Published: 12 February 2008 – Media Lens
The death of the former Indonesian dictator, Suharto, on January 27 could have unleashed a flood of revelations detailing British and American support for one of the 20th century’s worst mass murderers. Instead, the media continued the cover up that has so far lasted more than forty years.
The 1965-6 massacres that accompanied Suharto’s rise to power claimed the lives of between 500,000 and 1 million people, mostly landless peasants. A 1977 Amnesty International report cited a tally of “many more than one million” deaths. (http://www.fair.org/articles/ suharto-itt.html) In the words of a leaked CIA report at the time, the massacre was “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century”. (Declassified US CIA Directorate of Intelligence research study, ‘Indonesia – 1965: The Coup That Backfired,’ 1968; http://newsc.blogspot.com/)
THE NEW RULERS OF THE WORLD, 2001
Directed by Alan Lowery
Written by John Pilger
Running time 65 min
Country United Kingdom
Award-winning journalist, John Pilger, investigates the realities of globalization by taking a close look at Indonesia. In order to examine the true effects of globalization, Pilger turns the spotlight on Indonesia, a country described by the World Bank as a model pupil until its globalized economy collapsed in 1998.
The film examines the use of sweatshop factories by famous brand names, and asks some penetrating questions. Who are the real beneficiaries of the globalized economy? Who really rules the world now? Is it governments or a handful of huge companies? The Ford Motor Company alone is bigger than the economy of South Africa. Enormously rich men, like Bill Gates, have a wealth greater than all of Africa. Pilger goes behind the hype of the new global economy and reveals that the divisions between the rich and poor have never been greater — two thirds of the world’s children live in poverty — and the gulf is widening like never before.
The film looks at the new rulers of the world — the great multinationals and the governments and institutions that back them — the IMF and the World Bank. Under IMF rules, millions of people throughout the world lose their jobs and livelihood. The reality behind much of modern shopping and the famous brands is a sweatshop economy, which is being duplicated in country after country.