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> >However recently many infrastructural elements formerly govt. provided are >contracted out to private enterprise but are paid for through public funds >as with the growing private prison sector. In other areas such as utilities >privatisation is encouraged. Often the result is huge price increases and >social unrest as has been the case with water privatisation in Bolivia. >These types of privatisations serve the practical purpose of generating new >outlets for capital and new opportunities for making profit that government >owned enterprises do not provide. Yes, and an important facet of this is that the same people are often involved in both. Cheney, for example, is still getting money from Halliburton, and it is not unlikely that if he leaves government he will go back with Halliburton, or become a consultant to various private industries. Essentially we have someone working in a corporation making government decisions -- just not being in both palaces at the same time. But then we look at Perle, who is corporate now, and also a governmental advisor (a member of the Pentagon Defense Policy Board, until recently the chairman), but avoids a conflict of interest charge by limiting his time working on the DPB. It's fascism, the merging of business and government, but done less overtly. Add to that the contracting of private firms and the corporations make the profit from the government decisions -- so profit become very much the goal of nominally government-owned services, and the public good is little considered. >By the way the US army is not privately run as yet. Certain support >functions have been privatised. But the military always has fostered a huge >private industry of arms and equipment suppliers, a military-industrial >complex. This has simply been extended into more areas. Well, there are a few things to consider. Going into the war came from pressure from the neo-cons, and many of those are the same corporate business people alluded to above. Career military may not be business, but they take their orders from the civilians in the Penatgon and the president, so in that sense the military IS run by the corporations. In addition, many of the functions which would formerly be under the military are now being shifted to private guard companies hired by the corporations -- their own private armies, really. Supplies are being shifted from traditional military channels to private firms. There is also much confusions between the military and civilian police -- some $8 million from the $87 billion for Iraq going to the security forces at the Miami fiasco for example, and the blending of military with "homeland security". If we consider the massive sell-off of Iraqi business to private and foreign firms, once more we see the blending of private and government sectors. Many of the companies doing reconstruction in Iraq are hiring foreign workers, even while unemployment in Iraq is staggering, and that's a situation unlikely to occur if a real Iraqi government was running things. Going the privatization route Iraq is essentially becoming just a branch office of the US government-military-industrial complex, and in a way which is more difficult to resist than if the US did this on a strictly governmental level -- even though such privitization is contrary to international law and convention. Once the puppet government in Iraq hands it all over to private firms the exploitation plans are established in one stroke, with very little left to haggle over in the future. The basic rules are changed, which is easier for firms than either having to fight against or ignore rules, which would be true if a government still had control over the details. The people are simply left out of any decisions, not being stockholders. In the US the privatization of health care doesn't subject HMOs and such to loss, where in another country the government would bail them out, but they just stop providing service. We can expect the same sort of thing in Iraq -- and in fact this is one reason, I suspect, why the electricity is still in such bad shape: there isn't much profit in fixing it. This is essentially the same pattern we have seen in privatizing water, in Bolivia e.g. If the people become to restive and demonstrate, the military steps in and shoots them. Two tentacles of the same monster ... that's how fascism works. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk