Rex Seemela has sent in excerpts from several books relating to some of the topics we publish here on UnCensored. I thought they were enlightening enough to share them here. Thanks Rex….
Noam Chomsky among Rex’s selection of writers
PROFIT OVER PEOPLE
RESOURCE EXTRACTION AND STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT:GLOBALISED IMMISERATION OF THE POOR AND THE VULNERABLE
“Somehow we find it hard to sell our values, namely that the rich should plunder the poor.” Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (Eisenhower Administration)
“War is inextricably linked to the impoverishment of people at home and around the world. Militarization and the economic crisis are intimately related. The provision of essential goods and services to meet basic human needs has been replaced by a profit-driven “killing machine” in support of America’s “Global War on Terror”. The poor are made to fight the poor. Yet war enriches the upper class, which controls industry, the military, oil and banking. In a war economy, death is good for business, poverty is good for society, and power is good for politics. Western nations, particularly the United States, spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year to murder innocent people in far-away impoverished nations.” Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall
“A 2008 study from the University of Massachusetts examined the capital flight from forty African countries from 1970 to 2004.
Real capital flight over the 35-year period amounted to about $420 billion (in 2004 dollars) for the 40 countries as a whole. Including imputed interest earnings, the accumulated stock of capital flight was about $607 billion as of end-2004.
… The total external debt of these countries was ‘only’ $227 billion. So, Africa is a net creditor to the rest of the world, with its net external assets vastly exceeding its debts. Yet there is a crucial difference between the assets and the liabilities: The subcontinent’s private external assets belong to a narrow, relatively wealthy stratum of its population, while public external debts are borne by he people through their governments.” Nicholas Shaxson in his book “Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World”
“Africa is extremely rich in many resources, from agriculture to oil, minerals, and a huge variety of other resources used all around the world. If African nations were able to develop their own economies, use their own resources, and create their own industries and businesses, they could become self-sufficient at first, and then may become a force of great competition for the established industries and elites around the world. After all, Europe does not have much to offer in terms of resources, as the continent’s wealth has largely come from plundering the resources of regions like Africa, and in becoming captains of monetary manipulation. A revitalized, vibrant, economically independent and successful Africa could spell the end of Western financial dominance. ” Andrew Gavin Marshall
“Masquerading as the advocate of human rights and liberal democracy, the global economic and political order being imposed in the name of globalization and free markets seeks to establish a virtual monopoly of multinational corporations that are destructive to people and the physical environment.” Social Justice magazine, 2000
“There is no known case in which globalization has led to prosperity in any Third World country, and none of the world’s twenty-four reasonably developed capitalist nations, regardless of their ideological explanations, got where they are by following any of the prescriptions contained in globalization doctrine.”
Chalmers Johnson in his book “Sorrows of Empire”
“The rise of Third World lending in the 1970s and 1980s laid the foundations for a global tax haven network that now shelters the world’s most venal citizens.
… In the 1970s and 1980s at least half of the money borrowed by the largest Third World debtor countries flowed right out again under the table, usually in less than a year, and typically in just weeks. Third World public debts were matched almost exactly by the stock of private wealth their elites had accumulated in the US and other havens.” Nicholas Shaxson in his book “Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World”
“Every time weaker nations have attempted to reallocate their resources and undertake land reform to feed starving populations, powerful interests emanating from the rich world and its multilateral bodies have thwarted their efforts.” Susan George
“When the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund lend money to debtor countries, the money comes with strings attached. These strings come in the form of policy prescriptions called ‘structural adjustment policies.’ These policies require debtor governments to open their economies to penetration by foreign corporations, allowing access to the country’s workers and environment at bargain basement prices. Structural adjustment policies mean across-the-board privatization of public utilities and publicly owned industries. They mean the slashing of government budgets, leading to cutbacks in spending on health care and education. And, as their imposition in country after country in Latin America, Africa, and Asia has shown, they lead to deeper inequality and environmental destruction.” Global Exchange
“Corporations want to move in and grab hold of everything, be it education, health, medical care, water supplies, electrical utilities, whatever else. Privatize and deregulate. That’s their goal, the thirdworldization of America – and everywhere else. They just want to get richer and richer and make us work harder and harder for less and less. That’s what globalization and the “free market” are all about.”
“America can’t let us stay in power. We are the exception to the new globalization order. If we succeed, we are an example to all the Americas.” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s minister Miguel Bustamante Madriz
“Today corporate globalization needs an international confederation of loyal, corrupt, authoritarian governments in poorer countries to push through unpopular reforms and quell the mutinies. It needs a press that pretends to be free. It needs courts that pretend to dispense justice.” Arundhati Roy in her book “War Talk”
“Since the 1980s, it is mainly the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) of the World Bank and the IMF that act as the enforcers of neoliberalism. These programs are levied against the countries of the South which can be extorted due to their debts. Meanwhile, numerous military interventions and wars help to take possession of the assets that still remain, secure resources, install neoliberalism as the global economic politics, crush resistance movements, and facilitate the lucrative business of reconstruction.” Claudia von Werlhof
“Beginning in the late 1970s, the World Bank and IMF mandated a shift away from industrialization toward economies based solely on the export of raw materials and agricultural products. Loans were now to be used as leverage to impose what were called Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), that mandated slashing social spending, eliminating price subsidies and trade tariffs, and privatizing government-owned industries and services-all in order to pay down foreign debt.” Lena Weinstein
“After the brutal Nigerian president Sani Abacha died in 1998, it was revealed that he had skimmed off billions of dollars of oil money. Two countries in particular soaked up his embezzled wealth – Britain and Switzerland.” Nicholas Shaxson in his book “Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World”
“The neoliberal global system never was open in practice. America never imposed on itself the kind of shock therapy that President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin promoted in Russia and the rest of the former Soviet bloc, from the Baltic countries in the northwest to Central Asia in the southeast. Just the opposite! Despite the fact that America’s own balance of trade and payments is soaring, consumer prices are rising and financial and property markets are plunging, there are no calls among its power elite to let the system self-correct. The Treasury is subsidizing America’s financial markets so as to save its financial class and support its asset prices. Interest rates are being lowered to re-inflate asset prices, not raised to stabilize the dollar or slow domestic price inflation.” Michael Hudson and Jeffrey Sommers
“The entire thirty-year history of he Chicago School experiment has been one of mass corruption and corporatist collusion between security states and large corporations, from Chile’s piranhas, to Argentina’s crony privatizations, to Russia’s oligarchs, to Enron’s energy shell game, to Iraq’s “free fraud zone.” The point of shock therapy is to open up a window for enormous profits to be made very quickly-not despite the lawlessness but precisely because of it.” Naomi Klein in her book “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”
“The Latin American debt crisis … erupted as a direct result of [US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul] Volcker’s interest rate shock therapy. In August 1982 Mexico announced it could no longer pay the interest on its staggering dollar debt. Mexico, along with most of the Third World from Argentina to Brazil, from Nigeria to Congo, from Poland to Yugoslavia, had fallen for the New York banks’ debt trap.” F. William Engdahl in his book “Gods of Money”
“Along with former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker; Citibank vice-chairman H. Anno Ruding, who was formerly with the IMF; and Harvard Professor Jeffrey Sachs, George Soros had a big hand in creating the Polish model of “shock therapy.” [Sachs drew Soros’s attention through his work in implementing IMF-style “shock therapy” in Bolivia.]” Executive Intelligence Review Special Report, April 1997
“The Communist state was simply replaced with a corporatist one: the beneficiaries of the boom were confined to a small club of Russians, many of them former Communist Party apparatchiks, and a handful of Western mutual fund managers who made dizzying returns investing in newly privatized Russian companies. A clique of nouveaux billionaires, many of whom were to become part of the group universally known as “the oligarchs” for their imperial levels of wealth and power, teamed up with Yeltsin’s Chicago Boys and stripped the country of nearly everything of value, moving the enormous profits offshore at a rate of $2 billion a month. Before shock therapy, Russia! had no millionaires; by 2003, the number of Russian billionaires had risen to seventeen, according to the Forbes list.
… By 1998, more than 80 percent of Russian farms had gone bankrupt, and roughly seventy thousand state factories had closed, creating an epidemic of unemployment. In 1989, before shock therapy, 2 million people in the Russian Federation were living in poverty, on less than $4 a day. By the time the shock therapists had administered their “bitter medicine” in the mid-nineties, 74 million Russians were living below the poverty line, according to the World Bank. That means that Russia’s “economic reforms” can claim credit for the impoverishment of 72 million people in only eight years. By 1996, 25 percent of Russians – almost 37 million people-lived in poverty described as “desperate.”
Russia’s population is … in dramatic decline-the country is losing roughly 700,000 people a year. Between 1992, the first full year of shock therapy, and 2006, Russia’s population shrank by 6.6 million.” Naomi Klein in her book “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”
“The aim of Washington’s IMF “market reforms” in the former Soviet Union was brutally simple: destroy the economic ties that bound Moscow to each part of the Soviet Union …. IMF shock therapy was intended to create weak, unstable economies on the periphery of Russia, dependent on Western capital and on dollar inflows for their survival — a form of neocolonialism …. The Russians were to get the standard Third World treatment… IMF conditionalities and a plunge into poverty for the population. A tiny elite were allowed to become fabulously rich in dollar terms, and manipulable by Wall Street bankers and investors.” William Engdahl in his book ” A Century of War”
“Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign “aid” organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalisation.” John Perkins in his book “Confessions of Economic Hit Man”
“The country has been intentionally plundered and will eventually wind up in the hands of its creditors… After a nation is successfully driven to destitution, public policy decisions are made by creditors and not by representatives of the people …. The catastrophe that middle class Americans face is what these elites breezily refer to as “shock therapy”; a sudden jolt, followed by fundamental changes to the system. In the near future we can expect tax reform, fiscal discipline, deregulation, free capital flows, lowered tariffs, reduced public services, and privatisation.” Mike Whitney
“For over 40 years, Washington had quietly supported Yugoslavia, and the Tito model of mixed socialism, as a buffer against the Soviet Union. As Moscow’s empire began to fall apart, Washington had no more use for a buffer – especially a nationalist buffer which was economically successful, one that might convince neighboring states in eastern Europe that a middle way, other than IMF shock therapy, was possible. The Yugoslav model had to be dismantled, for this reason alone, in the eyes of top Washington strategists. The fact that Yugoslavia also lay on a critical path to the potential oil riches of central Asia merely added to the argument.” William Engdahl in his book” A Century of War”
“The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund began to tie loans to “structural adjustment” programs, which channeled more of the debtor country’s financial and productive resources toward debt repayment.
… Structural adjustments were originally imposed on an ad hoc basis upon individual nations when it appeared that they could not keep up with existing debt payments. By 1985, fifteen debtor nations had been subjected to SAPs, and by 1991, a quarter of the World Bank’s total lending was tied to structural adjustment in 54 nations. As more of the “debtor” nations’ dwindling resources went to debt service, new loans were simply used to repay previous loans, and the total debt of the low income nations more than quadrupled from $100 to $473 billion between 1980 and 1992. World Bank and IMF “reforms” continued, and by the mid-1990s, more than a hundred countries and 80 percent of the world’s population had been “structurally adjusted.” The average developing nation’s debt payments were a third of its gross national product.
… When no more money or exports can be squeezed from the poor, selling state-owned companies to Northern corporations becomes an option… Once again, a handful of multinational corporations are the beneficiaries.
Structural adjustment proved to be such a useful tool for leveraging corporate power that it was time to make it a permanent part of the global economy, and that is just what the international trade treaties of the 1990s have done – codified the elements of structural adjustment into international law.” George Draffan in his book “The Elite Consensus”
“The IMF and World Bank are the chief pushers of the whole scheme of structural adjustments that are designed to further open up the Third World economies for penetration and plunder by private monopoly corporations. We call for the abrogation of all loan agreements that provide for structural adjustment, public assumption of private debts and the further exposure of the Third World economies to plunder by private multinational giants.” Cebu Declaration, Philippine-Asia Jubilee Campaign Against the Debt, May 18, 1999, Cebu City, Philippines
“The debt is used as a justification to maintain neoliberal policies, including what are known as structural adjustment programs, as institutional mechanisms to perpetuate a state of dependence. Bail-out programs by creditors, with the support of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have only served to ensure the continuity for mechanisms to keep countries deep in debt.” Tegucigalpa Declaration, Latin American and Caribbean Jubilee 2000 Platform, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, January 27, 1999
“By the 1980s, U.S. policymakers were rejecting the view that a more prosperous, economically independent Third World would serve the interests of U.S. capitalism. And once there no longer was a competing socialist world to which Third World leaders might threaten to turn, the United States felt freer than ever to undo any kind of autonomous development in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. One rollback weapon is the debt. In order to meet payments and receive new credits from the US-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), Third World governments have had to agree to merciless “structural adjustment programs,” including reductions in social programs, cuts in wages, the elimination of import controls, the removal of restrictions on foreign investments, the privatization of state enterprises, and the elimination of domestic food production in favor of high profit export crops.”
“Structural adjustment imposed by the World Bank and IMF have brought disaster to the working poor of as many as 100 countries, forced to open their markets to a flood of cheap imports while the rich refuse to abandon their subsidies, quotas and high tariffs. The result is brutal suppression of wages and living standards and elimination of social programs.” Noam Chomsky in his book “Year 501”
“The IMF imposes strict conditions on debtor nations that force them to concentrate on producing cheap exports in order to increase foreign reserves needed to pay interest on their debt. These structural adjustment programs include currency devaluation, reduced wages, cutbacks to social programs, and reliance on the market system. All of these programs benefit creditor nations such as the United States at the expense of the debtor nations.” David Model in his book “Lying for Empire”
“By 1998, more than 80 percent of Russian farms had gone bankrupt, and roughly seventy thousand state factories had closed, creating an epidemic of unemployment. In 1989, before shock therapy, 2 million people in the Russian Federation were living in poverty, on less than $4 a day. By the time the shock therapists had administered their “bitter medicine” in the mid-nineties, 74 million Russians were living below the poverty line, according to the World Bank. That means that Russia’s “economic reforms” can claim credit for the impoverishment of 72 million people in only eight years. By 1996, 25 percent of Russians – almost 37 million people-lived in poverty described as “desperate.” Naomi Klein in her book “The Shock Doctrine”
“The real axis of evil is composed of the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.” George Katsiaficas in the book “Masters of War”
“The IMF, the World Bank and the WTO (World Trade Organisation) are largely controlled by the rich countries so these institutions devise and implement policies that those countries want.”
Ha-Joon Chang in his book “Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism”
“The World Bank, IMF, and private banks have consistently lavished huge sums on terror regimes, following their displacement of democratic governments, and a number of quantitative studies have shown a systematic positive relationship between U.S. and IMF / World Bank aid to countries and their violations of human rights.”
Edward S. Herman
“The IMF and World Bank are the chief pushers of the whole scheme of structural adjustments that are designed to further open up the Third World economies for penetration and plunder by private monopoly corporations. We call for the abrogation of all loan agreements that provide for structural adjustment, public assumption of private debts and the further exposure of the Third World economies to plunder by private multinational giants.”
Cebu Declaration – Philippine-Asia Jubilee Campaign Against the Debt, 1999
“When the IMF and the World Bank force a country to cut wages, lay off workers, produce for export instead of their own people, and sell off public property to cronies for less than its vallue, that’s called “economic reform.”
Robert Naiman, 1999
“Mexico was the star pupil. It did everything right, and religiously followed the World Bank and IMF’s prescriptions. It was called another great economic miracle, and it probably was – for the rich. But for most of the Mexican people, it’s been a complete disaster.”
Noam Chomsky in his book “The Common Good”
“The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which represents most of the major banks in the Western world, produced a proposal [1980s] that basically demanded that developing countries sacrifice government spending on health, education, and welfare in order to service the debt and that they increase the export of commodity or luxury goods to earn more money.”
Helen Caldicott in her book ” If You Love this Planet”
“We turned the World Bank, the IMF, and other “multinational” institutions into colonizing tools. We negotiated lucrative deals for U.S. corporations, established “free” trade agreements that blatantly served our exporters at the expense of those in the Third World, and burdened other countries with unmanageable debts. In effect, we created surrogate governments that appeared to represent their people but in reality were our servants.”
John Perkins in his book “The Secret History of the American Empire”
“The World Bank, the IMF, and the WTO consider the ideal country to be one in which all assets and resources are owned by foreign corporations producing for export to generate foreign exchange to repay international debts. Their favored country has no public services. Power, water, education, health care, social security, and financial services are all owned and operated by foreign corporations for profit on a fee for service basis. Food and other goods for domestic consumption are all imported from abroad and paid for with money borrowed from foreign banks.”David Korten
“Never before in history have the poor financed the rich on such a scale and paid so dearly for their servitude. During the 1980s, the Third World sent to the West $220 billion more than was sent to them in any form. At the current rates of interest, it is a mathematical impossibility for most countries to pay off their debt. Many had to agree to ‘structural adjustment’ by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This has often meant the end of uncertain protection for the old, young and sick and ‘wage restraint’ in countries where the difference between wage and peonage is slight.”
John Pilger in his book “Distant Voices”
“The World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other financial institutions virtually write economic policy and parliamentary legislation. With a deadly combination of arrogance and ruthlessness, they take their sledgehammers to fragile, interdependent, historically complex societies and devastate them, all under the fluttering banner of ‘reform’.” Arundhati Roy
“Capitalism has been shaped by the Washington Consensus, which was formed around the neoliberal policies that had been imposed on developing countries by Milton Friedman’s Chicago Boys, and on Eastern Europe by Jeffrey Sachs. The Shock Doctrine involves cutting back or eliminating social programs, privatization, tax cuts and incentives for the wealthy, and increasing prices on strategic goods – gasoline, fuel oil which affect the poor more than any other segment of society.”
William F. Pepper in his book “An Act of State: the Execution of Martin Luther King”