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Salient. Victoria University Students Newspaper. Vol. 38, No. 2. March 11, 1975

A Well Protected Super-Nationality

A Well Protected Super-Nationality

The multinational enterprises have no nationality, but they are protected by a number of countries, mainly the United States. On one occasion, the Director of the Sociedad Nestle Alimentation (Nestle Food Company). Max Gloor, stated publicly:

We cannot be taken for pure Swiss nor for pure nationals, but rather as dependent on the entire world; if such a thing is possible, we are probably an intermediate thing, a race apart. In other words, we have a special nationality, the Nestle nationality.

This phenomenon is manifested in the way multinationals function. They are directed by a central headquarters which is the brain and nervous system of the enterprise, while the branches are nothing more than simple executors of the orders they receive. For example. Ford coordinates the activities of its British. Belgian and German branches as closely as each one controls its own factories. All the tactical and strategic decisions are made in the central office. Thanks to modern communications technology and computers that allow for long-distance direction of foreign operations, the multinationals augment their monopolistic control over markets and supply sources.

The personnel that directs multinational enterprises also possesses 'special conditions.' W J Kenton Jones, President of the British branch of the US Ronson company, has brutally defined the duties of that personnel:

They must renounce all nationalist attitudes and understand that, in the final instance, their loyalty must uphold the interests of the stock holders of the parent company, and they must defend those interests even though they apparently do not coincide with the national interests of the country where they are working.

The US companies that operate on a large scale in the European Common Market area and the Free Exchange Zone, have succeeded in evading one of the objectives of these associations, which was to prevent the penetration of non-affiliated foreign companies. And that is how the US companies avoid taxes: because of their world-wide rather than national financial control, they can transfer to low-tax countries the profits accumulated by their branches in high-tax countries. These transfers are made by manipulating the products sold in the area of the various branches. And the victims of this policy are the peoples of all the countries where these companies 'operate'.

The oppression that the multinationals exert and the consequences, affect no only the underdeveloped countries: in Canada, for example, US multinationals own 45% of the means of production. Moreover, these companies don't invest in just any branch of production. What they do is take the cream off the industry, leaving aside the traditional sectors in order to concentrate in the dynamic sectors with advanced technology and high profits, such as electronics, petrochemical, etc.

When threatened, the multinationals do not hesitate to resort violence to corner and maintain control over the resources of the countries in which they operate: from United Fruit in Guatemala (1954) to ITT in Chile (1973), their methods are too well known to need to detail here.