Saturday, April 01, 2006

Exxon and Venezuela: A new kind of war?

Reading the following article reported on New York Times,, makes me wonder if we are entering a new age of world politics.

Exxon is almost the size of Argentina's economy and wield enormous power on a key natural resource around the world. Given it has its roots in a country whose political system has checks and balances we can probably feel safe imagining that confrontations between a symbol of capitalism and a socialist democracy would not escalate to war or any other means of violent showdown.

How about the reverse, i.e., a confrontation between a firm that has its base in a communist or a socialist country and confronts a poor democracy? Where would the checks and balances come from? More alarmingly, is the future political landscape going to be dominated by organizations and not countries? I cannot help but remind myself that it was not long ago that trading interests of the Bristish was what resulted in the colonization of much of the world. Not to mention the East India Company and its centuries of stranglehold over India.

Figuratively, organizations still rule the world, although it is a good feelign to know that at least outwardly there are not doing it by wielding physical power.