Monday, April 23rd, 2018

The Millenials Concscience – A Corporate Leviathan

Posted on February 29, 2016 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

By Bryer C. Sousa

Having laid beholden to corporate influence, former President Bill Clinton carried out the unparalleled neoliberal attack on laborers and workers by way of signing the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Given such a history, one can easily speculate that Bill Clinton only fantasized about a compilation of “free trade” agreements, agreements that ought to be labeled more accurately as investor rights agreements, that would give monumental power to corporations like that of the trifecta consisting of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). Posed as an Earth-shattering threat to a vast array of legal protections like those pertaining to the environment, public health, labor, among other protections that have been democratically enacted, as well as our right to self-determination, the TPP was officially agreed to by the U.S. and eleven additional countries on February 3, 2016.

Fortuitously, and against the wishes of the U.S. Government, who intended to keep the text secret for at least four years after its much-anticipated ratification by Congress in the near future, the entirety of the text that makes up the Trans-Pacific Partnership has become public. It seems reasonable that the U.S. wanted to keep the 5,544 pages of the trade agreement out of the hands of the public, and therefore away from public scrutiny, because it would have been subjected to opposition by the citizenry of the United States. In an article published by Truthdig, Chris Hedges quoted Ralph Nader, the American political activist, author, and lawyer, as stating “the TPP, along with the WTO [World Trade Organization] and NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], is the most brazen corporate power grab in American history.”

However, as discussed, the TPP is not a lone wolf, so to speak. Rather, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, if ratified by Congress, will allow corporations (in other words, anti-democratic, totalitarian, and unaccountable institutions that have been coined by the renowned anarcho-syndicalist intellectual Noam Chomsky as “private tyrannies”) to easily maneuver around governmental bureaucracy in order to dispense sanctions against the federal government, state governments, and local municipalities, by way of secret tribunals, is accompanied by TiSA and the TTIP. Yet, TiSA and the TTIP are still in the negotiating phases and therefore are not expected to go before Congress, or be agreed to by the respective United States negotiators for sometime. Nevertheless, with the approval of fast-track authority regarding the TPP, it is only a matter of time before we achieve the corporate coup d’état that has been imminent since the American left disemboweled itself with the adoption of neoliberalism that resulted in the abandonment of its natural audience, that is, environmental groups, consumer rights advocates, and the working class.

If we do not organize and mobilize against the TPP, TiSA, and the TTIP, by engaging in sustained acts of civil disobedience, we must come to accept that we will experience further offshoring of jobs in the public and private sectors that will make the harmful consequences of NAFTA and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) look infinitesimal in contrast. Moreover, the TPP and its fellow cohort of investor rights agreements do not simply threaten the domestic job market. If the TPP is ratified by Congress, our legal obligations will be fortified to the economic elite without regard to public opinion on matters such as health care, climate change, and higher education, thus furthering our “democratic deficit” in the US.

 

 

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