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This Is Globalization

May 8, 2011 by and tagged ,

While taking a break from my last grading marathon of the term, I watched this episode of Wide Angle on PBS on the failed coup against the government of Equatorial Guinea:

Part 1:

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

This is globalization:

  • A small African country with vast oil reserves
  • Western countries and oil companies, very interested in said oil
  • A corrupt and violent government with an authoritarian leader
  • Mercenaries… or, I should say, private military contractors meddled with Western secret services
  • China
  • The son of Margaret Thatcher
  • The remnants of the racist army of South Africa, selling themselves to the highest bidders
  • Banks that are more than happy to stash the dictator’s oil money
  • And the local population, squeezed in the middle, impoverished and oppressed while Western oil companies and governments wine and dine the dictator… for as long as it is convenient for them to do so.

And at the end, China wins.

Watch the whole thing.

Posted in Globalization, New Wars | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “This Is Globalization”

  1.   Andreas Moser Says:

    Globalization is largely a myth:


    •   SocProf Says:

      Actually, these aspects of globalization you debunk in your post are only promoted by idiots like Tom Friedman. People like Manuel Castells or Saskia Sassen have a much more nuanced view of globalization, not the caricatural version of hyper-globalizers like the idiot mentioned above.


  2.   karl Says:

    Of course the courts treated Mark Thatcher’s role in this with the utmost seriousness – I just cut this from one of my class handouts –

    In 2005, Sir Mark Thatcher plead guilty over his involvement in an alleged coup plot in Equatorial Guinea. The son of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was fined the equivalent of US$500,000 (£265,000) and given a four-year suspended jail term. Sir Mark denied any knowledge of the plot, and agreed a plea bargain and will now co-operate with investigators. He admitted breaking anti-mercenary legislation in South Africa by agreeing to finance a helicopter. The businessman said he did not initially know the helicopter’s alleged purpose – that it was to be used in the alleged coup attempt, instead believing it was to be used as an air ambulance. But in his plea bargain statement, Sir Mark says he came to realise the helicopter was to be used for mercenary activities before the deal was finalised.


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