Corporations as Private Sovereign Powers: The Case of Total – Global Research

corporations-as-private-sovereign-powers:-the-case-of-total-–-global-research

24-02-20 03:18:00,

Having studied, written on and engaged in public discussion about transnational corporations (TNCs), I have reached the conclusion that we are not collectively equipped to think about the kind of power that they represent, the silent way they exercise their specific form of sovereignty and the numerous mechanisms that allow them to circumvent the law wherever they operate.

To illustrate this, I will focus on just one corporation –Total – as a textbook case, and show what it is capable of globally, rather than piecing together several examples that could be accused of being selectively chosen just to satisfy our research needs.

Total is a corporate group headquartered in France, with operations in 130 countries, 100,000 employees and ‘collaborators’, and a daily production of the equivalent of 2.8 million barrels of oil. In 2018, Total reported net profits of $13.6 billion.

This energy giant, the world’s fifth-largest oil company and which has been around for almost a century, merits attention in view of the fact that it has been the subject of very little analysis, despite its shocking track record in human rights, the environment, public health and business ethics.

For instance, communities in Myanmar say they were forced to work on the construction of a gas pipeline. Dictatorships in Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville have received the corporation’s support for decades. It has openly used Bermuda as a tax haven to avoid paying taxes in France. And that is not to mention its polluting oil-exploration activities in northern Canada or themarkets that it obtained following bombardments in Libya, to name just a few examples.

We begin by defining TNCs, disproving the image of Total as ‘a French oil company’, as is commonly believed. Each of these terms – ‘a’, ‘French’, ‘oil’ and ‘company’ – is misleading.

‘A’

First, by definition, transnational groups are not ‘a’ or ‘one’ company and do not formally constitute one legal entity, but hundreds of them – including its various subsidiaries, trusts, holdings, foundations, specialised firms and private banks.

These structures are legally autonomous, bound only by the laws of the jurisdiction in which they were created, but are in fact part of the networks that form transnational groups.

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Corporations Use “Money USA 20/20” Event To Expand Facial Recognition Worldwide

corporations-use-“money-usa-20/20”-event-to-expand-facial-recognition-worldwide

22-10-19 05:41:00,

By MassPrivateI

Forget the Bilderberg Group meetings and how the world’s power elite meet in secret to help shape governments. Because Rise Up’s Money 20/20 events puts them to shame.

October 27-30, Rise Up’s second annual and highly influential “Money 2020 USA” event will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Money 20/20 USA 2019’s agenda focuses mainly on creating a global digital banking system and will also focus on AI, biometrics and digital ID.

But one panel discussion in particular caught my eye.

The discussion titled “Building Fusion Centers And Combatting Evolving Threats” by Anil Markose, Senior VP for Booz Allan Hamilton, is designed to promote Homeland Security’s Fusion Centers and the spread of biometrics to track people of interest.

As you will see, using Money 20/20 USA as a platform to help spread the use of biometrics has far-reaching consequences.

According to an article in Find Biometrics, “last year’s Money20/20 USA in Las Vegas drew a crowd of over 2000 professionals from 53 countries.”

Money 20/20 USA 2018’s agenda focused on AI, biometrics and digital ID more than 50 times. A talk by CLEAR CEO Caryn Seidman Becker called “CLEAR-ing a Frictionless Future With Biometrics” promoted the spread of facial recognition.

Why would Money 20/20 USA 2018 let CLEAR, a company who’s CEO said that “no’s are really yes’s” and when a potential customer says no to facial recognition “it is just time to pivot.” Be allowed to promote facial recognition?

CLEAR CEO Caryn Seidman Becker’s discussion “CLEAR-ing a Frictionless Future With Biometrics” with Anheuser-Busch’s Global Director of Innovation and the Seattle Seahawks GM of CenturyLink Field is a disturbing example of corporate involvement in the spread of biometrics.

Clearly, using Money 20/20 USA to expand biometrics is a smart business decision (pun intended).

The feds, bankers, and major corporations have also realized that Money 20/20 USA can be used to help spread AI, biometrics and digital ID across the globe.

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When Corporations Ransack Countries: A Primer on Investor-state Dispute Settlement (ISDS) – Global Research

when-corporations-ransack-countries:-a-primer-on-investor-state-dispute-settlement-(isds)-–-global-research

01-08-19 04:35:00,

“If you wanted to convince the public that international trade agreements are a way to let multinational companies get rich at the expense of ordinary people, this is what you would do: give foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever a government passes a law to, say, discourage smoking, protect the environment or prevent a nuclear catastrophe. Yet that is precisely what thousands of trade and investment treaties over the past half century have done, through a process known as ‘investor-state dispute settlement,’ or ISDS.”

This is how, in autumn 2014, The Economist introduced its readers to a once unknown element in international trade and investment agreements. The business magazine referred to ISDS as “a special privilege that many multinationals have abused”1 and mentioned two infamous examples: Swedish energy giant Vattenfall suing Germany for €6.1 billion2 in damages because the country phased out nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster; and tobacco company Philip Morris suing Uruguay and Australia over government health warnings on cigarette packs and other measures to reduce smoking.

ISDS has morphed from a rarely used last resort… into a powerful tool that corporations brandish ever more frequently, often against broad public policies that they claim crimp profits.

ISDS has morphed from a rarely used last resort… into a powerful tool that corporations brandish ever more frequently, often against broad public policies that they claim crimp profits. 

Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Chris Hamby3

The legal basis for these investor-state dispute settlements – known under the acronym ISDS – is over 2,650 international trade and investment agreements in force between states worldwide.4 These agreements give sweeping powers to foreign investors, including the peculiar privilege to directly file lawsuits against states at international arbitration tribunals. Companies can claim compensation for actions by host governments that have allegedly damaged their investment, either directly through expropriation, for example, or indirectly through virtually any kind of regulation. ‘Investment’ is interpreted so broadly that mere shareholders and rich individuals can sue, and corporations can claim not just for the money invested, but for future anticipated earnings as well.

Red Carpet Courts infographic

ISDS claims are usually decided by a tribunal of three private lawyers – the arbitrators – who are chosen by the litigating investor and the state.

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Foreign-Owned Corporations Funnel Millions Into US Elections

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23-03-19 04:35:00,

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After the Federal Election Commission hit the Jeb Bush-affiliated Right to Rise super PAC with a record fine for illegally soliciting donations from foreign donors, focus has shifted to how many foreign-owned companies actually participate in American elections. The answer? Quite a few.

Foreign-based corporations or U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-based corporations have contributed millions of dollars to super PACs and hybrid PACs following Citizens United v. FEC, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that opened up federal elections to direct corporate contributions.

Foreign nationals are barred from contributing to federal committees. However, a foreign corporation’s U.S. subsidiary is allowed to contribute to outside spending groups such as super PACs as long as no foreign national directs the contribution.

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London-based British American Tobacco acquired Reynolds American, Inc. in July 2017 after owning a major stake in the U.S. company since 2004. Following the transaction, RAI ramped up its political giving, doling out $1.2 million to super PACs, more than any other domestic subsidiary in the 2018 cycle.

Distant Donations?
Infogram

The company gave $600,000 to the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) and $450,000 to Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) in 2018. The GOP leadership-linked super PACs were among the top spenders in 2018 and were also particularly popular among foreign-owned corporations.

EnCana Oil & Gas USA, a subsidiary of Canadian company Encana, gave $200,000 to CLF and $100,000 to SLF in 2018. Jackson National Life Insurance, owned by British company Prudential PLC,

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US Corporations Are Micromanaging Curricula to Miseducate Students

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26-12-18 10:26:00,

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Over the past year, the Trump administration’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational program garnered $300 million in pledges from big tech companies. Implicit in this push is the commonly accepted though questionable notion that millions of cutting-edge STEM jobs await US workers but go unfilled because public schools have failed to prepare students for them. The STEM bandwagon rolls on at the expense of social studies, art, history and literature — all deemed “irrelevant” to career success and to education as a commodity — while promoting often biased and inaccurate corporate curricula.

Open inquiry scarcely figures in corporate-funded curricula, according to Gerald Coles’s recently published book, Miseducating for the Global Economy. Coles points to materials developed by the Bill of Rights Institute (an organization created by the billionaire Koch brothers) as an example of the ideological distortions present in corporate-funded educational materials. For example, the curriculum developed by the institute teaches students that “the Occupy movement violated the rights of others.”

Though Occupy protested abuses of the richest 1 percent, the Bill of Rights Institute curriculum is not concerned with this. Instead, according to Coles, it asks whether the police crackdown on Occupy was justified — and answers “yes,” because the New York Occupy demonstrators had purportedly damaged both the park and adjacent neighborhood. Somehow this was construed as a First Amendment violation and “consequently the government had a right to inflict pain (with pepper spray, for example) on the Bill of Rights abusers.” Occupy protesters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, engaged in similar malfeasance, according to the lessons.

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Coles reports that the institute has also developed curricula for North Carolina,

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These 13 Corporations Are “Big Pharma”: Their Crimes, History and Products | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

These 13 Corporations Are “Big Pharma”: Their Crimes, History and Products | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

21-07-18 07:08:00,

This is a preview to the Era of Wisdom documentary Toddlers on Adderall: History of Big Pharma and the Major Players, to be released December 28, 2016.

The film is written and directed by Cassius Kamarampi, narrated by Josh Mur and it’s music is by Cassius Kamarampi.

Transcript of the video

In our society, we often correlate legality with safety. We use household products, spray pesticides, and religiously consume drugs such as ritalin, adderall, oxycontin, and prozac.

We consume all of this, but how many know who made the drugs, and where the corporations came from? Who produces the chemicals we trust on a daily basis?

13 corporations tend to be a blind spot in our understanding of history.

Tens of thousands of american toddlers are being prescribed amphetamine – a result of this blind spot. Neos Therapeutics is responsible for candy flavored children’s amphetamine, sold as adzenys. Shire created adderall.

An understanding of Big Pharma is conducive to a big picture understanding of the world and power itself: it is an essential puzzle piece in understanding disease, hegemony, and health.

For instance, we have Purdue. Purdue Pharma was created in 1892 New York. They are arguably responsible for the epidemic of opioid addiction in the United States, producing hydrocodone, oxycontin, fentanyl, codeine, hydromorphone, and oxycodone.

Novartis is the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporation by revenue, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, a 1996 merger between Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz.
Novartis is responsible for many drugs, from ritalin to LSD. Novartis has a long criminal record. They are known for animal cruelty, from drilling the heads of cats open, to experimenting on primates.

Sandoz polluted the Rhine River in the 1986 Sandoz Chemical Spill.
Novartis owned Syngenta, one of the world’s largest producers of pesticides and GMO seeds.

Recently Syngenta was sold to the Chinese government. State-owned Chem-China is now one of the world’s largest producers of pesticides and GM seeds.

Novartis coerces entire countries into banning cheaper, generic versions of their cancer drugs: namely Colombia. Leaked letters revealed Novartis’ control over the Senate Finance Committee, as Colombia was warned their 450$ million dollars in “Peace Colombia” money would be in jeopardy if they did not crack down on generic versions of the cancer drug gleevec.

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