International trade deals are wonderful we’re told, because they result in wide scale commerce, increased employment, more consumer choice and the rest of it. Maybe some or all of that is true. I’m not qualified to say.
I am qualified, however, to question the way so many people mindlessly accept these claims without having the first idea what a trade deal actually is. I’m not talking about the arcane I-dotting and T-crossing of the actual agreements. I’m talking about the totality of global trade deals and their devastating effect on Humanity.
The underlying premise of an international trade deal is that, ultimately, it must have nothing at all to do with nation states — odd for something labeled “international”. The role of, for example, the USA government in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is simply to provide the necessary government machinery operated by a few corrupt mechanics to grease the wheels of global corporate machinery. Once the deal is up and running, the US government is supposed to shut up and stay out of the way unless called upon.
There is nothing civic, democratic, governmental or obviously public spirited about any international trade deal; they are not legitimate acts of government.
Some would say that’s a good thing, since trade and governance should remain as distant from each other as possible. But, if this is true, then why involve our governments at all in any global trade deals? Surely the likes of IBM and Goldman Sachs are big enough and ugly enough to strike deals between themselves without involving our governments.
The real purpose of international trade deals isn’t to trade. It’s to allow global corporations to control the governments that they enlist to facilitate their deals. We can see this in the text of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which, first and foremost, is designed to give corporations more power over nation states than the people and governments of those states have.
Every international trade deal is a corporate coup against some government or other. NAFTA, for example, usurps the US government’s duty to protect the integrity of the US, by providing its people with the optimal opportunity to make for themselves the safest and best life possible. NAFTA usurps this governmental duty by, for example, transplanting hundreds of thousands of decent US jobs, with worker protections, to places beyond US borders, where those jobs are immediately deployed as weapons of abject servitude.
Nor can NAFTA be considered a means of “free trade,” since it is sponsored by the US government. Rather, it’s corporate theft, corporate profiteering, and a corporate geo-political re-engineering facilitated by the US goverment.
The consequences of letting a cartel of corporations replace national governments as the primary global lawmaking institution, which is what TTIP, TPP, the EU’s internal (“single”) market and the rest have and will become, is that we will lose control over what we eat, (even if its poisonous), where we go, (even if we don’t want to go there), what jobs are available to us (ultimately, assigned to us), how we are educated, (or undereducated), how we expend and distribute our resources, (even as those resources are looted and artificially denuded), what we say, think and do, and, eventually, what Humanity will become.
We can see this deformation of Humanity already in the way “news” about global markets and international trade has taken centre stage in our lives and in our consciousness; our assessment of a good world is no longer based on how much spiritual charity good people extend to each other, or how much personal freedom we enjoy, or the achievements of talented people doing what they love most. Today, Humanity’s worth is measured solely in how much a country owes, and to whom.
Humanity is becoming a balance sheet cult.
Much of Humanity’s descent into pointless, money-centric vapidity is due to globalization and to the international trade agreements — certificates of indentured servitude for most of us — on which it is founded.
It’s time to abolish ALL international trade agreements, and to force the tiny cartel of rich people who, alone, benefit from them to actually compete against each other for our loyalty and business in an open market. It’s about time the bad guys were forced to live or die by feeding on the crumbs we leave them, instead of us always fighting for the crumbs they leave us.