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The large supranational bureaucracies are among the most opaque, powerful, and scrutiny-protected organizations in the West. These bureaucracies have allied themselves with concentrated interests that today leverage their rent-seeking on radical anti-market talking points, leading to anti-free market agendas in the great powers of the free world. That is why the agendas of supranational bureaucracies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are now woke.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) employs 2,500 and the IMF 2,400 officials, respectively. The World Bank has more than 10,000 employees. The OECD was not supposed to be a bureaucratic giant dedicated to imposing its agenda on member states. It was founded, like the IMF and the World Bank, after World War II to provide neutral and reliable statistical data and to promote economic development by strengthening democratic systems with institutional weaknesses. It was to help member countries, not impose an agenda on them.
But the OECD now designs anti-free market policies for its woke allies, special interest groups, and socialist politicians who further push these radical policies on G20 states, leading to global implementation.
The OECD is the biggest promoter of regulatory cartels that increase bureaucracy and tarnish competition. This strategy—whose excuses range from environmental dogmatism to gender ideology and the “fight against inequality”—neutralizes capitalization and competition from emerging economies that adopt free market and deregulation agendas.
The OECD’s push for “tax harmonization” means imposing higher taxes on poorer, under capitalized nations, accompanied by heavy and costly regulations that are also “harmonized”—even though the world’s most developed economies would find it difficult to afford such measures. Ironically, the attack on tax and regulatory competition seems to favor the richest countries, but it does not favor their everyday citizens but concentrated interests. As economic theory points out, it will impede the development of backward economies by impoverishing the Third World.
A good example of such contortions was the hypocritical international campaign over fires in the Amazon that French President Emmanuel Macron relied on to block a long-negotiated trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur. The fires had been no different from other fire seasons in the Amazon. There were some outbreaks out of the ordinary, but this occurred in Bolivia, where Evo Morales allowed uncontrolled burning by activist groups occupying land on whose management and problems they had no experience.
Disinformation and propaganda attacked Brazil’s right-wing, pro-market president Jair Bolsonaro. The “environmentalist” disinformation spread through leftist mainstream media and radical networks of left-wing activists around the world. This prevented the signing of the agreement, neutralizing the competition of South American agricultural producers in the EU market. The legitimization of that disinformation was provided by opaque supranational bureaucracies.
No less important is that in the corruption of supranational bureaucracies to push anti-capitalist agendas, Beijing sees another opportunity to use it for its own agenda of global hegemony. The corrupt opacity of large supranational bureaucracies cannot fail to be one of the backdoors of Beijing’s influence in the West. Another more obvious one has been the corruption of politicians, bureaucrats, concentrated rent-seeking interests, intellectuals, and big corporate media in the West and the Third World.
Something that is often forgotten is that Beijing’s totalitarian agenda competes for influence over the free world with two other global, totalitarian and openly socialist agendas. But those other totalitarian agendas against which the communist regime competes are unrealistic, internally contradictory, and inherently weak. That is why those who push totalitarian agendas and believe they are serving themselves will end up serving as a red carpet for China’s brutal political realism.
Guillermo Rodríguez is a professor of Political Economy in the extension area of the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences at Universidad Monteávila, in Caracas. A researcher at the Juan de Mariana Center and author of several books // Guillermo es profesor de Economía Política en el área de extensión de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas de la Universidad Monteávila, en Caracas, investigador en el Centro Juan de Mariana y autor de varios libros