Sunday, December 30, 2012

International Realism: From Nation-States to Private Capital


"And every nation has its appointed term; when their term is reached, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment)." – The Quran (Al-Araf)

Introduction

                From the nation-state anarchy that emerged after the Treaty of Westphalia through the first decade of the twenty-first century, the international stage has been in constant transformation, through a series of historical events consisting of conflicts, treaties and the creation of international organizations, which have evolved world international relations into a new epoch.  From Westphalia onward, individual nation-states struggled and created alliances in order to pursue and protect national interests under the model of anarchy.  Through two major international conflicts, World War I and II, in which the victorious alliance of nation-states established a collective hegemon and inadvertently propelled a new nation-state power, the United States, to the international stage creating a world balance of power between capitalism and communism, termed the Cold War, under the influencing forces of created International Governmental Organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.  As anarchical nation-state power struggles consolidated under a single superpower nation-state after the Cold War and private sector capitalism pushed freely across the globe through mechanisms of established international governmental organizations, the world authority model of global governance which nation-state governments had evolved to became mere mechanisms utilized by a new model of anarchy that had emerged on the international stage in which private sector corporate actors ruthlessly competed for resources and interests as nation-states had once done at the time of Westphalia.  The events of the last century have brought an end of international anarchy between nation-states, consolidating and constraining nation-states under globalization, while unleashing the anarchy of private sector capitalism which has marked a new epoch in international relations.

Nation-State Anarchy and World War I

                As the young nation-state power, the United States, was on a quietly rising path of economic strength due to its vast natural resources, its ability to export to both sides of the European balance of power and the isolated geographic distance from Europe prior to World War I, the nation-states of Europe were entangled in thick political chains of anarchy and near the brink of continental conflict.  As a natural component of nation-state anarchy, alliances contributed heavily in the conditions that caused World War I as Britain, France and Russia created the Triple Entente and Germany, Austria and Italy created a Triple Alliance.  These alliances were the direct results of concerns by Britain, Russia and France toward the rapidly rising economic and military power conversion of unified Germany, as “Germany had pulled even with Great Britain, the preeminent power in Europe, and was three times wealthier than France or Russia. In 1913, one year before the war broke out; German wealth exceeded that of Great Britain by 40 percent”.  Germany, on the other hand, had their own security concerns about being geographically encircled by the nation-states of the Triple Entente, especially the arms embargo implemented by the Triple Entente in order to prevent neutral U.S arms sales from reaching Germany.

                Commonly in regional anarchic nation-state conflicts, vulnerable satellite or colonial territories belonging to or protected by larger nation-states can often create sparks that ignite regional conflagration.  This was the case leading into World War I when, in 1914, Austria-Hungary, backed by Germany, declared war on Serbia, which was backed by Russia, after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.  The result was a Russian military mobilization and a German declaration of war which began what historians call the Great War, World War I.  The United States would join the side of Britain toward the end of the conflict claiming the issue of German submarine warfare and the provocative Zimmerman Telegram which offered Mexico the opportunity to become a German ally.

Nation-State Anarchy and First Attempt at Collective Security

                The defeat of Germany in World War I brought to the European surface several ramifications from the Treaty of Versailles which included German surrender of colonial possessions, heavy economic reparations on Germany and the loss of German control over the Ruhr Valley, Germany’s leading industrial area, to French occupation.  Even more important in the aftermath of World War I was the first attempt to establish a liberal model of collective security in the creation of the League of Nations.

                The liberal League of Nations was a failure in moving the world into a model of world authority in global governance mainly because it placed all nation-states, the victorious and the defeated of World War I, on equal footing as “all Council members, great and small, had a veto”.  Despite the intentions behind Wilson’s Fourteen Points plan and the League of Nations, the goal of collective security was not reached and the result was a formal meeting place for continued nation-state anarchy.   As a result, individual nation-states again came face to face with the same balance of power, along with the same fears and alliances that had originally caused World War I and Europe once again faced the rise of German economic and military power, which was erroneously left unified after World War I by the winning states of that conflict.

The Second War, Consolidated Balance of Power, and IGOs

                Several pertinent developments occurred after the conclusion of World War II, in which the winners of WWII repeated the victory of the First World War, and the United States propelled itself to the position of an international military power with nuclear capability.  Those developments were:  1) the previous mistake of nation-state equality within the failed League of Nations was corrected in the establishment of the United Nations Security Council.  2)  International Governmental Organizations aimed to promote private sector capitalism were created at Bretton Woods which would loosen private sector capitalism from the previous restraints of nation-state borders. 3)  A bipolarity balance of power developed between communism, led by the Soviet Union in the East, and Capitalism, led by the United States in the West which began a massive arms race, beneficial to private sector capitalism, which would stretch above the planet under the category of space exploration.

World Authority, UN Security Council, Bretton Woods & Cold Balance

                International anarchy on a nation-state level began degeneration with the establishment of the United Nations, and more specifically the establishment of the UN Security Council with five permanent members possessing veto power: the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.  While the United Nations were successful in establishing a collective hegemony and world authority to prevent further international conflict, it did not prevent the international stage from dividing into bipolarity between the two major military superpowers after World War II: The communist nation-state of the Soviet Union, which developed nuclear weapons in 1949, and the United States, who following World War II would champion the banner of private sector capitalism by creating the Bretton Woods international organizations of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.  These International Governmental Organizations would eventually develop into powerful instruments that would allow private capital to manipulate, and eventually control at times, nation-states that had embraced or had been opened to capitalist markets.  It is the creation of the Bretton Woods international governmental organizations that mark the beginning phase of private sector anarchy on the international scene.  As the nation-states of the globe consolidated further into a world authority model under globalization, the more anarchical model of private sector competition branched out and grew more competitive.  In order to fully understand the beginning phases of capital anarchy, it is vital to understand the creations at Bretton Woods.

                The International Monetary Fund, 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 International Monetary Fund 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 World War II the International Monetary Fund “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 sphere of influence not joining”.  The World Bank, on the other hand, is an International Governmental Organization, 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 of 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”, three of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Private Capital Utilization of World Authority

                Using war ravished Europe as a successful test bed for a global private sector market, “The original Bretton Woods plan was at first subsumed by the Cold War. The Marshall Plan announced in 1947 provided the USA with a more immediate bilateral way to ensure stabilization, investment and reconstruction in Western Europe.  Nevertheless, by the 1950s both the IMF and the World Bank were modestly assuming a place in the international economy.”

                The restricting boundaries of the Cold War prevented any further expansion of international capitalist markets into the Soviet sphere of influence, but 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 Nations 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 International organizations created at Bretton Woods, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and these two organizations would be main instruments in spreading private sector capitalism as far as it would extend after the United States Cold War victory against Soviet Communism.  The utilization of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, along with the economic and military might of the United States in the United Nations Security Council were pivotal in expanding capitalism eastward through so-called UN peacekeeping operations in territories left unstable, politically void or politically divided, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina.  While the private sector ushered in by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund had ridden the coattails of United Nations peacekeeping operations in many post-colonial African and post-Soviet nation-states in order to target natural resources, the example of the 1992 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina will clearly illustrate the methodology that is utilized by these organizations.

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 Capital Anarchy and Nation-State World Authority

                From the example of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Serbia, it becomes clear that nation-state governments under the world authority model burden the economic costs of military action and also burden the blood of lost national sons and daughters while private sector actors, using the instruments of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in order to gain access to the natural resources inside nation-state borders while burdening nothing except capital spending to generate capital profit.

What began as the establishment of an international market spanning from the United States to war ravished Europe, gained acceleration with eastward expansion after the collapse of the Soviet Union and southward in post-colonial nation-states.  On the modern stage, nation-states, such as Iraq and Libya, that do not accept private sector ‘carrots’ are often removed by UN and NATO military ‘sticks’ and promptly rebuilt by the World Bank Group and private sector investors.  In extreme cases of military occupation, unsuspecting military members are placed on the ground to stabilize the region for private sector profiting.  The danger of these UN-NATO operations, often the results of brilliantly placed, inescapable economic sanctions, is that the most powerful military nation-states on the international scene today are representative democracies and representative democracies are the easiest governments on the international stage to be influenced or purchased into political or military action through the capital of domestic or international lobbyist forces.

With the massive increase of multi-national corporations battling for the opportunity to accumulate capital profits, the nation-states that have created the international organizations to promote capitalism and opened the international stage for private sector capitalism have become consolidated, and concreted, into a world authority model of global government that is easily manipulated, used and discarded by the anarchy of private sector capital actors.  The international stage is no longer the sole property of nation-states, for nation-states have become the indentured servants of the new international actor, private sector capital.

 

               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)

Nau, Henry. Perspectives on International Relations. 3rd ed. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2012).

Treaty of Westphailia.  Yale Law School.  Lillian Goldman Law Library.  Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy.  (Accessed on December 27, 2012 from http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/westphal.asp)

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)

Woods, Ngaire.  The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, p. 955.  (Accessed on December 29, 2012 from http://www.globaleconomicgovernance.org/wp-content/uploads/Woods%20for%20Routledge.pdf)

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)

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)


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Global Governance Models and the Future

The different forms of global governance models are world hierarchy, world authority, and world anarchy and world constitutionalism.

Under the world hierarchy category, the text uses IGO relationship examples of Islamic empires, Communism and Colonialism. The idea that Islamic governments are unwilling to work well with non-Islamic governments should be dispelled by looking at the UN General Assembly, and communist governments often receive most favorite nation status from capitalist nations. Does the IMF still offer currency rates for communist nation-states? As for colonialism, I hold the view that it never truly ended and actually evolved into private sector colonialism through IGOs such as the World Bank, IMF and WTO. It is possible that a centralized unitary government may exist one day on the international stage, but I would have to predict it to emerge out of the private sector if it ever occurred.

The world authority example is evident in the United Nations hegemony of the UN Security Council. As the text book states, there is no significant role for NGOs under the world authority because the dominant forces are really not pressured by NGOs and will only utilize the information and influence generated by NGOs if it does not conflict with the economic-military-political interests of the most powerful nation-states, or if that information can be used to justify occupation or regime removal which would generate more revenue off natural resources. The UN has been able to work for several decades now, but it is evident that members of the five-seat Security Council are beginning to develop differing interests that they deem vital for protection or enhancement, and our children could very possibly see the UN begin to develop similarities to the League of Nations during their lifetime.

World Anarchy, or realism, is where I would expect the international stage to return to, if not for globalization and the quickening consolidation of world capital by international private sector blocks. At some point since WWII, and more specifically since the Cold War, the shift in power has evolved from nation-states to private capital. As things stand now, I predict a realist model of individual pursuits by private sector (corporate states, if you can call them that) similar to how nation-states competed after Westphalia.

World Constitutionalism, with its examples of the EU and UN general assembly, are nice illusions using examples of democratic voting by people or parliaments, but the weight of the votes are stacked in most important international IGOs like the UN and EU, or even more dangerous is the element of votes vulnerable to purchase by private sector lobbyists (which can be found in domestic representative democracies all the way up to international, parliamentary structured IGOs).

The future will be interesting.

Models of World Order


             The four models of world order are: 1) International Anarchy 2) Global Governance 3) World Hegemon and 4) World State.  The four models are also sub-categorized under the areas of supranational authority(World Hegemon; World State) and no supranational authority (International Anarchy; Global Governance), and effective norms and values (Global Governance; World State) and no norms and values (international Anarchy; World Hegemony). 

                International Anarchy relates to the academic school of international realism because sovereign nation-states remain the main actors on the international stage and continue to pursue their national interests with little or no international authority, as “the model postulates the impossibility or at least the long-term ineffectiveness of universally valid norms and rules in international politics” (Kruck, Rittberger & Zangl, 269).  I do support this model as reality, but I think that the period of history that this model represented has long past and whether it will one day return is currently only worth contemplation.

                Global Governance is an over-optimistic world model which declares the “possibility of sustained cooperation between states and non-state actors on the basis of international and transnational agreement on binding norms and rules” (Kruck, Rittberger & Zangl, 274).  The model of Global Governance views international cooperation as a horizontal structure, instead of a vertical hierarchy established by a superior nation-state power or military-economic hegemon acting as an authoritative international overseer. 

                The World Hegemon model views international organizations as instruments or institutions to establish and maintain world hegemony, whether by a single polar power or by multiple powers.  In this model, a single nation-state or an alliance of nation-states can further their individual economic-political-territorial-military interests through a hegemony that often comes disguised as an international organization using “carrots and sticks” (Kruck, Rittberger & Zangl, 270).

                Economic globalization and true democratic authority through international organizations are the cornerstones of the World State model and are considered to be essential to the process of civilization.  This model seems very far reaching and unattainable in the future because under the guise of international cooperation between nation-states, a power hierarchy will always exist to disrupt true international democracy and equality.  There will never be an inherently ‘good’ and honest democracy as power rules the international stage, the actors involved and the human element.

                When I view and contemplate which model is the most realistic model of world order, the only plausible choice is the model of world hegemony.  I clearly see a collective hegemony, each individually interested in individual nation-state interests, very precisely established in the United Nations Security Council.  I believe the victors of WWI attempted to set up a world state model on the international stage with the failed League of Nations, but after a second war and the realization that a world state model was impossible, the United Nations and the UN Security Council was established under a world hegemony model and has been successful in holding a collective hegemon for over 60 years (though I do not think it will last for another 100 years).

                I just do not see how anyone could look at the UN as anything other than a perfect example of the World Hegemony model.

Kruck, Rittberger, & Zangl, International Organization, 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 268-278.

 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

European Human Rights and Global Human Rights

The reason why human rights in regional Europe developed in a more progressive manner, over the past 35 years, compared to the global human rights system of the United Nations since 1945 is due in large part to the end of the Cold war and the expansion of western capital into the European eastern bloc. The Helsinki Final Act established in 1975 was broadly about political and economic issues of bringing the post-Soviet satellite nation-states into the world economy, but also “included human rights provisions” and established “fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief” (Kruck, Rittberger & Zangl, 247). It should be noted that although the political principals of opening the eastern bloc to western markets were the main structure at work, the influencing efforts by the Human Rights Watch and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe played an intricate part in inserting the final human rights achievements into the final 1975 act.

The United Nations, while accredited with being the example for the Helsinki framework concerning human rights, is not able to fulfill the standards they set as a global organization due to the realist identification of nation-state interests. The permanent members of the UN Security Council have veto power which allows certain members to veto resolutions which condemn accused human rights violators if the economic or political circumstances demand it. I have used the example many times in the first six weeks of this course, but many nation-states in the UN General Assembly have viewed, and proposed resolutions of condemnation concerning, Israeli military aggression toward the Palestinians, which have included many civilian deaths during those aggressions, only to see the resolutions automatically vetoed by the United States due to economic and political ties with Israel.
The result of Europe being the main battlefield of WWII and the atrocities of the Holocaust, Europe was very sensitive to the issues of human rights through their first hand experiences. Western Europe created the Council of Europe which formed an institutional frame for protecting human rights. In 1950, the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was signed and in 1961 the European Social Charter was signed, which guaranteed that citizens of signatory member-states would be assured of equal housing, economic rights, and legal rights.

Can you remember what was occurring in the United States in the 1960s?

Interestingly, the supervision of human rights in Europe under the Council of Europe, compared to the politically bias and hypocritical monitoring of global human rights by the UN, requires each member state to submit a written report every two years on their human rights commitments which is not exclusively government written, but also includes input from trade unions and employment organizations reviewed by a Committee of Experts. Unlike the UN, individuals as well as nation-states are allowed to file complaints.

Kruck, Rittberger, & Zangl, International Organization, 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 248-248.

International Organization Interdependence and Human Rights

“The existence of such international moral interdependencies crucially depends on the activities of transnational networks of human rights organizations which construct local human rights violations as global problems which require governance beyond the nation-state.” (Kruck, Rittberger & Zangl, 242)

The United States can ensure (and contain through sometime dishonest justifications) their domestic civil rights just as the European Council is able to ensure and contain so-called human rights regionally, but as far as global human rights exist, the international organizations (and nation-states) on the global stage fall under rank order beneath the United Nations hegemon of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Global human rights and humanitarian efforts can only be achieved as long as they do not infringe upon the economic, military and political interests of these five nation-states or their allies (both nation-state and private sector) in political and economic interests.

International non-governmental organizations, civil society actors such as Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch, often generate useful information on alleged human rights violations in nation-states. Depending on the political and economic interests of the permanent members of the Security Council, information generated by civil society actors can either be utilized as international propaganda to gain international support for sanctions and possible military action, such as what occurred in Libya, or can be simply ignored due to differing interests within the permanent Security Council member-states, such is the current case with Syria and has long been the case with Israeli military aggression against the Palestinians.

“The preamble of the UN Charter reaffirms ‘faith’ in fundamental human rights, the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small” (Kruck, Rittberger and Zangl, 243)

The United Nations charter is empty of sincerity and is complete hypocrisy. There can be no true framework for global human rights if those rights only exist for some, not all. How can it be viewed otherwise? A prime example of this hypocrisy was in 2011 when the United States, one of the most powerful permanent members of the UN Security Council, boycotted the UN sponsored Durban World Conference on Racism in 2011 because the conference would address Israeli human rights allegations.  If this hypocrisy concerning human rights is so openly displayed for all nation-states to see, then why even pretend there is a Santa Clause?

In short form, IOs and NGOs can apply pressure and provide information, statistics and proposals to the main IGO (UN) for human rights issues and the UN can use that information in earnest efforts to affirm human rights, use the information for to gather international support for corrupt political aims, or simply ignore the information altogether.

Kruck, Rittberger, & Zangl, International Organization, 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

U.S. Boycott of UN Durban Conference on Racism

 
U.S. Boycott of UN Durban Conference on Racism

The selected link covers the United States’ boycott of the UN Durban Conference Against Racism in 2009 due to predicted criticism toward the nation-state of Israel (a Jewish state: a Jewish person is an ethnicity) for repeated aggressions against the Palestinian people, illegal settlements on confiscated land, and overall human rights violations). Again, we see just how influential the nation-state of Israel is, through their pro-Israeli lobbyist efforts on American representative democracy, by the actions of the United States actions across the international stage.

The public justification for the U.S. boycott was over the use of the word ‘Zionism’ in one of the Durban conference documents. Israel, and therefore the United States, did not want Zionism to be referred to as a racist terminology. Oddly enough, in 1975 the United Nations General Assembly resolution 3379 declared Zionism a form of racism.


Of course, this resolution was revoked in 1991 by resolution 4686.

The issue and point here is that if the permanent members of the UN Security council play favorites, especially the United States, and walk out on every leader or conference that criticizes Israel’s actions, such as they do every year when President Ahmadinejad speaks at the UN General Assembly, what is the point of having any UN programs aimed at human rights? If it is not open dialect and human rights efforts for all, what is the point of having these programs at some and ignored when it concerns others?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Realist Prespective: Post-Cold War, The Collapse of the Soviet Union, Military Hegemony of the U.S. and the era of mass private globalization


Looking at the historical decade between the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the new millennium, the sudden polar shift after the collapse of the Soviet Union created a Tsunami of capitalism that flowed east and southward within the classical realist perspective of nation-state actors seeking to elevate and protect their own interests.  For the United States, the interests were not only national interests; they were the interests of private sector capitalism. 

Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the international stage was balanced by two world nation-state powers, the Capitalist United States and the Communist Soviet Union.  Once the Soviet Union collapsed leaving the United States as an unchallenged hegemonic power, the United States and her lesser allies instantly began to expand global private sector markets further east and south.  In 1990, after the ‘2+4 Talks’, Germany was reunified after the destruction of the Berlin Wall and, along with Hungary and Poland, was opened for Western capital investment and the Eastern expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  American private capital was already in the oil fields of Kuwait, which had been a British Protectorate prior to 1961, so the U.S. was required to defend Kuwait’s so-called independence from Iraq, which claimed Kuwait as part of Iraq, after a border dispute concerning oil procurement that led to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.   In 1994, American capitalist interests expanded south with the invasion of Haiti and the subsequent passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement.  As the sole international hegemon during the 1990s, the United States promised to spread freedom and democracy through military operations in several areas such as Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Kosovo, but in reality it was the natural resources and the open market that the private sector behind the capitalist superpower desired.  Once the balance of power between the Soviet Union and the United States was gone, the United States was the largest military power on the international stage and private sector capitalism began a ruthless expansion, with no nation-state resistance capable of challenging U.S. military might. 

From a realist perspective, the U.S. acted in its own interest by spreading the private sector and opening global markets through military interventions.  The post-WWII allies of the United States acted in their own interests by supporting the lone major nation-state superpower in expanding the free market while left-over satellite states of the former Soviet Union and the underdeveloped post-colonial nation-state governments in Africa had no choice but to except economic crumbs and allow the free market of capitalism in to exploit their natural resources; or risk being replaced by U.S. military intervention.  The 1990s not only saw a shift from bi-polar to unipolar nation-state power, it saw the beginning of mass capital globalization and a multi-polar private sector balancing of power sweeping across the globe under the protection of one superpower.

Bibliography

BBC News Middle East.  Kuwait Profile.  (Accessed on December 15, 2012 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14647211)

Henry Nau. Perspectives on International Relations. 3rd ed. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2012), 261-284.

NATO Review.  Germany’s Accession to NATO: 50 Years On.  2005.  (Accessed on December 15, 2012 from http://www.nato.int/docu/review/2005/germany_eng.pdf)

North American Free Trade Agreement.  January 1, 1994.  (Accessed December 15, 2012 from http://www.nafta-sec-alena.org/en/view.aspx?x=343).

U.S. Department of State Archives.  1989-200 Post Cold War Era.  (Accessed December 15, 2012 from http://2001-2009.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/pcw/index.htm)

 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

International Polarity, Balance of Power, the Cold War and the War on Terror

Polarity has always been an important element of the international stage. A balance of power is impossible without multi-polar or, at a minimum, bi-polar power structures. During the decades of Cold War, the United States painted the Soviet Union and their nation-state allies as evil communists who were hell bent on taking over the world. We have already studied how the balance of power between the United States and the Soviet Union sparked massive arms races, bolstered the space race, and was overall very economically productive for international private sector banking systems, arms manufacturing corporations, military manufacturing corporations, space technology manufacturing, manufacturing of production parts, and many other areas of profitable procurement from capital production. The evil communist empire was an actual nation-state with borders and a government system, which eventually collapsed and ended the bi-polar balance of power (which was so profitable to so many private sectors) which had lasted over three decades.

During the sole polarity era that the U.S. stood as the only world hegemonic superpower, it wasn’t until the attacks of 9-11 an opportunity presented itself to reestablish an international power balance which would increase profitable arms manufacturing and production, military vehicle production, manufacturing parts production, international banking loans, construction, and a score of other private sector areas that profit from a balance of polarity (or the fear of an enemy that creates one). The decade long military occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been extremely profitable for the private sector. In the so-called war on terror, the opposing polarity has no physical nation-borders or government expenses (that could collapse like the Soviet Union). It was simply a phantom enemy menace, that could never physically collapse, which required extensive military preparation, intervention and occupation in multiple nation-states as well as domestically The profits off manufacturing, construction and arms (and multiple other areas) achievable by the private sector in such a balance of polar powers are potentially limitless.

Even though the historical period was pre-industrialization and capitalism, the same bi-polar political-religious balancing can be seen during the Crusades led by the Holy Roman Empire.

Farrell, Paul B. War, Terror, Catastrophe: Profiting From ‘Disaster Capital’. Dow Jones Business News, October 16, 2007. (Accessed on December 13, 2012 from http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine/reviews/profiting-disaster-capitalism)

Kidwell, Doborah C. Public War, Private Fight? The United States and Private Military Companies. Combat Studies Institute Press, Leavenworth, Kansas (Accessed on December 13, 2012 from http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/download/csipubs/kidwell.pdf)

Dowdy & Erdmann. Private Sector Development in Afghanistan: The Doubly Missing Middle. (Accessed on December 13, 2012 from http://www.mckinsey.com/client_service/aerospace_and_defense/people/~/media/8BA7705D2083435BAB3654EA60CAF320.ashx) Investing in Afghanistan.

The Embassy of Afghanistan, Washington, D.C. (Accessed on December 13, 2012 from http://www.embassyofafghanistan.org/page/investing-in-afghanistan)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

If you were an international organization with 50 billion dollars over 4 years, which human problems would you address?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dtbn9zBfJSs

I watched the speech by Bjorn Lomborg and took interest in how the largest world problems were ranked by the Copenhagen Consensus according to the cost efficiency of addressing those problems, and the fact that climate change was ranked near the bottom of the list. As Bjorn instructs his audience, I followed instructions and choose my areas to invest the hypothetical 50 billion dollars. As an IO, the three areas I selected to address were: the 800 million people starving, the 2 billion people lacking sanitation, and the 140 million illiterate adults. Why did I select these areas over the other problem areas? I felt as with the hypothetically provided economic assistance in these areas that the nation-state governments being assisted could possibly regulate the humanitarian efforts on prevention and treatment, instead of allowing foreign capital investment to infringe into the equation offering short-term solutions that would create more debt, strip natural resources and cause even worse levels of the existing problems in the long term.

I agreed with Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus that prevention is more cost efficient and advantageous for the future in these problem areas than treatment, but looking at the top 4 ‘best problems’ that the panel of economists found to address (HIV/AIDS, Malnutrition, Free Trade and poverty, and Malaria), I could not help but struggle to think of ways to keep the private sector out:

HIV/AIDs: Perhaps prevention techniques may help somewhat, but the private sector owns the medical equipment and technologies, the production and capital to mass produce required medicines, and contraceptive technologies.

Malnutrition and Poverty (free trade): we have already studied how the IMF, World Bank and WTO have the capitalist global system on lock down. These international partners will not help a nation-state unless loan conditions clear a path for private sector investment profits and the stripping of natural resources are part of the deal. If you are not a member of these hegemonic IOs and IGOs, you are left isolated in the global cold.

Malaria: Again the private sector has a monopoly on most medical technologies and poverty stricken nation-states do not have the capital to build hospitals or obtain technology (unless they receive international loans with conditions).

The realistic truth is that 50 billion dollars over a four year period is not going to make much positive change as long as the United States is issuing out between 52 to 60 billion dollars in “so-called” aid across the globe to achieve and protect political and economic interests. Foreign aid is not only conducted in this manner by the U.S., it is also conducted by members of the European Union and the members of the UN Security Council to protect their nation-state interests. As an IO, you could do your best to invest the 50 billion dollars in humanitarian causes for the future of the planet, but with the global, political and economic hegemon of the United Nations security council member states unchallengeable, as soon as those humanitarian efforts began to conflict with privatized international capital interests or political government alliances (which could come in many forms: protection of GDP and domestic exports, influence on member states from domestic or international corporations or organizations, protection of regional military hegemonies, or endless other political/economic possibilities), your efforts will more than likely be blocked from success, economically strangled or out-funded, slandered within the international public perspective, condemned, or outlawed internationally by a UN resolution). To do the most humanitarian good for the most inexpensive cost within the international global system, it would be most productive to spend the 50 billion dollars in an area where there are no capital interests involved at all (if that is even possible).

Copenhagen Consensus Project Website. (Accessed on December 12, 2012 from http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/Default.aspx?ID=1623)

Lomborg, Bjorn. Global Priorities Bigger Than Climate Change. (Accessed on December 12, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dtbn9zBfJSs)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Left and Right Hands - IMF and World Bank




            The International Monetary Fund’s main purpose is to set international currency rates which allow the movement of capital across nation-state government borders.  The International Monetary Fund also establishes loans, payable with the strongest world currencies and repaid with the lower valued national currencies of the borrowing nation-state, issued to economically overextended nation-states usually struggling from the ills of post-colonialism.  The World Bank’s main mission is to reconstruct post-colonial and war ravaged nation-state economies while claiming that these efforts are humanitarian in nature.  The World Bank Group opens up recipient nation-states to foreign capital and international capital investment (along with the exploitation of natural resources) into these technologically under-developed and poverty stricken nation-states.  The institutions of the IMF and the World Bank are like right and left hands when it comes to international capitalism and private sector investments and exploitation of lesser developed nation-state natural resources.

            Using the IMF’s Poverty Reduction Strategy in Bangladesh as an example of that organization’s true capitalistic private sector motives, it is important to note that Bangladesh is rich in crude oil, natural gas, minerals, fertile soils and abundant water supplies for agriculture.  Loans from the IMF, and the World Bank, granted to poverty stricken, technologically under-developed nation-states also come with strict conditions and those conditions open the infrastructure of the nation-state to foreign private sector exploitation on domestic natural resources, and Bangladesh is a perfect example because “just under one third of all of Bangladesh’s conditions within its second Development Support Credit granted for 2005 were privatization-related (18 out of 53)”.  This was the case in 2005 and nothing has changed in 2012 as the IMF’s joint staff has reported “that private enterprise should form the basis for sustainable growth and employment in Bangladesh.”

            The World Bank’s private capitalist exploitative goals are no different than the IMF, only more guised in humanitarian claims.  World Bank efforts at developing the Marsh Lands in Rwanda open up private investment and privatized industrial capitalist exploitation of Rwanda’s natural resources in agriculture, such as sugar cane, and is evident by the increase in Sugar cane production and exports since World Bank assistance flooded that nation-state with loan conditions and private investment capital.  The World Bank’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy in Rwanda, launched in 2002, continues to operate in a manner of capitalist infiltration that “particularly supports the development of policies that facilitate increased private sector investment and involvement” and can be seen in the following strategy goals: “During the PRSF8-10 priority areas of support will be policy measures aimed at: (i) supporting the facilitation of trade and investments; (ii) increasing access to electricity and improved infrastructure services; (iii) raising private sector participation in the agricultural sector”

            The shrinking of the international economic system through globalization, led by the IMF and World Bank, is not a new stage of capitalist evolution, but a new phase of evolution in colonial exploitation as private international entities now conduct the capitalist exploitation of lesser developed nation-states behind the bright humanitarian flags waved by economic IGOs, instead of foreign nation-state governments as was the case during colonialism.  The old burdening expenses and political responsibilities of colonialism on nation-state governments have been brilliantly replaced by international private sector investments in order to exploit and rape natural resources in technologically under-developed nation-states in the name of capitalism and globalization. 

 

Bibliography

All Africa.  Press Release.  Rwanda: World Bank to Finance Private Sector Growth Policies in Country.  November 29, 2012.  (Accessed on December 9, 2012 from http://allafrica.com/stories/201112020627.html)

Index Mundi.  Bangladesh Crude Oil Production and Consumption by Year.  Accessed on December 9, 2012 from  http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=bd)

Index Mundi.  Rwanda Centrifugal Sugar Can Sugar Production by Year.  (Accessed on December 9, 2012 from http://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?country=rw&commodity=centrifugal-sugar&graph=cane-sugar-production)

World Bank and IMF Conditionality: A Development Injustice.  European Network on Debt and Development, June 2006.  (Accessed on December 9, 2012 from http://www.eurodad.org/uploadedfiles/whats_new/reports/eurodad_world_bank_and_imf_conditionality_report.pdf)

International Monetary Fund.  IMF Country Report No. 12.294.  Bangladesh: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper––Joint Staff Advisory Note, October 2012.  (Accessed on December 9, 2012 from http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2012/cr12294.pdf)
 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

World Bank and Rwanda

The World Bank Group consists of the International Development Agency, the International Finance Corporation, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Association. The originals goal of the World Bank was to rebuild, with interest, European nation-states after the destruction caused by World War II, but “this changed after the following the decolonization of countries formerly controlled by European states” (Kruck, Rittberger & Zangl, 211). The main emphasis of the World Bank today is to provide loans to natural resource laden, technologically undeveloped nation-states.

The World Bank’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy in Rwanda over the past five years, since the bloody civil war there ended in 1994, boasts of many accomplishments through a three phase adaptable loan: 1) Rural Sector Support project to increase production in the marshlands, 2) Land Husbandry, Water harvesting and Hillside Harvesting Project, 3) Annual Development Policy Operation. The positive results boasted by the World Bank range from the claim that the Rwanda poverty rate has dropped from 77.8% to 44.9% since 1995 and a growing Gross Domestic Product.

I understand that nothing is free in this world, especially when dealing with capitalism and the global private sector, so my first question was what natural resources were being exploited and profited from while the World Bank Group was improving the economy and working opportunities of the people of Rwanda. The first clue that I found was contained in a letter from Jessica Evans of the non-profit organization called Human Rights Watch addressed to Makhtar Diop, the World Bank Vice President for Africa.

“The World Bank is one of the most significant donors in Rwanda, with a lending portfolio of almost US$300 million in active projects as of March 2012, more than US$ 100 million of which is provided as general budget support annually. In addition, the World Bank is providing approximately US$ 88 million in Trust Funds to Rwanda. The World Bank is focusing on the key sectors of agriculture, energy, transport, skills development, demobilization and reintegration and private sector development.”

The next excerpt is from a report by the International Land Coalition entitled the Socio-economic impact of commercial exploitation of Rwandan marshes: A case study of sugar cane production in rural Kigali.

“Rwandan law provides strong incentives for investors to engage in commercial agriculture in the country’s marshlands. This should be seen in the context of a wider policy intended to transform and invigorate the agro-economy. By leasing these lands out to commercial enterprises, the Government wants to stimulate the use of more intensive forms of agriculture that can supply national or international markets.”

One of the answers concerning natural resources that I sought was Sugar Cane, but I assume there are also other areas.  The most economically powerful private sector investors will seek to exploit and profit from land and natural resources at every opportunity available. It has been that way for centuries. On the other side of the spectrum, Rwanda is one of the most densely populated nations in the world and was virtually destroyed after colonialism and the bloody civil war. It is a nation that truly needed reconstruction, and still needs reconstruction, if there was ever a case. In the case of Rwanda, the World Bank achieves its mission statement of improving poverty rates, enhancing economic and commercial investments (creating jobs), and assistance in strengthening a weak national economy while opening extremely profitable capitalistic markets for exploitation (through the import of technology for exploitation).

Human Rights Watch. Evans, Jessica. Letter for World Bank Vice President for Africa on Rwanda. September 5, 2012, (Accessed on December 6, 2012 from http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/09/05/letter-world-bank-vice-president-africa-rwanda)

Kruck, Rittberger, & Zangl, International Organization, 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)

Lankhorst, M. &Veldman, M., Socio-economic impact of commercial exploitation of Rwandan marshes: A case study of sugar cane production in rural Kigali, International Land Coalition, 2011 (Accessed on December 6, 2012 from http://www.landcoalition.org/sites/default/files/publication/908/RCN_Rwanda_web_11.03.11.pdf)

World Bank. Rwanda. 2012. (Accessed December 6, 2012 from http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:23276917~menuPK:64256345~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html)

(RESPONSE)

I am shocked you chose not to cover the plight of the Gazan people at the hands of Israel (sarcasm).  Has the World Banks influx of money to Rwanda proved effective?  I did find it interesting that the Rwandan government was so open to outside international investors operating in Rwanda, colonial governments do not have the best track record acting in Africa, especially in Rwanda.  I had no idea that Rwanda was such a player in the sugar case industry, is the sustainability of that crop, what makes it such a positive investment for outside companies?

(REBUTTAL)

When I started looking into Rwanda, which I knew was a nation-state economy that was being rebuilt from the ground up after years of colonial exploitation and the bloody civil war there, I decided to research there instead.  I think capitalist economic exploitation can be found in almost all World Bank missions, but even holding that view, I must admit that in some cases it is a two-way street, especially in densely populated, poverty-stricken places like Rwanda.  While international corporations profit of the exploitation of lesser technological nation-states and their rich natural resources, that exploitation does build a fragile economy and creates jobs in economically devastated states.  In the case of Rwanda, the World Bank talks of technologically modernizing irrigation of the marshlands through private investment (which has elevated cane production for international private profits), as the marshlands are rich for sugar cane production.  I was researching on the largest sugar producing company, Madhvani, in Rwanda since 1995 and how the government has conducted land reforms (which has opened the land for international private investments). 

This link shows the increase of sugar cane production since 1995.  It is obvious in the growth that private investment has had a large impact.

http://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?country=rw&commodity=centrifugal-sugar&graph=cane-sugar-production

World Bank, Gaza and Israeli Occupation

Gaza has been occupied by Israeli military forces and blockaded, under an economic stranglehold, from the rest of the world for decades.  The coast to the Mediterranean is blockaded by Israeli Naval forces to the point where humanitarian assistance from other nation-states can not even come through without Israeli interference.  The illegal Israeli apartheid wall and numerous Israeli military checkpoints have blocked Gaza off from all trade routes and Israel has continued to confiscate land and erect illegal settlements, despite international condemnation.  How can an economy exist if it can not freely export or import?  It is almost like colonialism, only more barbaric. 

There is heavy capitalist exploitation, guised in humanitarian efforts, at work in this area.  How much does it help the Palestinian people though?  Lets look at how the World Bank and private investments play into this situation.  Here is an excerpt from an 2005 article written by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign entitled "'Developing' Israeli Apartheid: The World Bank, International Aid and The Ghettoization of Palestine"

"While Palestinians are imprisoned, facing continued denial of their rights and aspirations, the Bank portrays a golden economic opportunity of a cheap, controlled labour force. The Bank’s blueprint for a new export-based economy, subservient to the strategic needs of Israel and global capital - with Israeli/foreign investment creaming off the profits - merges with the Occupation’s destruction of Palestinian farmland and local markets. Indeed, the Bank's reports hardly refer to agriculture at all, traditionally the core sector of the Palestinian economy. Instead, imposing Israeli-run industrial zones, military checkpoints and Jewish-only road systems onto the West Bank are policies that reflect the Bank’s overall strategy for a Do-It-Yourself Apartheid Guide for the 21st century.

As with any other “Third World” population that the World Bank subjugates into the global economy, the role assigned to the Palestinian people is simple: to cheaply produce goods for export to wealthier countries, strengthening economic dependency on global capitalist systems. The Bank insists that Palestinians must not only be willing to accept brutal military occupation, dispossession and expulsion, but must also sustain their oppressor's economy through primary goods and industrial output. Furthermore, walled-in Palestinians are marked as a captive audience, forced into a system of dependency upon the Occupation for even the most basic needs. Israel has drained Palestine of her natural resources, stealing around 80% of Palestinian natural water outputs on an annual basis. Now, in Gaza, the Bank states Palestinians who have been robbed of their water for decades should enter into trade agreements with Israel whereby they can buy back – “at Israeli commercial rates” – the same water stolen by the Occupation.

The convergence between Zionist actions and World Bank economics is clear, with international investment transforming the destruction and dispossession caused by the Israeli colonization policies into the Bank’s new showcase project: a series of massive Israeli industrial estates built on annexed Palestinian land. The so-called Tulkarem Peace Park, for example, is to be built on farmland stolen from the village of Irtah; land that sustained 50 families for generations and formed an integral part of community and family life. Now their only source of employment will be as an exploited worker on an Israeli industrial estate surrounded by walls, checkpoints and prison gates.

The World Bank ignores the inherent illegality of such estates and instead celebrates that they will employ cheap labour "with a minimum of red tape," i.e. the absence of trade unions, health regulations and other worker's rights. Israel’s most toxic and environmentally destructive forms of industry will be transferred to the West Bank, where Palestinians work for around a quarter of the wages in Israel (though even this is still too high in the opinion of the Bank's reports). They may try and dress these sweatshops up as liberation and independence, but they represent nothing more than a devastating system of racial capital not seen since the days of Apartheid South Africa."

The World Bank transferred 14.3 million to the Palestinian Authority in September 2012 with much of that financing coming from Britain and Australia.  The following link is a list of World Bank operations in Gaza and the West Bank.  When looking at the areas of operation, I attempt to identify job creation, possible importing and exporting (through Israeli occupation), and motives for foreign capitalist investment and profiteering.

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTWESTBANKGAZA/Resources/WestBankandGazasnapshotBetaJuly3-2012.pdf


Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, 'Developing' Israeli Apartheid: The World Bank, International Aid and The Ghettoization of Palestine, May 18, 2005, (Accessed on December 8, 2012 from
http://www.stopthewall.org/developing-israeli-apartheid-world-bank-international-aid-and-ghettoization-palestine)