The New Rulers of the World
This film, by the legendary John Pilger, is about the new rulers of the world and their impact on one country in particular.
Millions of young people have protested about the new economic order called globalization. Never before has the human race enjoyed such capacity to create wealth and reduce poverty. However, never before has the gap between rich and poor been so vast and never before has inequality been so widespread. The promoters of globalization suggested a “coming together” of people of all races and countries. They said it would relieve poverty. Time has revealed that it is only a small group of individuals that are now more wealthy.
About 200 giant corporations are the ones who dominate one fourth of the world’s economic activity. What shoppers fail to realize is that the famous brands that are now seen on almost everything from running shoes to baby clothes are manufactured in very poor countries where labor is cheap along with horrible work conditions that can almost be defined as slavery.
Indonesia is a country that should not be poor because it’s rich in so many natural resources. It possesses mountains of copper and gold, oil, and people with many skills. In the 16th century the Dutch colonized Indonesia, and during this time it was plundered by the western world. This turned Indonesia into a country of beggars, where nearly 70% of it’s population live in extreme poverty.
The legal minimum wage is about $1 per day in Indonesia’s economic processing zones, also known as sweat shops. In these factories, workers sometimes have 16 to 24-hour shifts and sitting is not allowed. They don’t dare to complain because they are poor and need to keep their jobs. Those who do speak out face victimization and violence. But the level of productivity in factories is dropping. As the workers become poorer, they are unable to prepare nutritious meals. This means their energy is low and hence, productivity is affected.
Throughout the world, a deeper movement against globalization has been growing for years. Millions of people on every continent have protested against the power of the IMF, the World Bank and the imposition of Western power. People have marched and protested against privatization and against selling off the resources of their countries.
Is this the global village that was promoted as our future? Or is it more of the same project that was previously run by the “divine rights” of kings now being run by the “divine rights” of multinational corporations and the financial institutions and governments that back them?