Above, a fitting metaphor for capitalism. It is cruel, criminal, corrupt and kills in countless numbers.
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C orporate charters around the world state that the officers and board of directors are required to maximize shareholders’ value, meaning to make the owners as rich as possible. In order to do so, what about killing hundreds of thousands of people, like Merck did with Vioxx (http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/chinese-melamine-and-american-vioxx-a-comparison/ and http://www.theweek.co.uk/us/46535/when-half-million-americans-died-and-nobody-noticed)? Be my guest, it was a blockbuster drug that made the CEO and stockholders each a small fortune. Destroy the environment and make entire communities sick with lethal diseases (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountaintop_removal_mining)? About all you risk is a lawsuit and paying a fine. Back in the 1960s-1970s, Ralph Nader became a household name, by exposing many corporate crimes that killed countless people and destroyed the environment (https://www.democracynow.org/2013/6/4/american_fascism_ralph_nader_decries_how).
What nobody wants to say or admit is that this is capitalism’s business as usual. If it means making the owners rich, then killing millions of people and destroying Planet Earth are perfectly acceptable in capitalism. These social and environmental costs are externalized, meaning they are passed on to citizens and governments. Thus, these horrific “productions costs” do not show up on corporate profit and loss statements. Everybody else pays for them, even lethally so.
There was a brief period after World War II, when Western corporations paid lip service to “being a good neighbor” and “looking after the community”. I grew up parroting that, “What’s good for General Motors is good for me”. Unions still had some teeth and the environmental movement was an effective force, so the Fortune 500 had to play nicey-nicey in their public relations, by giving the masses the lip service they expected to hear.
That all changed in America and Britain in the 1980s, with neocons taking control of their governments. Remember Margaret Thatcher’s mantra, “There is no alternative” (TINA http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/11/19/china-versus-the-west-another-shocking-comparative-vignette-china-rising-radio-sinoland-171119/)? The rest of Europe started following suit in the 1990s and the race to capitalism’s socioeconomic abyss is still closely contested across Eurangloland (NATO, Europe, Israel, Australia and New Zealand). This profit at any cost psychopathy is killing millions and destroying communities and lands at home and around the world, as corporate charters dictate the owners should do so. It’s the logic of capitalism.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s policies of creating an equitable society and harmonious economy include meaningful and traceable corporate and business accountability. Any company working in China, be it the West’s Apple and McDonald’s, or nationally, China Air and Alibaba, is expected to put social responsibility at the same level of making a profit. It’s not how much profit you make, but how you make it. Who and what you hurt versus who and what you help.
A recent commentary in Global Times spells out how communist-socialist Baba Beijing (China’s leadership) is developing a comprehensive vision to limit capitalism’s desecration of China’s citizens and their environment (emphasis is mine),
As the Chinese economy enters the new era that will focus on high-quality production, technological innovation and social wellbeing, questions have arisen on how State-owned enterprises (SOEs), corporate leaders and entrepreneurs can be part of the new drive.
The economic fabric and social interactions of the future will require a hard look by Chinese economic actors to progress rapidly from embracing their social duty as a business to actually taking the lead in creating a more ethical, progress-oriented system of doing business that seeks to bring value, rather [than] only financial gains.
Both SOEs and privately owned businesses have come under growing scrutiny from the public and the government to integrate in their business planning and operations the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and creating shared value (CSV).
The urgency to implement CSR and CSV measures has become crucial in order to sustain orderly economic progress, taking into consideration not only economic indexes but also the social, cultural and environmental concerns of all stakeholders in Chinese society and the global market.
Some leading SOEs – including Sinosteel, Sinopec, China Minmetals and CNPC – and major private companies such as Tencent, Huawei and Alibaba have begun to disclose publicly their social investment and the impact of their CSR reports with a focus in addressing sustainability, in both China and around the world (http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1096671.shtml).
China businesses, private and public will now be required to include in their corporate reporting to the government and citizens what they are doing for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and creating shared value (CSV). CSR is how they conduct their affairs on a day-to-day basis and CSV is what they are doing that does not involve making money, but doing good works, charities, building and funding public facilities and the like, that their communities can all benefit from.
You should love the sentences highlighted about what Baba Beijing is doing. Not only will companies doing business in China be expected to be socially responsible and create shared value here, but they are also on the hook for doing the same thing internationally. No more Western-style exportation of pollution and death to poor and weak countries, without Baba Beijing making you pay the price back home. This would be true for Chinese companies working in Eurangloland. Would you rather have Monsanto open a business in your town, or ChemChina, a Chinese state-owned enterprise run by a fire-breathing member of the Communist Party of China (CPC), whose job, reputation and rewards are contingent on his company’s CSR and CSV scores? I know which one I’d pick (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/03/06/an-email-exchange-between-william-engdahl-and-jeff-j-brown-china-rising-radio-sinoland-180306/).
How will Baba Beijing enforce this new system of corporate governance? Quite elementary, my dear Watson. China’s rapidly developing Social Credit System is full of lots of carrots and a few sticks http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/01/11/chinas-public-social-credit-system-versus-the-wests-secret-panopticon-china-rising-radio-sinoland-180111/). Many of China’s wealthiest private sector CEO’s are communist-capitalists, including Alibaba’s Jack Ma (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/12/07/jack-ma-is-a-communist-capitalist-jesus-was-a-communist-socialist-china-rising-radio-sinoland-171207/), Baidu’s Robin Li (http://time.com/5107485/baidus-robin-li-helping-china-win-21st-century/) and Tencent’s Pony Ma, who joined the CPC in college, long before he became a billionaire (http://www.atimes.com/article/pony-ma-shows-heart-right-place/). Huawei, Fortune 500’s 83rd largest company on earth, is owned by its 80,000 employees (http://www.huawei.com/en/about-huawei/sustainability/win-win-development/develop_love).
Baba Beijing is telling its business community that a sustainable, harmonious and broadly shared communist-socialist economy is going to happen in China, and it is going to provide the vision and incentives to make it come true. It is all part of Xi’s grand vision (which was just as much the vision of Mao and every other Chinese leader in between (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/10/25/how-can-western-capitalism-beat-this-thats-the-rub-it-cant-china-rising-radio-sinoland-171022/), to transform this country into a wealthy, technologically advanced communist society by 2049, the centennial anniversary of New China’s founding.
Euranglolanders can learn a thing or two from China’s communist-socialist “capitalism”. Clearly, Western capitalists, like the one depicted in the cartoon at the beginning of this article, continue to wreak death for humanity and the destruction of our Pale Blue Dot.
Jack Ma met with US President Donald Trump and offered to work with America to create a million jobs in the heartland (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/01/14/who-you-gonna-call-mr-trump-taiwans-tsai-or-alibabas-jack-ma-jeff-j-brown-china-rising-radio-sinoland-on-press-tv-170114/ and https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2017/01/09/donald-trump-meet-alibabas-jack-ma/96345262/). Is anybody listening? In the meantime, I have met wealthy Chinese who, unlike Jack, Robin, Pony and millions of others like them, have forgotten that their success is predicated on Baba Beijing’s wise and visionary governance. I wrote them an open letter to remind them of this, but it is also equally instructive for Westerners and well worth reading (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2016/01/24/open-letter-to-my-chinese-friends-china-rising-radio-sinoland-16-1-24/).
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