We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tribunal finds Monsanto an abuser of human rights and environment

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from his blog Systemic Disorder.

Although there have been many discussions and proposals about an international court since WWI, it was only after WWII and the International Military Tribunal that tried Nazi war criminals that there was a strong push to set up similar international courts. Due to the Cold War and the lack of support by major countries, only tribunals have succeeded in being established. The only two I am familiar with are the International Court of Justice (ICJ) established in 1946 and a branch of the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) that was established by the Treaty of Rome in 1998 by many nations and became active in 2002. Both are located in The Hague, a city on the south coast of Holland. 

(Incidentally, Nicaragua in 1986 brought a case against USA in the ICJ for various war crimes, and the court essentially found the US guilty: "The very long judgment first listed 291 points, among them that the United States had been involved in the 'unlawful use of force'.") 

On April 18th the ICC found Monsanto guilty of violating internationally recognized human rights.
The tribunal, consisting of five international judges, has found Monsanto guilty. The tribunal is not a court of law and it has no power to enforce any judgment. The decision is a moral one, albeit grounded, the tribunal says, in international human rights and humanitarian law.
Dolack concludes correctly that capitalism is in contradiction to human rights because its priority is maximization of profit, and in order to survive corporations must continue to grow.
That concept of human rights, however, is in conflict with the mandates of capitalism — including the relentless competitive pressures that make “grow or die” an imperative. The domination of markets by a small number of behemoths is the inevitable product of that ceaseless competition, behemoths that by virtue of their immense size and command of capital can and do exert dominance over government and civil society.

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