The more one reads about Paul Martin’s business affairs, the more troubling they appear. In Paul Martin & Companies, Alain Deneault offers a piercing look at what it means when a Canadian prime minister puts his private interests outside the laws he has been elected to apply. Using Martin’s business dealings as an example, Deneault sheds light on the shadowy world of tax havens, offering insight into the functioning of these government-free fiscal zones and their relation to the growing world problems of capital flight, foreign debt, accountability for political power, endemic conflicts of interest in the public realm, media concentration, massacres, misery and even war.
These sixty short theses lay bare the contradictions embodied in Paul Martin, the businessman and the politician, and those inherent in the emerging forms of economic globalization and the Canadian political system and its laws. Deneault delves beyond the superficial, albeit alarming, aspects of the Martin case to get at the heart of what political and economic power really mean in the age of globalization. He presents the Martin case as a symptom of a worldwide crisis of public ethics that goes far beyond the simple question of Martin’s assets, and demonstrates that it is part of a lawless global culture that increasingly allows the world’s largest financial transactions to escape all forms of control, regulation and contribution to our national economies.
It has often been said that the appalling human misery endemic to third world countries is due not to their lack of natural resources, but to the self-interest and corruption of their leadership. Alain Deneault argues that this diversion of capital from the wealth of nations into the private bank accounts of their leaders is not particular to third world countries, and spells out what this means for all of us.
Alain Deneault was born in the Outaouais region of Quebec. His interests lie in nineteenth-century German and twentieth-century French philosophy, as well as the work of Georg Simmel. Deneault’s research and writing practices are diverse and often collaborative, focusing on how international financial and legal agreements increasingly foster the interests of “stateless” transnational corporations over those of nation states and the interests of their human communities.
Rhonda Mullins is a freelance translator and journalist in Montreal. She has translated books, articles and film narrations. Mullins is also the managing editor of the online literary magazine carte blanche.
?Stands as an example and a rebuke to the watery discourse that passes for “political commentary’ in the anglophone press — “