The Multinational Monitor


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Kirkpatrick criticizes UN for "class rule" ideology...

Jeane Kirkpatrick, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, recently criticized the U.N. for trying to regulate multinational corporations.

"The proliferation of U.N. activities aimed at the regulation of international business" is "a very big problem," said Kirkpatrick, speaking at the American Enterprise Institute on December 9. Before Reagan appointed Kirkpatrick to her U.N. post, she served as resident scholar at the Washington-based right wing institute.

"Multinational corporations are really the bad guys on the U.N. scene," Kirkpatrick said. They "are regularly tried and found guilty of the most extraordinary" crimes.

Kirkpatrick ridiculed the attempts by the U.N. to establish standards for multinational corporate behavior in such fields as the marketing of breast milk substitutes, the selling of drugs and pesticides, and the disposal of toxic wastes.

"Ideological distortions" - not dangerous practices by multinationals - lie at the heart of the U.N.'s "regulatory activity," said Kirkpatrick.

"The dominant ideology in the U.N. is a version of class rule, developed by a gross adoption of Marxian theory" to the international arena, she said.

The U.N.'s "very crude kind of anti-capitalist ideology" claims that "many poor nations are locked in a bitter struggle with a few rich nations." The theory also, according to Kirkpatrick, holds that "poverty is caused by exploitation," so that "underdevelopment is seen as proof of exploitation." Furthermore, said Kirkpatrick, in the U.N., "the very fact of affluence proves the guilt of exploitation."

The U.N. is trying to foster " a new global socialism" and a "global redistribution of wealth," Kirkpatrick warned. By placing itself in charge of the redistribution task, the U.N. engages in "global paternalism," she said.

"The full flowering of the redistributionist" trend in the U.N. is the Law of the Sea Treaty, said Kirkpatrick.

In defending multinationals, Kirkpatrick attacked what she called the "bad theory" at the U.N. "Wealth is not created by theft," she said. "Wealth is created by innovation, investment, and entrepreneurship." Similarly, she said that "poverty is not caused by the ravages of multinationals."

At only one point in her address did Kirkpatrick allow that there may be some validity to the criticism of multinationals. "Doubtless, consumers in remote places of the Third World need protection against multinationals," she said, "protection, I might add, that doesn't prohibit economic growth."

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