The capitalist elite expedites its economic endeavour by means of its limited liability transnational corporations. However, in order to do this, it requires the force of a sovereign state to physically constrain and exploit the inhabitants and resources of the planet. [PDF] [português]
Conceptually, a sovereign state is like a spherical shell. It includes a finite space (its own sovereign territory) and excludes an infinite space (the rest of the universe). Its purpose is to facilitate the subjugation and exploitation, by the elite minority, of the resources and inhabitants of both these spaces. The sovereign state thus comprises the mechanisms necessary to formulate, expedite and enforce laws and policies to specifically achieve the selfish ambitions of the elite minority.
Although, in principle, the objective is the same in both cases, the methodology for subjugating and exploiting what is inside and what is outside a sovereign state are necessarily a little different.
The systemic model for subjugating and exploiting inhabitants and resources that lie inside the shell is that of a kingdom or republic.
Before a kingdom exists, each nuclear family of the people who live in a particular geographic region, such as Great Britain, is able freely to use a necessary and sufficient amount of land to turn its labour into its needs of life. Soon, however, in each locality, an exigent individual arises who subjugates those around him, eventually dispossessing each family of its necessary and sufficient resources. He thereby makes all the land in the locality his personal possession.
Among such exigent individuals in the region as a whole, the stronger then preys upon the weaker until the landed estates stabilise in size, according to various geographical and administrative constraints. The region thus gravitates towards a small number of landed estates, each headed by an exigent individual that we could, for the sake of argument, refer to as a baron. The most dominant baron is then either elected king by his peers or arbitrarily takes charge through superior charisma. He thus becomes king of the geographic region, which thereby becomes a kingdom or sovereign state.
With very little infighting or dissent, such a form of kingdom can remain stable for a long time. It may suffer tentative invasion by other kings, but generally the barons can live the wealthy life fuelled by the toil of their subjects, who must content themselves with their misery.
Inevitably, industrialisation arrives. The agricultural processes of the landed estates become mechanised. Fewer human workers are required. The majority is displaced. Manufacturing now requires workers. Most are therefore forced to move to cities to power fabrication and distribution. For this purpose, industrial skills are needed. So people must be educated and trained. This precipitates the unwelcome collateral consequence that they learn to think. They now see and understand their wretched state, which, in turn, inspires them to seek control over their lives. They demand democracy.
The king is either sidelined as a mere symbolic head of state or the institution of the monarchy is abolished altogether. The barons become an industrial elite. But the people are still without the power afforded by the unencumbered possession and use of land and primary terrestrial resources. Common man is therefore unequipped to be able to stand alone as a democratic representative. He does not have the means to compete in a political campaign to get himself known and trusted. Only members of the landed elite have the means and connections necessary to present themselves or their chosen marionettes to a large industrialised population for democratic election.
Consequently, the policies of the elite are power-sold to the gullible masses, who are purposefully deluded into thinking that what is best for the elite is also best for them. But nothing changes. Common man is still the bond-slave of the elite. He may be, theoretically, free to choose which individual master he serves, but he is still bonded to the industrial system as a whole. He must serve somebody to survive. An obligation to seek and find work is imposed upon him, whether or not there be a master that has need of his labour. Common man thus lives in a state of unending exploitation. To protect itself against social insurrection, the elite provides a pittance to those unable to find work or are otherwise incapable of working.
The systemic model for subjugating and exploiting inhabitants and resources that lie outside the shell is either, on the one hand, that of a worldwide empire, or, on the other hand, that of the dominant economy within a neo-liberal global free market.
The empire finances and dispatches explorers and adventurers to the "four corners" of the Earth to seek and survey useful economic resources such as gold, precious stones, fruits and other commodities not available in, or natural to, the homeland. In their wake, the empire sends out trading expeditions as a means of buying the discovered commodities for the quintessential price of a banana.
Sooner or later, however, the peoples of the exploited territories perceive that they are being short-changed. Disparity rises. Poverty sets in. Unrest ensues. The empire sends a naval fleet with an army plus civil administrators to impose order. They take over the territory by establishing and enforcing the empire's system of law. The exploited lands thus become subjects of the empire. The empire expands in this way until the sun never sets upon it. Eventually, under its own weight and cost of remote administration exacerbated by growing local unrest, the empire crumbles and its former subjects become independent states once again.
In today's world of superpowers with strongly contrasting political views, under the constant military threat of mutually assured destruction, overt empire building is no longer viable. So in order to exploit the resources and inhabitants of the planet, a predator must employ a more sophisticated and clandestine methodology. For this it needs the help of leading-edge technology, both to seek out and survey the planet's desirable resources and to listen in on the thoughts of its prey.
Consequently, from the anonymity of space, the predator's satellites spy analytically upon the bounteous surface of our planet. They probe between the clouds with their high-definition cameras, infra-red sensors and radars. They robotically map areas of land and sea where lie extractable minerals, oil and gas. And ensconced behind these satellites, cruel neo-liberal minds behold with envious eyes this patchwork of lucre, insouciant concerning the collateral destruction and poverty their exploits will wreak upon these lands, seas and their inhabitants.
With cold calculation, they choose an area to exploit. They investigate the politics of the sovereign jurisdiction within which it lies. If it be an elitist regime wielding the strong hand of a despotic leader or warlord over its common people, they negotiate a trading agreement with its elite to relinquish the country's agricultural and geological heritage to them for the price of a banana, lubricating the process with copious back-handers to those in control. The common people lose their means of turning their labour into their needs of life. The rich grow ever richer. The poor grow ever poorer. Disparity forever rises. And so the wheel turns.
On the other hand, if the area lies within the jurisdiction of a left-leaning regime, whose leaders follow a moral obligation to care for their common people, the process is a little more complicated.
They must first sift through the political landscape of the country to find the inevitable cauldron of rightist Randian hot-heads who care nothing for their kinsmen but only for maximising their own wealth and furthering their own interests. They then pour vast amounts of money into this fledgling group, furnishing it with all the external expertise necessary for it to promote itself with sufficient force to precipitate a general election and democratically wrest power from the established socialist government or party. In less developed socialist countries, or if democracy does not work, they finance the arming of a local thug or warlord to enforce their wish to exploit the country's resources.
They then induct their prey into their global free market. By deliberately making it cheaper to import various essential commodities like technology and medicine, they make their prey vitally dependent upon the external market. They also lock their victim into long-term contracts to use most of its productive land for export cash crops while importing essential foodstuffs. Thus it no longer has the home-based infrastructure to provide all the needs of its population. It becomes vitally dependent on international trade.
Thereby, in the event of a leftist resurgence, these cruel neo-liberal minds simply apply trade sanctions to stop the inflow of vital commodities and orchestrate disruptions to infrastructure and services. This causes untold misery and hardship for the population. The vast majority thus becomes dissatisfied with the new incumbent Left, which inevitably results in popular insurrection against it and the re-establishment of the Randian puppet.
Should the leftist regime somehow manage to contain and suppress the popular uprising, these cruel neo-liberal minds may engage in state-aided skulduggery to assassinate an immovable leftist leader by modern traceless means. Failing this, they have the power to lobby the government of their powerful homeland to mount – or at least threaten to mount – a justifiable military invasion of the country to "save" its people from socialism and re-establish their rightist puppet.
They then continue to subsidise the maintenance of the new rightist status quo, pressuring the puppet government to agree to relinquish the country's socio-economic heritage for the price of a banana by giving copious back-handers to the local elite. They finally exhaust the resources of the country, leaving a rich minority with the majority sinking into ever-deeper poverty.
Though these cruel neo-liberal minds may themselves be intellectual psychopaths, thereby feeling no remorse concerning the devastating collateral effects of their endeavours, they need to present a cogent moral justification to their homeland populations. This they do through the obviously flawed doctrine of Manifest Destiny, which asserts that they are a superior people chosen by an omnipotent being to rule over the rest of an inferior humanity.
This essay has described the abstract principles of exploitation. It must be obvious to any mind, capable of independent thought, where, over the decades of living memory, this principle has been applied. And, in view of such events, it must be incumbent upon the reader to decide, in clear conscience, whether or not such behaviour be acceptable.