Saturday, December 29, 2012

Private Sector Betrayal of the Nation-State that Championed the Banner of Capitalism




               
                The United States has been a member of the United Nations Security Council since its inception after the conclusion of World War II and possesses permanent member veto power with the other four permanent members of the Security Council: China, France, Britain and Russia.  Since the emergence of superpower status on the international stage following World War II and being elevated to the role of the premiere hegemonic international superpower after the conclusion of the Cold War, the United States has always championed capitalism and the international free market.  In 1984, President Ronald Reagan told the nation that he would “propose a broader strategy in the field of international trade--one that increases the openness of our trading system”.  The political position of the United States, that of private sector capitalism, has been clearly evident in her association in International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), as well as the United Nations peace keeping missions that she has participated in over the past three decades.

Conclusion of the Cold War, the Rise of U.S. Hegemony and the Utilization of IGOs

                After the collapse of the Soviet Union at the conclusion of the Cold War, the United States was instantly propelled to the level of unilateral superpower in the ashes of what was the most equally distributed international balance of power in history.   As a true champion of international private sector capitalism, the United States and her lesser nation-state allies instantly went to work through so-called United Nation Peace Keeping missions throughout Eastern Europe in order to spread the private market eastward into former Soviet satellite nation-states and bring them into the world market.  The United States was a founding member of the dual IGOs created at Bretton Woods, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and these two IGOs would be main instruments in spreading private sector capitalism as far as it would extend under the balance of power after the conclusion of WWII, bolstering an international market across war-ravished Western Europe through the Marshall Plan, and extending capitalism even further eastward after the victory of the Cold War against Soviet Communism.  The utilization of these two private sector structured IGOs, the World Bank and IMF, along with the economic and military might of the United States in the UN Security Council were pivotal in expanding capitalism eastward through so-called UN peacekeeping operations in territories left unstable by politically voids or political divide, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Understanding the Roles of the World Bank and the IMF

                In order to understand the true planning process of the United States and her nation-state, and private sector, allies in spreading the international capital market eastward after the collapse of the international balance of power with the Soviet Union after the Cold War through UN peace keeping missions in Eastern European former Soviet satellite territories such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, it is imperative to understand the purpose and roles of the IMF and World Bank. 

The IMF, with its current 188 nation-state members, “came into formal existence in December 1945, when its first 29 member countries signed its Articles of Agreement. It began operations on March 1, 1947.”    The IMF is the organization that sets the international exchange rates between various nation-state currencies.  This international exchange rate is the vital human skeleton for international private sector capitalism and allows capital to cross national borders and assume various physical and monetary forms depending on final destination.  After WWII the IMF “began to expand in the late 1950s and during the 1960s as many African countries became independent and applied for membership. But the Cold War limited the Fund's membership, with most countries in the Soviet sphere of influence not joining”.  The World Bank, on the other hand, is an IGO, also with 188 nation-state members, that had earned its international reputation through nation-state reconstruction efforts, with conditional loans to open private sector investment into devastated post-war European nation-states after the Marshall Plan, and in aftermath the Cold War, intensified efforts of ushering private sector capital into post-Soviet states in Eastern Europe and post-colonial nation-states in Africa.  Today, it is the reconstruction of post-colonial African nation-states by the World Bank and the infiltration of the private sector while in the period following the Cold War and the emergence of the U.S. international hegemony, Eastern Europe was the primary target.  In order to grasp the U.S. position within the World Bank, “The five largest shareholders are, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States”

UN Peace Keeping Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina

                The war in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995 was a direct result of the collapse of the Soviet Union.   Bosnian independence from Yugoslavia plunged the territory into civil war as “Bosnian Serbs did not want to break away from Yugoslavia, and so the Serbs left the Bosnian parliament to form their own parliament. The Bosnian Serb decision to split from the Bosnian parliament inspired the Bosnian Croats to also declare their autonomy”.  The early UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, a territory plunged into civil war, had difficulty in achieving, through proposed peace negotiations, the goal of stabilizing a unified Bosnian independence, and a government that could be brought into the world market, and eventually UN peacekeeping efforts were turned over to NATO military air strikes,  Operation Deliberate Force, and the champion of world capitalism, the United States, led the way by providing the most military and most economic contributions to operational missions.   This was the case until “U.S. troops marked the end of their nine-year peacekeeping role in Bosnia on Wednesday [December 24, 2004] as NATO prepared to hand over the task to the European Union in December [2004]”.

                As the region of Bosnia-Herzegovina began a stabilization process after the Dayton Peace Accords, the World Bank was eagerly present with lofty promises of reconstruction funding and the ushering in of foreign private sector capital investments which would target domestic natural resources in minerals, petroleum, hydropower, and other resources of commercial importance in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Private Sector Betrayal of the Nation-State Champion of Capitalism 

                In closing, international history clearly illustrates how the United States has championed private sector capitalism from that nation-state’s emergence onto the international stage as an economic and military power, the victory over communism during the Cold War, and becoming the leading superpower on the globe.  IGO instruments such as the UN, NATO and so-called peacekeeping operations, backed by nation-state members’ military and economic power but mostly burdened by the U.S., forced open the way for private sector capitalism in Eastern Europe and post-Colonial Africa through private sector IGO/NGOs such as the World Bank Group and the IMF, along with the World Trade Organization.  The rise of the United States as a single nation-state hegemon, steering and clearing the way for private sector NGO activities through IGO military and political operations, marked the evolution from individual nation-state actors vying for power to private sector corporate actors consolidating and owning the international stage.  With American corporations becoming international and many others manufacturing in foreign nation-states with lower wage requirements in order to maximize profits, it is time to consider whether private sector capitalism has forsaken the nation-state that has championed the banner of private sector capital on the international stage .  

References

Ghoniem, Amira A.  United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Improvements for Mission Success.  University of Stanford, 2003.  (Accessed on December 27, 2012 from http://www.stanford.edu/class/e297a/United%20Nations%20Peacekeeping%20Operations.pdf)

International Monetary Fund Website.  History of the IMF,( Accessed on December 27, 2012 from http://www.imf.org/external/about/histcoop.htm)

Ronald Reagan.  State of the Union Speech, 1983.  Public Broadcasting Website.  (Accessed on December 27, 2012 from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/primary-resources/reagan-union-1983/)

 U.S. Troops Mark End of Mission in Bosnia.  Associated Press.  November 25, 2004, accessed December 27, 2012 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A11164-2004Nov24.html)

World Bank Group Website.  About the World Bank, Leadership.  (Accessed December 27, 2012 from http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTABOUTUS/0,,contentMDK:22428930~menuPK:1697011~pagePK:51123644~piPK:329829~theSitePK:29708,00.html)


No comments:

Post a Comment