When it comes to defending "globalization," I have three words for
corporate America: Shame on you!
Once again you are listening to the capitulation counselors' siren song
of appeasement: Don't leave your foxholes; keep your heads down; don't
take on the anarchists and Marxists; and don't ruin their Molotov
cocktail parties in Genoa, Seattle, Washington, DC, or Quebec. Instead,
let George W. Bush take the heat.
Great. At some point, thanks to your pacifism, President Bush may
conclude that he must give in to some demands of those who seek to
destroy your companies, free trade, and free enterprise.
If you are a corporate CEO, I have two suggestions you likely won't hear
from your handlers:
1. Ignore those who tell you to duck and hide. You have nothing to hide
from. Free trade, Capitalism, science, technology and globalization have
lifted millions of people out of abject poverty; given hope to those who
remain destitute; and improved the quality and length of life for those
of us who live on Planet Earth.
2. Tell the truth, and tell it often. What's the truth? The people who
have been trashing the streets of Genoa and elsewhere are, by and large,
white, middle-class, and chronically aggrieved. One commentator has
observed that they are the ill-informed but well-intentioned, led by the
well-informed but ill-intentioned. Their leaders care little about those
starving in Ethiopia, or the child prostitutes of Thailand who are
forced onto the streets to support their families.
These anarchists, Marxists and radical ecologists oppose genetically
engineered crops that could end famine and disease. They have
systematically denied Third World countries pest-control products that
could eradicate malaria and other insect-borne diseases that are killing
millions of babies every year. They have stopped the construction of
dams that would bring electricity and clean water to dying children and
their grieving parents - all in the name of Mother Earth, Mother Jones,
or some other politically correct Mother. Mother Teresa must be rolling
over in her grave.
How should corporations communicate the benefits of globalization? How
about mobilizing the people who have benefited? Give voice to their
story with the same communications techniques you employ to market your
products, inform your employees and educate your share-holders. This
isn't rocket science, folks; it's about having the guts to stand up for
Do you have what it takes?
Nick Nichols is chairman of Nichols-Dezenhall Communications Management
Group in Washington, DC, and is author of book Rules for Corporate
Warriors (The Free Enterprise Press), due out this fall.