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... one thing transnational corporations do is to take advantage of financial crises to gain ownership of existing productive assets at fire sale prices. If it was Paraguay or Côte d'Ivoire, that's exactly what we would be expecting to start happening.

IOW, Iceland may have all the sources of electricity that it requires inside its borders ... that is no guarantee of the means of producing that electricity remaining in Icelandic hands.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Apr 26th, 2009 at 06:48:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except that unlike Paraguay and Côte d'Ivoire, Iceland is populated by white, Christian people who speak English, not brown communists who speak funny.

So if the Icelandic government decides to renationalise, tax or - perish the thought - prosecute some of those companies, it would be too politically expensive to do a Pinochet on them.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Apr 26th, 2009 at 07:09:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... with its long standing Democratic institutions that got the Allende treatment.

Whether Iceland can resist a standard transnational corporate resource grab, I'd be surprised if the grab is not made. I hope that it can resist.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Apr 26th, 2009 at 09:24:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You will notice that Iceland's democratic traditions or lack thereof never featured in my analysis. What makes it politically expensive to go after Iceland is that it's got too many white, Christian people. (Or rather, it's located in a part of the world where most Americans think there's a lot of white, Christian people - I doubt the actual demographics matter any more than the length or depth of their democratic traditions.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 03:39:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But it also makes it a bigger win for a TNC that succeeds in screwing Iceland out of some valuable resource ... a parasite often does better in a host with few other parasites.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 08:45:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only assuming they get to actually keep it. We aren't - quite - living in a Shadowrun scenario (yet): If a transnat goes up against a determined, sovereign government, the transnat is going to lose.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 02:19:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are more binding constraints on a small island economy than on a large economy, which gets back to the tacit premises of the "Iceland is too 'Western' to fall prey" argument, which is that if Iceland puts up a determined resistance, it will find a sympathetic hearing in countries that are large enough economically that a transnational has to take their concerns seriously.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 11:03:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
defense of Iceland.  

The media narrative will run on very different lines, you may be sure.  If Alcoa even gets mentioned, it will be as the Great Benefactor.  

Americans know nothing about Iceland, and their imaginings can be manipulated.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Apr 29th, 2009 at 02:40:33 AM EST
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But doing a Pinochet on Iceland will piss off Norway no end. And Norway has oil.

Oh, and if you're really unlucky, pissing off Norway might piss off Germany too. And they have ball bearings.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Apr 29th, 2009 at 03:07:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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