American Moments – Brush with Destiny – Multinational Corporate Indentured Servitude of 1607

The year is 1607, in the great nation of Chief Powhaten, the civilized American native nation of several hundred villages surrounding the Jamestown Colony> A conversation can be overhood between the Great Chief Powhaten with his warrior about the logic of free trade with this starving colony, this first of many international corporations that would invade America.

Warrior: “Chief Powhaten, we attacked the unfinished stockade at Jamestown and made progress at repulsing this English corporation, London Company, back into the sea. But they used techniques unknown to us to thwart us, firing iron from their ships. Nonetheless, they are but a few and our Powhaten nation is large, with several hundred villages and thousands of natives. We can easily defeat them and rid our country of these foreign corporations.”

Chief Powhaten: “No, we will let them live among us for they have these tools of iron that I want. We will give them our country’s trade secrets of tobacco farming so that they can make a profit off our land. We are a great nation. They are but a small company. Free trade will be good for us.”

Warrior: “What else do we have to trade?”

Chief Powhaten: “We have 275 species of plants as medicines, 130 as foods, and 27 as tobacco. For giving them these innovations that we have gained through living on this land for thousands of years, they will give us these trinkets of iron. Certainly this short term gain is worth our knowledge of ages.”

Warrior: “Yet they overwhelm our land. They send fleets of several hundred ships to deplete our fishing fields off our northern shores”

Chief Powhaten: “Yes but I am personally enriched by their trades of clothing and jewelry and our land is plentiful. If I felt that our nation could not sustain such an onslaught, I would not personally seek such enrichment.”

Warrior: “But for that, you are agreeing to grant their corporate leaders rights to thousands of acres of our people’s land!”

Chief Powhaten: “What are these rights but mere pieces of parchment on which I have scratched my honor on in ink. We record these debts on contracts which will never be repaid to these corporations. This land, these intellectual properties, our great nation’s wealth, has been our birthright since before recorded history and no small corporation, unknowledgeable of our ancestral ways, will ever take it from us.”

Warrior: “I hope for the sake of our nation that you are wiser than you seem. Else these corporations will come and live among us, indebting us to their ways. They will take from us our land. They will indebt our nation, and when we finally cannot repay their debts, they will gather us up and send us from our birthright, ill and dying from their smallpox, to till arid lands they deem as worthless, and our great nation will be forgotten from these times until the end of ages.”

Chief Powhaten: “Free trade… International Corporations…This is the way forward for America….”

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Filed under American Governance, Multinational Corporations

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