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BlockChains, Supply Chains, Slave Chains & Small Change

Summary

Vavuluva – Bat-ese or Bat-ish – was a 1939 poem by Rapiyel Tennakoon making fun of those who worship foreigners and would rather die than seek assistance from local scholars’

blog: eesrilanka.wordpress.com

Before you study the economics, study the economists!

e-Con e-News 19-25 December 2021

 

What language do bats speak? VavuluvaBat-ese or Bat-ish – was a 1939 poem by Rapiyel Tennakoon making fun of such pseudo-luminaries as German philologist Wilhelm Geiger, mis-translator of the famed Sinhala chronicle The Mahavamsa. The Bat is ‘Sir’ DB Jayatilleka, who preferred hiring the foreigner Geiger for a Sinhala dictionary project, which never saw the light of day. ‘Alas, Vavula likes to worship foreigners and would rather die than seek assistance from local scholars’. 82 years later, Vavuluva has become the actual official language sponsored by the import mafia, elocuted with a Brutish-Council accent of course, only squawking ‘Import-Export-Import’ (see Random Notes, Munidasa & Santha).

 

  • ‘The Sri Lankan Government is, so far, refusing to accept the conditions put forward by the IMF for a bailout package,’ the Daily Mirror’s Vavula correspondent tells us (ee Economy, Request). But the DM dares not detail exactly what these IMF conditions are. ee can guess: sack workers and sell off ‘loss-making’ national assets. And the ‘chambers’, thinktanks and economists threaten and sing chorus. Yet why do our Vavulo like to hire business tycoons who run national institutions (what the Black-whites call SOEs: State-owned Enterprises) into the ground? (ee Focus, Tycoons)

 

‘We were taught a valuable lesson on the influence the USA wields in Asia’

– Eisuke Sakakibara, Japan’s Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs after the 1997 ‘crash’

 

  • In 1997 the US forced several ‘defaulting’ major Asian economies –Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, etc. – to submit to its economic dominance. The US ‘Manila Framework’ demanded they first seek help from the IMF, etc (ee Focus, IMF No Clothes).

White forces are now further concentrating their political, economic and military forces to undermine Asia’s connectivity, targeting countries like Sri Lanka and China. The whites virulently oppose the Made-in-China 2025 initiative, which seeks to free China’s economy from subservience to white capital.  This initiative offers a model to all countries seeking true independence based on modern capital-intensive industrialization. Here is why:

 

The iPad is produced by US-based Apple.

Apple sold over 100 million iPads in a year, 2010-11.

A ‘fabless’ – fabricationless – multinational,

Apple develops, designs, patents and sells computers & communications equipment

while it outsources the labor-intensive manufacturing process of the goods it sells.

All iPads are assembled in China.

Apple integrates 748 suppliers of materials & components into its production chain,

82% based in Asia, 351 of which are in China.

     At each node in the production chain, materials are input

with added wages, management, overhead costs, & profits.

The total monetized price of these factors, in all nodes of the chain,

equals the sales price – the ‘bright value’ in a commodity chain.

     The market price of an iPad in 2010-11 was $499, the factory price only $275.

Of the factory price, barely $33 went to production wages in the South,

while fully $150 of Apple’s gross profit margin went

to high design, marketing & administrative salaries,

plus research & development and operating costs sustained mainly in the white world.

– see ee Economists, Apple & Value

 

China accounts for only 3% of global profits in the electronics sector,

despite being the world’s largest exporter of electronics.

The US accounts for 33% of global profits in the electronics sector,

while exporting less manufactured electronics goods than China.

White multinationals, including the electronics sector (one of the world’s largest consumer industries), grab windfall profits in global production. Yet they rarely produce the goods. This is because US firms have amassed global control and power over supply chains, etc. This unequal distribution of value is also enabled by patent protection. This explains their opposition to Made-in-China 2025.

ee Industry, Power Trumps Tech

 

Shipping agencies, apart from being an extra source of income,

contributed to the commercial dominance of the European firms.

 As agents for shipping lines, they had a first claim on the available freight…

The monopoly power of European trading enterprise was thus based

on the pre-emption of markets and supply sources, economies of scale, access to funds,

and the lateral integration with insurance and shipping business.

– SBD de Silva, The Political Economy of Underdevelopment

 

  • England’s Unilever announced this week that almost all of its logistics operations will now be run by ‘Danish’ cargo shipping line Maersk aka AP Moller-Maersk, from 2022-6:

Maersk owns more container ships than anyone on earth… now not ‘just a cargo shipping line’.

They are also an airline, a trucking company, a port terminal operator, and a freight forwarder.

Maersk has gobbled up ‘a piece of virtually every stage of the global supply chain’,

hoping to become a one-stop shop for logistics.

Fueled by multibillion dollar pandemic profits, Maersk this week also bought Hong Kong’s LF Logistics, which controls trade to & from mainland China, from Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and Hong Kong’s Li & Fung (once the world’s largest sourcing company, an early Chinese ‘comprador’, a buyer’s broker linking US and European multinational retailers of clothes, toys, etc., to factories in China).

Maersk also serves the US government and their contractors, managing ‘the world’s largest fleet of internationally trading US-flagged vessels’. In March 2021 Standard Chartered Bank became the first financial institution to join Maersk and IBM’s information platform TradeLens.

What links all these MNCs to Sri Lanka? In November, Eswaran Brothers Exports became the first Sri Lankan tea exporter to adopt Maersk’s TradeLens’ platform, supported by the Ministry of Digital Technology. Unilever, largest fast-moving consumer product (FCMG) multinational here, recently sold 34 tea brands, including Lipton, closely linked to Sri Lankan tea. Unilever yet dominates much of Sri Lanka’s 270,000 retail outlets, monopolizing our home market, preventing investment of its profits in local rural modern industrialization (Random Notes, Peppercube).

 

  • Return of the English East India Company – Such monopolization recalls the role of Europe’s (Dutch, English) East India Companies (EICs). EICs captured regional and home markets. The English EIC then spawned ‘private’ banks and companies to extend English tentacles throughout Asia.

In 1833 England abolished rajakariya services in Sri Lanka to destroy the solidarity that shaped the purana gama (ancient village) and its complex irrigation system, further weakening resistance to invasion. The English government also began selling land by auction to officials, churchmen and planters, setting up plantations based on American slavery.

In 1833 the English also claimed to officially abolish African chattel slavery. They however inaugurated ‘indentured’ slavery in Asia, imposing coffee plantations and an enslaved alien workforce on Sri Lanka’s highlands. Barclay’s Bank arose out of Bank of England’s reparations (with loans from the Rothschilds) paid to English slave owners (but not to the enslaved) in the Caribbean.

1833 is also the year the English government ended their EIC monopoly over sales of Indian-grown opium in China, opening their most profitable 19th-century commerce to ‘private’ companies. This ‘privatized’ opium business created the largest banks and MNCs of today: Standard Chartered Bank, Hongkong & Shanghai Bank (HSBC), P&O Shipping, Liptons-Unilever, etc.

 

  • Rise of the English government’s mail, opium and gold bullion shipper Peninsular & Orient Corporation (P&O): With Sri Lanka being turned into ‘Lipton’s Tea Garden’, P&O set up subsidiary Ceylon Wharfage Co. to handle their ships’ import and export cargo in the Colombo Port. Another P&O firm, Mackinnon Mackenzie, did shipping agency work. P&O engineering firm Walkers & Co. serviced ships. Walkers was later converted into a ‘Estate Jobbing Company’ making machinery for tea factories, though refusing to fully mechanize tea production. In 2004 Maersk bought P&O’s container shipping business P&O Nedlloyd. Yet P&O still dominates the seas around us, funding attacks on Hambantota port and Sri Lanka’s links with China (ee 22 Nov 2019).

 

1833 is also the year England’s industrial bourgeoisie finally gained access to parliament. The workers and the petit-bourgeoisie, who had led the movement for democracy, were however refused the vote. The industrial bourgeoisie thus empowered passed another of England’s infamous Poor Laws giving welfare to workers, not in their homes, but only if they entered a prison-like factory workhouse. The links between chattel and wage slavery were more firmly enchained. Blockchain indeed!

 

  • December is ‘hamper’ time. Go to any supermarket and watch the hampers – gifts – piled high. Hampers are sent by private companies to government officials. Santa Claus is actually a pimp! Arrest him! (ee Economy).

 

  • See how the capitalist media disguises the dirt of its most corrupt masters, in this FT article headlined ‘Former Executive claims Rs25m damages after new Chairman initiates probe’. It’s entirely written without one mention of the names of the companies or individuals involved (ee Business).

 

  • Tokyo this week agreed to pay 211billion yen ($1.86bn) annually for 54,000 US troops in Japan. Japan and South Korea (40,000 US soldiers) have nearly half the US troops imposed overseas. The US says their army, there since the 1940s, is now there to ‘deal with China’ (ee Sovereignty).

 

  • The US is sending us a new ambassador born in their colony of South Korea. So ee very highly recommends the tale of the more-famous 19th-century ‘abolitionist’ son of enslaved Africans, sent as envoy to heroic Haiti, a country to which Sri Lanka compares. Frederick Douglass & US Empire in Haiti shows how envoys, no matter how well-intentioned, are mere fronts for military and economic interests (see, blackagendareport.com/frederick-douglass-and-american-empire-haiti). Darker men and women are often used as front cover for the white imperialist machine. US President Obama takes the prize as the whitest man with a tan, murdering Libya’s leader and thousands there, let alone escalating wars in Syria, Yemen, etc, and imposing more US military bases across Africa. Then there’s Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Director of the Human Rights Watch, delivering the goods that white boys usually orally expectorate. And what about Kamala Harris, set to take over the moment Sleepy Joe Biden has another ‘senior’ moment. And now here comes Miss Julie.

 

  • Jesus was a refugee running from NATO to NATO? English and French officials let 27 refugees drown in the English Channel. 160 migrants were drowned off Libya. Dozens are missing after boat carrying refugees sank in the Aegean. Since 2014, over 23,000 people have been killed trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. Escaping NATO’s wars, fleeing into NATO’s arms (ee Workers).

 

  • Nazi Lovers – The US and Ukraine were the only 2 countries at the UN protecting the Nazis and their legacy this week: One commentator called it ‘extraordinary’. It ain’t so strange when one considers that white settlers are the fashion models for fascism.
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