In 1791, the right to bear arms to defend against an over-reaching government wasn't theoretical. Today, it's hard to imagine physical weapons serving the same purpose. But it's easy to see how hacktivists might - especially if you broaden the opponents to include hate groups and rapacious multinationals.
One of the weaknesses of Indian industry is that in many areas.. like consumer goods.. it is very fragmented. Individually, the companies might not be able to survive. What is needed is a consortium of like companies in one industry, presenting a strong front to the multinationals. The Swiss watch industry did this.
Terrorism [is] a biological consequence of the multinationals, just as a day of fever is the reasonable price of an effective vaccine . . . The conflict is between great powers, not between demons and heroes. Unhappily, therefore, is the nation that finds the "heroes" underfoot, especially if they still think in religious terms and involve the population in their bloody ascent to an uninhabited paradise.
My experience to date has been that change, particularly relative to business, rarely happens in a revolutionary way. That isn't to say there are not times when major change happens, but my experience is that particularly when you're encouraging businesses to change of their own volition, the change is more slow over time. I don't think global trade is going to go away. I think it's unlikely that global trade and multinationals are not going to be around.
The great multinationals are unwilling to face the moral and economic contradictions of their own behavior - producing in low-wage dictatorships and selling to high-wage democracies. Indeed, the striking quality about global enterprises is how easily free-market capitalism puts aside its supposed values in order to do business. The conditions of human freedom do not matter to them so long as the market demand is robust. The absence of freedom, if anything, lends order and efficiency to their operations.
To speak of 'limits to growth' under a capitalistic market economy is as meaningless as to speak of limits of warfare under a warrior society. The moral pieties, that are voiced today by many well-meaning environmentalists, are as naive as the moral pieties of multinationals are manipulative. Capitalism can no more be 'persuaded' to limit growth than a human being can be 'persuaded' to stop breathing. Attempts to 'green' capitalism, to make it 'ecological', are doomed by the very nature of the system as a system of endless growth.
A very focused Chinese government, with firm, long-term social and economic goals, and an increasingly assertive international voice, is feeling more pressure from the Chinese dreamers, and is putting more pressure on foreign business interests. The foreign multinationals have their purposes, but also feed resentment that so much of China's hard work results in easy profits for foreign brands and foreign shareholders. This new reality requires foreign firms to pay much more attention to the social context, and to ensure that they can manage the increased political and regulatory risk. From "Risky Business in China" (Palgrave, September 2014)
Excerpt from page 113 [On Malaysia's Prime Minster's anti-capitalism and anti-globalization policies in September 1997] "Ah, excuse me, Mahathir, but what planet are you living on? You talk about participating in globalization as if it were a choice you had. Globalization isn't a choice. It's a reality. There is just one global market today, and the only way you can grown at the speed your people want to grow is by tapping into the global stock and bond markets, by seeking out multinationals to invest in your country and by selling into the global trading systems what your factories produce. And the most basic truth about globalization is: No one is in charge. You keep looking for someone to complain to, someone to take the heat off your markets, someone to blame. Well, guess what, Mahathir, there's no one on the other end of the phone!" "The Electronic Heard cuts no one any slack... The herd is not infallible. It makes mistakes too. It overreacts and it overshoots. But if your fundamentals are basically sound, the herd will eventually recognize this and come back. They herd is never stupid for too long. In the end, it always responds to good governance and good economic management.
Thomas L. Friedman