4 p.m. — Leave Your Shoes At The Door
Civil Beat is here at the Hawaiian Studies Department Theatre at the University of Hawaii for Day 3 of the Moana Nui summit. The first thing that struck us: the footwear, or lack thereof.
Many of those inside the building have ditched their shoes in a large pile, much like you’d see at the front door of a house party or other family gathering here in Hawaii. Here’s a small sample:
We’ll have more later on the discussion here of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade issues. But for now we’ll note the bare feet, which you aren’t likely to see at the CEO summit or other official APEC events.
— Michael Levine
A corporatist's dream: the Trans-Pacific Partnership will create a corporate-lead world government
I read an article on Occupy.com and it scared the hell out of me. This reminded me of what Dead Prez sang about in their song, aptly named “Globalization”: ”The new name in the twenty-first century of Imperialism is really globalization…Globalization really means the Globalization of Capital…Cus they [the corporations] want the oil in the soil/Like vampires they come for blood/In the name of freedom and justice/nowhere to hide/nowhere to run…Who cares if you get stepped on, Get stepped on/In the name of progress/they business has no conscience/All they want is profits.” This telling song is what I thought about after reading the article about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In this time of economic strife, its best to lay out what the problems are with the TPP and how it creates a real world government, not one described by conspiracy theorists, that gives Trans-National Corporations the ability to put in place global governance over the people of the world.
Before this can be discussed, one must recognize what I mean by global governance. I don’t mean the “New World Order” or “Agenda 21” conspiracies when the UN takes over and creates a world government. For one, the UN is too weak for this to occur and Agenda 21 is a non-binding policy to promote sustainability on a global level. Instead, TPP goes even further. As I wrote back in June 2012, “at this time of “crisis” (a second great worldwide depression), all the parts of the power elite have come together in America and on a global scale…creat[ing]…the global elite…[composed of] international institutions…like the…[International Monetary Fund] IMF….World Bank…NAFTA…the [World Trade Organization] WTO…executive meetings like the G-8, G-20, and the European Union (EU) bureaucracy. Collectively these institutions form a “de facto world government that has [extraordinary] rights” trumping US law, the constitution and the sovereignty of other countries.” After reading this, you may say, isn’t this already happening? In answering that question, one should understand this governing structure; one can start with David DeGraw’s explanation in one short paragraph in the 2010 report, The Economic Elite vs. The People of the United States of America: “On a global level, you have economic institutions like the…WTO…the…IMF…the World Bank, and…NAFTA. These organizations already form a de facto world government that has rights beyond our constitutional rights and national sovereignty. If the WTO makes a ruling that goes against US law, the WTO ruling supersedes US law and wins out.” To expand on this, Global Exchange, an international human rights organization writes that the WTO is “the most powerful legislative and judicial body in the world” which “promot[es]…[an] agenda [putting] multinational corporations above the interests of local communities, working families, and the environment…undermin[ing]… democracy [worldwide].” But it is Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies’s book Why Do People Hate America? really tells the truth, that the “WTO and IMF have effective mechanisms for enforcement of obligations, particularly…[against] developing countries” while the World Bank works with these two international organizations to force “free trade” onto developing countries, which is basically “highway robbery, benefiting only the rich, while making the poor more vulnerable.” What makes the TPP scary is that instead of global governance targeting the developing world, this time it will target the developed world, applying some of the same conditions to America.
Back to the second part of Andrew Gavin Marshall’s investigative report I read (which triggered this story) the scary aspect is brought to light. Marshall writes that “The Trans-Pacific Partnership…could result in millions of lost jobs…[and] the TPP will create binding policies…in numerous areas,” including “those related to labor, patent and copyright, land use, food, agriculture and product standards, natural resources, the environment, professional licensing, state-owned enterprises and government procurement policies, as well as financial, healthcare, energy, telecommunications and other service sector regulations.”” This why as he notes some have called this “trade” agreement, “NAFTA on steroids, “or a “corporate coup” since “only two of the TPP’s 26 chapters actually have anything to do with trade,” a treaty will will give expanded power to “large corporations like Wal-Mart, Monsanto, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, Halliburton, Philip Morris, GE, GM, Apple.” Simply explained, according to Marshall’s muckraking and a Stop TPP blog, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) entails:
- ·Says that “foreign corporations operating in the United States would no longer be subject to domestic U.S. laws regarding protections for the environment, finance or labor rights”
- Foreign corporations “could appeal to an “international tribunal” which would be given the power to overrule American law and impose sanctions on the U.S. for violating the new “rights” of corporations.”
- Such a “international tribunal” dictating domestic law would “ be staffed by corporate lawyers acting as “judges,” thus ensuring that cases taken before them…[are] fairly balanced in favor of corporate rights”
- Since “corporations [perceive] regulations and concerns over health, safety and environmental issues…as “barriers” to investment and profit,” the TPP allows the ”international tribunal,” their “government” ”to directly sue… foreign government[s] on behalf of the corporation [in question] on the premise that such regulations led to potential lost profits, for which the corporation should be compensated.”
- Additionally, this new “international tribunal” would ”allow corporations to overturn national laws and regulations or demand enormous sums in compensation”
- Basically, “the TPP allows the corporations to directly sue the government in question. All of the TPP member countries, except for Australia, have agreed to adhere to the jurisdiction of this international tribunal, an unelected, anti-democratic and corporate-staffed kangaroo-court with legal authority over at least ten nations and their populations.”
- Since ”TPP countries have not agreed on a set of obligations for corporations to meet in relation to health, labor or environmental standards…a door is opened for corporations to obtain even more rights and privileges to plunder and exploit.”
- This treaty grants expanded “intellectual property” rights, which will mainly benefit pharmaceutical corporations and this “agreement would hand over a monopoly of price-controls to these corporations, allowing them to set the prices [for pharmaceutical drugs] as they deem fit, thus making the drugs incredibly expensive and often inaccessible to the people who need them most” since “the TPP is expected to increase such corporate patent rights more than any other agreement in history.”
- “The TPP will grant new negotiating privileges to corporations, allowing them to appeal decisions by governments to challenge the high cost of drugs or to go with cheap alternatives.”
- The TPP also threatens something that President Obama has said he will protect (but he hasn’t): internet freedom, by “criminaliz[ing]…everyday uses of the Internet…including music downloads…[it] would “force service providers to collect and hand over your private data without privacy safeguards…give media conglomerates more power to send you fines in the mail, remove online content…and even terminate your access to the Internet.”
- Also related to Internet Freedom is the idea under TPP that “new laws would have to be put in place by governments to regulate Internet usage” including ”heavy fines for…clicking on a link, [and] people could be knocked off the Internet and web sites could be locked off.”
- TPP would be much worse than the hated Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that criminalizes online copyright infringement by having “no distinction between commercial and non-commercial copyright infringement” meaning that “users who download music for personal use would face the same penalties as those who sell pirated music for profit.”
- Under TPP, even “information that is created or shared on social networking sites could have Internet users fined, [people could even] have their computers seized…or even get them a jail sentence.”
- Simply the “TPP imposes a “three strikes” system for copyright infringement, where three violations would result in the termination of a household’s Internet access.”
- Also, “TPP will limit GMO labeling and allow the import of goods that do not meets US safe standards.”
- Scary enough, “TPP will roll back Wall Street regulations, and prohibit bans on risky financial services.”
- This treaty will “encourage the privatization of lands and natural resources in areas where indigenous people live!”
Why wasn’t this told to the American public? Simply enough, since in “2011…the American public…moved from “broad opposition” to “overwhelming opposition” toward NAFTA-style trade deals…[and] because public opinion is strongly – and increasingly – against “free trade agreements,” secrecy is required in order to prevent the public from even knowing about, let alone actively opposing, agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” One must note that not only the people of the United States of America would be affected, but the people of Brunei, Chile, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico and Canada if the treaty was implemented as is. If such a plan that would create the global corporate governance this treaty envisions, then approximately 629.39 million people and if Japan joins then it will be about 736.39 million people would be affected!
After reading this article you may be surprised that such a treaty would not be discussed on the corporate media. What Naomi Klein wrote in her muckraker book, The Shock Doctrine, applies here: she wrote that “deregulated capitalism” pioneered by Milton Friedman “has consistently been midwifed by the most brutal forms of coercion,” eliminating the revolving door, creating a corporatist state with “huge transfers of public wealth to private hands, often accompanied by exploding debt, an ever-widening chasm between the…rich and…poor…bottomless spending in security…aggressive surveillance…mass incarceration, shrinking civil liberties, and often…torture.” The TPP, following in the footsteps of the WTO, World Bank and IMF’s “de facto world government” would make lives of ordinary Americans much worse. I fear that this new legal regime could invalidate (you never know):
- the executive order creating the EPA
- the Clean Water Act
- the Clean Air Act
- the Safe Drinking Water Act
- the Food Quality Protection Act that created the USDA organic labels on food,
- the Endangered Species Act
- the National Environmental Policy Act,
- the Clayton Antitrust Act protecting unions from Antitrust laws
- the National Labor Relations Act,
- the Fair Labor Relations Act establishing minimum wage,
- The Occupational Safety and Health Act,
- the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA),
- the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 that created the SEC,
- and the Dodd-Frank Act (fake Wall Street Reform).
What can you do? You could sign Avaaz’s petition against the TPP, which they call the “Corporate Death Star” or the petition by Citizens Trade Campaign to stop the secrecy behind the TPP. One could also send a letter to the editor about it as Public Citizen recommends, send a letter to your senators, sign a petition to President Obama asking him to release the text, send a petition to key government leaders and trade representatives to “oppose any provisions in the…TPP…that…criminaliz[e]…[or] restrict the use of the Internet…invade my privacy, remove online content on demand, saddle me with heavy fines, or terminate my access to the Internet.” But, these actions are mostly those of an armchair activist. First, while using this article, also using additional resources on Stop TPP.org and Public Knowledge’s blog should help as I recommend you plan nonviolent direct action in your community against the TPP. Martin Luther King described this type of action in his Letter from Birmingham Jail as seeking to “create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community…is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.” This would include actions like boycotts, protests, strikes and to the most extreme: blockades (blockading the entrance outside where the TPP is being held). In order to stop this “trade” agreement you could also engage in what I call “guerrilla activism” like plastering anti-TPP posters up in your community to generate discussion about it, walking around your community with an anti-TPP sign, to promote awareness. No matter what one should work with community groups to plan joint events against the TPP (maybe even go to a protest outside areas where TPP is being negotiated) and inform those in their area about it, to promote collective understanding. In the end, it is paramount to oppose this corporatist dream and reassert national sovereignty as stated in the UN Charter, doing what Anti-Flag sung about in their song, The WTO Kills Farmers “S.O.S. this is a global call/You better make a stand/You better make it now/Corporatocracy leads to profits for killers/Just a bunch of killers!/profits for killers.’
Also spread the TPP song by Public Citizen even if you wish!
By Burkely Hermann, the sole writer for HermannView
Will you do me a favor, my dear followers？ ＰＬＥＡＳＥ．
Japan is facing many problems right now, and every one of them is pretty serious and can be critical. TPPA is one of those problems I have been concerned about recently.
The link below is a petition about stop TPPA, the petition to ask directly to the White House.
I understand few people here haven’t heard of this unfair treaty, but I don’t have time to explain the details. At least, I can safely say that this treaty has high risk of destroying life in Japan, our proud tradition and culture we have grown over generations. It’s really hard to describe, but in a word, I sincerely hope Japanese government doesn’t take the wrong way for the sake of their own benefit and ignore 99% of citizens.
We need to collect *numbers* of signatures in a week in any way.
You need to sign up and accept email for registration to take part in the petition, but it takes only a few minutes in all.
Please help Japanese 99% of ordinary people.
Please sign, please reblog, and please spread. I need action. I need your help and understanding.