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 Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Free Trade" & Corporate Power [53:00m audio interview]

Click here to access audio interview from KPFA radio in Berkeley, California. (Note: there is one five minute interruption at 32:00m to report on a U. of California student protest march to Bank of America.)

Using the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a vehicle, global capitalist elites began a campaign several decades ago to establish multinational "free trade" agreements. To counter this, the Anti-globalization Movement engaged in many protests at WTO meetings across the world, one of the most notable was here in nearby Seattle in 1999. As a consequence of so much global opposition, capitalist elites began to use another strategy-- bi-lateral "free trade" agreements. As Professor Martin Hart-Landsberg explains in this interview, these agreements are accomplishing the same purposes--undermining the ability of governments to impose any control over capitalist practices and weakening workers rights. 

Using the recent bi-lateral agreement with South Korea approved by Congress as an example, Hart-Landsberg provides a very clear understanding of what such agreements actually contain. He explains how economists try to rationalize these agreements under the theory of Comparative Advantage to hide the reality of a stealth attack on workers and their governments to control out-of-control global capitalist elites.