Saturday, October 25, 2014

Don Quijones — The Global Corporatocracy Is Just A Pen Stroke Away From Completion

Quietly, subtly, almost imperceptibly, the rules governing global trade and financial markets are changing. It is not happening by accident, but by wilful design. Despite the enormous impact it will have on all our lives, the public is not being consulted on any aspects of the process. Most people are not even aware it is happening.

The main driver of this change are the bilateral and multilateral trade and investment treaties being negotiated in complete secrecy and behind closed doors between corporate lobbyists, free trade activists and our own elected “representatives” (a term I use in the loosest possible sense, especially given the context). The ultimate goal of these treaties is to reconfigure the legal apparatus and superstructures that govern national, regional and global trade and business – for the primary, if not exclusive, benefit of the world’s largest multinational corporations.
Repost of a June, 2014 article.

Why is this so important other than for the obvious neoliberal "new world order" reasons? Because it threatens national sovereignty, and national sovereignty is presently the basis for legal rights, including civil liberties and human rights. Erosion of national sovereignty threatens civil liberties and human rights in the absence of international legislative, executive, and judicial institutions including courts to deal with them. What is more important, contracts involving property rights, or civil liberties and human rights?
Based on the draft copy recently released by Wikileaks, the treaty seeks to (among many other things): 
  • “Lock in” the privatisations of services – even in cases where private service delivery has failed – meaning governments can never return water, energy, health, education or other services to public hands.
  • Restrict a government’s right to regulate stronger standards in the public’s interest. For example, it will affect environmental regulations, licensing of health facilities and laboratories, waste disposal centres, power plants, school and university accreditation and broadcast licenses.
  • Specifically limit the ability of governments to regulate the financial services industry at exactly the time when the global economy is still recovering from a crisis caused by financial deregulation.
The trade treaties are not just about rewriting laws; they are also about enforcing them. As the author of Debt Generation, David Malone, explained in a recent talk on bilateral and multilateral trade agreements (essential viewing for anyone interested in the subject), what gives trade treaties such as TTIP and TISA their “claws and teeth” is the inclusion of an innocuous-sounding provision called the “investor-state dispute settlement.” This effectively allows private companies to sue entire nations if they feel that a law lost them money on their investment.
The outcome:
As I warned in early November 2013, the global corporatocracy is almost fully operational. The intentions of those negotiating the multiple trade treaties are now crystal clear: to place complete power and control over our economies in the hands of the largest global corporations, many of which bear the lion’s share of responsibility for the economic and environmental mess we’re already in. 
In the meantime, the clock continues to tick down. At any moment, a few quiet strokes of a pen behind the tightly closed doors of a luxury conference room could usher in a new age of corporate domination. With it will come a new kind of dystopia, bearing an uncanny likeness to the inverted totalitarianism foreseen by Sheldon Wolin.

3 comments:

Bob said...

This is the end of history, Tom. Rejoice :)

Don Quijones said...

Hey, Tom, DQ here. Just to let you know, the link's changed. Here's the new one:

http://ragingbullshit.com/2014/10/25/the-global-corporatocracy-is-just-a-pen-stroke-away-from-completion-2/

Tom Hickey said...

Thanks, DQ. Updated.