The French military fighting for uranium mining conglomerates? I guess I don’t care if corporate proxy wars are the next big thing, as long as it means that evil global megacorporations wipe each other out.
I’ll always remember the first time I heard the name “United Fruit”. I was a teen reading (yup, reading) Playboy, and in an interview with Mel Brooks, he made some reference to his bum being blown off in the war, and being replaced with a United Fruit box. This was before the web, so even though the reference perplexed me, I forgot about it until years later, when I was reading about the atrocities committed by corporate America in the interest of keeping the bananas on your breakfast cereal cheap. To this day, I’m rather astounded by the gall of naming a clothing store “Banana Republic”. Yeah, let’s go shopping at that store that’s run by a CIA puppet who’s taking grift from Chiquita and Coca Cola and killing his compatriots to keep the Latin American masses enslaved and the banana split floats affordable at Dairy Queen. I was reminded of all of this recently when I ran across this piece which tells the rather bizarre story of how Exxon and BP seem to be on the verge of being directly at war with each other in Iraq. The story intrigued me, because futurist thinkers for a couple of decades have talked about the Corporate Nation State, and although we see signs of this evolution all around us in America – largely in the form of lobby money and politicians on the corporate grift – this is the first time I’d ever heard of two corporations manipulating two governments that are potential enemies, and driving them toward war. I mean, we’ve all heard of the destabilizing strategies talked about in books like Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and we’ve all heard of proxy wars, but corporate proxy wars? What a crazy idea! But as I poked around a bit to see if there were other conflicts like this elsewhere, I immediately ran across this piece about the Mali resource war, which describes the first ever use of the French military to directly defend the assets of a corporation, in this case the Areva Mining Business Group, which mines Uranium in Mali and elsewhere. This is indeed probably the war of the future. It’s fairly common knowledge that near future wars will likely be over resources like water or oil, but it hadn’t occurred to me personally just who would be fighting them. And it actually makes a perverted and troubling kind of sense that it would be the corporations that profit from those resources who would wage the wars. Imagine Coke and Pepsi duking it out over sugar resources, or Verizon and AT&T battling for frequency spectra as we keep demanding more and more ways to be wireless and connected. I guess our only real concern right now should be how good the pay is, and whether they’ll call us “employees of the United States” or “citizens of Monsanto”.