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

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Unravelling the spin: a guide to corporate rights in the EU-US trade deal

Click here to access article from Corporate Europe Observatory (based in the Netherlands).
This week marks the first round of negotiations for a far-reaching transatlantic trade deal. In the face of growing opposition to plans for expanded corporate powers in the proposed pact, the European Commission is trying to dispel concerns with propaganda.
The article then proceeds to demolish eight types of themes which the corporate world is using in an effort to sell Europeans on the trade deal. From this article it appears that Europeans are much more aware of this neoliberal project to subordinate national interests to corporate interests than are Americans. Here in the US there is almost no media coverage of these secret trade negotiations.
...here’s what investor-state dispute settlement in the proposed EU-US trade deal is really about: exacerbating the imbalance between corporations and the 99% by granting a powerful weapon to fight regulation of some of the world's most powerful multinationals. They will use that weapon to enshrine existing inequalities and launch a toxic attack on [bourgeois] democracy, both in the EU and the US.