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

Future Limits and Contradictions in the Development of Multinational Enterprises

Future Limits and Contradictions in the Development of Multinational Enterprises

There are various hypothesis concerning the future of the multinational companies: some believe that the capitalist economy will soon be dominated by between 100 and 150 enterprises; others believe that a total of 300 multinational enterprises will be in control of 70% of the western world's production by 1975. What is evident is that their power will continue to expand.

Nevertheless, just as the process of the concentration of capital has clashed with national limits, it is easy to predict that it will also clash fatally with international limits. the multinational enterprises also commit errors. The 'giant' develops a bureaucracy, making relations and transmissions more and more difficult, there are job duplications and increases in waste. There is no doubt that the multinationals will also create their own anti-bodies.

The existence of the multinationals demonstrates that the search for maximum profits goes against the sovereignty of nations and the self-determination of peoples, and that social revolutions, therefore, represent a serious threat to the holdings of the multinationals. Their defenders, while they lament the 'hard work' and 'great risks' they must run to invest in underdeveloped countries, find themselves obliged to admit that one of 'the most disturbing problems for the directors of the multinationals is the existence of unstable governments and populations that have still not achieved political maturity'-paternalistic jargon for governments hostile to the multinationals and for people ready to defend their natural resources!

Everything that is said about the 'sane injection' of foreign capital into the underdeveloped countries is categorically refuted by World Bank statistics which prove beyond doubt, that the disporportion that exists between the capital invested and the profits extracted only widens the gap that separates the underdeveloped countries from the developed: that these gigantic octopuses feed on the misery of millions of human beings condemned to die of hunger and disease in a rich and prodigious earth that has been stolen from them.

But the activities of these enterprises are raising the consciousness of increasing numbers of workers concerning the nature of capitalism, on the basis of very concrete factors (jobs, salary, work methods) and awakening a new feeling and dimension of solidarity among workers of industrialised and underdeveloped countries, who are beginning to understand that their interests are common and that their struggle against capitalism and imperialism must also be common.