…When people talk about free trade…this is the system they’re talking about – giving multinational corporations the freedom to grind up local populations, ignore local laws, poison local water supplies, and render the national governments who are supposed to represent the local populations impotent in the face of their depredations. What happens then? The local populations lose faith in their governments, which then in turn become weaker and less able to protect the local populations, and the very idea of a nation in the public mind comes crashing down. Which, of course, is the whole point.
One of the regular complaints we have here about building our old friend, the Keystone XL pipeline, the tube that will bring Canadian death-syrup down the spine of our country, edging across the Ogallala aquifer, until the death-syrup gets to Texas, whence it will be shipped to China, is that the Canadians want to ship the death-syrup through our country because they don’t want to ship it through their own. Case in point: over the weekend, the province of British Columbia decided that it wanted no part of another pipeline built by another company because it didn’t trust the other company worth a damn….
…we seem to be turning into a country where crony capitalism doesn’t just waste taxpayer money but warps criminal justice, in which growing incarceration reflects not the need to protect law-abiding citizens but the profits corporations can reap from a larger prison population. Now, ALEC isn’t single-handedly responsible for the corporatization of our political life; its influence is as much a symptom as a cause. But shining a light on ALEC and its supporters — a roster that includes many companies, from AT&T and Coca-Cola to UPS, that have so far managed to avoid being publicly associated with the hard-right agenda — is one good way to highlight what’s going on. And that kind of knowledge is what we need to start taking our country back.