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The Re-Enserfment of Western Peoples

The re-enserfment of Western peoples is taking place on several levels.  One about which I have been writing for more than a decade comes from the offshoring of jobs.  Americans, for example, have a shrinking participation in the production of the goods and services that are marketed to them.

On another level we are experiencing the financialization of the Western economy about which Michael Hudson is the leading expert (Killing The Host).  Financialization is the process of removing any public presence in the economy and converting the economic surplus into interest payments to the financial sector.

These two developments deprive people of economic prospects.  A third development deprives them of political rights.  The Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic Partnerships eliminate political sovereignty and turn governance over to global corporations.

These so called “trade partnerships” have nothing to do with trade.  These agreements negotiated in secrecy grant immunity to corporations from the laws of the countries in which they do business.  This is achieved by declaring any interference by existing and prospective laws and regulations with corporate profits as restraints on trade for which corporations can sue and fine “sovereign” governments.  For example, the ban in France and other counries on GMO products would be negated by the Trans-Atlantic Partnership. Democracy is simply replaced by corporate rule.

I have been meaning to write about this at length.  However, others, such as Chris Hedges, are doing a good job of explaining the power grab that eliminates representative government.

The corporations are buying power cheaply.  They bought the entire US House of Representatives for just under $200 million. This is what the corporations paid Congress to go along with “Fast Track,” which permits the corporations’ agent, the US Trade Representative, to negotiate in secret without congressional input or oversight.

In other words, a US corporate agent deals with corporate agents in the countries that will comprise the “partnership,” and this handful of well-bribed people draw up an agreement that supplants law with the interests of corporations.  No one negotiating the partnership represents the peoples’ or public’s interests.  The governments of the partnership countries get to vote the deal up or down, and they will be well paid to vote for the agreement.

Once these partnerships are in effect, government itself is privatized.  There is no longer any point in legislatures, presidents, prime ministers, judges.  Corporate tribunals decide law and court rulings.

It is likely that these “partnerships” will have unintended consequences.  For example, Russia and China are not part of the arrangements, and neither are Iran, Brazil, India, and South Africa, although seperately the Indian government appears to have been purchased by American agribusiness and is in the process of destroying its self-sufficient food production system. These countries will be the repositories for national sovereignty and public control while freedom and democracy are extinguished in the West and among the West’s Asian vassals.

Violent revolution throughout the West and the complete elimination of the One Percent is another possible outcome.  Once, for example, the French people discover that they have lost all control over their diet to Monsanto and American agribusiness, the members of the French government that delivered France into dietary bondage to toxic foods are likely to be killed in the streets.

Events of this sort are possible throughout the West as peoples discover that they have lost all control over every aspect of their lives and that their only choice is revolution or death.

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Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

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