"It is something like Social Darwinism, the survival of the most capable."
—Prominent Mexican business owner referring favorably to
the government's free trade policies, quoted in
El Financiero International, October 24, 1994.
The reshaping of Mexico's farm sector, the dismantling of its food system, and the social and political turmoil in the countryside are more than manifestations of changing national policies. The radical restructuring of Mexican agriculture responds primarily to the forces of economic globalization. In the context of an integrated world economy, it is increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for countries like Mexico to maintain independent farm and food programs or to pursue national economic development policies.
Advances in communications and transport systems, the emergence of global financial networks, and technological changes serve as the foundation for the closer integration of international markets and production. Spearheading these changes are the transnational corporations (TNCs) that reach beyond national borders and see the entire world as their workplace and market. In its ads on public television, U.S. agribusiness corporation Archer-Daniels-Midland boasts that it is the "supermarket to the world."