“A small group of powerful individuals are now richer than most of the population of Africa. Just giant corporations dominate a quarter of the world’s. “John Pilger’s work has been a beacon of light in often dark times. The realities he has brought to light have been a revelation, over and over again, and his. The New Rulers of the World has ratings and 62 reviews. Leanna said: 5 out of 5 on a nonfiction book doesn’t mean you agree with every word, but inst.
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The world is divided between the rich, who get richer, and the poor, who get poorer, and the rich get richer on the backs of the poor. Below I provide a brief summary of the documentary. The documentary is 15 years old now, but it provides a very useful introduction to the following concepts within global development. NB this documentary is now over 15 years old, so you might like to think about the extent to which it still applies to Indonesia 15 years on, and the extent to which you can generalise this analysis to other countries today.
In recent months, millions of people around the world have been protesting against a new economic order called globalisation. Never before worlc the human race enjoyed such enormous capacity to create wealth and reduce poverty, but never ruers has inequality been so great. The famous brands of almost everything are now made in aorld countries, with wages so low it borders on slave labour.
Tiger Woods is paid more money to promote Nike than the entire workforce in Indonesia are paid to make Nike products. This film is about the Rulets Rulers of the World — and especially their impact on one country — Indonesia. Indonesia is where the old imperialism rulets the new. It was first colonised by the Dutch in the 16 th century, and plundered by the west for hundreds tbe years, a debt which is yet to paid back. To illustrate this success the video now cuts to a lavish wedding between two merchant families — these johm the elite who have reaped the benefits of globalisation —the freedom to nee money and let that money make more money.
However, Indonesia is also a very unequal country and only a relatively few people have benefited from this economic growth: The lavish wedding is contrasted to an Indonesian labour camp less than 5 miles way where young people make the cheap consumer goods we consume in the west. Dormitories are made from breeze blocks, they flood when it rains, and open sewers spread diseases which kill children.
The labour camp is set in an economic processing zone, which is basically a vast area of sweat shops. The documentary crew posed as fashion buyers to gain access and secretly filmed in one factory, and also conducted dozens of interviews with workers in these factories.
Working conditions are claustrophobic, frenzied, the workers fatigued, and working under strip-lighting in temperatures of up to 40 degrees the rulesr however have air conditioned offices. They also have horrendous working hours — which can be upped when deadlines for orders are due.
In the right, but irritating
The workers are typically young women and one worker qorld on camera saying that she once worked a 24 hour shift with no breaks. She says she is too scared to refuse or even question the working hours. These factories are owned by Taiwanese and Korean contractors who take orders from companies such as GAP whose products were made in the above factory where the workers are paid extremely low wages.
GAP has codes of conduct which are supposed to apply to working conditions globally, and GAP representatives do visit the factories, but the workers interviewed say they are thw by teh to not tell them about forced overtime.
Points out that codes of conduct are meaningless in a country like Indonesia because there is high unemployment and terrible poverty, so the people are desperate enough to put up with pilgerr working conditions, and the government is unwilling to enforce the codes because they want Indonesia to be as attractive as possible to international companies which means keeping labour cheap. For the sake of the documentary, they had to keep the factories anonymous, because the workers would have Victimisation from contractors and violence from anti-unionists.
We should aim to be better informed as consumers — kohn we buy something, we need to ask the company where it was produced and to give assurances that the workers are treated fairly.
Suharto removed from power the founder of modern Indonesia, Sukarno — a nationalist who believed in economic independence for the country. This regime change was one of the bloodiest mass murders in post WW2 history, with more than a million people estimated to have died in the process.
Suharto took brutal steps to consolidate his power by rounding up thousands and thousands of civil servants, school teachers and basically anyone with communist leanings and murdering them. He did this with the support of the CIA, who provided a list of people they wanted dead, and the British ambassador at the time suggested a little shooting was necessary to ease the transition, while British war ships played a supporting role in protecting Indonesian troops.
For western business this was the start of the gold rush which later became known as globalisation, and barely anyone mentioned the million dead Indonesians. Has never heard of a situation like this where global capital holds a meeting with the state and hammered out their interests. The conference lasted for three days — and the companies present hammered out policies which would be acceptable to them on a sector by sector basis.
They basically designed the legal infrastructure for investment in the country.
It basically becomes clear from a series of interviews, despite their evasiveness, that the international business community new they were dealing with a nepotistic mass murderer.
Globalisation began in the s when Margaret Thatcher dismantled manufacturing and poured billions of pounds into building up the arms industry. The Queen — entertaining the mass murderer and dictator general Suharto.
Who are the new rulers of the world?
The New Rulers of the World
Their empire today is greater than the British Empire ever was. Basically they are the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, two bodies which are the agents of the richest countries on earth, especially America. Initially set up to help rebuild European economies after WW2, they later they began offering loans to poor countries, but only if they privatised their economies and allowed western companies free access to their raw materials and markets.
The poorest countries are in a cycle of poverty, and current debt-reduction not forgiveness is not sufficient to allow them. The World Bank says its aim is to help poor people, calling this gobal development. In short-term capital was suddenly pulled out of Asia, collapsing the miracle economy overnight. The bank presents itself as an economic development agency, focusing on poverty reduction, but in fact, the bank operated during the entire cold war as an institution which distributed money to mainly authoritarian regimes in the third world that supported the West in the Cold War.
Of course the debt remained, and still had to be paid back to the World Bank. According to the auditor general of the World Bank, if rukers citizens of Indonesia made a legal challenge against the World Bank rjlers the remaining debt given that they never received the moneythe World Bank would be bankrupt, because this has gone on the world over.
The New Rulers of the World (TV Movie ) – IMDb
When asked why there was such a silence over the atrocities of Suharto, he simply said the World Bank got it wrong, and they will get it wrong in the future too. Globalisation creates debts, creates misery, creates crisis, and creates privatisation, which pushes up the prices people have to pay for basic goods.
In effect the money stolen by the Suharto regime is being paid back by the people who never benefited from that money. John Pliger asks whether debt cancellation should be a priority if we are to alleviate poverty, given that some countries spend half their GDP on debt repayments.
Fischer argues that we should not necessarily cancel their debt — we should rather look at the policies on education and health, and look at what sort of economies they run — do they integrate into the world economy, or do they run corrupt economies. NB — The subtext to the interview is that Western financial institutions depend on the debt repayments being kept up too.
In order to keep up debt-repayments the government, as recommended by the IMF. Two years ago, protestors from all over the world converged on Seattle at a meeting of the World Trade Organisation…. The documentary makes the following claims, all of which are worth investigating to see if they are still true today…. The New Rulers of the World — the book! Criticisms of the World Bank ReviseSociology. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.
Learn how your comment data is processed. A level sociology revision — education, families, research methods, crime and deviance and more! It introduces you to the role of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in an accessible way. Investigating Poor Working Conditions in Indonesia The documentary crew posed as fashion buyers to gain access and secretly filmed in one factory, and also conducted dozens of interviews with workers in these factories.
Dita Sari — Trade union leader Points out that codes of conduct are meaningless in a country like Indonesia because there is high unemployment and terrible poverty, so the people are desperate enough to put up with dismal working conditions, and the government is unwilling to enforce the codes because they want Indonesia to be as attractive as possible to international companies which means keeping labour cheap.
Barry Coats — World Development Movement We should aim to be better informed as consumers — when we buy something, we need to ask the company where it was produced and to give assurances that the workers are treated fairly.
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