Whats Wrong With Multinationals?
Together, backed by governmental institutions, big businesses constitutes a fabric of exploitation and oppression to benefit those few with access to the profits and control the levers of decision-making.
We all know the results - wage slavery, hunger, break up of the independence and self-sufficiency of local communities, abuse of resources, despoliation of the environment and the suppression of people's genuine needs and desires.[ Extensive range of outside links (over 600!) to other kicking sites ]
The direct or indirect economic support provided by individual companies doing business in or with oppressive regimes can help to prolong the political status quo and reduce the impact of consumer boycotts and economic sanctions intended to influence the behviour of the authorities. The human rights organisation Amnesty International have criticised regimes for the following; torture, extra-judicial executions or dissappearances, prisoners of conscience, and for frequent official violence against the public.
In a recent campaign, Amnesty International recently selected the most 'oppressive' 40 regimes based on those activities for special attention. Although there is obviously valid dispute as to exactly what can be defined as an oppressive regime (human right abuses are carried out in the majority of countries to a lesser or greater extent), it seems reasonable to conclude that those most criticised by Amnesty International are among the most brutal and oppressive.
|Irresponsible Marketing - (McLibel
When profits are considered more important than all else, some companies market products that are dangerous or detrimental to physical health. Tobacco companies, pharmaceutical companies, pesticide manufactures and companies making breast milk substitutes for the Third World are examples of frequent transgressors. McDonald's promotion of a diet widely thought to cause deasease, is a good example of irresponsible marketing.
Here we identify companies involved in the manufacture or supply of weapons and/or other combat related equipent. Such companies are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people each year in civil wars, tribal disputes, drive-by shooting, etc. and the fatal injury of thousands more inoccents caused by devices such as anti-personel mines etc.
|Environmental destruction - (McLibel issue)|
Critisisms leveled at a company or industry for its activities which pollute or damage the enviroment, are covered in this catagory. Although products produced in an enviromentaly unfriendly way may appear at first to be cheaper, the cost to the purchaser is not the final cost. Damage to the enviroment is paid for by increases in ill health, and irreversable loss of biodiversity.
|Animal suffering - (McLibel
Animal testing, Factory Farming and other animal rights related concerns are covered by this catagory. Inhuman farming techniques, pointless animal experimentation and needless suffering and all issues which an increasing number of people express concern about and yet few know about the involvement of the companies that they support each day as a result of their purchases.
|Employment - (McLibel
Here you will find reference to a companies record of treatment of employes, its handling of trade disputes, industrial action and other union activities. Critisism of low pay or dangerous working conditions are also to be found here.
Indigenous peoples have often been forced from their land or been seriously disrupted in order to facilitate corporate operations. The opinion of local people is rarely considered a major issue to big business.
|Censorship and free-speech -
The McLibel case itself is the best example of corporate censorship. Other examples of corporate threats to free-speech are easily found.