Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The TNCs Web of Control: excerpt 1

a few hundred TNCs dominate the four intersecting webs of global commercial activity on which the fate of the world economy rests - such TNCs exert a more profound influence on the lives of the people of the world than national governments who are increasingly finding it difficult to comprehend, still less control, these corporate giants.

the emerging global order is spearheaded by a few hundred corporate giants, many of them larger than most sovereign nations - Ford's economy is bigger than that of Saudi Arabia or Norway - Philip Morris's annual sales exceed New Zealand's gross domestic product - the multinational corporation of 20 years ago carried on separate operations in many different countries and tailored its operations to local conditions - in the 1990s large business enterprises, even some smaller ones, have the technological means and strategic vision to burst old limits of time, space, national boundaries, language, custom, and ideology.

by acquiring earth-spanning technologies, by developing products that can be produced anywhere and sold everywhere, by spreading credit around the world, and by connecting global channels of communication that can penetrate any village or neighbourhood, these institutions we normally think of as economic rather than political, private rather than public, are becoming the world empires of the 21st century - the architects and managers of these space-age business enterprises understand that the balance of power in world politics has shifted in recent years from territorially bound governments to companies that can roam the world - as the hopes and pretensions of government shrink almost everywhere, these imperial corporations are occupying public space and exerting a more profound influence over the lives of ever larger numbers of people.

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