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Corruption is the Game

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DeSmog Blog journalist, Steve Horn, has published a very well done report on Hillary Clinton’s corrupt State Department. His investigation follows Wikileaks and government released documents showing her and her appointees leveraging their positions for personal and corporate gain in abetting the corrupt PRI regime in privatizing the historically nationalized Mexican energy sector. Corporate media, as expected, is largely silent about the revelations. They’ve been silent constantly in regards to Mexico, when not repugnantly cheerleading or spreading xenophobic rhetoric.

This is a disservice to the American public, who deserve to know and act on the corruption of their elected and appointed officials. It is a further disservice to the American public, as they do not learn how the corruption is international, involving transnational oligarchic networks. Such an understanding might lead American workers to see Mexican workers as their kin in a global fight against capital. It also might clue them in to the history of privatization as accumulation through dispossession, the ugly reality of capitalism as expropriator of common wealth. They might realize that corruption is the game.

Mexican officials have had to respond to the allegations as the Mexican population is quite nationalist, and involvement by the Yankees in their affairs will spark outrage. Mexican Energy Secretary, Joaquín Coldwell, has come out publically stating that the energy reform is “a totally Mexican product” and declaring the accusations “absolutely false”. He went on to state that the only examples Mexico used were Norway, Brazil, and Colombia. He also stated that he thinks the e-mail revelations are political, unsubstantiated claims meant to harm Clinton’s campaign. However, Coldwell refuses to release the meeting minutes related to energy reform, which would allow him to corroborate his claims, if that would be possible. Nor, does he deal with any of the substantive material from the evidence provided by Horn from Wikileaks.

For instance, in April 2013 we know that David Goldwyn, Clinton’s first International Energy Coordinate appointee, stated to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere that the US, Mexico, and Canada have “a trilateral energy policy dialogue” meant to handle “harmonization of standard and market outlooks.” Further, Goldwyn states that Mexico’s constitutional constraints are an obstacle to US accessing of Mexico’s oil sector multiple times, the constitutional restraints that energy reform removed. Goldwyn is stating that he does interact with the Mexican government on this very topic. So, either Goldwyn or Coldwell is lying about whether or not the US and Mexico have been working on Mexican energy privatization. My bet is on the latter.

Further, I would agree this is political, in the sense of the investment theory of politics. Hillary Clinton has links to Mexican transnational capitalists, such as major Clinton Foundation donor Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecom billionaire. Slim’s Grupo Carso will be competing for exploration and extraction contracts resultant from PEMEX privatization. That is, the oligarchic network is well connected, and multiple parties benefit from the way the system operates. Slim donates to the Clintons because they support a neoliberal worldview, a view they then implement when in power, like being Secretary of State, which enables capitalists like Slim to enrich themselves at the public trough. Nor is this a new gimmick for Slim, who has enriched himself continuously by purchasing public sector goods, such as in the case of Telmex.

These people and organizations are all actively working to further enrich themselves through the dispossession of roughly one third or more of Mexico’s federal budget. Politicians and officials are utilizing their positions of power, positions meant to pursue the public good, to aid corporations to accumulate through dispossession. The corporations do not care about political party as they give to any politician who will pursue their interests. The only goal the corporations had was to access resources they would otherwise be unable to access, especially if it was a matter of democracy. Collusion, conflict of interest, corruption, all on display. It is called capitalism and the game is rigged, internationally so.

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Andrew Smolski is a writer and sociologist.

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