Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The TNCs Web of Control: excerpt 2

global corporations are the first secular institutions run by men (and a handful of women) who think and plan on a global scale - things that managers of multinational companies dreamed of 20 years ago are becoming reality - Coca-Cola's ads that reach billions in the same instant, Citibank's credit cards for Asian yuppies, Nike's network for producing millions of sport shoes in factories others paid for - a relatively few companies with worldwide connections dominate the four intersecting webs of global commercial activity on which the new world economy largely rests: the Global Cultural Bazaar; the Global Shopping Mall; the Global Workplace; and the Global Financial Network - these worldwide webs of economic activity have already achieved a degree of global integration never before achieved by any world empire or nation-state.

the driving force behind each of them can be traced in large measure to the same few hundred corporate giants with headquarters in the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom - the combined assets of the top 300 firms now make up roughly a quarter of the productive assets in the world.

the Global Cultural Bazaar [1] is the newest of the global webs, and the most nearly universal in its reach - films, television, radio, music, magazines, T-shirts, games, toys, and theme parks are the media for disseminating global images and spreading global dreams - rock stars and Hollywood blockbusters are truly global products - all across the planet people are using the same electronic devices to watch or listen to the same commercially produced songs and stories - thanks to satellite, cable, and tape recorders, even autocratic governments are losing the tight control they once had over the flow of information and their hold on the fantasy lives of their subjects.

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