Eye On The Gold includes a superb history of the gold rush in South Africa, and the pivotal roles played by Cecil Rhodes, Joseph Robinson, John Hays Hammond, Britain, the Oppenheimers and Anglo-American in shaping the future of South Africa. And all the time, the sale of armaments, wars and associated corruption lurk.
The arms trade is estimated to generate 45 percent of global corruption. South African gold funded the British Empires and its wars. The gold industry was the prime beneficiary of the apartheid system, and left legacies of social breakdown, impoverishment and environmental degradation. Production peaked in 1970 and is now in terminal decline; remaining ore reserves are too deep, too expensive and too dangerous to extract. With the support of Archbishop-Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Terry launched the New York banking sanctions campaign against apartheid in 1985 as a last nonviolent attempt to avert a civil war. President Nelson Mandela subsequently acknowledged that the campaign was the single-most successful initiative to end apartheid. It became a major motivation behind South Africa’s relatively peaceful transition to constitutional democracy.
Terry represented the Anglican Church at the parliamentary defence review in 1996. His international banking experience had informed him about the arms industry as a globally and unethically and corrupt business. European governments pressurised South Africa to buy warships and warplanes the country could not afford and did not need. It was then not illegal in English law to bribe foreigners, and in Germany bribes were actually tax-deductible as a “useful business expense”. The arms deal unleashed a culture of corruption that now afflicts South Africa’s hard won and fragile constitutional democracy.
After more than twenty years of “following the money,” Terry was vindicated in August 2019 when the report of the Seriti Commission of Enquiry into the arms deal scandal was set aside in the landmark court judgment. Judge Seriti had been exposed as pursuing a “second agenda to silence the Terry Crawford-Brownes of this world.” Since the collapse of the gold standard in 1971, Saudi Arabian oil (black gold) has funded the United States Empire, and its wars. Failed interventions to impose US military and financial hegemony around the globe have prompted increasing demands to replace the dollar as the basis of the international monetary system.
Are bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies the “new gold” of the future?