Volatility

April 9, 2017

Politics is Dead

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1. As the first great round of imperialism girdled the globe with chains it carried out the real capitalist program of its age.
 
Capitalism is the modern mode of organizing an elite hierarchy to administer the rampage of productionism and consumptionism. These comprise the only way humanity can burn up the obscene amount of energy potential it discovered pent up in the fossil fuel heritage. It was impossible for humanity to regard this incredible energy potential in any kind of rational way. History has proven that reason was vastly too weak in the face of such an abundance of energy. It was a given that humanity would embark upon a radical, irrational binge, and it was highly likely that this binge would develop its own momentum toward the most extreme wastefulness and destruction, eventually for the sake of nothing but wastefulness and destruction. It was likely that modern politics would reflect this biological debouch, often thrashing amid the most hideous extremes of violence and war. This is how it has played out, and today the Extreme Energy Civilization is entering its endgame.
 
During this first stage of capitalist imperialism all the economic classes cast off antisocial human debris which cohered as the declassed mob, while the spiritual chaos drove the rise of ideological anti-Semitism. The ideologies of Social Darwinism and scientific racism organized the religious impulse toward scientism which always accompanies the exaltation of science and technological development, especially under the conditions of the fossil fueled industrial rampage. Scientism always needs to be organized politically, either directly from above (as an astroturf, via corporate projects like genetic engineering or artificial intelligence, and the corporate Gleichschaltung of government research money, government agency research, and the research programs of the universities) or laterally (by ideological elements within the STEM framework). All this dovetailed well with imperialist ideology and the chauvinist/militarist perversions of nationalism. These features are not always directly controlled by capitalism, but capitalism tries to use them wherever it deems such use desirable or necessary.
 
2. As Marx forecast, capitalism reached its economic limits: First within the borders of the modern nation-states, then at the limits of the imperial globe insofar as 19th century capitalism was able to organize and exploit the globe’s resources and the ideas of modernity. This drove the imperialist competition to such extremes of intensity that it triggered a thirty year imperialist civil war which mustered all the debris and negative religious elements mentioneded above.
 
Leftist pressure and the communist specter drove capitalism to enlist the aid of fascism. Fascism was a more coherent and energized synthesis of the debris elements of the the class war, in terms of people and ideas. It wasn’t organized by capitalism, and capitalism everywhere preferred to fight leftist movements and deal with its own inner contradictions through conventional conservative class war measures. But where this seemed to become untenable, the “legitimate businessmen” enlisted the partnership of the de jure political gangsters.
 
 
3. Today humanity and the Earth endure the crisis of the second, vastly more ponderous and profound round of imperialism. Globalized corporate neoliberal capitalism, including neoliberal ideology, is the capitalist program of today.
 
Today’s fascistic features are similar to the old ones: The new declassed mob all over the world and increasingly in the modern Western economies, the scientism/technocracy cult, the nostalgia of the liquefying middle classes of the West (Americanism and the perverted American chauvinism). These are features corporate capitalism is using already and will try to use in a more intense way as the great crisis proceeds.
 
 
4. Globalization and the civilization of extreme energy consumption is reaching the limits of deployable fossil fuels (Peak Oil) along with the limits of all other natural resources, and the limits of what the environment can sustain.
 
The near universal consensus of all existing politics, all affiliations, all governments, all media, all NGOs, is to deny these two facts in various ways. The mode of denial is the only significant distinction among the otherwise undifferentiated factions: “conservative”, “liberal”, “radical”.
 
 
All existing political groupings agree on the following fundamentalist religious axioms:
 
One: This extreme level of energy consumption must and will continue forever.
 
Two: The environment must and will sustain this level of energy consumption. This includes any version of the fantasy of lifting oneself and one’s energy consumption “out of” the environment, or substituting “another” environment. The twin Raptures of Christian dispensationalism and space colony dispensationalism are the most extreme versions of this fantasy. Less extreme versions include any fantasy of maintaining the productionist and consumptionist level including energy consumption but in a more “renewable”, “climate friendly”, “eco-friendly” way. These too boil down to fantasies about going “outside the environment”. The only difference is that a fracking car or a CSP monoculture only ideologically, fictively removes one outside the environment, not physically the way a spaceship promises to. Of course the spaceship also is nothing but an ideologically determined fiction, while a hybrid car is still a personal car – highly consumptive, highly wasteful, highly destructive. The personal car as such, of course, is the problem which has no solution short of abolition.
 
Three: Therefore the Extreme Energy Civilization must and will continue forever, and all ideas and modes of action must be defined according to this framework.
 
These three propositions sum up every existing political identification and faction.
 
 
From there we have the three-part corporate normative template which I’ve described in dozens of pieces, most recently here. To reprise, this time fully equating corporate rule with corporate administration of productionism, consumptionism, and extreme energy consumption:
 
First: The project of extreme productionism, extreme consumptionism, extreme energy use, is normative and must continue at all times. (This continuation is called “Progress”. Progress is a vague religious idea which has zero principled content and can include everything from civil rights and video games to the forced immiseration and hunger of billions across the global South driven permanently off their land and out of the human condition to make way for corporate commodity productionist agriculture and the vile gluttony of moneyed Western food consumptionism. “Progress” is in fact nothing but this continuation. Morally it has no content and never was intended to have any. It’s simply a hypocritically moralized reflection of the fossil fuel binge itself.)
 
Productionism means maximizing production for its own sake. It means maximizing the quantity of production, without reference to quality of the product or any use value, social well-being, human happiness, public health, any harmful or destructive effect. Consumptionism is maximal consuming in the same self-driving and destructive way. Production and consumption are to be maximized in the most wasteful, destructive way possible. This is the only way it’s possible to concentrate power amid the storm and riptide of fossil fuels, and the only way profit is possible amid this infinite volatility. Profit is only a measure of power accumulation. It has zero use value in itself. No one seeks profit in order to enjoy the proceeds in some human way, to live better, to be happy. The profiteer seeks profit only as a stage toward greater profit, greater power. Even the power almost never is used for anything, but only as a stage toward greater power.
 
Capitalism is the most potent form of productionism. Corporations are the mode of organization which capitalism chose though other modes were possible. But corporate domination is the least efficient, most wasteful, most destructive, and therefore most potent mode for concentrating power.
 
Productionism, consumptionism, extreme energy consumption, are values in themselves and are undertaken without reference to any other value, and least of all any value having anything to do with human well-being and happiness.
 
Second: All existing political factions, for example Left and Right, conservative and liberal and everyone else, fully affirm (1) in practice. But they assume different attitudes and strike different poses regarding which aspects of the extreme productionism and destruction they most explicitly affirm and which they pretend to condemn. From there they engage in a fraudulent internecine conflict. But they’re just different colors running the same race and celebrating the same festival of destruction.
 
Conservatives, liberals, leftists/radicals, incarnate nothing but different styles of this productionism.
 
Leftism never offered an alternative to productionism, or even to capitalism. (Communism is just capitalism with the state as monopoly capitalist.)
 
Today leftism isn’t even political and has renounced all its analytical aspirations. Figments of these remain only as ornamental attitudes. The best example of this is how almost all leftists, including Marxists and anarchists, renounce all historical materialist analysis (and in the case of anarchists, all analysis of authoritarian structures) where it comes to the science and technology they identify with productionism and the Extreme Energy Civilization.
 
Instead they regress to straight bourgeois mystification and straight authoritarian pleading, positing science and technology as “neutral in themselves”, and therefore as self-realizing mystical forces. But in reality science and technology always have been primarily tools of power concentration. Today they’re organized and deployed almost exclusively for this purpose.
 
Agroecology is the main exception, which is why the system will do all it can to prevent the necessary global transformation to agroecology.
 
Third: Each faction then claims best to represent humanity and the Earth and demands the submission of humanity to its authority, and license to control the demolition of the Earth.
 
 
This is the hard limit of all existing politics, and therefore the temporary dominion of anti-politics, since by definition politics has to mean true diversity, true options, true cultural color. This hard limit is the reason why we already experience complete political monoculture. It is in anticipation of future challenges to this hard limit that the scientific and technological establishment, powered by governments and corporations, has embarked upon its program to destroy physically all human and ecological biodiversity and replace these with a totalitarian blank slate upon which it can enforce total physical monoculture. At this level of total control, the system believes, it will be able to sustain the existing level of energy consumption.
 
The existing level of energy consumption is the core imperative of all modern power. Capitalism’s profit imperative is just an economic reflection of this. Mammon’s worship of money is a proxy for it. Today Mammon is really the worship of the fire for the fire’s own sake. Not for the warmth, not for the cooking of food, not for the poetry of the flickering. Preferably the flame is cold and invisible, and with no food to eat.
 
Politics is Dead because all existing political factions are completely committed, psychologically, ideologically, materially, organizationally, to this kamikaze death dive.
 
But the claim of all factions to represent humanity and to dispose of the Earth is a lie in every case. There is no representation and no disposal, only manipulation and violation. There does not yet exist the direct political manifestation of humanity itself, and the politics of the Earth itself which shall be one with the politics of humanity, for humanity is nothing but earth.
 
 
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5. This second and final time round there will be no leftist pressure, no pressure from below, as far as this pressure coming from within the framework. Thus the great questions for the second 1914 cycle and the Great Civil War of the Extreme Energy Civilization become:
 
1. How will capitalism respond to Peak Oil?
 
I’ve been describing their plan in my writings: Drive all people off the land, liquidate the middle classes (who are not likely to respond with any kind of opposition movement; the Western/globalized middle class has no spirit or philosophy to generate any kind of new consciousness and galvanization), shantytowns and permanent immiseration, forced famines and pandemics and the overall degradation of health, all this coupled with the militarized police and surveillance/data/prison/debtor state, along with various techno-opiates including the religion of scientism/technocracy, and eventual restored serfdom and/or de jure slavery.
 
(In all this, everything I’m writing, I’m not saying that most corporate and technocratic cadres are conscious of these crises and goals of their system, or that these goals are coherently formulated by de jure cabals. I’m speaking of the inertia and imperatives of history, these imperatives driven by mass psychology, the psychology of power structures, the psychology of religious fanaticism, the physical limits of modern civilization’s energy and resource deployments, and the astronomical energy potential of all this waste and destruction being forced upon the global ecology, this potential soon to go fully kinetic.)
 
2. Can there be any kind of opposition/affirmation movement, a primalist movement, Earth movement. What forces can it muster?
 
And how will capitalism respond to it.
 
 
The time will come when the masses shake as a global earthquake. The fault lines will slide. Any new configuration will be possible.
 
We primalists cannot bring that day, cannot determine when it will come. (Perhaps we can predict when, and perhaps we can hasten it.) But we can and must organize toward that day, preparing everything to the point that:
 
1. The people already are aware of the ideas and what can be done.
 
2. We have a coherent organization in place ready to go into action, ready to take on the job, ready to organize the people now desperate to be organized toward the great transformation they now realize must be undertaken for survival and for the future of our well-being, strength, and freedom.
 
 
 
 
Help propagate the new and necessary ideas.
 
 
 

March 3, 2017

The “Drought” Lie, Amid Power Struggles in Kenya

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Set up to die of thirst

Set up to die of thirst

 
 
GMO field trials are part of a power struggle among Kenyan officials. The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) gave the Kenyan Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) the go-ahead for open-air field trials of GM maize. These are publicly funded organizations which perform corporate research on the taxpayer dollar, with the product then privatized at the juncture most profitable for the corporations. The AATF is funded by the Gates Foundation, Cornell University, and USAID. The first two of these specialize in transforming public money into corporate welfare. USAID is a de jure government body explicitly dedicated to capitalist goals.
 
Health and environmental officials have blocked the approval on the grounds that Kenya’s existing ban on GM imports applies to field trials within the country as well. Evidently they have enough clout to force a deadlock. I’m not well enough versed in internal Kenyan politics to know the underlying issues of the power struggle, but our default always is to assume no government official has any principled objection to any GMO deployment. Our attitude toward any such delay must be to do what we can to encourage and support it but never to regress to any faith-based view of government.
 
The US government will be displeased. The US has been pressing Kenya to commit to the GMO campaign for many years, since the inception of its “New Alliance” plan for a “second Green Revolution in Africa”. This is a typical US-fomented “color” revolution indeed. (The “green” revolution was so-named in the 1960s in contradistinction to “red” rhetoric. It’s a Cold War propaganda term.)
 
(I stress, the US government, which remains the same no matter which criminal heads it up. Many people seem especially confused about that these days. But in 2009 the Obama/Clinton state department, in one of its first memos to department personnel defining the new administration’s priorities, included using US muscle to force “Government acceptance of genetically modified food and propagation of genetically modified crops” at the top of its list of the attacks it planned in Africa.)
 
 
The article says Kenya has been importing maize from Mexico and Ukraine “because of drought.” Maize yields in Kenya have been halved “because of drought.”
 
This is standard deceptive framing. “Drought” almost always is an artificial problem. Drought happens when a society deploys modes of cultivation and grows crop varieties which aren’t well-suited to the rainfall conditions of the region. Historically, drought was seldom a problem for traditional agriculture, and today it’s seldom a problem for agroecology, for these are designed to be diverse and resilient in the event of dry seasons. It’s only industrial commodity monoculture which is designed to be highly vulnerable to drought.
 
What’s more, today’s increasingly volatile rainfall patterns and periods of low rainfall are features of the climate chaos being driven most of all by that same industrial agriculture. This sector is the worst greenhouse gas emitter and by far the worst destroyer of carbon sinks.
 
In both these ways “drought” is a man-made, intentional crisis. And as we see here, in classic exploitation manner the drought which is driven intentionally by corporate agriculture then is used as a propaganda pretext on behalf of GMOs. These would only escalate the crisis since GMOs do nothing but escalate every pathology of corporate industrial agriculture. GMOs require even more water and synthetic fertilizer (the primary source of nitrous oxide emissions, a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide) than non-GM crops.
 
The solution to all these artificially and intentionally generated problems – food insecurity, drought, climate chaos, hunger – is one and the same solution, and it is the only solution. Humanity must abolish corporate agriculture and transform its food production to agroecology. Even amid such a hostile political environment agroecology is accomplishing great things already in Africa. Agroecology is a fully demonstrated science and set of practices and is ready today for full global deployment, wherever humanity has the wisdom and will to do it.
 
 
Meanwhile everyone knows the quote: Insanity/stupidity/evil is doing the same thing over and over while expecting/claiming to expect a different result. Nowhere is this more true than with GMOs.
 
 
 
 
 
Please propagate these pieces.
 

January 24, 2017

Seeds of Doom vs. Seeds of Rebirth

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“These people think that Africa is a country of animals, that we do not think, that we know nothing, but they are wrong. We are human beings, we know what we want and we will fight on to victory.”
 
– Zimbabwean participant at the 2011 International Conference of Peasants and Farmers vs. Land-Grabbing
 
Tanzania’s new seed control law is the latest victory for Western agribusiness seeking dominion over Africa’s land, seed heritage, and commodity export potential. Conversely, it’s the latest blow to Africa’s fight for self-determination and food security.
 
To gain Western “developmental assistance”, which means Western “investment” toward the goal of transforming a country into a corporate export plantation, the Tanzanian government has enacted “reform” meant to ease corporate control of the land and now will try forcibly to destroy Tanzania’s ancient and socially and ecologically stable system of seed saving and distribution among the small farmers who grow food for their people. All this is to be wiped out and replaced by corporate-controlled export agriculture while all food production disappears from the country and is replaced by mass hunger and misery.
 
This is the most recent development in an ongoing globalization campaign to enforce corporate control of all seeds and all of global agriculture and food. In Africa this campaign has been elaborated into a vast formal project, the so-called New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN). The New Alliance is the corporate strategy for the recolonization of Africa led by Western agribusiness. Its goal is to drive millions of Africans off their land and gain full control of all arable land in order to convert it to export commodity production. African farmers, tribes, consumers, environmental and civil society groups are opposing this, with support from anti-corporate and democracy activists from all over the world.
 
The record of over fifty years of aggressive globalized corporate agriculture based on production for commodity export proves that corporate agriculture equals human hunger. Corporate agriculture generates mass hunger and seeks to perpetuate and maximize hunger. Its goal always is to destroy food production, seize the land for commodity production, and drive the people OUT.
 
The NAFSN is driven by the US and UK governments, paid for by US and UK taxpayers, and functions according to operational goals dictated by corporations such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Cargill, Unilever, and others who have signed up for the program as part of various “public-private partnership” scams. The NAFSN operates officially under the auspices of the G8. The program is directly administered by USAID in its usual role as alleged “humanitarian” front group, public sector version, with the Gates Foundation and others serving as the “private”, so-called philanthropic counterpart. The Gates Foundation has set up its “Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa” as a key activist and propaganda weapon of the campaign. The corporate beneficiaries have signed “letters of intent” to join this so-called “investment” program. This means they put up pennies to the taxpayer dollar while being slated to extract 100% of the profits. An African fig leaf is provided in the form of the African Union’s Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP). This is the Stockholm Syndrome blueprint African governments developed in the wake of the West’s “structural adjustment” assaults. The NAFSN is a typical vehicle wherein African governments beg for “investment” on the corporations’ terms. The New Alliance is a prime fruition of this radical corporate control of Western investment. Ten African governments have sold out: Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Mozambique, and Tanzania, Benin, Malawi, Nigeria, and Senegal. (The US remains frustrated by the ambivalence of Kenya, which was supposed to be the crown jewel member by now.)
 
The people of Africa are opposing this plan to destroy them. The people are organized into a coalition of hundreds of democracy networks, tribal alliances, and groups representing real farmers and pastoralists. These comprise the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa and include the African Center for Biosafety, the African Biodiversity Network (ABN), the National Coordination of Peasant Organizations (CNOP, a member of the worldwide Via Campesina, the Farmer Way), the NGO Federation of Collectives (FECONG), the Coalition for African Genetic Heritage (COPAGEN), the Food Sovereignty Campaign, Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development (COMPAS) Africa, the Participatory Ecological Land Use Management Association (PELUM), the Eastern and Southern African Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF), People’s Dialogue, Rural Women’s Assembly, Food Sovereignty Ghana, GMO Free Malawi, and many others.
 
Here we have a clear black and white division between humanity and a criminal elite. We have the aggressive elite power of the US and other Western governments, corporations, the mainstream media and technocratic establishment, and other elitists including racist liberals and NGOs. The whole project has had zero input or representation from the people of Africa or the West. Even as they mouth platitudes about helping the small farmers of Africa, the roster of participants in the cabal’s conferences reads each time like a technocratic dream guest list – Western politicians, corporate agents, NGO operatives, motley “experts” and engineers. It includes every illegitimate elite which is alien to the Earth and excludes every representative of actual human beings. Those opposing this assault comprise a truly representative lineup of African farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, and the citizenry in general.
 
Even if one didn’t know the issues and facts, just from the order of battle it would be clear who’s right and who’s wrong, who represents human prosperity, security, democracy, and freedom, and who represents the destruction of all of these.
 
The goal of the New Alliance is the corporate Gleichschaltung (coordination) of African agriculture and trade practices and policies for maximum plunder and domination. Its main goals are to drive the people of Africa off their land and into shantytowns, seizing all the arable land for corporate commodity production for export. The goal, as with all agribusiness endeavor, is to wipe out all food production and replace it with commodity production. This is the same program of globalization and commodification which has already devastated much of humanity. African governments are to collaborate in dominating and exploiting the people and the land. The goal of corporate industrial agriculture, and the ultimate goal of all globalization, is to seize control of the land and drive the people out.
 
Here’s the main elements of the plan:
 
*The privatization of land. In Africa vast numbers of people still farm and graze the commons. This makes it difficult for the corporate state to impose dependency upon money and loans of indenture, to set up corporate infrastructure and distribution facilities for pesticides, proprietary GM seeds, synthetic fertilizer, industrial machinery, to impose commodity cash cropping, and to arrange the export of the entire production of the land, leaving the people with nothing. As a prerequisite, corporations which would dominate and exploit these people and their land first need government to enclose and parcel out the land. This has been a priority of the World Bank going back to the 1980s. Obama’s USAID chief Rajiv Shad emphasized that the goal is to accelerate land grabbing. As Via Campesina put it, “These policies aim to allocate title deeds to land in order to facilitate the purchase and sale of landed property. In the end, poor peasants and other rural people lose out to the benefit of those who have the means to purchase land.” Tribesmen and pastoralists who have farmed the land for generations suddenly are told that the land of their ancestors is “legally owned” by a Western speculator or the land-grabbing agent of a foreign government. The NAFSN is designed to escalate this colonial process of stealing the land. The only difference from the old-style conquistadors is that the direct gun and sword have been replaced by the fountain pen, backed by guns, drones, and cruise missiles.
 
*The formation of economic hierarchies to centralize and integrate production, processing, storage, and distribution. All this is to be done according to corporate specifications, toward the goal of forcing most farmers off the land and reducing the rest to indentured servitude and wage slavery within a cash-based commodity export regime. Today the farmers of Africa are smallholders and commons managers producing food for their families and communities. This is ideologically odious to Western technocracy and an obstacle to total corporate domination and exploitation. The goal of the New Alliance is to eradicate this human order and replace it with the corporate-controlled globalized commodity export system.
 
*Use propaganda to induce the beleaguered farmers to adopt commodity cropping themselves, then impose expensive industrial infrastructure on them. The NAFSN reprises the decades-old ploy of offering credit in order to indenture farmers and trap them on the cash-crop debt treadmill. The procedure is always the same everywhere, with only minor modifications. 1. Propaganda – you have no choice but to get on board with commodification, and you better do it fast or you’ll be left behind. 2. Enforce this with Western commodity dumping and general coercion into a cash economy. 3. Offer the necessary product (“improved”, i.e. corporate-controlled seeds, synthetic fertilizer, industrial herbicide and pesticide, machinery, oil) and the debt-mongering loan in order to buy it. 4. In this way destroy most independent farmers completely, turn the rest into indentured sharecroppers or wage slaves.
 
*A severe and rigorously enforced “intellectual property” regime for the benefit of the seed cartel and its patents. The Tanzanian law is the latest example. All intellectual property in seeds has been the result of biopiracy. All crops and landraces were developed by farmers selecting seeds over thousands of years in cooperation with nature, and all existing varieties have been developed by farmers in tandem with modern public sector breeding projects. The private sector has never contributed anything constructive at all. This is just as true in Africa as anywhere else. IP seed regimes are designed to expropriate a vast property interest of the people as a whole, in exactly the same way as land-grabbing.
 
*Selectively open borders for corporate dumping and looting. “Free trade” is the standard Orwellian term for this; a truthful term would be something like corporate command trade, forced markets, forced commodification. This so-called “liberalization” applies where it comes to the government-approved and licensed “formal sector”. Meanwhile traditional markets and actual free trading among the people would be criminalized and repressed, as we see in the case of corporate seed regimes like that being imposed upon Tanzanians.
 
*”Free trade” zones, tax-free zones, laws licensing the total repatriation of profits by Western “investors”. These ravages of Latin America and Asia are set to be reproduced in Africa.
 
We already know the end result of this because we’ve seen it play out over sixty years in Asia, Latin America, and in South Africa which already has a near-fully corporate controlled regime. Seeds and the land are largely enclosed, farmers have been reduced to servitude, profits are ruthlessly extracted and removed from the country.
 
The program of the New Alliance is being called a “Second Green Revolution”, a “Green Revolution in Africa”. We already know the evils of the first Green Revolution. It drove the people off the good agricultural land, forcing them to struggle to grow food for themselves on worse, environmentally more fragile land. Meanwhile all prime agricultural land was enclosed for export production. The land is stolen and locked away. From the people’s point of view it’s as if all the best land literally was destroyed, while all the food they used to produce ceases to exist. This is the driver of all Southern hunger, just as forcing the people who used to support themselves across the land to become crowded into small desolate regions is the cause of so-called “overpopulation”. Thus the Green Revolution drives ever more people off the land and into urban slums and shantytowns. Shantytowns have always been the direct, intended result of this agricultural policy. The goal always is to further separate humanity from the land, assault human food economies, replace these with the global corporate commodity economy from which food is supposed to “trickle down” to those who have money to buy it, forcibly turn community farmers into “job”-seekers, generate population pressures and all the political divide-and-conquer gambits this enables, drive up the proportion of the population which is food insecure, drive down wages. In all these ways the Green Revolution increases desperation and infighting among the destitute masses and aggravates and accelerates the processes of colonialism and corporate rule in general. Today’s onslaught of corporate agriculture is an escalated version of all this.
 
Pro-technocracy, pro-corporate types still believe and propagate the lies of the Green Revolution. But it takes only a look at the historical record and current events to see that corporate agriculture has nothing to do with feeding people and everything to do with starving them for the sake of its profit and domination imperatives. How does it feed an African community to force it to stop feeding itself and start growing cash crops to be turned into cheap meat for Westerners and ethanol for Western cars? How does it feed people to drive them off the land they farm and into shantytowns? How does it feed people to impose artificial scarcity on the abundance their work coaxes from nature?
 
Let’s cut through all the lies. If you want human beings to eat, you want people to provide their own food for themselves, their families, their communities. If you want corporations and governments to crush this normal, natural food system and replace it with the corporate system of scarcity, coercion, domination, extraction, you want only those with money to feed. (As for the Western middle class among whom this attitude is common, the bell is tolling for them as well. If any among them ever wonders what the corporate and technocratic elite has in store for them, they need only look to the farmers of Africa now. In the end they’re slated to be liquidated the same way, even if it takes a little more time. But there’s already no lack of tent cities in America.)
 
The entire modern record of corporate agriculture and food proves that the corporate system does not want to feed the world and cannot do so, by its very nature. It takes a unusual form of stupidity to think that the way to end hunger is to take naturally abundant food and render it artificially scarce, as capitalism must do according to its nature. Just as it takes a special kind of arithmetic to think the way you end hunger is through a system whose primary action is to use ten calories’ worth of grain to produce one calorie of meat. This fact lays bare the entire truth about the corporate system, its goals, and the evil of anyone who supports it while even a single child goes hungry.
 
Corporate neoliberal ideology is a proven lie in every sector. There is no sector, especially food and agriculture, where corporate practice hasn’t brought oligopoly, inequality, deteriorating agronomic results, ever more frequent socioeconomic and environmental disaster, and mass hunger. All the while our prosperity, freedom, democracy, and happiness are destroyed. We know that agroecological production and distribution bring better practical results than the corporate system, we know that only it can sustain the environment, we know that all true innovation in agriculture throughout history has been the result of cooperative action in the public domain, and we know that corporate enclosure like the intellectual property regime has functioned only to smother true innovation. We know that the industrial food system is unsustainable in terms of energy consumption, we know it’s the worst driver of the climate crisis and other environmental crises, we know that even in the West it’s no longer keeping prices down, and we know that at every point it diminishes our freedom, autonomy, and community.
 
In direct contrast to the failure, destruction, and organized crime which is the proven pattern and intention of corporate industrial agriculture, the true way forward is already operating and achieving great things in Africa and around the world. This is the path of Food Sovereignty and agroecology. This is the way human beings produce abundant food for themselves and their communities without massive, expensive, and destructive inputs of fossil fuels and poisons, in harmony with the greater ecology, toward the greatest freedom, democracy, security, and happiness.
 
There’s zero problem with the sheer amount of food produced. We produce far more than enough food for everyone on earth and then some to fill their stomachs. This is true globally and it’s true in every region of the world. The only problem anywhere is with the corporate distribution system. Anyone who truly wants to feed people has to want people to be able to feed themselves. We have to change the distribution of the food we have, not struggle to produce “more” within a framework which has already proven it won’t distribute that food to humanity. Anyone who truly wants the world to have food must fight to abolish corporate agriculture, abolish the enslavement of food production to the commodity system, rebuild socially and economically natural food systems (food production and distribution is naturally and logically done on a local/regional basis, and only authoritarian systems can ever force the contortion of these into a globalized framework), and build the Food Sovereignty movement. This movement must be based upon the great class of small community farmers who have always been the food producers for humanity and always will be, and upon agroecology, a fully demonstrated science and set of practices ready for full global deployment any time humanity wishes to embrace them. Look at what agroecology is already accomplishing in Africa against such economic pressure and corporate and government hostility.
 
Meanwhile anyone like the elites and elitists of corporate domination and technocracy, who claims to want to “feed the world” but wants to do so by doubling down on the proven failure of a “Green Revolution” and corporate industrial agriculture is really a liar and a criminal.
 
The goal of corporate industrial agriculture, and the ultimate goal of all globalization, is to seize control of the land and drive the people out. This has always been the ultimate goal of all imperial conquest: To render all land terra nullius, empty space, to be subjugated, exploited to the hilt, wrung out like an old rag, left for dead. Today is humanity’s last chance to halt this corporate campaign of total destruction of our agriculture and our environment. We have our great chance to halt it and roll it back. This is what is necessary if we hope to have any agriculture and ecology left going forward beyond the fossil fuel age. The land is still there for us if we wish. We must save it and cherish it.

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March 16, 2015

The Schools, Agriculture, and Economic Liquidation

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The idea that system schooling is to indoctrinate children into obedience to “authority” and prepare them to become corporate cogs (or, for the growing percentage who have no economic future, to acquiesce in the system and in their own economic liquidation) isn’t speculation. In the 19th century the original advocates of free, universal schooling weren’t progressive pedagogues, but banks, railroads, and factory owners. Faced with the need to rapidly escalate the industrial work force but having to deal with an influx to the cities of uneducated, independent-minded people raised on farms, they wanted the government to take on the responsibility of giving putative workers a basic education and docility training which would prepare them for factory work. This basic purpose of system schooling never changed.
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Today standardized testing and the Common Core are meant to intensify and “streamline” (to use one of the austerians’ favorite terms) this indoctrination/pacification agenda. This piece compares testing to the “duck and cover” drills of the 1950s. It’s a good comparison, although he forgets to mention that such an exercise wasn’t just a part of Cold War indoctrination, but that in the most direct psychological sense such exercises in abrupt terror and disorientation are an essential part of any kind of cult indoctrination. The literal ordeal of standardized testing, and the stress leading up to it, is a similar exercise.
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Of course standardized testing is also designed to fail large numbers of children in order to demonize their schools and provide a formal pretext for stripping these schools of funding, thus setting them up for privatization.
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In all this we see how the system views the vast majority of people as utterly worthless and expendable from even an exploitation point of view. Corporations need only a relatively small number of cadres, so the schools in general can be viewed as nothing but fodder for privatization and profit. If they cease to educate, or if they cease to exist at all, and however many millions of children are sacrificed out of hand, is no ultimate concern of the corporate system. In the same way the system wants to send the vast majority of the people of the global South on one-way trips to the shantytowns, so it’s feeling its way toward doing the same in the West itself.
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It was those same 19th century banks and railroads who originally lobbied for government establishment of the land grant college system, germplasm procurement programs, public crop breeding, and free seed distribution to farmers. Back then there was no Big Ag sector to lobby for its own corporate welfare, but other industrial and finance sectors wanted the government to undertake the project of rendering agriculture far more productive while requiring far fewer workers, since those workers would be needed in the factories and it would be necessary to provide cheap calories to feed them. That was the economic origin of industrial agriculture, which only in the 20th century became a sector in its own right, seeking its own aggrandizement.
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Today agriculture itself wants to shed the great majority of its Southern workers, while the corporate sweatshops are already at saturation. There’s nowhere on Earth where a primary corporate goal isn’t to drive the people somewhere, anywhere, just OUT. Let me stress that this has nothing to do with any alleged absolute “overpopulation”. On the contrary, there’s no chance of humanity reaching any absolute overpopulation level relative to the Earth’s resources. Overpopulation can exist only relative to per capita ecological and resource consumption and destruction, as is the case with Western lifestyles, or relative to politically chosen policy, as is the case with supply-driven corporate globalization. 100% of the social pathology, economic waste, and human misery involved in people being driven off their land is purely artificial and voluntarily chosen by Western governments and corporations (and compliant Southern governments) and forced upon the people.
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This is the same framework as the fact that the world already produces far more than enough food for all the people who exist now or ever will exist, and yet hunger, malnutrition, and other diet-related diseases continue to increase. This is 100% because of the artificially, politically chosen and imposed corporate food distribution system. It’s impossible to meaningfully discuss hunger except by asking the question: How do we overthrow corporate control of agriculture and food?
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Of course education could help with this question, which is why the schools must be completely corporate-regimented or else dismantled completely. As I started out saying, this is in line with the historical purpose of system schooling.
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What humanity really needs are its own democratic participation schools.

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March 4, 2015

Notes Toward Analysis of the TTIP and Corporate Rule

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1. Government by bureaucracy is government directly by power. This contrasts with how constitutional government, a so-called government of laws, is supposed to function. As Hannah Arendt puts it in Origins of Totalitarianism, “Power, which in constitutional government only enforces the law, becomes the direct source of legislation.” In reality the “government by laws” never really existed except maybe for brief periods and only for certain groups. Far more commonly government dresses up its might makes right nature with sham facades of constitutionality, law, democracy. Neoliberalism represents the conscious, systematic application of this government-by-facade strategy. (Throughout these discussions I refer to modern states, the states of the fossil fuel age, the age of extreme, ahistorical energy consumption. I’m leaving aside pre-oil and possible post-oil forms.)
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Government at the directive of corporate bureaucracy is the most direct and brutal form of government by bureaucracy, government directly by power. Indeed, unlike with the lies the system tells about government bureaucracies and police, corporate bureaucracies are increasingly declared explicitly to be above the law. This is the main purpose of globalization pacts like the TTIP and TPP. Specific provisions of these pacts essentially override all law wherever this might interfere with an assumed pre-society, state-of-nature right of corporations to seek and collect plunder in the legalized form of “profit”. ISDS gives corporations a weapon of aggression to seek even the most speculative theoretical “profit”, not by running the risks of investment and actually having to produce a good or service, but by attacking the legal basis of society in a secret World Bank tribunal. Here a Mafia-style stickup is carried out. The corporation names the amount of profit it demands the taxpayers hand over, and the World Bank orders the society to cough it up.
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(“Profit” is nothing but a metric of corporate power and corporate looting, and has no special economic meaning beyond that. The government of course allows every kind of fraudulent accounting, from fictitious mark-to-market pricing of securities to the direct transfer of government handouts to the balance sheet, to the monumental level of negative externalities which are shrugged off as nonexistent. All corporate oligopoly sectors are completely dependent on corporate welfare and government “forbearance”, i.e. winking at massive crimes like pollution and accounting fraud. All big corporations would collapse tomorrow without these. No big corporation has “earned” a textbook profit in decades. They all hemorrhage wealth.
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As far as what capitalism really is, the corporations are way ahead of everyone else. They understand that every concept and tenet of “capitalism” is sheer bunk, and that the only thing real for them is control, domination, the never-ending expansion of power. Profit-seeking is only one form of this power accumulation, to be used or abused or jettisoned as necessary. Profit as the Economics 101 textbooks depict it is already a myth. Eventually the corporations won’t even formally measure it at all, even in the fraudulent way they do today.
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Power is the only thing corporations understand, and a world based upon nothing but this psychotic fantasy is the world they are trying to force upon humanity.)
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Beyond these “sector specific” and thug enforcement provisions putting corporate activism outside and above the law, the TTIP seeks to institute a permanent process of corporate-government bureaucratic Gleichschaltung, called “regulatory coherence”. Here government regulators are to be coordinated under corporate direction to advocate or oppose existing or proposed laws, to oppose existing regulations which the corporations feel hamper them, advocate those which accelerate the race to the bottom as well as regulations of aggression vs. alternatives to corporate domination. (We also have an excellent current example of how government regulators are openly conspiring with corporations to murder c. 200 people over the next 20 years as the “collateral damage” of shale gas and oil export. Collateral damage is of course not an accident, but by definition is premeditated.) In all of these ways “law” is to be nominally maintained but twisted in practice under the command of the corporate sectors.
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2. Ideologically, both aggressive globalization and the systematic demolition of civilization under the campaign name austerity are versions of the “progress” ideology. This aspect of Progress is based on the notion that only limitless power and wealth accumulation can maintain the stability of alleged economic “laws”. In reality there are no such “laws”, only politically chosen frameworks, and it’s the expansion and accumulation process itself which is the greatest destroyer of stability and of civilization itself, as the corporatists themselves admit in another, contradictory branch of their propaganda, the paean to “creative destruction”.
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Expansionism is the accumulation ideology as applied to the state, which effectively provides the subsidy basis for the growth of all the corporate sectors, and whose sword arm makes global corporate activism possible. “Profit” does not mean actual wealth creation; more often it is destructive for the country as a whole.
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Supply-based productionism, the wholesale destruction of the planet to enable mindless production for its own sake, is the practical basis of “expansion for expansion’s sake”. The alternative is a demand-based economy.
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The logic of course shipwrecks at the limits of the globe itself, and that’s where it extrudes the parallel earth-hating cults of “getting off the rock” and of genetic engineering. Both are fantasies of breaking free of the Earth’s physical limits, one by allowing elites to literally colonize other planets, the other by technologically generating a repeatable, “creatively destructive” blank slate where nature and/or prior agricultural orders used to be. This is one of the many ways GMOs embody a precise analogy, and not just an analogy, to war, which also resuscitates faltering accumulation processes by destroying on a massive scale what already exists.
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3. With today’s globalization in its most extremist forms – NAFTA and the pacts which are modeled upon it, culminating in the TTIP, TPP, and CETA – we have the most extreme, crusading imperialist form of US-based corporate rule.
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Europe seemingly wants to relinquish its centuries-old doctrine of seeking a balance of powers in favor of lying prostrate while the US corporate boot stomps it. This is inherent in the transformation the modern state underwent starting in the latter half of the 19th century, a transformation which is reaching its totalitarian consummation only now.
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If the nation-state was first organized in an unproductive way, its reorganization was forced by the rise of fossil fuels and the tremendous temporary leap these afforded in energy consumption, and therefore of economic activism. The nation-state tried to act as a non-profit state rather than as a business. The bourgeoisie has acted to take over the state and run it as a profit-seeking, power-seeking entity. The capitalists’ accumulation-seeking activism had embroiled it in conflict around the world, and they needed state protection and aggression on their behalf. The modern business state’s primary action has been to foster and support “private” economic accumulation. Its foreign policy has been based on expansionism and military aggression on behalf of this accumulation. The state had to be reorganized in an accumulation-seeking way, otherwise it would be superseded by a government form which was so organized. This is the morphology of modern power concentration. Corporations are the most direct, distilled form of accumulation-seeking power, and the profit-oriented state has become more and more a corporate state. With globalization pacts we’re now at the threshold of a unprecedentedly direct form of de jure corporate government.
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The government itself was now put on a profit basis, and all subsequent foreign policy, including so-called “trade” policy, was undertaken more or less from the point of view of a corporation seeking to plunder and extract.
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This was the main driver of the abandonment of the old “balance of power” mindset in favor of an all-or-nothing mindset. This change was most spectacularly displayed in WWI, where the Germans openly proclaimed continental annexation goals while the Allied-imposed Versailles Treaty intended to permanently cripple Germany economically and militarily. But this transformation had been developing over decades.
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The state was transformed into a political form based on the accumulation of wealth and power and the export of economic commodities and of raw power. This was driven by and reinforced the development of a political class which sees all of politics as being about nothing but power. Power and violence aren’t new, but the modern business state is new in making these the very basis of the whole political and economic system, power for its own sake. This is the essence of the corporation’s world view. With the globalization pacts we’re undergoing the formal enshrinement of this Hobbesian framework as the overriding action and basis of government as such, while all human values and concerns are to be literally outlawed wherever they stand in the way of the corporate imperative.
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So the nation itself, civil society in all its aspects, are to be quashed in favor of the power prerogatives of the corporate sectors. This direct corporate rule is being enshrined by its own pseudo-constitution. We can indeed read the text of the TTIP and TPP, and NAFTA and others before them, as comprising a Corporate Constitution overriding the constitutions and laws people think they live by today. But in truth, just as we can view corporate oligopoly as an extraconstitutional Fourth Branch of government to which the first three branches are ceding all power, so we can see how the entirety of the US Constitution has been swallowed up and dissolved by three clauses – the Commerce clause which is today deployed in a veritably totalitarian way, the Supremacy clause which is used to quash democracy and civil society action in every sector, and the treaty-making power under which the nominal “public” government is abrogating much of its power to the TTIP, i.e. the corporations. So looking at it that way leads us to back to the first track – “public”, “constitutional” government is shifting all power to the “private”, extraconstitutional corporate branch of government. This is the legalistic process by which corporate government is being instituted. The globalization pacts play a major role.
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4. In the practical sense, what corporate elites want is for the state to act as corporate welfare conveyor and violent enforcer through threats and military/police means, and to take all the financial and other risks upon itself (i.e. the taxpayers) but not engage in public policy beyond this. Beyond this the state should just maintain a sham facade of “elections” and the two primary astroturfs, the Democrat and Republican Parties. Whatever’s left of public interest government, anything which could actually help people, anything which isn’t directly profitable for the corporate sectors, is to be gutted and dismantled. All true politics are to be eradicated and replaced by a corporatized anti-politics. I call this the bagman/thug model of government.
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This sums up neoliberalism and austerity, and is also the reason why anything the government undertakes which is allegedly for the public benefit, such as “health care reform”, is intentionally set up primarily as a corporate toll booth and to further organize such a core element of human society as medicine under corporate rule. Any government policy must be first and foremost corporate welfare, while a policy like Single Payer that directly helps people and doesn’t convey wealth to the corporations is literally inconceivable by the elites and the political class. This is true no matter how beneficial, rational, and less expensive the public interest policy would be, and no matter how harmful, destructive, irrational, and vastly more expensive the corporatist policy is. The globalization pacts represent the ultimate enshrinement of the this corporate policy derangement.
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5. So we have:
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A. A basically unitary, monolithic corporate elite class, which is roughly synonymous with the 1% and its flunkeys. These include the political class and “professionals” as groups. The organizations wielding tremendously concentrated power are big corporations grouped into oligopoly sectors. The sectors exist in a rough hierarchy with Wall Street at the top. Relations within each sector are based more on collusion than conflict. There’s jockeying for position but only rarely does a serious fight break out.
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B. In the US government system, the political class is transferring power and control from the three constitutional, nominally accountable branches to the extraconstitutional, unaccountable in principle Fourth Branch of government, the corporations themselves.
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Parallel processes are well underway in academia, among professional groupings, and as written into the very ideology of such endeavors as science and journalism, which now exist primarily in the form of corporate-dictated “science” and the corporate media.
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C. The first three branches are to remain potent as corporate welfare bagman and thug, promoter of the pseudo-democratic facade, and as holder of all risk.
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Now that corporatism, and the bourgeois ideology of which it is the ultimate consummation, has won for the time being, the corporate government’s goal is to cause the state to wither away in favor of direct corporate rule, except insofar as the state serves as bagman and thug.
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6. As Arendt put it, the corporations and their supporters want “power without a body politic”. Corporations are to have total power and license, individuals are to be atomized and stripped of all effective power and rights. We can trace the evolution of a yet another parallel track, the evolution of the obscene concept of “corporate rights”. Corporate personhood was first surreptitiously smuggled into constitutional jurisprudence, from there asserted as a precedent, from there became the assumption of the law, and from there to a presumably normative assumption of politics and the public consciousness. This morphed into an affirmative concept of corporate “rights” which was first asserted in court decisions, then elaborated by the courts into a de facto corporate “bill of rights” overriding the people’s bill of rights, and has become a mainstay of media propaganda and corporate rhetoric. Thus Monsanto calls itself a “global corporate citizen” (doubly an oxymoron). From this aggrandizement of corporate “rights” we reach the effective condition where only corporations are presumed to have rights, only corporations are seen as “citizens” (the jargon substitutes the term “stakeholder”), and human beings are disenfranchised. Rather than formally denationalize citizens as prior modern tyrannies have often done, corporate government seeks to render citizenship itself effectively meaningless. It wants to render us all effectively stateless. And today we have globalization pacts like the TTIP which seek to formally enshrine this infinite corporate empowerment and complete human dispossession. Such a concept as the “right to profit” seeks the end of all human and earthly existence as anything but a resource mine and waste dump.
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7. “Profit” is just a pretext for the corporate accumulation and exercise of power, while the goods and services corporations allegedly provide comprise the same kind of propaganda scam as the services allegedly provided by the austerity governments of today. In reality goods and services come from the same source which has always provided them: Nature, and the people who do the actual work. People have always provided the goods and services of civilization in spite of the government and corporate hierarchies which “organize” them, not because of these. The greatly superior moral, rational, practical alternative to all supply-based economic and political policy is a demand-based economy.
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The first step of humanity’s liberation must be the conscious realization that the corporations are not legitimate but alien and tyrannical, wherever they exist and exert power.

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February 15, 2015

“Foreign Aid” is Corporate Welfare

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To extend my point from the other day’s post on “welfare” for people and corporate welfare, we can say the same about so-called “foreign aid”, for example as laundered through USAID and the Gates Foundation (to give one each of a nominally “public” and nominally “private” example; in reality there’s no difference). The money channeled through these is invariably, except for a few cosmetically spent pennies, dedicated to increasing the penetration, domination, and profitability of Western transnational corporations in the recipient countries. USAID also continues with its original Cold War mission, to disseminate pro-corporate propaganda and actively seek imperialist goals within these countries. To the extent anyone involved even thinks of actual benefit for people (almost no one does), they see it solely in terms of trickle-down.
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The corporate media frames this corporate welfare as “humanitarian”, and this stirs up the standard partisan conflict between conservatives and liberals, each group believing this lie. Meanwhile the corporations go their merry way.
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In addition to comprising corporate welfare, this aid is also often in the form of dumping, as with Monsanto’s attempt to capitalize on Haiti’s misery following the 2010 earthquake. In all cases a primary goal is to destroy local economies and any form of economic or political self-determination among the “recipient” peoples.
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All this is true regardless of whether the “aid” is direct from a government or corporation, or laundered through any kind of NGO or charity. These are front groups. The corporate character of the dumping is the same in every case.
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As Bill Gates explains in this interview, practically a synthetic compendium of the corporate aid ideology, no one from the system would ever dispense foreign aid unless the point was for all of it to go through corporate tollbooths, set up corporate infrastructure, and help impose corporate enclosure, profit, control, and domination.
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This is preparatory to my upcoming posts on the “New Alliance” corporate colonization plan for African agriculture and food. USAID’s role in aggrandizing corporate agriculture goes back decades. Along with the International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs), its goal throughout the so-called “green revolution” was to spread capitalist propaganda among Southern governments, agronomists, and farmers, help the corporations penetrate and commodify Southern agriculture, and help plunder the germplasm resources of the South for the benefit of the corporate West.

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July 13, 2014

Agricultural Globalization, El Salvador Example

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Classical public agricultural programs have been doing in El Salvador what they’ve always done everywhere they’ve been deployed – improve the economic stability of small farmers and enhance their ability to produce plentiful, healthy food.
 
That’s why corporate agriculture and globalization have always targeted these since the onset of the neoliberal campaign. This was the first thing in Kissinger’s mind when he said “control the food and you control the people”, or what Earl Butz was thinking of when he coined the phrase “food weapon”. Behaviorally, the main goal of IMF-driven debt indenture has been to force the “structural adjustment” of these agricultural programs across the global South, i.e. to eradicate them.
 
They say the reason the Soviet experiment went awry in Russia was because it was a premature attempt to impose modern socialism upon an economy still basically feudal. Whether that’s true or not, what’s far more anti-historical and worse from any practical view is neoliberalism’s “post-modern” imposition of what’s basically a restoration of feudalism, whether it be upon a modern agricultural economy like that of Europe (the TTIP/TAFTA looks to be perhaps corporatism’s last big chance to do that) or upon a southern country like El Salvador just now attempting to build an agricultural economy through the successful use of public interest programs.
 
That’s the context for the US government’s blackmail over a proposed “foreign aid” package. The vehicle for this alleged aid is to be a thing called the Millennium Development Corporation. Instituted by the Bush administration and cherished by Obama, this entity is as ugly as its name. Along with USAID, such government-constituted pseudo-NGOs are merely another kind of laundered corporate welfare and propaganda conveyance. (The nominally “private” counterparts of these are the corporatist foundations. Where it comes to agriculture, Bill Gates’ AGRA is the most aggressive.)
 
The money is promised to bring the whole gamut of “development” and “jobs”. We already know that neoliberalism does nothing but destroy jobs, and is indeed nothing but an accelerated job destruction program along a propaganda campaign to justify this to the people and keep them politically quiescent. Phony promises that staying the course will somehow, by some veritable magic, bring back the good old days of jobs that support a middle class lifestyle, are the core of this propaganda.
 
The architects of globalization peddle a version of this same propaganda to the aspiring bourgeoisie of the global South (and to Western liberals who, they hope, can be duped with the term “foreign aid” into politically supporting the western corporate welfare and corporate domination involved).
 
Leaving aside the question of whether the 1950s Levittown lifestyle really is the best way of life humanity can possibly achieve (there seems to be a consensus among Western ideologies – liberal, conservative, libertarian, as well as most “radicals” – that it is), it’s a proven fact that none of this can work.
 
Even if one is serious about wanting to continue with the employment model but to “reform” it, it’s clear that the heyday of “job creation”, an artifact of the days of cheap oil, is over and done with. If you want to reform, your only real option is to rejigger the system so that each jobholder receives a living wage for working fewer hours. This could easily be done. Even at this point in civilization’s energy cycle there’s still far more than enough wealth for it. Society and the economy would be far healthier and more productive if we all worked fewer hours with a much higher minimum wage. As with single payer health insurance in the US, it could easily be done and would be a vastly more rational, constructive policy. As with single payer, the one and only thing preventing it is that the two political parties and their respective liberal and conservative constituencies don’t want to do it. In the US the constituency among the people for corporate fascism is roughly synonymous with the persistent, reactionary voters for either corporatist party.
 
Getting back to El Salvador, the goal of neoliberal propaganda here is to drum up such a constituency in a southern country. But here it’s especially shoddy message, since there will clearly never be a period of such mass middle class development. It was cheap oil that afforded the extrusion of a Western mass middle class in the mid 20th century. Corporatization also wasn’t as fully rationalized. Today we have a globally constricting resource pie even as corporatism has become fully totalitarian. We can call this fully developed neoliberal corporatism “postmodern” in the sense that it’s intended to be the vehicle for the restoration of a fully corporate-feudal system for the post-oil age. I’ve written before about how capitalism never fully supplanted feudalism, but rather developed a capitalist/feudal hybrid, with the corporation as its most typical form and weapon of power. Now corporatism seeks to totally constrain all economic and political forces in order to maintain the power of today’s elites and the system which empowers them, in whatever form the post-oil energies afford.
 
Therefore the South will never go through its own stage of mass middle class development. Its resource base and labor will have to be ever more rationally and viciously exploited by transnational corporations and the most powerful Western governments (the BRIC governments are also trying to set up such an exploitation system, and like with the West’s “New Alliance” campaign, also have an eye on Africa) in order to maintain their own power and fraudulent “growth” propaganda for domestic consumption. But the southern-oriented propaganda is meant to foster delusions of such development in the South, and in that way engender widespread collaboration and even wider quiescence. As always, the main goal isn’t so much to gain active support, but just the absence of active resistance.
 
So far this hasn’t been working in El Salvador, as a coalition of farmers and NGOs has launched its own publicity campaign highlighting the great successes of the country’s current system of government supported non-GM seed production and distribution and the flourishing agriculture which has resulted. We can add to this the great potential of agroecology to build truly sustainable, healthy, prosperous agricultural economies and communities across the global South, and across the world.
 
In the meantime the success of El Salvador’s non-corporate policy is an example of a universal truth of agricultural economy, that all advances and innovations have always come from farmers themselves or from farmers supported by farmer-oriented public programs. Meanwhile the “private sector” has never developed or innovated anything or indeed performed any constructive role whatsoever. Historically, the corporate sector has merely waited for publicly developed technology, science, and infrastructure to sufficiently accumulate, and then used political means to expropriate what farmers and the public built. A gambit like the funneling of “aid” money through a corporate front organization like USAID or the Millennium Development Corporation, with every kind of privatization string attached, is an example of the way this kind of expropriation proceeds under globalization.

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April 4, 2014

GMO News Summary April 4th, 2014

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*Russia continues to express its ambivalence toward the Western-dominated GMO regime, as Vladimir Putin said some vague things about the dangers of GMOs and Russia’s need to control them within its own food supply and economy. This is within the context of Russia’s ongoing moves to limit the penetration of the Western-dominated GMO regime. This has included a labeling policy, a plan to set up a state “registration” system, scheduled to be announced in June 2014, and lots of media coverage of how organic and non-GM conventional agriculture can give Russia a food security and export advantage.
 
All this is part of the intensified jousting between Russia and Western corporatism. The showdown in the Ukraine, historically called the “heartland” or “breadbasket of the world” by geopolitical theorists, is a major escalation. The Ukraine conflict has major implications for humanity’s war against GMO corporatism. Cargill, Monsanto, and others have made major investments in the Ukraine. So far this invasion of Western agribusiness has been nominally on a non-GMO basis, although everyone believes there’s widespread illegal GMO plantings. As of summer 2013 a study by the National Association for Genetic Safety conducted in the Belgorod region of Russia right across the border from the Ukraine didn’t detect GMO contamination.
 
The West’s goal in targeting the Ukraine has been the same as its general goal since the end of the Cold War. The goal is to expand the same neoliberal corporatist domination which is destroying southern and western Europe to the former communist countries. Ukraine is meant to be plundered and dominated for the sake of this plunder in itself, and also to further hem in Russia and prevent it from reasserting itself as a rival to Western corporate power. That’s why the US and EU are so ardent to expand NATO membership to the Ukraine. (NATO, as has been made incontrovertibly clear since the end of the Cold War, is primarily an aggressive alliance, not a defensive one. It never contemplated a peace dividend for one second.)
 
In this case globalization-oriented Ukrainian kleptocrats seized power in a coup so they could accept an IMF loan which would be used to rip the country’s economy and polity wide open to the corporate “austerity” regime and the general onslaught of Western corporate aggression.
 
In the case of agriculture this will include a lifting on the Ukraine’s ban on foreign corporations owning farmland. In this way land-grabbing, usually associated most with the new campaign of racist colonialism being perpetrated by the West in Southern countries, will be brought to the Ukraine. The new corporate Gleichschaltung will also further corporatize Ukrainian policy on commodification, GMO seeds and patents, food safety, etc.
 
It’s easy to see why Monsanto and Cargill are bullish on the current situation, in spite of the chaos and tension. Russia rightly sees this US/EU/NATO/IMF campaign as a campaign of Western aggression, not just against the Ukraine but against itself. In addition to all the other geopolitical and economic aspects, we can add the GMO assault. If all goes according to plan, the corporate takeover of the Ukraine will turn the fabled heartland and breadbasket of the world into a GMO plantation, which will directly physically threaten (via contamination, if not in a more direct way) Russia’s own attempt to build a high-quality non-GM export sector.
 
Of course, Russia has only talked about revamping its agriculture along these lines. It’s at least as likely that Russia’s putting up barriers against Monsanto’s onslaught because it wants to participate in constructing a rival GMO cartel. Nor is any kind of export-based commodity agricultural economy sustainable.
 
But Russia’s public statements have at least demonstrated that they understand the threats and opportunities which are possible in this situation, which is more than most Western countries have done. Meanwhile the Ukrainians seem to have no vision for themselves at all, but can only imagine themselves as under the thumb of Russia or of the West. It’s certainly an extremely difficult position to be caught between two power centers.
 
But there’s no question at all that if one has to be temporarily dependent and subordinate, the deal Russia was offering is vastly better for the Ukraine’s 99% than the IMF liquidation and debt enslavement which is already commencing. And it should go without saying that from every point of view – today’s commodity economy as well as what will of necessity be tomorrow’s relocalized economies – Ukraine would be much better off investing in non-GMO and organic agriculture, in the same way many Russian groups and officials are arguing for Russia, than it will be if it turns itself into the next supine, demolished Monsanto victim. 
 
*Following the latest round of cotton crop failures in India (a growing problem since GMO cotton has become predominant), the state of Karnataka has announced it is placing a ban of indefinite length on the sale of Mahyco’s Bt cotton seeds. It will also institute a bailout of affected cotton farmers, just the latest example of where an Indian government has had to effect a spot bailout of cotton farmers. Usually these bailouts are just laundered corporate welfare for Monsanto and the rest of Big Ag, like US crop subsidies.
 
Mahyco is the Indian equivalent of Seminis, a large pre-existing company which Monsanto bought and turned into its subsidiary. The state government is blaming the widespread crop failures, in many cases as much as 50% of the harvest promised by the company, on poor quality seeds. Farmers are saying that many of the cotton plants fail to produce bolls, and that the allegedly insect-resistant cotton is readily attacked by pests.
 
These complaints, along with the fact that GMO cotton requires heavy irrigation (far more than non-GM) but has often been fraudulently sold to farmers in regions without artificial irrigation, have been common throughout the history of India’s disastrous Bt cotton experiment. Mahyco admits that non-target “secondary” insects are afflicting the cotton plants. This is a common and predictable effect of insecticide-expressing GMOs, along with the development of resistance among the target insect.
 
*A new Brazilian study of in vitro brain tissue exposed to Roundup provides more evidence of the mechanism by which glyphosate causes neurological toxicity and oxidative damage. The existence of these effects, among the many other harmful health effects of glyphosate, is not in question, only the precise way in which this poison harms us.
 
*A coalition of farmer and citizen activists and protesters has successfully pressured the new government of Chile to withdraw a proposed corporate seed enclosure law, called the “Monsanto Law”. Such laws, increasingly being deployed around the global South and also in the process of being tightened in Europe, seek to foreclose democratic and farmer control of seeds through strict patenting and registration rules and draconian restrictions on democratic saving, breeding, and planting of seeds which weren’t duly purchased under a corporate contract.
 
The goal is to eradicate all seed and germplasm diversity and decentralization and replace it with a tightly controlled, hierarchical, proprietary monoculture system. As with all of corporate agriculture, the goal is not to produce food or to feed anyone. On the contrary, everything corporate agriculture does is proven to hinder such goals, and is clearly setting up agriculture for collapse and famine in the not-distant future. The goal is always profit, power, control, domination.
 
Agroecology and Food Sovereignty, on the contrary, seek to produce food for human beings. What’s more, they seek to build strong, democratic communities, polities, economies. They seek to restore power to humanity by decentralizing power and putting it to human use.
 
But corporations seek nothing but to centralize power and use it to control, dominate, and destroy humanity. 

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March 31, 2014

European Commission Comment Period on ISDS in the TTIP

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The European Commission’s ISDS “consultation” for the TTIP globalization compact has been posted. ISDS = “investor-to-state dispute settlement”. That’s the NAFTA model whereby corporations directly sue governments over any law/regulation/court decision which allegedly affects their hypothetical profits. TTIP = “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”. Of course it’s not really about one cent’s worth of legitimate trade or investment. It’s only about corporate aggression.
 
This period of public comment, allowed by the EC under duress, as European civil society has been vigorously protesting the looming compact in general and the ISDS provision in particular, is both less and more democratic than a USDA or FDA comment process. On the one hand it’s an imposing, ponderous series of propaganda pieces touting the righteousness and benevolence of the globalization compact, each followed by a text box asking “what is your opinion of that?” This plus some initial questions seem calculated to intimidate a regular citizen. By contrast US comment forms are vastly simpler.
 
On the other hand, a motivated commenter is given far greater scope to refute the lies and condemn the premises in detail. A US comment form tries to induce a shorter, more general statement.
 
The comment period runs till June 21. Although I gather it’s supposed to be only for European citizens, I might post a comment anyway. By their own globalization logic, as well as by the fact that US citizens are necessarily just as affected as Europeans are by anything the EU does with this, we have full right to comment.
 
Many European citizens and democracy groups will comment, but far more important will be the publicity of rejection and resistance. The main goal among European democracy advocates is to pressure their European Parliament representatives, who must ratify the compact, to vote against it. If the EP votes it down, there will be no TTIP. Otherwise only massive civil disobedience could stanch it. Meanwhile I don’t think anyone expects the US congress to reject it.

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March 12, 2014

The TTIP and the “Right to Profit” (Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement)

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In 2012 US-based Lone Pine Resources sued Canada in the World Bank’s corporate tribunal under NAFTA’s Chapter 11 process, claiming that Quebec’s moratorium since 2011 on fracking was costing Lone Pine $250 million in lost profits. Lone Pine wants to engage in fracking right under the St. Lawrence River. Fracking is highly destructive, has been documented by the US government to cause earthquakes, poisons the groundwater and wells of whole regions, wastes tremendous amounts of water, destroys farmland where the wells are drilled, disrupts and terrorizes communities, wrecks local economies, and produces little gas. Most wells produce nothing, while the most productive fizzle out in a year or two, leaving nothing but wholesale economic, physical, soil, and water destruction in their wake. The main power function of fracking is as a typical Wall Street securitization bubble. Any sane region or country would ban it.
 
But according to NAFTA, none of this matters or has any standing whatsoever as a basis for legitimate public policy. According to NAFTA, public interest policy literally has no right to exist, wherever it gets in the way of corporate profit. 
 
Also in 2012, US-based Strongpoint Solutions filed a similar suit with the tribunal for $27 million. Although its complaint is somewhat vague, in effect it claims that Canada’s federal and provincial statutes against burglary, extortion, murder, and other acts interfere with its ability to offer such profitable services as contract murder. It claims these laws comprise “technical barriers to trade” and are according to NAFTA an illegal constraint on “investor rights”.*
 
I’ve previously written (parts one, two, three) about the provisions of the TTIP and TPP for regulatory Gleichschaltung (coordination) under corporate rule. While that’s meant to be a longer-term project, a more immediate and direct attack on democracy and politics will be these compacts’ souped-up corporate tribunals called “investor-to-state dispute settlement” (ISDS).
 
ISDS is a way for corporations to directly sue countries over any policy provision which allegedly costs them profit. The suits take place in secret tribunals presided over by corporate lawyers. These tribunals are lawless administrative courts outside of any kind of democratic oversight or accountability. They’re most similar to administrative courts which have been run by secret police organizations like the tsarist Okhrana and the Nazi SS. The process gives oligopoly corporations based in any country which is party to a compact special privileges over the rights of the people or of any legitimate business within any country which is also a party. It exalts the “right” to corporate profit as the supreme imperative of society, lofting it far above all other values, rights, goals of policy and law.
 
If the TTIP and TPP are ratified, their ISDS provisions will follow the NAFTA model for filing disputes. From the corporatist point of view this is an improvement over the older WTO model. Under less rigorous globalization compacts, when a corporate sector based in a country feels hampered by a law or regulation in another participating country, its government sues the other government in a WTO corporate tribunal. When, hardly ever “if” (the complainant almost always wins), the WTO finds the law in question to be a barrier to “trade”, it grants the plaintiff country the right to impose retaliatory tariffs on imports from the defendant country. These so-called retaliatory tariffs themselves are chosen in a way to penalize certain imports in order to support certain exports, so what the complainant wins at the tribunal is not so much a right to retaliate as a right to commit new aggression.
 
But from the point of view of the original surly sector, this is a highly convoluted process which doesn’t necessarily do IT any good. Thus at the behest of the Monsanto the US government sued the EU over its GMO regulations. In 2006 the US won at the tribunal and has since been able to impose tariffs on some EU exports, mainly some peripheral luxuries. This “win” therefore hasn’t done Monsanto and the GMO cartel much good.
 
But under the ISDS provision of NAFTA and the over 3000 multilateral and bilateral compacts based upon it, a corporation directly sues a government at a World Bank International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal. This tribunal is similar to a WTO tribunal, but instead of rewarding a government plaintiff with the right to impose a tariff, it rewards the corporate plaintiff with a direct monetary award, paid for by the taxpayers of the target country. This is meant to be (1) a direct corporate welfare conveyance laundered as a “judicial” award, and (2) a pretext to gut regulation and law at lower levels of government which isn’t sufficiently pro-corporate, and to impose a chill effect which prevents the enshrinement of such laws and regulation in the first place.
 
Chapter 11 lets corporations complain about any policy, law, regulation, court decision, which in any way allegedly infringes on any hypothetical profit the corporations can conceive. This has nothing to do with uneven treatment between foreign and domestic businesses. Even where the provision applies equally to all, it’s held to strict liability as far as how it impacts any corporation’s alleged ability to profit.
 
This is proof that globalization compacts are not about trade, but about power. If they were about trade, then a law which applied to everyone equally wouldn’t be a problem.
 
NAFTA also prohibits “performance requirements”, such as that in order to receive various permits a company has to commit to a region for a period of time, source local inputs, etc. In every way it seeks to enshrine a regime of 100% “rights”, i.e. license, 0% risks or responsibilities for the corporations.
 
The boorish quotes here exemplify the psychopathy of the concept of corporate “rights”.
 

Lone Pine claims the Quebec moratorium is an “arbitrary, capricious, and illegal revocation of [its] valuable right to mine for oil and gas.” The firm says the government acted “with no cognizable public purpose,” even though there is broad public support for a precautionary moratorium while the environmental impacts of fracking are studied. Milos Barutciski, a lawyer with Bennett Jones LLP, who is representing Lone Pine in the arbitration, described the moratorium as a “capricious administrative action that was done for purely political reasons – exactly what the NAFTA rights are supposed to be protecting investors against.” It may seem unbelievable but this lawyer may be correct that Lone Pine’s right under NAFTA to make a profit is more important than the right of communities to say no to destructive and environmentally dangerous resource projects.

 
We see again how from the point of view of corporatism politics as such is an atavism, and such values as democracy, public health, environmental protection, are by definition “capricious”.
 
This notion of a “right to profit” is a piece of extremism by any measure. As the provisions are crafted, the “legitimacy” of this hypothetical profit only needs to be confirmed by any friendly government bureaucrat. All that’s needed is for an official with any relevant agency to tell the corporation that he expects it to be able to get a permit, qualify according to a law, etc., and/or that he expects the proposed corporate action to be profitable. No matter how bogus, no matter how suborned, this is enough to establish the profit as some kind of mystical reality. (I wouldn’t be surprised if the accounting regulators then let the company list it as some kind of Account Receivable or other asset.) Needless to say, even now it’s easy for a big corporation to find a regulator chummy enough to give this testimony. It’ll be even easier under regulatory coordination. Indeed, in that case regulators will have a duty to seek such mystical “profit” opportunities on the corporations’ behalf and notify them of these.
 
There’s something Kafkaesque about it – the people comprise the real defendant and will pay the judgement, yet are not allowed any real representation or to observe the proceedings. Their “representatives” are government bureaucrats who are on the side of the prosecutor, and who helped the prosecution prepare its case.
 
Beyond this, the concepts which guide ISDS and globalization and corporatist policy in general – “risk-benefit analysis”, “best practices”, core good regulatory practices”, “Regulatory Impact Assessment”, “market liberalization”, “equalization”, “sound science”, “necessity”, “effectiveness”, and so on set up an adversarial antagonism between corporate profit and human society, with a strong presumption in favor of the corporations.
 
This includes modes of measurement which are automatically in favor of the corporation. There’s nothing scientific or rational about anything like “risk-benefit analysis”, which is on the contrary a purely ideological concept. RBA is arbitrary by definition, in that is arbitrarily enshrines corporate profit as the only value. It can be meaningful at all only to those who adhere to this ideology. If you don’t recognize any right of corporations to a profit, or if you think profiteering shouldn’t exist at all, or if you think the profit motive is only a tool to be used to help increase human well-being, from any of these points of view RBA or anything like it would be absurd and depraved.
 
Humanity must reject the entire concept in principle. We must apply the constitutional corporatism test – do corporations with special privileges legitimately exist at all? We deny the right of corporations to exist at all, and we deny their right to a profit (let alone any other “rights”). Therefore we reject the whole mode of measurement and comparison these compacts fraudulently claim to enshrine. I say “fraudulently” because there could never be any measured result which this regime would consider so little a gain to the corporation as not to be worth the damage it would cause, or too big a loss to the people that it wouldn’t be worth any corporate gain.
 
Thus the goal is to enshrine a guaranteed income for any corporate con artist. If a corporation can envision a profit, it has a right to be awarded this profit in reality. The job of the government and the tribunal is to ensure this profit. This is an extreme manifestation of the fact that corporatism is not designed to provide good products and services, but to guarantee itself a profit and maximize its power. As I said earlier, corporations are not such good/service providers, but power-seeking organizations who hijack and use an economic sector as their base of operations for economic and political domination.
 
Meanwhile the “right to profit” is part of the mysticism of power, and any provision enshrining it is the essence of a command economy.
 
Both Canada and Mexico have lost cases totaling several hundred million dollars in “damages”. That’s in addition to legal costs (which aren’t awarded to the defendant even when it wins) and tribunal fees. Extractive sectors like mining and fossil fuels have been especially aggressive in using these tribunals. Over 50% of ISDS cases have been filed by extractive corporations against Latin American countries. But as the Lone Pine case described above exemplifies, extractors are looking to the CETA and the TTIP to open up Canada and Europe to fracking, and to tribunal suits against any country which tries to protect its people, economy, and environment.
 
Similarly, although Monsanto and the GMO cartel have had little to complain about in the US or Canada so far (Mexico may be a different story these days), they’re eager for the TTIP to give them the power to sue the EU over the many regulatory and political hurdles Europe poses to the GMO assault. Such suits would be win-win for Monsanto, since they’ll either win money awards, or better yet the existence of the ISDS tribunal will give the EC the final inducement it needs to jettison all concern with European democracy and directly approve many or all GMO applications, the way it has always wanted to.
 
The possibilities for lawsuits and extortionate “damage” awards are limitless. Eli Lilly is suing Canada for $500 million for what it views as an insufficiently strong patent for anti-depression drugs. Renco is suing Peru for $800 million over extraction permits. Canada is suing the EU over the European Fuel Quality Directive, which disadvantages its filthy tar sands oil (the same which is slated to be conveyed through the Keystone Pipeline in defiance of US law). Today there are over 500 suits pending before the World Bank tribunals.
 
Civil society, democracy advocates, real businesses, farmers, scientists, public health professionals, environmentalists, and many others, every part of human society and the human economy, have long pointed out that there’s no conceivable public need for this form of extra-constitutional, supra-legal form of tribunal. For any and all actual needs, existing national and regional law is more than sufficient. As in so many other cases, the reform point of view and the abolitionist position agree that ISDS and these tribunals shouldn’t exist at all and serve no purpose other than to aggrandize corporate power and domination.
 
This may bode well for the future of the TTIP in the European Parliament.
 

In June 2011 a European Parliament resolution on the EU–Canada negotiations stated that, “given the highly developed legal systems of Canada and the EU, a state-to-state dispute settlement mechanism and the use of local judicial remedies are the most appropriate tools to address investment disputes.” In July that year, the Commission’s own Sustainability Impact Assessment of CETA came to the same conclusion, recommending a state-to-state dispute process only.

 

 
The ISDS provision is so clearly hostile to democracy and economically bad for the people of any country that its inclusion in the TTIP has become a major rallying point for the opposition in Europe. It’s so inflammatory that in January the EC felt the need to retrench. It announced it would issue a public “consultation” in March, followed by a three month public comment period.
 
We already know this “consultation” will be a scam, since we’ve already been through a similar consultation on ISDS with the EU-Canada trade compact (CETA), set to go into effect in 2014. CETA is evil in itself, and is a forerunner of the US-EU TTIP. The Seattle to Brussels Network was able to see a leaked copy of the secret CETA negotiation text on “investment protection” and ISDS and compare it to the public “consultation” note. The public note is just a propaganda document which is much weaker and loaded with anodynes than the real text. It has boilerplate about a theoretical “right to regulate” and misleading definitions and depictions of the scope of the corporate powers being conferred.
 
The main point is that the real text gives coordinated regulators and tribunals vast discretionary power to interpret the provisions and their own powers to act on behalf of corporate imperatives. Much of the language is vague and meant to preserve this discretionary power of bureaucracy, much like with the regulatory coordination provisions. Also like those, it’s meant to postpone specific harsh measures for the subsequent administrative process, rather than daring to run the political gauntlet by including them formally in the compact.
 
The public CETA consultation note promises certain limits on the right to profit, on concepts like “fair and equitable treatment” (FET), on what constitutes an “investment”, a code of conduct for the arbitrators on the tribunal, a promise of transparency, and other anodynes. But the actual negotiation text is significantly different in each case, and in each case what the note says or implies is much weaker, or is mere vague boilerplate with no corresponding provision in the real text. The actual text also contains all sorts of preemptions of the constraints alleged in the note, such as “most favored nation” and similar clauses. Even if constraints on ISDS were initially to be encoded, these would be subsequently subject to “equalization”, “harmonization”, and other modes of destruction under the permanent ongoing regulatory coordination process.
 
We can expect the upcoming TTIP public “consultation” to be a similar propaganda ploy.
 
Meanwhile, as the EC negotiators made clear, it’s only the ISDS provision which is being delayed at all, and only this may in theory be changed. The rest of the TTIP – the negotiations over the sectoral assaults and the regulatory Gleichschaltung plan are at full steam ahead, and these will not be ameliorated one bit.
 
The TTIP (and TPP) as a whole is an assault on freedom, democracy, economic prosperity, and human happiness. It’s to be a major escalation of corporate tyranny, a major step toward corporate domination. As we should have abundant experience by now, all of its promises are lies, and none of its promised benefits will come true. It’ll only accelerate the corporate destruction of the real economy and what’s left of democratic politics, leaving behind only austerity, serfdom, hunger, disease, and an ever more severe police state.
 
We need to reciprocate the EC’s political ploy by seizing the opportunity of the sham “consultation” to expose the overall sham of the TTIP and engineer its political defeat. This is likely to be the last chance the politics of representative democracy gets.
 
[*Actually, that case is a rumor and may not really exist. But even if no such suit has been filed, I defy anyone who supports ISDS to tell me by what logic it shouldn’t be able to succeed at the tribunal if it was filed.]

 
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