Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland
7 January 2018
While the Irish establishment and its media eulogise Peter Sutherland as a figure the Irish people should all seek to emulate, the truth is lost.
The truth is that he was a willing tool and agent of global monopoly capitalism. The companies whose boards he chaired or on which he sat—global corporations like BP and Goldman Sachs—have wreaked havoc upon hundreds of millions of people, and devastated whole countries and communities with economic and social policies imposed by the global institutions established by western governments to protect and advance the interests of global monopoly capitalism.
BP and other petroleum companies have contributed to huge environmental destruction all over the globe, not to mention the systemic impoverishment of millions throughout the developing world, as well as the destabilisation of any state that posed a challenge to Western capitalist orthodoxy.
The Irish ruling class has been well bought and paid for by global monopolies. They are mere gatekeepers and compradors for the EU and the global capitalist monopolies. Sutherland was just another highly paid servant to those same interests.
As the architect of the common market and the founding head of the World Trade Organisation he instituted such practices as agricultural dumping by Western countries in the developing world, destroying indigenous economies and driving millions into famine and poverty. He presided over a trade order that perpetuates the hegemony of Western capitalism.
Leo Varadkar tweeted that Sutherland was a great “internationalist.” Internationalism is a proud socialist tradition of solidarity and common struggle. Sutherland was a globalist, and his globalisation—and the results of it—are being felt in the surge of right-wing violence and fascism around the globe. That is not a legacy that anyone should be proud of.