Friday, May 6, 2016

Thomas Fazi — "TTIP: We Were Right All Along"

On May 1, Greenpeace Netherlands released 243 pages of leaked secret TTIP negotiation texts, which offer an unprecedented glimpse into the far-reaching implications that the agreement would have for climate, environment and public health – and, crucially, prove that civil society organisations were right all along. According to Greenpeace, the documents raise four aspects of serious concern from an environmental and consumer protection perspective…
The bottom line is that the TTIP cannot be ‘improved’. As Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz has stated, it is little more than ‘an attempt to increase the power of corporations to control economies and societies’ – and for this reason should be, quite simply, thrown into the dustbin of history.…
Social Journal Europe
"TTIP: We Were Right All Along"
Thomas Fazi

10 comments:

Random said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/05/prime-ministers-listen-too-much-to-voters-complains-eus-juncker/

Promote to post please

Ignacio said...

All the fools who pushed this trade deals forward should be charged with treason,
influence peddling and abuse of power in their respective countries, if we had a functional system...

Simsalablunder said...

Media coverage here Sweden is almost as if the leaked documents are of no importance at all. Instead they're making it into an issue about a Swedish green party member being angry. Man what crappy media we have.

And at the same time, just a few days ago there was a documentary about cargo ships and how much pollution and environmental damage the do. It's enormous due to hardly no restrictions, where ships using waste oil as fuel as it's the cheapest, cleaning their cargo space flushing it right out in the sea, filling water ballast tanks in one part of the world and empty them in another part bringing unwanted species, extremely high decibel rumbling noise making animals death, ship scrap yards with no concern what so ever taking care of all dangerous material and liquids, the list just goes on and on and no solution in sight, where countries like Panama has the most influence due to flag of convenience, making them on paper one of the largest fleets in the world, but also gives them the power to hinder solutions within UN due to how the institution who deals with cargo ships is set up, where those with largest fleets pay more to the organisation hence giving them more influence.

More of that and companies suing countries who think they'll run out of money is just what we need…

Matt Franko said...

"economist Joseph Stiglitz has stated, it is little more than ‘an attempt to increase the power of corporations to control economies and societies’ "

Yes Joe its all a big "neo-liberal conspiracy!!!"

LOL

Simsalablunder said...

Yes, your insipid accusations of others doing conspiracy theories, knowing that many explained it thoroughly to you why it isn't a conspiracy, is really amusing. Makes one wonder what's going on in that head of yours…

Bob said...

The only problem I have with the term "neoliberalism" is the neo part. If it walks like a duck, we don't call it neoduck...

Ignacio said...

Agreed Bob, nothing neo about it. Goes back thousands of years this social organization where everything is owned privately and ownership rights trump everything, is called feudalism.

Greg said...

Traditional liberalism, as I understand it, can be understood as the driving idea behind liberating the people from traditional religions, traditional racial views, traditional social status views etc etc. . It was the ethical argument behind freeing slaves, letting women vote and even before that letting peasants own land. "Neo" liberalism, as I see it, is the attempt to restore the previous order but not by divine rights or slave/slaveholder type arguments but simply by applying the idea that everyone deserves equal protections and that somehow these changes in social orders which resulted from liberalism were "unfair" to the previous beneficiaries. The cries of folks that Title IV or the Civil Rights act are a form of discrimination against men or white folks springs from neo liberal thinking whether they know it or not), at least that is how I view it. In its present iteration, neoliberalism just reduces all things to a monetary value set by a market and says anyone can buy it for that price.

Tom Hickey said...

As you observe, Liberalism was part the Enlightenment philosophy that sought to replace the traditional religious philosophy of the time when feudalism was transitioning into capitalism. The religious theology-philosophy was a combination of Greek philosophy and Christian belief. The Renaissance (14th c) had brought a renewed interest in ancient Greece thought, and the rise of science had undermined religious dogmatism. Moreover, the Protestant Reformation (15th c) had weekend the political influence of the Church. Many historical factors contributed to the rise of liberalism in this formative period of modern Western thought.

Liberalism can be viewed as an attempt to delete the religious aspect of the prevailing philosophy of the Feudal Age and return to the ancient conception minus the theology and updated iaw the discoveries of modern science and math, as more suitable for capitalism.. Modern philosophy began with Descartes in the 17th century. The liberalism of the Enlightenment was developed through the 18th century, chiefly by John Locke, and it culminated in J. S. Mill's On Liberty (1859).

Liberalism was given a strong push politically though the American and French Revolution, but the thought was distinctly British.

The "invisible hand" can be interpreted as a substitute for the traditional conception of God, although there is no evidence that Adam Smith conceive it this way. However, Deism was in the air and I would argue that Deism was at least an implicit influence along with the advances in science that suggested that the universe was governed by laws of nature. This is essentially the view of 18th Deism, in which God is the sets the clock of natural law going and leaves it alone (determinism). Not much changes in this view, if God omitted, since God's only role is winding up the clock, so to speak. So the role of God became less important was eventually dropped as unscientific.

This created a philosophical difficulty because nature is determined and humans are a product of nature. But liberalism assumes that humans are free and exercise free choice independently. God as an explanation had accounted for this crating two different types of conditional being — determined (world) and free (souls). Science suggested a determined world, but did not provide an explanation for human freedom. So thinkers looked to reason. However, no argument was forcing that carried the day definitively based on agreed upon criteria and incontrovertible logic in the absence of scientific evidence. This remains a fundamental paradox of liberalism. The battle between those asserting freedom and those asserting determination is ongoing.

Cutting to the chase, there is, therefore, a lot of fuzziness at the foundational level of liberalism, and the upshot is that some ideologies are built on incompatible assumptions and others on dogmatic assertions. While this can be dismissed as arguing about angels on pinheads, it makes a huge difference ideologically and ideology is a powerful influence on human behavior, both individually and socially.

Neoliberalism as a political philosophy is based on neoclassical economics, which assumes that markets are determined naturally by "market forces" such as "the law of supply and demand" if they are left free of influence, chiefly of government. It also assumes that economic agents make free choices on an individual basis. A society is simply an economic aggregate of individual choices. It also assumes that economic agents are rational and therefore optimizing their choices. This results then in a tendency to economic general equilibrium, as well as social optimization in the sense of maximum individual freedom and economic prosperity given the resources available, at least 'in the long run." If that is not the case, then interference is taking place and the solution is to remove it.

Bob said...

Liberalism - doing cartwheels to justify the latest trend since the dawn of time.