‘Yaka and the Agenda of the Greenwashing Hoods’ by Yak Handa

Hijacking the ‘Environmental Movement’

Elaine Dewar’s book Cloak of Green digs into a star-studded Toronto fundraiser to ‘Save the Rainforest’, soon untangling roots linking the world’s worst polluters (oilman Rockefeller, carman Ford) to major environmental groups (World Wildlife Fund, IUCN, Friends of the Earth, etc.).

Dewar details how capitalists hijacked the ‘Environmental Movement’, how iNGOs germinated, how corporate priorities were fast-tracked within various struggles to ‘save the world.’ Undercutting increased unity among most countries in the 1960s-70s – sabotaging such anti-colonial initiatives as the New International Economic and Information Orders, which only feebly challenged the hegemony of multinational corporations and their Big-Four News-Agencies: Reuters, AP, DPA, AFP – iNGOs are linked to restoring white power at the UN.

To dismiss industrialization in our countries, long-industrialized-rich iNGOs, using high-tech media, hypocritically proclaim: industrialization is bad for the Earth. They merrily ignore that mercantile capitalism forces disemployed people to survive by falling back on exploiting forests, land and sea.

But then Dewar inadvertently stumbles on ‘The Agenda’ – that’s not about hugging trees, and guaranteeing icebergs stay pure-white and whole! “The Agenda” seeks to institute not just ‘regime change’ around the world, but lever power up to corporate-controlled regional bodies, by using NGOs and ‘ethnic conflict’ to undermine nation-states.

She encounters this Agenda when interviewing a director with Cultural Survival, a ‘Human Rights Group’ working with “tribal and ethnic minorities in the Third World,” “Indigenous-led” yet based in Harvard University’s Peabody Museum. Set up in 1972 (year of that Stockholm environmental conference), CS’s proportion of USAID-funds expanded rapidly under Reaganomics. CS soon claimed a network of 1000s of ‘native informants’ – experts and activists around the world.

‘Ethnic’ Cardiology

After WW11, imperialist governments and corporations strengthened specific interests in former colonies to control trade; Cultural Survival tells Dewar: ‘Two-thirds of the world’s almost 200 states were thus created, caging over 5,000 ‘real nations’, each with a base, culture and history of self-government. Nigeria alone caged 450 ‘nations’, Brazil 190, USSR (minus Siberia) 130,’ etc.

Advocates of ‘decentralization’ elsewhere, avoid explaining why Europe and the US (usual funders of iNGOs and government-bonds) meanwhile expand and strengthen their borders and armies, bolstering their multinationals. Nonetheless, they insist our countries must not strengthen unity, within and without, to oppose the might of their behemoths. No! The Agenda believes we must be split further to bolster multinational corporate penetration.

Multinational corporations favor the rise of ‘ethnic nationalism’ as opposed to developing the nation-state. To subsume these nation-states under institutions of local and global governance, NGOs would promote binaries of local “ethnic” legitimacy versus “corrupt” multicultural national illegitimacy.

Yet in imperialist countries, there’s really only one party: The Capitalist Party, with brightly differentiated wings. And when it comes to attacking us, they’re always one! This North Atlantic (NATO) gang unleashes horror on Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chagos, Korea, yet the CS-staffer can insist: ‘National state elites, right or left, represent at most one or two ethnic groups, who appropriate resources, igniting wars. One-party power structures are sustained by weaponry. 75% of shooting wars occur within nation-states, whose armies only shoot their own citizens. The Himalayan debt-loads of these countries are largely weapons purchases.’

CS (headquartered on stolen Whampanoag land) even claims, “There was more genocide in the 20th than any other century.” This is the quintessential white-gaze blurring world history. Like the International Court of the Hague, ‘war crimes’ are not committed by their hosts, the Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, or their lost Yankee cousins: What they did, and still do in our world through their economic, military and cultural panzer-divisions is not up for jurisprudence or reparations.

Corporate Teflon

The Agenda views the nation-state as ‘an artificial construct to serve colonial masters and local elites’ – “corrupt thieves of the common good!” But not corporations! ‘Central government powers must be reduced, and decision-making reconfigured on diverse regional lines. It’s illegitimate for sovereign nations to make rules to protect local elites, etc.’ Such ideas soon permeated numerous multinational-friendly Free Trade Agreements.

In Lanka, English amnesia abounds about 1818 and 1948, let alone hundreds of wars fought over 500 years in different parts of the country; let alone 1971, 1989, and the two decades hence of so-called ethnic conflict. Silence abounds of the ‘regional’ mercenaries, merchants, usurers, who with collaborating landowners, remora of our stolen patrimony, underdevelop the country.

When the English first invaded Lanka, the East India Company sought to rule the country from Madras. The first Lankika rebellion against the English in 1797 quashed that plan. Yet now, Anglo-Dutch Unilever, like their ancestor, the East India Company, controls Sri Lanka through India, while its present CEO, in Colombo this week, was also a top executive at Unilevers’ supposed rivals, Procter&Gamble and Nestles! Such diversity! Such incest!

Yaka insists: The state should discuss devolving the major multinationals that underdevelop our economy!


From The Nation, Sri Lanka