early 1990’s, it had been pressured to allow its firms to borrow from foreign interests against the will of the country. This increased South Korea’s vulnerability of ceding to the transnational market. Westerns rumors and fears concerning the country’s future led banks which had previously been eager to lend South Korea money to deny the roll over of any of the countries loans. Whether South Korea was in serious trouble prior to the banks decision no longer mattered. The rumors and fear-based rejection of extending South Koreas loans had forced upon the country the prophesized disastrous situation that the bank’s preemptive actions attempted to avoid (Stiglitz 2003, 94).

A very similar phenomenon took place in Thailand and other countries around the world, where a large amount of speculators who believe that a country’s currency would become devalued as a result of debt transferred their funds in the country’s currency over to the USD. This also acts a self fulfilling prophecy in which the massive dumping of a currency devalues its own worth and forces local governments to buy up the currency being weakened in order to sustain its value. Eventually the governments run out of hard cash and the currency plummets. Not only does this take away the national economic power of the countries but it gravely hurts the governments’ political power and economic agency over its statehood, industry, and political economy. After the currency collapses investors move back in and repurchase the currency at much lower exchange rates which provides massive increases in profit gains. Essentially, this allows for foreign investors to obtain a greater holding of a nation’s currency with the same amount of capital that was invested prior to the crisis. This expands their capital worth and ownership of national export industries under international hands without requiring the international financiers to invest greater amounts of capital. After this is done, the IMF will provide bailout packages that are then used to repay the loans borrowed from international banks. We’ve seen this sequence play out in countries such as Thailand and Mexico (Stiglitz 2003, 95-96).

The combination of the aforementioned piracy of national industries and the pragmatic increases in interest rates which the IMF claims will balance out exchange rates have propagated catastrophic repercussions on indebted countries. The result of increasing interest rates puts the country’s firms in distress and augments the amount of banks stuck with stagnant loans. This deters local and foreign investments from the nations who have been ‘protected’ with the imposition of high interest rates. Generally, the fleeing investments relocate their assets into the booming economies such as the U.S., which are often connected to the economic interests of international institutions which had a hand in the augmentation of other countries interest rates (Stiglitz 2003, 110-111). Afterwards, the IMF instated restructuring policy which called for banks with stagnant and bad loans to be shut down or absorbed and for companies who owned money to be seized by their creditors rather than ensuring the fluidity of capital needed to finance national expenses (Stiglitz 2003, 113). It is important to note that developing countries are not the only ones subject to these forms of economic manipulation. Stiglitz stands firm on his claim that any country in the world would not have been able to withstand the imposition and devastating effects of these sudden changes in transnational investor sentiment and their congruent courses of action (Stiglitz 2003, 99-100).

The consequence of this reconstruction policy on bankrupted local and central banks usually ends in either a merger into larger banks in order to survive or a complete takeover by dominant banks which have transnational footings. This is quite a fascinating phenomenon to pay attention to, since the international bankers and their monetary regulations play a large role in the destruction and collapse of local and national banks from other countries. Also, the infrastructure of financial globalization, capital markets, and corporate dominated free trade agreements are protected under these international monetary structures. The bankers and the oligarchy of ruling industrialists can sustain their plutocratic rule through the unbalanced distribution of resources and wealth under transnational capitalism and neoliberal piracy of commercial industries and their assets, raw resources, and national jurisdiction over their political economies.

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies . . . If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] . . . will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered" - Thomas Jefferson 1809


Consequently, as with many of the effects of free trade corporate hegemony the nation-states are forced into deeper conditions of international ownership, control, and economic subservience to the transnational capitalist infrastructure. As a result, the sovereignty of national political economies are appropriated and privatized under transnational regulation and ownership. This globally oligarchic capital infrastructure thus has the ability to subvert any political or economic authority which could contest or dictate its hegemonic interests and movements of transnational consolidation towards Toynbee’s vision of world sovereignty in the hands of Western finance and borderless neoliberal capital markets. Understandably, this strong-arms national integration into international monetary institutions which operate as the global backbone of this transnational industrial class and their jurisdiction and regulations through free trade agreements. Thus, the magnified strength and international prevalence of transnational conglomerate hegemony and their systems of oligopolistic control retain supranational jurisdiction and sovereignty over the world’s economies, land, and political policies.



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