Beast of the Month - November 1999
The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Instruments of Global Control
"I yam an anti-Christ..."
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"
How do you spell world control? If you answered with "W-T-O" or "I-M-F," you may be on the right path.
The World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund are the two pillars of a new global economic and political structure that (if things go according to plans) will dominate the next century - and beyond.
By those in the establishment, support for these two groups is fairly uniform and universal, whether the viewpoint is either "liberal" or "conservative." Among those against the status quo, opposition is equally unanimous. The WTO and IMF thus represent something beyond what they are: the major political division of modern times that conventional political labels fail to recognize, the division between "haves" and "have nots" rather than "left" or "right." That both Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan could sound so similar when denouncing the WTO and IMF gives a clue of how the new political battles are shaping.
Until recently, the WTO and IMF have received little notice. More focus has been heaped upon the United Nations, a group which (fortunately) has been proven to be more incompetent than evil. In retrospect, the UN appears to be a Trojan Horse, a distraction to keep people focused on while a real international behemoth was being created. Make no mistake, the WTO and IMF are the twin engines of the New World Order. Even those supporting these organizations admit this much.
Those opposed to the NWO know this as well, whether they believe (as the Patriot movement does) that the NWO will be an international socialist state, or that (like those in the Green and Peace movement) it will be a fascist korporate empire. Considering the end results of both visions is the same, the two groups are basically saying the same thing with different labels.
In any case, what are the IMF and WTO, and why are they such a threat?
The IMF (headed by Michel Camdessus for over 12 years) was created in 1944 by the Bretton Woods Conference, to operate as a kind of international bank. According to the BBC, "The IMF was designed to defend the international monetary system which meant in effect helping governments overcome balance-of-payments problems." To do this, it loans money to nations suffering from crippling international debt. In exchange, these countries agree to "austerity plans" set up by IMF officials.
What are these plans composed of? As investigative reporter Jon Rappoport notes in his recent book, The Ownership of All Life, "The IMF can use its leverage over cash strapped developing countries to force them to open up their economies to powerful Northern multinational corporations, even before a country has built up its domestic economy." Rappaport later notes, "The IMF is at the service of giant corporations, at the expense of... everything else." Everything else includes worker's rights, environmental concerns and health and safety issues.
Few countries would dare to question the edicts of the IMF. When they do, the results tend to war and strife backed by Western nations. There is strong evidence this is what is behind the U.S. bombings of Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, as well as the recent NATO takeover of East Timor.
The IMF is also involved with the recent money-laundering scandal in Russia, where up to $100 billion may have illegally diverted through banking institutions. At least $200 million is believed to have been siphoned from payments by the International Monetary Fund. News reports have labeled this as "unwitting" aid to Russian oligarchs and mobster elements, but it is just as plausible that these were payoffs in return to fulfilling the IMF agenda. As the World Socialist Web Site noted:
At the end of the last decade, capitalist policy makers in the US and Europe, backed up by the IMF, demanded the rapid privatization of the Russian economy, the liberalization of prices, the elimination of social benefits, and the removal of other barriers to profit-making in the former USSR. These policies, which put in private hands what had been, at least legally, public property, thereby creating a new possessing class, required criminality. Who but the most avaricious, ruthless, and reckless would implement such policies? Western officials and banks worked with (and continue to work with) the new Russian oligarchs and their political allies.
The WTO, meanwhile, was created in 1994, 50 years after the IMF. It became the enforcement arm of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), a world-wide "free trade" agreement. To enforce its rulings, the WTO has the ability to hand out punitive tariffs and sanctions.
Of course, the term "free trade" is a farce. Freedom is not the issue: rather, it is the promotion and protection of korporations. "Korporate-managed trade" is a more apt moniker. Consider the following examples:
* The WTO pressured poor countries to abandon their efforts to make desperately needed medications more affordable through generic drugs and other policies.
* The WTO rules threaten millions with starvation by allowing agribusiness companies to patent seeds created over generations in villages around the world and then charge annual fees for the subsistence farmers who developed the seeds to have the right to plant them again.
* The WTO rules allow corporations to secure exclusive marketing rights over medicinal remedies that have been used by indigenous groups for centuries.
* The WTO reduced the minimum wage in El Salvador from 60 cents to 36 cents, calling it a "trade barrier."
* After the European Union unanimously passed legislation banning hormone-treated beef, the U.S. (on behalf of the its cattle industry) filed a complaint with the WTO, claiming that the law was a "non-tariff trade barrier." The WTO ruled in favor of the U.S. and allowed the U.S. to raise millions of dollars in tariffs against European products. (Considering the current battle over genetically engineered foods, this is a dangerous precedent.)
* Even in the U.S., the WTO has defeated parts of the Clean Air Act and protections for endangered species, as well as loan guarantees for the ailing U.S. steel industry that have secured employment of steel workers.
As one anti-WTO petition circulated recently on the internet notes:
The policy of the WTO is clear: discourage or overrule local legislation that supports local business, economic sanctions raised against human rights-abusing countries, or precautionary measures to protect humans, animals, and ecosystems. Instead of using its influence to fight poverty, it facilitates the shift of industrial jobs to the developing world, where lower environmental and labor standards mean higher profits.
The WTO claims it is "only a trade organization" and refuses to address vital international issues such as working conditions, food safety, environmental protection, sustainable development, or human rights. Its decisions, however, have weakened or eliminated laws around the world that protect such issues, and in every case have favored corporate over public interests. It is highly undemocratic: three WTO trade lawyers, meeting in Geneva behind closed doors, settle trade disputes, often ruling public-interest laws "illegal" because they decrease corporate profits.
From November 29 - December 3, the WTO meets in Seattle to promote more of the same. The bad news is part of the agenda is to sign a treaty called the "Multilateral Agreement on Investment" (MAI), which threaten national sovereignty by giving corporations near equal rights to nations. The passage of it is unlikely, thanks to public opposition and outrage, aided when Project Censored declared it the most censored story of 1998. Still, the desire to erase any pretense in the authority of nations above corporation vividly exposes the values that the WTO embrace.
The good news is that the WTO conference will lead to massive protests in Seattle by those opposed to it. Indeed, many are calling the demonstrations in Grungeopolis the "protest of the century." It's about time. Hopefully, there will be more protests against the WTO, the IMF and other organizations and structures dedicated to promoting the few and powerful over the interests of the many.
In any case, we salute the WTO and IMF - and those behind them - as Beasts of the Month. Congratulations, and keep up the great work, dudes!!!
Eat Yer Globaloney
WTO Information Sources:
"Whose Trade Organization? Corporate Globalization and the Erosion of Democracy"
Lori Wallach and Michelle Sforza, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
Foreword by Ralph Nader
1600 20th Street, NW
Washington DC, 20009
IMF Information Sources:
The Multinational Monitor, various issues
"The IMF and World Bank"
BBC, May 17, 1998
"Bank of New York probe exposes ties between Western financiers and Russian Mafia"
"Russian Crooks: U.S. Banks Shouldn't be Accomplices"
Dallas Morning News, 08/24/99
MAI Information Sources:
Come join us and give the multinational corporations a message.
Post Office Box 24825
Los Angeles, California 90024-0825
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