This pilot edition of the Multinational Monitor provides a much-needed critical focus on the work of world-wide corporations. While publications which present a corporate perspective are commonplace, one which offers a citizen perspective is long overdue.
The articles contained in this sample issue illustrate both the extensive operations of these giant firms and their far-reaching costs for citizens as consumers and workers. These costs are not often chronicled, notwithstanding the increasing toll exacted from political freedom, economic well-being, and health and safety. For example, the possession of hazardous technology by the nuclear, oil, drug and chemical industries - unchecked by the evaluative systems of daily democracy and competition -poses grave risks to this and future generations. And these costs are likely to rise, as the influence of multinational firms increases - fueled by ever intensifying concentrations of capital, labor and technology.
Access to accurate information has always been an important pre-requisite for those trying to curb corporate excesses and injustice. Whether the issue is worker health, environmental pollution, consumer fraud, the protection of native cultures, the export of jobs, or the manipulation of governments, the underlying need for up-to-date information about multinational corporations is clear. And as these corporations transcend national boundaries routinely, the information flow to citizens must also cross these boundaries.
The editors of the Monitor welcome your comments and suggestions about the direction and content of this pilot issue. Readers interested in becoming regular correspondents or information gatherers for their country or region should contact the editors at P.O. Box 19312, Washington, D.C. 20036.
Information is the currency of democracy. It illuminates the pathways to economic, political and social justice. The Monitor is dedicated to serving those principles for the people of the world.