The Cracks in Our Monopolistic World [opinion]

THIS period is yet another time for reflections as we commemorate our development as a nation. Our Independence from the rule of the apartheid South Africa following nearly 200 years of increasing economic colonialism, the atrocities of Cassinga and a realisation, as we enter our 25th year of Independence.

We are finding that “making it happen” is not so easy and that many of the past realities of tribalism, greed and the pressures of existing in a competitive and often antagonistic world, despite having made extreme efforts in economically developing our nation and trying to reconcile our diverse societies, major divisions exist and seem to be growing. Our environment seems to be increasingly dominated by “the few” who are cornering the property and wealth of the nation. We are seeing the monopolistic tendencies and a work in progress.

Recent public comment on our mineral and fishing industries seems to indicate that “rights ownership” now takes the upper hand but, apart from a few exceptions, the required progress, where opportunity fails to turn into action beyond trading such rights into contracts that fail to materialise into industrial growth. The only action appears to use such rights to give access to cash, often GRN guaranteed, directly or indirectly and then “lose” the money and the potential dissolves into bankruptcy legal recovery process then takes forever by which time the “dosh” has disappeared.

This model of disguising political driven fraud is of course as old as the hills. I Much of the entrenched wealth in the UK was derived in the early mid 18th century when the legal system was playing “catchup”, democracy was geared to protecting the wealthy usually driven by a corrupt legal profession and self seeking politicians! Sounds familiar?

However, pressures from the rise of trade unions, the increase in the number of people able to vote and as a consequence the rise of labour-based political parties in opposition to the “upper classes” lead to the formation of the political spectrum still existing today. That gave rise to a societal system that put more power into the hands of the people and their voted representatives throughout the many levels of that society.

This created an environment that provided political muscle on both sides and despite being less than fair or without major conflict drove that a small nation to its powerful industrial base, its colonial growth giving access to material resources and the development of what is still a wealthy nation. The lesson from this however is that the nation, as with many past “world leaders” reached its high point and eventually was pushed off this pinnacle!

The underlying but real lesson of this fall from global power is that such a decline is inevitable. But despite this fall they remain a small nation with much power as they changed their emphasis from “making to taking”! Their power, despite maintaining a competitive industrial base is the rise of their position in the financial world through technology and contacts, through growing into the monopolistic world of patents, cheap labour manufacture by poor countries and having an ever increasing “hightech” capacity. The financial world works through the ability to rapidly adjust policies and to put together financial packages.

Thus it is unsurprising, and maybe even a welcome position, that Namibia is re-profiling its world relationships by seeking closer relationships with Russia, the Middle East and especially China where “back to back” trading and raw material supply relationships can grow in a business world where politics and UN voting (!) means more than raw profit!

Yes, we may get cheap fuel from Russia, cheap finance from the Middle East and be able to negotiate favourably for our marketable in return for political support on the world stage. Equally it is evident that the Western World plus Japan are busy repositioning themselves away from the “NATO mentality” of military might and physical political involvement.

This is evidenced by Obama’s clear policy, equally driven by the US’s political stalemate situation (deliberate?), of getting out of “boots on the ground” interference and relying on drone and electronic warfare! Both on economic and political grounds. “west” is realising that funding warfare and selling information is their way forward.

Source : The Namibian