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

Thursday, January 16, 2014

NAFTA at 20: State of the North American Farmer

Click here to access article by Karen Hansen-Kuhn from Foreign Policy in Focus.

This article from a quintessential liberal source provides an excellent summary of the effects of NAFTA after 20 years of operation. While its description of the effects are excellent, the article lacks any in-depth political analysis. Notice how the author reinforces the illusions perpetuated by standard capitalist propaganda that official political institutions determine policies, which in reality are determined by ruling class directors in the major banking and Wall Street which sponsor actors in these political institutions and benefit from such policies:
...policymakers in Congress and the Obama administration continue to support the same failed policies. They advocate for more free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. These are largely cut and pasted from NAFTA, but with a twist: they add dangerous new provisions that would limit any remaining restrictions on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), permit questionable food additives, and pave the way for even more questionable emerging technologies. A “new” U.S. Farm Bill currently being negotiated shifts the emphasis from commodity support to crop insurance, while locking in place advantages for even bigger farms and corporations. And it perpetuates the same willful ignorance of the devastating impacts of droughts and flooding caused by climate change.
Such a superficial treatment is not an accident or necessarily caused by ignorance. This media source is operated by people in universities whose funding relies on capitalist charitable foundations with a token representation from a major labor organization that long ago sold out to the capitalist ruling class. Their careers depend on how they frame and analyze issues in their articles to be consistent with capitalist ideology.

Here in the US the ruling capitalist class is very secure given their overwhelming control of all institutions. Thus, they allow some superficial dissent in the form of articles like this which are critical of ruling class policies so long as they do not challenge basic ruling class myths and secrets such as the ruling class control of our government, their involvement in the assassination of Kennedy, 9/11, the Boston bombing, their sponsorship of terrorist groups, etc. 

This, of course, could change over time if sufficient numbers of people became more consciously aware of the political realities of capitalist rule. However, they are prepared for that eventuality by establishing what is ofter referred to euphemistically as a "national security state" which includes militarized local police forces, restrictions on civil liberties, full spectrum surveillance now widely known from Snowden's revelations, and a vast prison system.

Of course, I and others can get away with such disclosures because we influence relatively few people. Were that to change, I have little doubt that we would be eliminated immediately.