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Silent Surrender

Silent Surrender: The Multinational Corporation in Canada

Kari Levitt New introduction by the author
New foreword by Mel Watkins
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 250
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  • Book Info
    Silent Surrender
    Book Description:

    Silent Surrender was prophetic in predicting that the ultimate consequence of relinquishing control of the Canadian economy to United States business interests would be political disintegration through the balkanization of the country and its eventual piecemeal absorption into the American imperial system.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6987-4
    Subjects: Economics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Foreword to the Carleton Library Series Edition
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Mel Watkins

    Out of the 1960s, so full of fun and dashed hopes, there came some lasting good—this book for one. If you weren’t around to read it then, now’s your chance. And if you were, and wisely did, it’s time to treat yourself again. In a world where most books have a shelf life of about six months and then revert to the pulp from which they came, the continuing resonance and relevance of this book, thirty years on and counting, is remarkable. Call it a Canadian classic.

    In those by-gone days people, though rarely governments, which care mostly about...

  5. Foreword to the First Edition
    (pp. xiii-xxii)

    This book makes a signal contribution to the debate on foreign ownership which increasingly comes to the fore in this country. Let us hope that it succeeds in pushing us closer—much closer—to a strong and positive policy toward the multinational corporation, taming it for the near future and finding an effective alternative to it for the long run. I feel confident that Professor Levitt would join me in that hope. For, as the reader will soon come to realize, while Professor Levitt clearly has the skills of the professional economist and uses them here with great effect, she...

  6. Introduction to the Carleton Library Series Edition
    (pp. xxiii-xlii)
    Kari Levitt

    I wish to express my thanks to the Carleton Library Series and McGill-Queen’s University Press for the republication ofSilent Surrender.I hope the reader will find it of more than historical interest. It was an early case study of the effects of foreign direct investment on Canada, a “hinterland” with a historical legacy of economic dependence. At the core of the book is a carefully documented analysis of the modern multinational corporation and the strategic considerations that drive it to capture ever more spaces, real and virtual, private and public, domestic and global. In the thirty years that have...

  7. Introduction to the First Edition
    (pp. xliii-xlviii)

    This book presents a sketch of Canada’s slide into a position of economic, political and cultural dependence on the United States. It seeks to explain the process whereby national entrepreneurship and political unity have been eroded to a point beyond which lies the disintegration of the nation state. Those of my colleagues who believe that understanding is advanced primarily by the accretion of factual information will perhaps be disappointed by the absence of “original research.” Those, however, who share the view that further research on the effects of direct foreign investment is unlikely to yield additional insight unless accompanied by...

  8. 1. The Recolonization of Canada
    (pp. 1-16)

    Canada’s main preoccupation in centennial year was with her chances of survival as an independent sovereign country. The mass circulationStar Weekly,in its Canada Day issue of 1967, featured interviews with two distinguished Canadians under the heading “Can Canada Survive?”

    One of these was Walter Gordon, then President of the Privy Council and chairman of the cabinet committee which had responsibility for a task force to enquire into the effects of foreign investment on the Canadian economy. A White Paper outlining government policy was promised for the autumn of 1967. The “Watkins Report,” named after Professor Melville H. Watkins,...

  9. 2. The Old Mercantilism and the New
    (pp. 17-45)

    It is now clear that the findings of the Task Force set up on the initiative of Walter Gordon have been rejected both by government and by academia. The great majority of Canada’s economists remain convinced that there is no serious cause for concern. By and large, they maintain that direct foreign investment assists economic growth without creating problems that cannot be dealt with by legislation. The economic power of producing organizations and the legislative power of government are believed to be independent of each other: the former subordinate to the democracy of the market place, the latter to the...

  10. 3. The Rise of the Nation State
    (pp. 46-57)

    It seems to have escaped the attention of most of our economists that the insights contained in the writings of the late Harold Innis are highly relevant to an understanding of our contemporary relationship to the United States.¹ The misconception that Innis’s staples of fish and fur are an unpalatable diet compared with the elegant apparatus of modern economic theory has deprived recent generations of Canadian economists of the building blocks of a theory of Canadian development.

    In an excellent survey article on the staple theory of economic growth Professor M.H. Watkins notes that the decline in the influence of...

  11. 4. Regression to Dependence
    (pp. 58-70)

    Some sixty years ago Sir Wilfrid Laurier declared that the twentieth century belongs to Canada. By the middle of the century it had become clear that Canada belongs to the United States. Indeed Canada provides a dramatic illustration of the stultification of an indigenous entrepreneurial class and the regression to a condition of underdevelopment in spite of continuous income growth.

    Until recently the change in Canada’s status has largely gone unnoticed. Most Americans are barely aware of the existence of Canada; if they were, it would not be necessary for our political leaders to remind them so often and so...

  12. 5. Who Decides?
    (pp. 71-91)

    The dominant institution in the peripheral economy in the contemporary period is the foreign affiliate or branch plant of the great modern corporation.In The New Industrial State,Professor John Galbraith has given a name to that part of the American economy which is characterized by a few hundred technically dynamic, massively capitalized and highly organized corporations. He calls it the “Industrial System.” What is important here is not the particular name Galbraith has chosen to distinguish the phenomenon, but that he perceives so clearly the way in which a system characterized by very large corporations is qualitatively different in...

  13. 6. Metropolis and Hinterland
    (pp. 92-115)

    The intrusion of the metropolitan-based corporation into the world economy is proceeding at an explosive rate. According to the most recent estimates the production of all multinational corporations, outside their home countries, in 1968 exceeded $300 billion, a figure considerably larger than the whole of non-communist trade in that year. The foreign production of these companies alone now forms in aggregate the third largest economy in the world following only the domestic economies of the United States and the Soviet Union.¹

    Addressing the Couchiching Conference of 1968, Professor J.D. Behrman, former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce, estimated that the output of...

  14. 7. The Harvest of Lengthening Dependence
    (pp. 116-156)

    After twenty-five years of heavy American direct investment Canada’s freedom of action has been progressively restricted to the point where it is doubtful whether it can be regained. The loss of sovereignty is most evident in the matter of “extra-territoriality.” When the metropolitan government insists on the primacy of its law over subsidiaries located in hinterland countries there is a direct conflict of jurisdiction.¹

    The subsidiary is faced by the question: which law is to be respected, the law of the land in which the firm is located, or the law of the country in which the owners reside? As...

  15. Appendix: The New Mercantilism of U.S. Direct Investment
    (pp. 157-186)
  16. Index
    (pp. 187-193)