Oil Companies in the International System
Louis TURNER: OIL COMPANIES IN THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM, GEORGE ALLEN Unwin, London 1978, pp 222, £ 8.50.
THE main conclusion that emerges from this 222 page dicussion of Turner's Oil Companies in the International System is that,
<( . . the majors L have possessed marginal influence, providing a source of pressure which has added to the richness of displomatic history without being a dominant force." (p 20) He also envisages that despite some changes in the world corporate set-up,
" . . the bulk of the progeny of pioneers 2 such as John D Rockefeller, Sir Henri Deterding, and William Knox D'Arcy will survive as recognizable entities well into the twenty-first century.55 (p 222)
To this latter, we could well apply the term "emotive'5, one that Turner appears particularly fond of using when referring to nationalism and other anti-monopoly, anti-Imperialist political currents^ in contradistinction to the "pragmatism" of the companies. As to the purpose of the book, the author finds, "... the present debate [on multinationals] . . . thoroughly unsatisfactory . .. [with the] . . . defenders of multinationals seem[ing] to win their arguments very much by default." (p 20) One finds this statement rather hard to swallow. Traditional writing in economics/political economy in the West, has really no place for any entity except the rational profit maximizing, utility-maximizing producer/consumer axis, all caught up in a nebulae of discrete, unconnected factors. The task of sitting up and taking a look at multinationals was left to those who belonged to the broad