Conceptualizing globalization as a corporate elite project, not a nationalistic project
by Systemic Disorder
Corporate globalization is an international phenomenon by definition that is commonly opposed on nationalist lines. A process embedded in capitalist competition and advanced by the industrialists and financiers who directly benefit from it, however, transcends borders.
Understanding corporate globalization is necessary to developing strategies to effectively counter it, and relying on nationalist arguments is a barrier to grasping the systemic nature of globalization, argues Martin Hart-Landsberg in his just released book Capitalist Globalization: Consequences, Resistance and Alternatives.* All too often, he writes, activists fall back on pointing fingers at China or similar nationalistic talking points, thereby obscuring the true culprits in the global race to the bottom.
By doing so, activists not only erode their potential effectiveness by not prioritizing cross-border alliance building, they drag the spotlight away from the trans-national corporate elite who drive the process.
Today’s world is one decades in the making, Professor Hart-Landsberg writes. Following World War II, multi-national corporations sought access to foreign markets and to evade tariffs; developing countries were later converted into “export platforms” to take advantage of low wages; and, as competition intensified this process, entire production processes became outsourced. Parallel to those developments, trade agreements have evolved from merely engineering tariff reductions to dictating economic and social policy through bi-lateral and multi-lateral trade agreements…