Vegeta | Nappa
This is observable globally too.
The US requires cheap, undervalued labor to maintain itself, which is why you have places like Foxconn, like sweatshops, like these under the table factories that treat their workers like shit and pay them pittances for wages and yet still are being used.
These countries are targeted by the US so their economies can’t grow so the US can maintain cheap labor.
Don’t believe me? Why do you think the US forced an FTA agreement with Korea so forcefully despite widespread protests? It was to attack the Chinese economic influence in East Asia.
The US saying it has a humanitarian interest in underdeveloped countries developing economically? Then why is their main way of “helping” through institutions like the IMF which are more parasitic and harmful than helpful (trust me, I’m Korean, we have experience with the IMF).
In the US the brunt of this falls on Black and brown people. Black people are forced into bad schooling system, are targeted by police, have the hoods flooded with crack by Reagan and then are targeted by a War on Drugs thus de facto criminalizing Black bodies.
The same for a large part of brown people. A large fact of why immigration reform fails again and again is because the US reaps so many benefits from a large undocumented worker population. Taxes, payments into social security which those who paid can’t see, and cheap labor they can abuse with the constant threat of reporting and deportation.
The threat of violence whether it be through physical or political or economic means is an important part of the US’s way of maintaining their Capitalistic system which is also infected with a racist ideology of demeaning, devaluing, and destroying PoC, especially Black, lives.
Free trade agreements are the innovation that the United States accomplished to reform outdated European-style national colonialism that had become expensive and contributed to the imperial competition that led to two world wars.
Rather than have countries outright dominate colonies. the US had the idea to “privatize” colonialism; put it in the hands of banks through the IMF and World Bank. Rather than have troops and bureaucrats from imperialist countries dominate, local elites with ties to the West take out high interest loans that come with terms like privatizing their infrastructure or resources (to be owned by investors in London or New York), setting limits on how much of the national budget can be spent on schools and healthcare and how much should be spent on military and police (supplied, of course, by US arms industries), and in some countries, the establisment of special “economic zones” where national laws on taxes and labor don’t apply and in which corporations from the West (almost always the US) can set up shop. These are especially common in places like Jamaica, where these economic zones became either factories where workers are treated like shit and paid next to nothing or where all-inclusive resorts were built so Western tourists can leave but still have McDonald’s or KFC and stay in a nice Hilton hotel. As you expect, workers aren’t paid much and no taxes are collected on any of this.
It’s especially nice that you bring up the undocumented in the US, because for the bulk of the undocumented, who are Mexican, our arrival to the US is a direct result of NAFTA. The US foisted NAFTA on Mexico through an elite that stood to gain from US economic imperialism. In short, NAFTA forced mexico to amend its constitution to undo land reform that had protected millions of poor Mexicans, many indigenous, and open the land up to speculation and purchase by American companies (wherein Monsanto would come in and plant its patented corn strains, which, fun story: when Monstanto patented corn seeds are carried by the wind or animals into Mexicans’ farms, Monsanto is allowed to launch investigations into these farmers lands to genetically test their corn. If the corn’s DNA matches that of the patented corn, Monstanto will then sue the farmer for compensation and being a poor farmer, will end up settling with Monstanto by selling them his land). Along with that came another constitutional protection that guaranteed subsoil rights to be given to Mexican companies rather than foreign ones, ANYWAY, millions were uprooted not just from undoing land reform but also Mexico devaluing the peso in the 80s to make it cheaper for US companies to resettle and make their exports back to the US cheaper, while average Mexicans found their peso too worthless to buy basic staples. Thus millions fled north from the late 80s through to this day.
Free trade agreements like NAFTA also open up labor markets to compete with each other. American workers not only compete among themselves but also find themselves competing with labor in Mexico, while those fleeing north create an even bigger surplus that depresses wages further.
This is a very cursory example of one country that the United States fucks over, and there are others. Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Korea, Japan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Philippines, Dominican Republic, Iraq, basically throw a dart on the map and the US has colonized it.
You might wonder if this is so fucked up don’t people fight back? They do, and every country I just listed has experienced an American invasion or coup at least twice in its history. The US military is the global police force that maintains this order, where if US capitalists see a country whose land, resources, or labor it wants to exploit, it will do so through “legal” means (IMF, world bank) and when that fails or people resist, in comes the Army and Marines to fuck everyone’s shit up and force them into compliance with the free trade agreement.
I could go on and might one day, but for now, leave with this: the United States is the most vicious, predatory, bloodthirsty empire the world has ever seen, and it will not stop at nothing to seize whatever it wants from whoever stands in its way by whatever means necessary.
Ferguson’s resistance might only seem to be for the justice of a young boy executed by America’s domestic enforcer of a racial and economic hierarchy that it’s exported to the rest of the world, but the fact is, holding Darren Wilson accountable for murdering Mike Brown might set a precedent for anyone who has ever demanded justice from the depredations and excesses of an aggressive imperial state, that if we resist enough we might get justice.
That’s why Ferguson is under siege. This Empire will burn down one of its own cities if it means preserving the rest of its rotten empire.
I think it’s worth pointing out that Free Trade is not new at all. Free trade was the slogan of the capitalist empires of the 19th century. “Free trade” was the “noble cause” for which the British Empire fought the Opium War — they demanded, and China declined, the right to freely import “private property” (opium) into China. After invading China and defeating them militarily Britain forced China to sign a treaty guaranteeing British merchants the right to freedom of trade — their goal was not to occupy and exercise direct control, that would have been too expensive. As long as they were in a position to dictate terms of China’s trade policy they had all the power they needed. In the 19th century Karl Marx wrote about how “freedom of trade” as a slogan just meant the freedom of capital to exploit land and labor anywhere it wants to.
Free trade is as old as capitalist-imperialism and I think the fact that America is ramming it down the throats of the world’s countries, through their neocolonial puppets, tells us all we need to know about whether America is a capitalist empire or not.
to everyone saying “what has happened to our world”
This sounds fucking ridiculous. And much like a good little sheep to say. We have no choice, it’s always been like this. Fuck you, lazy assholes. How about be aware because shit is getting worse all the time, and you need to do something about it. Talk about it. Or get on twitter and melt your brain with bullshit quotes that help no one.
this was the best ending to any movie ever. ever.
no one can convince me otherwise.
“I am still, at heart — and always will be — just a punk kid with tattoos”
we’re together again at midnight
cards against humanity is the realest