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

Friday, November 14, 2014

Obama at APEC: US steps up economic offensive against China

Click here to access article by Australian Nick Beams from World Socialist Web Site.

Beams attempts to understand recent events related to the increasing competition between the new emerging economic giant of China with the decreasing post-WWII domination of the US both militarily and economically. To do this, he logically examines an article by US Trade Representative Michael Froman published in Foreign Affairs, a publication of the Council on Foreign Relations and one of the most influential ruling class think tanks.
The principle underlying GATT was the so-called “most favoured nation” policy, according to which trade concessions offered by any country were not to be made selectively, but had to be extended to all. The aim was to prevent the formation of trade blocs, which had contributed to the conflicts of the 1930s that led to the outbreak of World War II. The post-war trading system was not to be a web with a particular economy at the centre, but rather a system grounded on the principle of multilateralism.

The TPP and the related Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), covering economic relations between the US and Europe, are based on an opposed perspective.

.... He
[Froman] writes: “As President Obama remarked earlier this year, ‘Just as the world has changed, this architecture must change as well.’”

This begs the question: why?