Archive for the World Economic Forum Category

NAFTA, “Free Trade” and the TPP: Fast-Track To Full Corporate Rule

Posted in activism, analysis, Canada, capitalism, Chomsky, civil liberties, class, collapse, consciousness, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, coup, crisis of democracy, deep integration, democracy, democratic deficit, disaster, ecological crisis, ecology, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, environment, fascism, fascist, Feudalism, FTAA, geopolitics, globalism, globalization, imperialism, jobs, labour, Mexico, money, Mussolini, must-read, NAFTA, nation state, national democracies, NAU, peace, people's movements, police state, policy, political economy, politics, Security and Prosperity Partnership, sociology, sovereignty, SPP, sustainability, tipping point, trade, truth, U.S., war on democracy, WEF, World Economic Forum, WTO with tags , , , , on November 6, 2013 by jtoddring

The TPP In A Nutshell: Growing corporate power and the death of freedom

The FTA, NAFTA, the WTO, the WEF, the SPP, and now, the TPP – it is all a further drive for increasing global corporate power, and we should be very concerned. This should not need to be spelled out. The situation is becoming critical. Here is some background and context.

“Twenty years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law. At the time, advocates painted a rosy picture of booming U.S. exports creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and economic development in Mexico, which would bring the struggling country in line with its wealthier northern neighbors. Two decades later, those promises have failed to materialize. U.S. trade deficits with both Canada and Mexico have surged, crippling domestic industries, prompting massive job displacement and the replacement of living wage union jobs with jobs in sectors with low pay, minimal benefits and no job security.”

– Expose the TPP

 

What have been called “free trade” agreements are more accurately called corporate rights agreements, as Chomsky and others have said. And these agreements have helped to de-industrialize the US and Canada while shifting production to Mexico and other cheap labour offshore locations, such as India and China, wiping out the bulk of the middle class at home in the process, while leaving the great majority around the world in poverty as well, and generally benefiting only a small elite. Continuing in this course would clearly be disastrous for the vast majority of the people world-wide.

NAFTA, CAFTA, the FTAA, the WTO, the WEF, the SPP, the ECB and the Fed, and now, the TPP – all of these are treaties and organizational structures which represent the enthronement of the global corporate elite as the de facto rulers of the world, as the London Financial Times itself has said. They represent, in essence, a set of treaties between big business and governments, in which governments yield and cede their power to the trans-national corporate elite who already dominate the global economy, the major media and the political process and governments of most nations in the world today.

What this represents is the merger of business and the state, which as Mussolini himself said, is the very definition of fascism. What we are seeing is the destruction of both democracy and freedom, as well as human rights, constitutional law and civil liberties, under a global corporatist rule of increasingly stark neo-feudalism.

And if that were not already bad enough, we should also recognize that the people do not even benefit economically. Such moves benefit the few at the top, while the middle class is eliminated, the sea of poverty grows as the great majority of the people are driven into a growing underclass, inequality skyrockets, and a police state is constructed to keep the increasingly discontent masses silent and obedient, suppressed, subjugated, and neutralized – meaning effectively, neutered.

This is not even mentioning the utterly disastrous effects that our new global empire of corporate feudalism is having on the environment and the prospects for any kind of future for human life on earth.

Say no to the TPP and corporate rule, or say hello to a new and hellish form of Babylon, and an accelerating race towards a collective suicide.

J. Todd Ring,
November 6, 2013

The Real Meaning of 911: pretext for a war on democracy

Posted in American politics, Barack Obama, Brzezinski, Bush, capitalism, civil liberties, class, consciousness, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, coup, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, democracy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, false flag, fascism, freedom, geopolitics, Global War on Terrorism, globalism, globalization, human rights, imperialism, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, money, must-read, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, Obama, oil, Operation Northwoods, Orwell, Patrot Act, peace, people's movements, Pinochet, police state, policy, political economy, politics, politics of oil, propaganda, Reichstag, Sinking of the Maine, the world's other superpower, truth, U.S., Uncategorized, video, war, war crimes, war on democracy, War on Terror, World Economic Forum with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2011 by jtoddring

A brief overview of the past ten years, and where we stand now

*

The short passage I want to share with you to introduce our discussion was written by Arudhati Roy, in September 2001: here are a few thoughts that should make us pause and think.

“Someone recently said that if Osama bin Laden didn’t exist, America would have had to invent him. But, in a way, America did invent him. He was among the jihadis who moved to Afghanistan in 1979 when the CIA commenced its operations there. Bin Laden has the distinction of being created by the CIA and wanted by the FBI.”

That was 10 years ago. Perhaps now more of us can face the truth, and start dealing with reality, instead of illusion. The world will never be healed by illusion, but only by courageous hearts, willing to face the truth, and address it honestly and directly. The time is now. The time has come. The truth alone will set us free.

911 marked the beginning, not of a global war on terror, as the official story line goes, but the rapid and massive escalation of a long-standing global war on democracy. Shortly after the attacks of September 11 George Bush said to the public, “Freedom itself has been attacked this morning, and freedom will be defended.” It is ironic, and also cynically Machiavellian, that this horrible act was used to attack civil liberties, freedom and democracy, not just in the United States, but all around the world, ever since that day. In the fashion of true Orwellian double-speak, George Bush told us exactly what was going on: freedom is being attacked – but of course, he failed to mention all of the attackers: included in which, he and his cronies and his masters are among the most vile and the most culpable. Starry-eyed partisans must come to realize, as they are beginning to, that Obama did not change this. Obama has not only left unchallenged all of the anti-constitutional laws and the worst practices ushered in by the Bush administration, including the domestic and global  surveillance state, torture and “extraordinary rendition,” along with the heinous and bill of rights-shredding Patriot Act – which he himself voted to endorse and support, not once, but twice, even going so far as to vote in favour of making 14 of its provisions permanent: he has furthermore talked peace and democracy and other noble ideals, while actively continuing and expanding the “global war on terror” – which has meant in practice, apart from the rhetoric and spin, an unending imperial war for global geopolitical dominance and economic benefits for the ruling corporate elite, at the great expense and suffering of both the American people and people all around the world. Freedom and democracy are in truth being attacked: we need to understand who is doing the attacking – who is waging this war on democracy and freedom. We must now come to understand the real meaning of 911, to understand this major turning point in our recent world history, or we will be doomed to continue to repeat the tragedies of the past.

“There is a class warfare, all right….but it’s my class, the rich class, that is making war….. and we’re winning.”
Warren Buffett

(So far Mr. Buffett, so far –
but people of prescience know that the tides are turning.)

This is the real meaning of 911: it was used as a pretext for unending imperial war, the elimination of civil liberties and the shredding of constitutions; the further evisceration and destruction of democracy – and most essentially, it was hoped, the successful consolidation of power by the ruling corporate elite, who were and are terrified that real democracy is beginning to arise among the people – and that they will lose their global dominance and their current position as de facto rulers of the world.

For those who may be inclined to be dismissive of any suggestion that high level members of the U.S. political elite or the transnational corporate elite could ever have been involved in grotesquely criminal acts, let us ask ourselves a few pertinent questions before we proceed. Have members of the U.S. government or global corporate elite ever committed violent or criminal acts in the past? Do the political and business elite conduct all of their affairs with complete transparency and in the full light of day? Is there such a thing as covert action? Do coups happen? Do bids for power occur? Have members of the U.S. political elite or the global corporate elite ever used violence to advance political or economic goals and objectives? We could list a host of U.S. military, paramilitary and covert actions spanning more than a century to show that yes, high levels of the U.S. political elite and the business elite with whom they tend to align themselves, have acted with stealth or brazen openness, covertly as well as overtly, with mass violence, to achieve political and economic objectives: the Business Plot which was exposed by General Smedley Butler, the murder of Sandino in Nicaragua and the installation of the dictator Somoza…the Contras, Arbenz in Guatemala, the slaughter in Jakarta, the Shaw in Iran, Allende and Pinochet in Chile…. The list of violent, criminal acts carried out by U.S. political elites and their trans-national corporate backers in the pursuit of power and wealth, and the acts of mass violence, both overt and covert, to destroy democracy, subdue a people, and consolidate their power and their economic dominance, is very long. Only the wilfully ignorant or hopelessly naive or ideologically fixated could possibly deny these facts. In light of the historical record of many U.S. political elites, and the record of corporate conduct over the years and around the world, to assume that complicity in terrible acts of criminality on the part of the political or economic elite is impossible and inconceivable, is simply delusional.

911 was a desperate, grotesquely criminal and Machiavellian act by desperate men, afraid of losing power. It was a desperate and frightened bid to hang onto a dying empire. All such efforts to preserve empire ultimately fail, as history has repeatedly shown (as Ozymandias reminds us), but as Chomsky pointed out, such death throes of a wounded, vicious animal should not be taken lightly. These are dangerous times, as well as times of great opportunity for real positive change (paraphrasing a great man once again – although, even the grand magus of dissidents is not infallible, of course.)

911 was a Reichstag incident. See 1931 Germany and the burning of the Reichstag, when Hitler aided a terrorist in order to create a panic and a “war on terror,” so that he could dissolve the German parliament, attack all who threatened or limited his power, and destroy democracy, concentrating all power in the hands of a few megalomaniacs and Machiavellian thugs.

The burning of the Reichstag: this was the thought that flashed through my mind when I heard on the radio that a second plane had hit the towers, and it became clear that this was no accident. My instincts have proven correct – the evidence is overwhelmingly clear, and is available, at present at least, for anyone who cares to look at it.

911 was a turning point in the long-standing war of the elite against democracy and the people. It was an act of unspeakable atrocity, and it was a pretext for a power grab. If we fail to understand this, then we understand nothing about 911, or the world that took shape since that day. 911 is a case study in the abuse of power, and in the current state of the world and who rules it, for whose benefit, and by what means.

We live in a corporatocracy: 1,000 corporations and the family dynasties that control them, now dominate the globe. If we are to have justice, freedom, true democracy, human rights, environmental sustainability or even a future on this earth, we will have to take back our communities, nations, democracies and world from these oligarchs and robber barons. 911 is one of countless case studies that can show us why it is urgent that we do so. Please investigate for yourself. Take no one’s word on anything: examine things for yourself. Then act with love and peace, boldness and courage, and let us together, create a better world for all.

*

Along with being one of the most horrible and grotesque acts of mass murder in recent history, 911 marked the beginning of the deliberate push toward corporate fascism and the elimination of the last remains of democracy and human rights. If we do not understand this trend, which was set in motion very consciously by the ruling few, then we will inadvertently help it along, by being silent and unknowingly complicit, if not actively supportive of our own enslavement, through a simple lack of understanding.

Put the event in context, and its terrible logic becomes clear. Look into the actual evidence, and the conclusions are inescapable. The implications are profound, and far-reaching. 911 spells the death of legitimacy for the ruling corporate elite; just as it was a response by those same elite to an already existing and critical crisis of legitimacy.

The stakes are high. If we don’t debunk 911, we likely will fail to debunk the “global war on terror” (GWOT), which the 911 official story is used to support. And if we don’t debunk the “war on terror” we will not rally the needed popular movements for peace, for civil liberties, for constitutional rule, for democracy, for justice or for freedom. Worse still, if we do not debunk the “war on terror” the corporate elite and their client states – and Europe, Canada and the U.S., among many others, are by now all client states of the global corporate empire – three very dangerous trends will continue. 1. The war on democracy will continue to escalate. 2. The global imperial wars for resources, cheap labour, real estate and compliant markets, led by and for the corporate elite, will continue to escalate. 3. The war on nature – led by a rape and pillage mentality of the corporate elite, with the willing or unwitting support of their cogs, collaborators and consumer drones (us) – will continue to escalate, along with the severe and mounting ecological crisis which is its result. In short, if we do not stop the juggernaut of corporate empire, there will be a global corporate fascist tyranny, the end of freedom and democracy, and the increasing deterioration of life on earth, due to on-going and ever increasing levels of war, injustice and ecological madness.

Most pointedly perhaps – if these were not enough reasons to resist, to confront and to challenge the currently reigning corporatist regime – their imperial wars are becoming more and more dangerous. A war with Iran, for example, which the U.S. government is gearing up for now, could literally spell WW3.

China and Russia, two military, economic and nuclear superpowers, have formally aligned with Iran militarily and have begun joint military training exercises. Meanwhile, the U.S. is not only sabre-rattling with regards to Iran, and setting up the prerequisite spin and story line which always precede an act of military aggression, but have also deployed major forces in ready. Why? Control of oil reserves of course, which means further control of the critical energy reserves that the global economy relies upon, which means in turn greater dominance and control over the world’s economy, and therefore, greater consolidation of the Western corporate elite’s global dominance. But this is an extremely dangerous gambit to take in pursuit of continued global dominance.

Attacking Iran is one of the most dangerous things the U.S. government and its corporate controllers could possibly do. And yet, every indication is that the Western corporate powers are determined to do just that, and are preparing for such a brazen and utterly reckless, frankly insane act.

We must stop the madness now. The truth must be sought, and told, and we must stand for peace, for justice, for democracy, for freedom, for ecological sanity, and for the future of humanity. The “war on terror” must be debunked and shown for what it is: a global war on democracy, and an attempt by the presently ruling corporate elite to consolidate their power and their global dominance while they can. 911 offers a window of insight into the “war on terror” and its true parameters, motives and nature, unlike any other.

Dig deep now. Then speak and act. History is with us. Although there is a war against democracy being waged, the people of the earth are beginning to awaken, as the ruling elite’s own polls and intellectuals have acknowledged.

We are at a juncture point in human history. What we do or do not do now, will shape the coming decades, and may very well decide the fate of humanity on earth. We have everything we need to build a better world, and to take the power back and reclaim our democracy and these lands from the tyrants who now control them. It is up to us. It is up to you and I. As it ever has been, it is up to the people.

*

It is ironic, and it is also predictable: the escalation of the war on democracy by the ruling corporate elite and their bid to consolidate their power, which was kicked off on September 11, 2001, was brought on by the elite’s terror at what they realized was a global crisis of legitimacy. The people have lost faith, confidence and trust in their rule: this means their power is extremely fragile, and will collapse, as it did with the ruling order in the Soviet Union recently and for the same reasons, unless something drastic is done immediately.

Something drastic was done, and is being done: the ruling elite are fighting like mad dogs to consolidate and preserve their power before they lose it. There are external and internal threats to the current de facto rule by the Western corporate elite. The external threats are rising competing power blocs, particularly the rising power of the BRIC alliance – Brazil, Russia, India and China, along with many others that are loosely aligned with this trade bloc, as well as from nations which stubbornly wish to pursue their own course, and not be mere puppets and servants of the ruling transnational corporate powers – for example, much of Latin America as well as the examples of the Arab Spring. But the greatest threat to the de facto rule of the corporate elite is from within: from the people themselves, who are beginning to demand justice, an end to imperial warfare – and most threateningly of all to the ruling elite, the people are beginning to demand real democracy, and the throwing off of corporate dominance over the political process, the economy, the media and the world. The corporate rulers, who call themselves literally, “the masters of the universe” – as absurd and insane as that may be – are feeling very afraid, and are looking for any means possible to preserve their power and their global dominance.

“The other superpower” – the people – has begun to awaken: and the power elite, as sociologist C. Wright Mills called them, know this very well, and are very concerned and dismayed. See, for example, the statement by Brzezinski just this past spring, at one of the ruling elite’s annual closed-door meetings, that there is a global political awakening occurring among humanity. Or see the statement by George Soros just a few years ago, speaking as a member of the global financial elite, to the elite: “We have to make major concessions, and now, or we will lose everything.” The elite do not wish to make any concessions, and are not willing to give up power voluntarily either – therefore they had to do something else, something desperate, to try to maintain their power in the face of a rising people’s power. Or see intellectual in residence for the French section of the ruling elite, Jacques Attali, detailed in his book, Millennium: he acknowledges that the current ruling order is anything but stable, and that the greatest threat is the rise of the discontented majority within the heart of the Western empire, in Europe and North America. The elite know that this is a time of great fragility of their power. The people should recognize the opportunity, and seize it.

The game is being played, and it is end game. Ironically however, every heavy-handed and oppressive move against the people made by the fearful ruling corporate elite, removes them further from the arena of the just, and drives them deeper into a profound and global crisis of legitimacy.

By January of 2001, according to the World Economic Forum’s own global poll, the ruling regime of global corporatocracy was in a profound crisis of legitimacy world-wide. 911 came just months after the global corporate elite realized they had lost the propaganda war and were in trouble: that they were about to lose their power unless something was done immediately. When propaganda fails, and a crisis of legitimacy ensues, the ruling elite have only two options: cede power to the people, step aside and let democracy rule; or resort to force. Guess which option the corporate elite preferred.

Unfortunately for the would-be God-kings and pharaohs, resort to force brings about a further collapse of legitimacy, and hence, hastens the fall of the presently ruling global corporate empire, and fuels the rise of the people in authentic democracy.

The new wave of propaganda which followed 911 centred around the “global war on terror.” But very quickly, the people began to see through this ruse. Support for imperial wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere fell away, and deep suspicions arose that the “war on terror” was really a war on civil liberties, a war on democracy, and an imperial war for oil and real estate – as it is, of course. By 2008, 84% of Americans did not believe the official story of 911, and 41% of New York City residents believed there was high level complicity and active involvement in the attacks by members of the U.S. government. Even the desperate measures of the ruling elite are not working, although we have no time and no space for complacency: the dangers are still great, as are the opportunities for truly positive change.

By the way, Mr. Corporate Happy Face, the man who was intended to stave off a populist revolt and the birth of authentic democracy, who was meant to shore up the crumbling legitimacy of the ruling order for a little longer – which he and his handlers and media cronies succeeded in doing, for a time – Wall Street’s man, Mr. Barack Obama, has lost all credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of the majority of the people, on both the left and the right, as well as the centre. Recent polls reported by the Washington Post, for example, show that only 17% of Americans feel Obama is helping the economy – a large and growing minority, if not by now a majority of Americans, feel that he has aided and abetted the criminals on Wall Street who just got away with one of the greatest mass thefts in history. Obama’s legitimacy now hangs by a thread, and it is thoroughly shattered in the eyes of a growing majority, despite the ravings of the ever-compliant and servile mass media – the same media that are owned and controlled by the same ruling elite that put Obama in power, and whom he serves, as the media serves, slavishly and eagerly.

The crisis of legitimacy widens and deepens daily. When it reaches a critical threshold, which it will, and soon, the game will be over for the rulers, and democracy will be reborn. What we must be aware of, along with the tremendous opportunity now for building an authentic democracy and a better world, is this: the ruling corporate elite know these things; they know they are in a deep crisis of legitimacy, that democracy is resurfacing among the people, that the people are beginning to awaken, and that if or when they do, the rulers will be out on their ears – and are doing everything in their power to ward off a collapse of their power, and to prevent a rekindling of democracy. The ruling elite, as they have shown, will stop at nothing to preserve their power and their privilege. Do not think this will be easy, but it will be done. Democracy will triumph. Her day is not yet over, but only barely begun.

The writing is on the wall. The corporate elite will fall. The people will rise, and democracy will be reclaimed and renewed, and brought to a fuller flowering than ever before. These are the birth pains of a new world, and a new day for humanity. The people will be free, and will live in justice, prosperity and peace. This is not the end, but only the beginning.

JTR,
September 9, 2011

Here are a few resources for further information and consideration. I hope you find these useful. I guarantee you will find them thought-provoking.

Key words and subjects:

Operation Northwoods, the burning of the Reichstag, 911 insider trading, WTC 7, thermite, refusal of Taliban offer to turn over Bin Laden, CIA station chief visits Osama in hospital, Taliban burning opium poppy fields / fields replanted after occupation, pipeline, goat, war games, stand down, Bin Laden family protection, Brzezinski admits creating terrorist network, crisis of legitimacy, war on democracy, corporate rule, the other 911, and particularly, CIA/ISI/lead hijacker connection, among others.

Resources:

Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul’s 9/11 Theories: “What He Said Is Completely Uncontroversial” – Democracy Now – YouTube

CBC.ca | Day 6 | Lewis Lapham. Ten Years Later.

Arundhati Roy on 9/11: The Algebra of Infinite Justice « Kasama – September 2001

911 – Aftermath: Unanswered Questions – GNN video from 9/11 (1 of 3)

9/11: New 15-Minute Documentary You Have To See – Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth

The Truth And Lies Of 911 – Michael Ruppert (2004) – Full length video

BBC Video – The Power Of Nightmares – Part 1

The Secret Government: The Constitution In Crisis (1 of 9) – YouTube

Operation Northwoods Revealed by ABC News, May 2001 – U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba

Operation Northwoods – excerpts from original declassified document by U.S. Millitary Joint Chiefs of Staff – Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba, 3/13/62

Operation Northwoods – National Security Archive – Pentagon Proposed Pretexts for Cuba Invasion in 1962

The original now declassified document – northwoods.pdf (application/pdf Object)

The Other 9/11 » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Greg Palast » A Marxist threat to cola sales? Pepsi demands a US coup. Goodbye Allende. Hello Pinochet

The Battle of Chile – film

Chile, Obstinate Memory  (film)

ZCommunications | Tinker Bell, Pinochet And The Fairy Tale Miracle Of Chile by Greg Palast | ZNet Article

The Corporation – (Full Movie) – YouTube

The Shock Doctrine (2009) — Naomi Klein – YouTube – full length film

Olbermann: the beginning of the end of America – video

» Obama & Biden To Protect Bush Administration Criminals Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!

“The End of America” Full Length HQ Film – YouTube

Manufacturing Consent – Noam Chomsky and the Mass Media – 1/17 – YouTube

Orwell Rolls in his Grave (Full 3HR Documentary) – YouTube

Life and Debt [HQ Full Movie] – YouTube

The Yes Men – Trailer – YouTube

The Take – Trailer – YouTube

The Take (La Toma) English subtitles (1/9) – YouTube

Also:

The 9/11 Truth Movement | 9-11 News | World for 9/11 Truth

World for 9-11 Truth | 9-11 News, documentary films, interviews and more | 9-11 Truth Movement

Top 9/11 Films | 9-11 News | World for 9/11 Truth

Scientists for 9/11 Truth

Join The New 9/11 World Wide Web Activists Team | 9-11 News | World for 9/11 Truth

Michel Chossudovsky on the 9/11 10th Anniversary – GRTV Feature Interview 001 – YouTube

Chossudovsky: US will start WW3 by attacking Iran – YouTube

Books: a very short list

Escape From Freedom – Eric Fromm

Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Chomsky

Necessary Illusions: Thought Control In Democratic Societies – Chomsky

The CIA’s Greatest Hits – Mark Zepezauer

Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein

The End of America – Naomi Wolf

The Great Turning – David C. Korten

The Ecology of Freedom – Bookchin

The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude – Etienne De La Boittee

On Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau

Uprising – David Sirota

Global Showdown – Maude Barlow

(this essay is unedited, posted without a proof-read because timing may be important – bear in mind it is rough, but the content, I believe, is worthy of consideration)

Global Geopolitics: 2008 Update

Posted in 2008, 9/11, American politics, analysis, Brzezinski, Canada, Canadian politics, civil liberties, class, collapse, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, coup, crash, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, currency, debt, deep integration, democracy, dollar crisis, economic collapse, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, fascism, freedom, geopolitics, Global War on Terrorism, globalism, globalization, Gulf of Tonkin, human rights, imperialism, Iran, Martial Law, Middle East, money, NACC, NAU, North American Union, nuclear war, nuclear weapons, oil, Operation Northwoods, peak oil, Pearl Harbor, pentagon, police state, political economy, politics, politics of oil, propaganda, Reichstag, Security and Prosperity Partnership, Sinking of the Maine, sovereignty, SPP, the world's other superpower, tipping point, Trilateral Commission, truth, U.S., Uncategorized, war, war crimes, war on democracy, War on Terror, WEF, World Economic Forum with tags , , , , on February 22, 2008 by jtoddring

“The future holds ominous portent, and signs of great hope. Which result ensues depends largely upon what we make of the opportunities.” – Noam Chomsky


A number of long-term trends are coming to a head in 2008, particularly within the United States, but also more broadly, affecting North America, the Western nations and the world as a whole. Among them are, to name a few of the most pivotal, in brief: a global crisis of legitimacy, stemming primarily from broad and deep popular opposition to the emerging framework of world order, which is most accurately described as global corporatism, or more starkly but appropriately, global feudal fascism; the unfolding and escalating war on democracy and attempted consolidation of domestic and global dominance by Western elites; rapidly deepening economic crisis; peak oil repercussions; escalating ecological fallout; escalating geopolitical maneuvers for maintaining imperial hegemony; the stealth coup of continental corporatism under the Security and Prosperity Partnership; and pretexts for fortification of existing powers in the heartland of the Western empire, with rapid and highly conscious movement from corporate dominated liberal democracy to full corporatist fascism, under an orchestrated state of emergency. These trends continue to unfold with increasing speed, while at the same time, there are also signs of great hope, as “the other superpower” – the people of the world – begin to awake.

While China, India, Russia and other powers rise rapidly as economic giants, and these BRIC alliance economies in particular, the global hegemony of the Western business elite is threatened, both from these rising external powers, along with rising popular opposition to neocolonial dominance abroad, and from within, by a growing and deep crisis of legitimacy, very much as former right hand man to French President Jacques Chirac, Jacques Attalie had predicted in his candid analysis, Millennium. Western elites believe the barbarians are at the gates, and worse, are in their midst – the masses becoming restless. In response, they grow increasingly desperate. A wounded predator is in its death throws, but as Chomsky has noted, a wounded predator is a dangerous animal. The following is an extremely concise overview of where we stand in light of global geopolitics, as of early 2008.

The Western political and business elite – particularly and most imminently with regard to the United States – face a severe and highly volatile crisis of legitimacy which is set to explode; in response, the elites want to lock-down their power while they have it. (See World Economic Forum global poll, 2002.) As international financier George Soros said recently, “We have to make major compromises now, or we will lose everything.” Clearly, the business elite do not wish to compromise, nor do they want to “lose everything”. The only alternative to these two options, therefore, is a power-grab: lock-down and consolidate while it is still possible. This is end-game. As Maude Barlow put it, it has come to a “global showdown” between the corporate elite and their empire of greed, and the people of the earth and democracy. The business elite may see a temporary victory, even though power lies ultimately with the vast majority, who in reality can only be ruled so long as we concede power and submit. In the not too distant future, the cooperation of the many with this unfolding corporate-fascist order will fall to critical levels, and the order will collapse. In the short term, a heightened and very ugly struggle between the forces of empire and those of democracy is likely – and is in fact, unfolding now at escalating speed.

Internal documents as well as public statements by the Western business and political elite show (corroborated by historical evidence of their actions, patterns, motives and methods) that a) they want global dominance secured in their hands; b) that this will require control over world oil supplies – primarily in the Middle-East and Canada; c) that imperial war, particularly for control over oil, will be necessary; d) that “catalyzing events” – aka false flag operations, such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident and others, as the Pentagon’s Operation Northwoods set out – will be necessary in order to provide a pretext for the imperial wars; e) that maintaining control over the homeland and heart of the empire during the present time of propaganda failure will require resort to force – ie: fascism; and f) that these considerations have been well thought out, and have been found acceptable to these same elites.

Western business elites seek control of world oil reserves as means of securing global dominance; are escalating and broadening the military and paramilitary operations across the oil rich Middle East for this purpose, along with others; are preparing for an attack on Iran sometime in the very near future; need, as Brzezinski also pointed out, another “Pearl Harbor type event” to provide cover for such operations; and will likely launch a “catalyzing event” to provide the justification and cover for their planned action – another 9/11.

The next 9/11 will provide a pretext for a) the attack on Iran to secure mid-east oil reserves, and b) the lock-down on power in the homeland, the heart of the empire – North America and Europe – via martial law and the full emergence of a police state.

The U.S.-led NATO forces that have been deployed to the Persian Gulf and eastern Mediterranean since late August 2006 indicate a military build-up of a scale that can only mean two things: war is planned for the near future; the scale of the planned war is much greater than Iran alone. It could be said that the size of the build up is a precaution, due to the foreknowledge that this is an extremely dangerous gambit: China and Russia are almost certain adversaries if the U.S. and NATO attack Iran. In either case, the time-frame is clear: such a massive deployment of military force – on the part of the U.S., with the involvement of French, German and British forces – is for a clear and imminent purpose. Military build-up as well as the usual preliminary saber rattling, statements by political officials, spin and PR deluge indicates a Western attack on Iran is not far off.

With Western elites set to attack Iran, the question is whether another false flag operation will be conducted to provide cover for the operation: ie: the “war on terrorism” propaganda stepped up by the artificial creation of another terrorist attack on “the Homeland” in order to squeak through one more imperial war before the lock-down on power is complete. And the indications are, yes. It is highly unlikely that the U.S. and Western powers would dare launch an extremely unpopular attack on Iran when the population of the world, including in Europe and the U.S., are deeply opposed to such an act, unless they first create a very strong pretext and justification for invasion. This is the need for another 9/11.

The next “terrorist attack” will destroy the constitutions of the Western world, and democracy, once and for all – or so it is hoped by the business and political elite who wish to rule unencumbered by “the masses.” As General Tommy Franks declared, the next attack will be the end of democracy. (It is hoped.) As 2008 unfolds, the war on democracy and the move toward fascism is becoming increasingly undeniable, particularly within the United States. What was unthinkable only a short time ago is now rapidly becoming a reality. It is furthermore becoming obvious that the attack on democracy is highly conscious. This is a power grab, a stealth coup. Another major terrorist attack would provide the rationalization for the full implementation of emergency powers and the suspension of all remaining civil liberties and democracy.

With the Western elites preparing for imminent attack on Iran, a pretext needed, and the “war on terror” fears needing to be stirred up to fever-pitch to allow for such an arrogant and extraordinarily dangerous, reckless and brazen move, the next “Pearl Harbor-type event” will likely be soon; and that event will usher in the fascist state: for all of the “North American Homeland” – as the Pentagon has declared the continent, echoing Nazi terminology – commencing with the United States, and soon after, for as much of the world as the Western elite can control, including, of course, Europe.

Also planned for 2007-2008 is the completion and implementation by stealth of the “regulatory framework” for the SPP/NAU: that is, the new government of North America is to be in place and fully functioning as a shadow government by 2007-2008. This is the unfolding of the “Security and Prosperity Partnership”, whereby Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are merged into one continental body, with one continent-wide corporatist regime, in what is being called the North American Union. That government is called the NACC: the North American Council on Competitiveness; and it is composed of 10 representatives from each of the three nations. This council of 30 which is the NACC, the new North American government, is already appointed – appointed by the business elite of North America; and it is composed of representatives from the biggest corporations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. (We already know their names, and which corporations they come from.) 30 CEO’s will govern the entire continent. “The Homeland” becomes a full-fledged corporate-fascist state.

At the same time, also to be expected from an attack on Iran – in fact, a guaranteed result, which is why the attack was likely delayed for some time until the financial elite had prepared their positions securely – is a huge spike in global oil prices. The effects on the destabilization of the U.S. and also the global economy will be very great.

Also at the same time, the U.S. dollar is already falling. Central banks the world over are pulling out. A run is about to commence. Capital flight will bring down the dollar, and the U.S. economy with it. Already the head of China’s central bank has said “We have enough [U.S. currency and Treasury Bonds].” The U.S. relies on $2.8 billion a day in foreign money coming into the U.S. system via the purchase of U.S. currency and Treasury Bonds, in order to off-set its $70 billion per month trade deficit. The main prop holding up the U.S. economy and U.S. dollar is the enormous inflow of money from China. Now China has said “We have enough.” The U.S. dollar is about to sink, and with it, the U.S. economy. In January of 2008 the S&P index of stocks of the 500 biggest corporations traded on Wall Street showed a 14.5% drop in value over the previous three months, showing a deepening of these trends.

When the U.S. dollar crashes, not only the U.S. economy follows with a crash, but the global economy as well. 66% of world currency reserves held by the central banks of the world’s nations are in U.S. dollars. With the crash of the U.S. dollar comes a global economic depression, if not system collapse. This is expected anytime over the near future by anyone who is paying attention.

As if all of that were not already enough crisis and turmoil for one very short period of time, to this we can add the reality of peak oil. In the fall of 2006 I predicted that, according to the best evidence available, and some of the best analysts on the subject, peak oil would hit between 2006 and 2008. When it does, oil prices will spike dramatically, and will continue to climb, likely quadrupling or more. As of February 2008, at the time of this writing, it is now being admited, not only that peak oil is a geolocial and economic reality, but that it occurred in 2007: peak oil is here. Oil prices did rise dramatically, going from US$50/barrel to US$100 a barrel in just over a year, following a slightly longer trend from $20 a barrel in 2004 to $100 a barrel at present, and rising – a five-fold increase in three years. As oil prices skyrocket, the cost of all shipping and transport becomes far more expensive. Virtually all consumer goods rise dramatically in price, including basics such as food. Costs for all businesses relying on transport or inputs or goods over long distances – most businesses now – go through the roof, and widespread bankruptcies, layoffs and unemployment ensues. In short, peak oil means global economic depression, and mass unemployment, poverty, homelessness and hunger. And this is hitting at approximately the same time as we are dealing with the new unfolding of a North American corporate-fascist state under the SPP and NAU/NACC, led by the business elite and their lobby groups, such as the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the Business Round Table and the Council on Foreign Relations.

To add further complexity, the U.S. government under Bush has snuck through a law that makes mandatory the holding of a “REAL ID” national identity card for all Americans by May 2008. Since by May 2008 Canada, the U.S. and Mexico will have ceased to exist as nations in any meaningful sense – having been stripped of both sovereignty and democracy, the NAU/SPP being in place in operation if not public announcement, and “regulatory harmonization” under the NACC also having been quietly implemented by accommodating executive branches and high level bureaucrats – the “smart card” micro-chip-based REAL ID will become continent-wide. “Papers please.” The stage is then set for the introduction of electronic currency, via the universal smart card, which will be offered as a solution to both security issues and currency crashes. No card, no food. And since all personal data is stored on central databanks, accessed by a swipe of the card, being dubbed an “enemy combatant” without notice or trial can mean having all means of sustenance cut, with a few strokes on a remote keyboard, or one mouse-click, somewhere in the netherworld of the surveillance state. Any who hold the wrong opinions – that is, opinions that do not correspond to those the corporate rulers want us to have – can be silenced without even having to dispose of them to the detention centres (which are also under construction).

All of this is within the context of the greatest challenge humanity has faced in recorded history: the ecological crisis which we have set in motion, and which is now bearing fruit in the form of increasing and compounding disasters, leading towards systems breakdown and collapse, as Jared Diamond, David Suzuki, Ronald Wright and many others have warned.

It would seem that it is critical for anyone who does not wish to become a slave, or simply to be submerged in the deepening and interwoven crises of the time, to start to come together, and quickly, to build alternative means of sustaining ourselves and one another during the present time of rapidly unfolding troubles. Most will be swept into poverty by the global depression, compounded by the effects of energy shortage and growing ecological disaster. The middle class will be essentially vaporized across the Western world. Government services will be gutted – far beyond the mere cut-backs of the past twenty years – as corporate rule takes hold in full. Hunger and homelessness will be widespread and epidemic as poverty becomes the norm, as Jacques Attalie and others predicted some time ago. Meanwhile, those who can buy or sell in the new economy will be able to do so only insofar as they are willing to be silent and obedient slaves: dissidents will be shut down electronically, via the symbiosis of the electronic currency system, the universal smart card/ID, and the global surveillance state which serves corporate rule.

To be free in the new economy will mean being economically independent – and that does not mean being an employee, or relying on the monetary system. It means we need to establish parallel economies, whereby human needs and human freedom come first, not service to giant corporate feudal lords. We will need to establish sustainable cooperative local economies based in creative problem solving and mutual aid and common sense, and which operate parallel to and largely outside of the new economy: an economy which will leave only poverty under fascism for the majority, and slavery with perks for the “lucky” few.

There is not much time to prepare for such an unthinkable, but unfortunately real unfolding of events. The time to act is now, both to resist, to prepare to survive this ordeal, and to build alternatives for this ugly feudal fascist system’s inevitable demise.

The popular opposition to global corporatism has already reached great breadth and depth – as the World Economic Forum’s 2002 global poll showed, as well as the collapse of the WTO talks, as further noted by Canadian philosopher and former Governor General John Ralston Saul – and continues to grow, despite the unsuprising lack of coverage of this phenomenon in the corporate dominated network media. It is precisely because of this crisis of legitimacy and failure of the propaganda system that the Western elite are now seeking to consolidate power while they still can: through the resort to increasing use of fear as a means of public control, and more directly, through the use of force and state terror. But the crisis of legitimacy indicates the end of their reign approaches, just as it did for the regime of the former Soviet Union, less than twenty years ago.

Along with opposition to the present corporatist form of globalization, popular movements have for decades been busy experimenting with and developing working models of alternatives, in everything from green energy and transportation, organic farming and fair trade, to tools and models for authentic democracy and sustainable, just and peaceful communities. Everything we need to build a better world is here. We need only to act. And the time is ripe. Furthermore, there is no time to lose.

“In the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but it is also likely to be the very last.”
– U.S. long-term strategic planner and Trilateral Commission founder Zbigniew Brzezinksi,
The Grand Chessboard

Not only will the U.S. be the last nation state superpower, the last of the nation state empires: the end of empires more broadly – including the present trans-national corporatist empire – is about to be witnessed by a thankful and newly empowered humanity. Sadly, it seems we must first live through a period of darkness before the age of empires can be closed.

Do not forget that the sun also rises. Let us work together now for a better world for all. A new dawn is already on the horizon. I can see it clearly. It’s birth may be painful, but its splendour will be magnificent.

J. Todd Ring,

February, 22, 2008

Links and references:

The death of democracy in America: Time for a re-awakening

Smedley Butler and the Business Plot

Powder Keg USA: US heading toward fascism and civil war

HR 1955: The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

Fast-Track to Fascism: The SPP in a Nutshell

HEY YOU! Lefties, liberals and progressives – Listen up

My Buddy Obama

Money, Banks and Democracy

America: A Fork In the Road

On Libertarianism: Right & Left

Earth 101: Essential Reading

Preparations for an Attack on Iran:

The Next War: Public in the Dark about Government’s Plans for War in Iran – Daniel Ellsberg

* “Cold War Shivers”: War Preparations in the Middle East and Central Asia

Debating World Domination: Bilderberg Meets in Canada’s Capital

ZNet |Foreign Policy | We Had a Democracy Once, But You Crushed It


9/11:

False Flag: A “Pearl Harbor Type Event”

Bush Directive for a “Catastrophic Emergency” in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran?

Brzezinski warns of Pearl Harbor type event, a pretext for war on Iran

Ron Paul – Gulf of Tonkin

9/11: The “Perfect Opportunity” for North American Integration

Ex-Italian Prime Minister – ‘9/11 Carried Out By CIA and Mossad’ // Current

Former German Minister Says Building 7 Used To Run 9/11 Attack

9-11 Research: Insider Trading

More evidence of Pre-9/11 Inside Trading: Follow the Money? God forbid

911 Proof

911 Aftermath: Unanswered Question from 9/11 (pt.1) – video

911 Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11 (pt.2) – video

911 Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11 (pt.3) – video

THE TRUTH & LIES OF 9/11 – Michael Ruppert – video

War and Globalization – The Truth Behind September 11 – Google Video

American Scholars Symposium

** Senior Military, Intelligence, and Government Officials Question 9/11 Commission Report

9/11 Statement Signed by Prominent Americans

Scholars for 9/11 Truth

ONE IN 3 AMERICANS SAY U.S. AIDED 9/11 By THOMAS HARGROVE and GUIDO H. STEMPEL III – New York Post Online Edition: News

* Scientific Poll: 84% Reject Official 9/11 Story

* Radio Poll: 85% Of Canadians Believe 9/11 Inside Job

* Over 80% supported the stance of Charlie Sheen

9/11: Why the Official Theory Has Collapsed (opinion)

* Alex Jones warns about attacks before 911

ABC News: U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba

National Security Archive – Pentagon Proposed Pretexts for Cuba Invasion in 1962

Venezuela’s Chavez says Bush planned 9/11 attacks – video

Reichstag Fire, Hitlers 9/11 Fake terror to grab control! : SF Indymedia – video

TerrorStorm Delxue High Quality (Alex Jones) – Google Video

The Pentagon’s “Second 911”

Dynasty of Death: Historical perspective on the Bush family

***Amazon.com: 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out: Books: David Ray Griffin,Peter Dale Scott

book – Day Of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor: Books: Robert Stinnett

9/11: Press for Truth – DVD Documentary

Celcius 9/11 – World Takeover and the War of Terror – CRG

9/11 Key Articles – Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG)


The emergence of fascism in the West:

*** Habeas Corpus Your words are lies Sir – YouTube – olbermann 10-18-06

***Bush Moves Toward Martial Law

Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (12/15 – 2006)

Demolishing Democracy At Home and Abroad – Noam Chomsky video

The Return of Total Information Awareness – Bush Asserts Dictatorial “Inherent” Powers

Examples of the president’s signing statements – The Boston Globe

***The Secret Government – PBS – Google Video

Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex. – Video: 1961 Farewell Address

Power of Nightmares – BBC Documentary

Mind Control: America’s Secret War – History Channel Documentary

***Commission Finds President George W. Bush and His Administration Guilty of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Bush’s 9/11 Reichstag Fire

9/11 – the American Reichstag Fire and the Fourth Reich

The Pentagon Declares War on America

The limits of liberty: We’re all suspects now

Are YOU the Enemy?

Maher Arar: The Horrors of ‘Extraordinary Rendition’

*** Torture Inc. – America’s Brutal Prisons – BBC Documentary

* National Yawn as Our Rights Evaporate | bushcommission.org

* A Constitutional Shredding — Rounding Up U.S. Citizens | bushcommission.org

The End of Habeas Corpus and the Belligerent Despot-in-Chief – Ralph Nader

Ambassador to Death Squads – Who is John Negroponte?

On the Rise of Fascism – “The Great Transformation” Revisited

LIBERTY V.S. SECURITY

Harsh law set to live on, unexplained

*CRG – Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Laws – Rocco Galati

FSTV video – Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neocons, and Iraq

Amazon.com: Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War: Books: Christopher Simpson

Amazon.com: The CIA’s Greatest Hits (The Real Story Series): Books: Mark Zepezauer

Amazon.com: Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press: Books: Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair

Amazon.com: Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion: Books: Gary Webb

Amazon.com: Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency: Books: James Bamford

* Amazon.com: Police State America: US Military ‘Civil Disturbance’ Planning: Books: Tom Burghardt, Tom (ed) Burghardt

Necessary Illusions; Thought Control in Democratic Societies – Chomsky, online text

Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Chomsky, online text

Amazon.com: Open Society and Its Enemies (Volume 1): Books: Karl Raimund Popper

Noam Chomsky on the Trilateral Commission – from The Carter Administration: Myth and Reality

Amazon.com: Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management: Books: Holly Sklar

Amazon.com: Trilaterals Over America: Books: Antony C. Sutton

TC’s own manifesto – Amazon.com: The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission: Books: Michel Crozier,Samuel P. Huntington,Joji Watanuki

Amazon.com: Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time: Explore similar items

Skull and Bones K.O.’d – video

Zbigniew Brzezinski – The Grand Chessboard

***American Prison Camps Are on the Way

Rex 84: FEMA’s Blueprint for Martial Law in America

Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps

10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North

Fatal Vision: The Deeper Evil Behind the Detainee Bill

Top 10 Signs of the Impending U.S. Police State

Notes on the Progress of the Counterrevolution

America: The Fourth Reich

How the Nazis Won the War – Chomsky Nazis Odonian

The Nazi Parallel – NSS & Fascism – NSS Churches US Fascism Herman

Trading with the Enemy The Nazi – American Money Plot 1933-1949

General Tommy Franks calls for Repeal of US Constitution

Air Force chief : Test weapons on testy US mobs – Sep 12 …

Noam Chomsky on Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest For Global Dominance – audio

War on Terrorism Watch: CAUT Resource Website – Home Page

The State of Democracy – counterSpin final edition

* Demolishing Democracy At Home and Abroad – Noam Chomsky, Freespeech TV

A Marxist Threat to Cola Sales?

Who are the Global Terrorists, by Noam Chomsky

On the Long and Bloody History of U.S.-Sponsored Terrorism – Chomsky – audio

Amazon.com: Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II-Updated Through 2003: Books: William Blum

America’s “War on Terrorism” – Chossudovsky

Amazon.com: The COINTELPRO Papers : Documents from the FBI’s Secret …

Ten Minutes to Midnight: The Emerging Police State – Z Store

Fascism watch


SPP/NAU/NACC: The new corporate fascist government of North America, 2007

* Secret Banff Meeting of CEOs and the Defense Establishment : Militarization and the Deconstruction of North America

CBC – Top secret: Banff security meeting attracted U.S., Mexico officials

* CNN Video: Lou Dobbs Slams CFR & North American Union

*** De Facto North American Government in the Making: “Canadians must take back Canada”

Deep Integration – The Council of Canadians

**CFR Task Force Report – Building a North American Community

* CRG – Continental Integration of Military Command Structures: A Threat to Canada’s Sovereignty

* Documenting the rush to globalism – The August Review

* North American Union/Testimony, Publications and Reports – SourceWatch

*** Paul Martin’s Big Texas Adventure


Politics of Oil:

Video – Robert Newman History of oil – Google Video

The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror – Google Video

“It’s the Crude, Dude” Linda McQuaig book launch


Peak Oil:

AlterNet: Will the End of Oil Be the End Of Food?

AlterNet: WireTap: Has the Long Peak – Oil Emergency Begun?

BBC NEWS | Business | ‘Peak oil’ enters mainstream debate

CNN – We Were Warned: Tomorrow’s Oil Crisis

Peak Oil alert – Houston Business Journal:

Peak Oil: The Energy Crisis of Oil Supply Depletion – full video

Re-Energizing America: Rescuing America from its Costly Fossil Fuel Addiction – Google Video

Mike Ruppert on Peak Oil – video

www.oilempire.us

The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century: Books: James Howard Kunstler


U.S. Faces “Economic Armageddon”:

* The Dollar’s Full-System Meltdown

Economic ” Armageddon ” Predicted

Dollar Catching Asian Flu – Asia Times

Arab central banks sell dollar

As Dollar Plunges, Watch for US Government Bonds Sell -off – DEBKAfile –

The War To Save The U.S. Dollar – Trinicenter.com –

Fears for dollar as central banks sell US assets

BBC NEWS | Business | Is the global economy set for trouble?

Collapse of the Petrodollar Looming

Iranian Oil Bourse Opens for Business: A Final Step Toward US Dollar Collapse & Preemptive Nuclear Strike

An empire at twilight:

Superpower’s global dominance in question

50 Years After Suez, US Hegemony Ebbing Fast

“The United States is Terrified” – Noam Chomsky on Latin America’s Move Towards “Independence and Integration”

The Crumbling Empire: Latin America and Asia Breaking Free of Washington’s Grip – Noam Chomsky


The crisis of legitimacy:

Global corporate rule is now fragile

Confronting the Empire – Chomsky at the World Social Forum

The Global Crisis of Legitimacy of Liberal Democracy – Social and Economic Policy – Global Policy Forum


REAL ID: Universal ID Cards

US National ID Cards by May 2008

National nightmare – ACLU of Southern California Campaign: Stop The Abuse of Power

Globalization and the rise of corporate power:

The Corporation – video

Iraq for Sale

On Globalization – Noam Chomsky

On the New World Order – Chomsky

Rollback – Chomsky

* Thirdworldization of America

Chomsky: Global Economy – excerpts from The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many

Profit Over People – excerpts – Noam Chomsky

Emerging Framework of World Power – Chomsky – audio/video

Institutions vs. People: Will the Species Self-Destruct? – Chomsky – MIT video

150 CEOs rule Canada: Time to tame corporate power – Murray Dobbin

No Nonsense Guide to Globalization – book

Book Review – All You Can Eat: Greed, Lust, and the New Capitalism by Linda McQuaig – Alternative News Media on Democracy, Politics, Trade, Environment, Military and Money in Canada

The Globalization of Poverty – Chossudovsky


Alternatives:

Global Showdown: How the new activists are fighting global corporate rule – video

Confronting the Empire – Chomsky

Confronting the Empire – Chomsky – audio

Chomsky – Dismantling Empire, Building Democracy – audio – Chomsky

Taking Control of Our Lives: Freedom, Sovereignty, and Other Endangered Species, Noam Chomsky, 2/26/00

Another World: Alternative Ways to Globalization – audio/video

Noam Chomsky speaks at Binghamton University 3/4/06 – “Imminent Crises: Paths Toward Solutions” – on WSKG Radio

Dismantling empire – chomsky

Rise Up Against the Empire – Chavez speach to UN

International Project for a Participatory Society – Z net

Strategy/Vision – Z net

Peak Oil Primer/What Can Be Done? | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse

The Relocalization Network

The Community Solution to Peak Oil

The Local Future Network

The Community Solution: The Solution to Peak Oil

Ruralisation: Integrating settlements and agriculture to provide sustainability – Dept. of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University

Cohousing Association of the United States

Global Ecovillage Network

Intentional Communities Web Site: Home Page

The Earth Charter

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil – order video

Making Sweden an OIL-FREE Society

Nordic Countries Design Sustainable Communities: The Natural Step for Eco-Villages

How to pass a peak oil resolution | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse

LETSystems home page – http–www.gmlets.u-net.com-

LETS Groups around the world – LETS-Linkup International LETS Directory

Hometown Money Starter Kit & Video

Toronto Dollars

Transaction Net – How Currency Systems Work (a Money Map)

Reinventing Money.com

ZNet Parecon – Life After Capitalism – And Now Too

Parecon – ZNet

Amazon.com: Roads to Freedom: Books: B. Russell

Powers and Prospects – Chomsky

Mutual Aid A Factor of Evolution – Kropotkin – libcom.org library

Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau – full text

The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy: Books: Murray Bookchin

The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future: Books: Riane Eisler

Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh: Books: Helena Norberg-Hodge

Good News for a Change: How Everyday People are Helping the Planet: Books: David T. Suzuki,Holly Dressel

Insurrection: Citizen Challenges to Corporate Power

* Amazon.com: The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community (BK Currents): Books: David C. Korten

Amazon.ca: Another World Is Possible: Globalization and Anti-Capitalism: Books: David McNally

South End Press | Earth Democracy – Vandana Shiva

Looking Forward – Albert and Hahnel

No Nonsense Guide to Fair Trade – book

Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World: Books: Richard Heinberg

Amazon.ca: One Big Party: Books: Paul Hellyer

* Amazon.co.uk: Shambhala : The Sacred Path of the Warrior ( Shambhala …

Scientific American Mind: The Samaritan Paradox

Amazon.com: World as Lover , World as Self : Books: Joanna Macy


On Libertarianism: Right & Left

Posted in anarchism, Bakunin, Bertrand Russell, capitalism, Chomsky, communism, conservative, corporate rule, corporatism, crisis of democracy, democratic deficit, Eric Fromm, fascism, globalization, Hobbes, Jefferson, Kropotkin, left, Lenin, libertarianism, Marx, neoliberalism, philosophy, Plato, political theory, politics, right, social theory, socialism, Thoreau, war on democracy, World Economic Forum with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2007 by jtoddring

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”

~Albert Einstein

Libertarianism is a term that has come to be identified with the right, with limited government, ideals of freedom, free market capitalism and laissez fair economics, however, the term originally meant libertarian socialism, a libertarianism of the left. The distinction of two kinds of libertarianism, or more appropriately, a spectrum of views within what is called libertarianism, is important. Both right and left libertarianism have a deep skepticism about excessive concentrations of state power, encroachments of government power in the lives of individuals and communities, and a belief that ultimately, “That government is best which governs the least.” Beyond this agreement, there are considerable differences between libertarianism of the right and that of the left. But before the distinctions between left and right libertarianism can be discussed, we need to clarify just what is essential to a libertarian perspective, and also, to distinguish between the ideal and the immediate in terms of advocating or working towards specific goals for human society.

Thoreau expresses a very clear and lucid view of the subject, recognizing the ideal, yet also the immediate reality: ideally, and “when men are ready for it,” no government, which we shall have, and which shall be a degree of liberation not yet seen or imagined; but in the immediate sense, not “no government, but at once, a better government.” In other words, work toward and keep in mind the ideal – freedom from state power messing up and intruding on the peoples’ lives, liberty and communities, but also seek more limited victories in the short term: a better government.

I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have…..But, to speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.

– Henry David Thoreau, On Civil Disobedience

Bertrand Russell also came to the same conclusion. His cool, rational conclusion, after a very fair-minded and objective analysis, was that anarchism – from the Latin, an-archos, meaning absence of an over-arching power, not chaos – is likely the best form of human society (as well as the full and self-consistent application of libertarian values), but we are not likely ready for it; in the short term, what he called libertarian socialism is the best order for society to which we can aspire. By that he meant limited government, with all government power kept as close to the community as possible, and as close the hands of the people as possible – as Jefferson urged – but also with strong values of voluntary free association and human cooperation for mutual aid and benefit (a la Kropotkin). Ideally, and in the short term, he recommended we work toward a society where power lies primarily, not in the hands of a few bureaucrats and lobbyists in a far away capital where power is centralized, but in the hands of the people at the level of community, with federations or networks of human cooperation and solidarity, trade and communication between and among communities and individuals for their mutual benefit and protection. Jefferson would certainly agree in spirit if not in all details.

Chomsky clarifies the distinction between long-term ideals and short-term goals within a reasonable and clear-headed perspective which is skeptical of concentrated political power, or any form of social power for that matter:

“Classical anarchist thought would have been more opposed to slavery, feudalism, fascism, and so on, than it would have been to parliamentary government. There was a good reason. Classical liberal thought, and anarchism coming out of it, were opposed to any concentration of power, that is, unaccountable concentration of power. It is reasonable to make a distinction between the more accountable and less accountable. Corporations are the least accountable. So, against the corporate assault on freedom and independence, one can quickly turn to the one form of social organization that offers … public participation and … that happens to be parliamentary government. That has nothing to do with being opposed to the State. In fact, it’s a sensible support for the State.” – Noam Chomsky

This is precisely why I can admire a democratic socialist like Hugo Chavez, who was democratically elected in closely monitored free and fair elections, who has introduced and held public referenda on every major decision faced by the people of Venezuela – a thought inconceivable to the elitist politicians of Washington, Ottawa, London, Paris or Berlin – and who is presently utilizing, with great popular democratic support, the institution of constitutional parliamentary democracy to protect the people of Venezuela from the greatest threat to human freedom and well-being on the planet today: the tyranny of unaccountable private empires – the global corporate raiders. It is no contradiction, therefore, to support libertarian socialism, or left libertarianism, while admiring a social democrat like Chavez. As Chomsky put it, it’s sensible support for the state – under certain limited conditions.

Chomsky as well expresses a view of libertarian socialism, and advocates for a society based on libertarian socialist principles of freedom along with voluntary cooperation and mutual aid. And Chomsky, as well or better than any other, clarifies the distinction of right and left libertarianism. Libertarians across the spectrum are opposed to excessive concentrations of political power, as it is viewed that such high degrees of concentrated political power in society have more often than not created more harm than good – a view that is shared among Jefferson, Thoreau, Bertrand Russell, Kropotkin, Chomsky and many others.

The history of the world shows that this view is the most realistic perspective on government and political power. The opposing view, that government is the saviour and redeemer of humanity, has brought about Stalinism, Nazism, fascism, Maoism, and lately, neoconservatism, among other evils. The view that is opposed to the libertarian desire to keep political power firmly in check, sees government as a kind of benign big brother, a paternal or maternal figure, a parent that treats citizens like children, who need to be coddled and scolded, controlled for their own good. It is a dangerous elitism, breeding naturally authoritarianism. It comes from a fear of freedom, as social psychologist Eric Fromm correctly pointed out, and not just megalomaniacal dreams of power.

Plato was the most famous and influential of the “government as saviour” camp. The philosopher kings, the wise few, would rule with benign despotism over the hapless and ignorant many. Sounds desirable, maybe, until you reflect that if you do not trust people to govern themselves, how can you possibly trust them to govern others? (A flaw of basic logic which was not missed by Jefferson.)

Hobbes furthered the view, presenting the anthropologically ignorant and incorrect view that life before civilization, by which he meant life before centralized government, was “evil, nasty, brutish and short.” The revolution in anthropology that occurred in the 1970’s with the discovery of new and conclusive evidence about our human history prior to the age of empires, refutes Hobbes unequivocally. Hobbes knew nothing of anthropology, of course, and the data would not be revealed for another few centuries, but he was wrong, and we know that now – or at least, we can know that now, although almost no-one is aware that such a revolution has occurred in anthropology and our knowledge of human history: we live in a pre-Copernican time with regard to the general culture’s understanding of anthropology and human history; most still believe the sun revolves `round the earth, though the evidence to refute this fallacy has been made clear.

In any case, Hobbes was engaging in a kind of rational self-deceit. Hobbes view of human beings was jaundiced and pessimistic in the extreme. He felt, as many do, that if there was no powerful over-arching force to restrain human beings, they would instantly rip each other’s throats out, and everything would descend into a war of “all against all.” Again, the anthropological data refutes this terrified view, but even if one were to accept it for sake of argument, it simply begs the question. If you do not trust people, then why would you give a few people extraordinary power? Would this not seem even more dangerous? Who did Hobbes expect to govern us, aliens? Hobbes did not trust people, so he argued that some people have an all-powerful position in order that these people protect people from people. This should strike us as immediately self-contradictory, ridiculous and absurd.

As Jefferson said, “If you do not trust people to govern themselves, how can you trust them to govern others?” It is therefore not idealistic and utopian to think that government should be kept to a minimum of centralized, concentrated power, but on the contrary, it is a healthy and prudent skepticism that informs such a view.

(When you combine Plato, Hobbes and Machiavelli, you get the neoconservatives – or their mirror image, neoliberalism. You get wildy elitist, authoritarian, ruthless, predatory, self-delusional, megalomaniacal empire fetish. That is what we are experiencing now.)

Thoreau demolishes Hobbes’ fantasy-scape with a few strokes on the pen:

Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. – Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience

Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice. A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are all peaceably inclined. Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power? – Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience

The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others, as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders, serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it. – Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience

Libertarianism: Right and Left

The libertarianism of the right has a view of power that does not keep to its own self-consistency. It views political power as potentially dangerous, having the great potential to be abused, and therefore needing to be kept in close check. But it does not recognize economic power as a power in society, which is an oversight that is hard to fathom, such power being so plainly obvious. Because libertarians of the right tend not to recognize economic power as a form of power in society, they are unconcerned with its concentrations – even when concentrations of economic power become staggeringly large, as they have over the past twenty or thirty years. This is an oversight that is frankly dangerous, if not delusional.

Libertarians of the left share the skepticism of highly concentrated political power, but, naturally, recognize the potential for harm and abuse from excessive concentrations of economic power. Thus, in the present order of things, corporate power is to be addressed equally, along side state or governmental power. To do otherwise is to contradict oneself, and worse, to leave the door open to serious and extreme abuses of power, and also, to fascism, which, as Mussolini said, is rightly called corporatism, since it is the merger of business and the state (and that is exactly what is happening now, and on a global scale) due to the lack of foresight to correct and put in check all forms of great concentrations of power in society.

Right libertarianism questions, challenges, and repudiates high levels of concentration of political power in society – and rightfully so, I believe – yet it is, or at least has been until recently, unwilling to question the role and nature of high levels of concentrations of economic power.

This is, once again, frankly, a gross oversight, and one that makes right libertarianism a contradiction in terms: you cannot advocate limitations on powers that unduly constrict human freedom and pose threats of tyranny in a self-consistent, coherent, or even rational manner, if you are only willing to look at one form of power in society, and remain blind to others. Economic power is every bit as real as political power – some would say more so.

The 500 biggest corporations on earth now have combined revenues that total three times the GDP of the world’s biggest national economy – that of the United States. If this does not constitute power in society, I’m not sure what would.

OK, well, corporations have immense power, but that does not mean it translates into political power – does it? They are competing with one another. Yes, they are competing with one another, and they also share common interests: drive labour costs and wages down, eliminate or circumvent labour and environmental standards, find the cheapest source of labour and resources and move there, then dominate them, open borders to free flow of capital, but not to labour…..The commonalities are pretty clear.

And do they meet, discuss common interests, work together cooperatively? Of course. Wouldn’t you if you were in their position?

Do teachers join together to pursue common interests, such as decent pay, pension plans, etc.? Do janitors get together to pursue common goals of better pay and working conditions?

It is obvious, or should be, that there are common group interests – or, heaven forbid we use the term, class interests – that bring otherwise competing parties together to pursue common goals. The corporate elite are no different. This is not a conspiracy, but simply common sense.

The world’s corporate elite gather, among other places, at Davos Switzerland, every year for the World Economic Forum, and there seek to push governments to their will, to advance common interests among the elite global investment class, the billionaire class, or the class of ruling oligarchs, to every extent that they are able to do so – and that is a considerable length.

The billionaires, and the large corporations they control, do not control the world – but they certainly dominate it, and they dominate virtually every nation and government on earth, as well as dominating the global economy, the financial system and most of the media. This is, by any sane or reasonable definition, hegemonic power: corporations and the billionaires who control them, now effectively rule the world. The only way to properly define such a system or order of things, is not democracy, certainly, but oligarchy – or plutocracy, or neo-feudalism, or most starkly, and what we are fast approaching in its full, ugly form: global, neo-feudal, corporate fascism.

It is impossible to deny the very real power of corporations in society without digressing into ideological fundamentalism and willful blindness. Refusing to challenge economic concentrations of power while espousing a libertarian philosophy is self-contradictory: right libertarianism is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

Would a laissez-fair, free-market capitalist, who supports only limited government – a libertarian as it is known on the right – be considered an oxymoron or a self-contradiction if he was also a slave owner? Of course. But it is not very different if a libertarian advocates checks and balances on political power, yet does not question the giant corporate monopolies and oligopolies that now wield more power than democratically elected governments.

Right libertarianism is truly a contradiction in terms, unless by that you mean a conservative libertarian, who also questions and challenges excessive concentrations of corporate, economic and financial power, and not only state or governmental power. U.S. Congressman and 2008 Presidential candidate Ron Paul, for example, I would describe as a conservative libertarian in this sense. He has his head on his shoulders when it comes to corporate powers, as far as I can tell. He is not stuck in ideological dogmatisms.

The left is equated – wrongly – with heavy-handed, bureaucratic, if not totalitarian government – or at least this is the view of the left that we get from the right wing; however, there are, broadly speaking, two wings or schools of thought within what has been called the left, and only one of the two fits the above description.

In the socialist movement of the 1800’s there was a definite rift, and a fierce debate, between the two very different currents of thought within what is loosely described as the political left. Marx led the wing we are most familiar with, Bakunin the other. Bakunin and the libertarian socialists were ousted, lost the battle, and were to some considerable degree eclipsed from history – at least until very recently. Bakunin warned that Marxist ideas would lead to a new form of tyranny – and of course he was right. The Soviet Union was the prime example, and Bakunin predicted the tyranny long in advance.

Now, with the Marxist-Leninist school of thought being in full disgrace within the left, as well as within the broader community of humanity world-wide, and with global neoliberal corporate capitalism experiencing a deep and profound, and rapidly growing crisis of legitimacy world-wide, with rapidly rising popular discontent, people are beginning to look for alternatives – and the alternative is becoming clear to many. That is, in the short term: a freedom-loving and anti-authoritarian, democratic socialism in the short term; and libertarian socialism in the longer term. I would say they deserve our thoughtful attention, and merit respectful consideration, at the very least, and to put it most mildly.

The War on Democracy: Unchecked Power Out of Control

Under what we should more honestly call monopoly capitalism, the era of the small shop owner being the primary economic player having long ago vanished, corporate power has become so concentrated – that is, economic power has become so enormously concentrated – that it now threatens to engulf and eviscerate all remaining democratic power of societies world wide. We should be concerned. Jefferson warned of this 200 years ago. We did not listen. We are now facing the results of our lack of foresight.

Those on the right and the left with a libertarian perspective would do well to communicate. There is a natural alliance here, if we can learn to speak in ways that are mutually understandable. There is no time for bickering or ideological warfare. We need to get together to protect the basics: decent, although flawed, human, imperfect limited government, within the framework of constitutional democracy and basic human rights and freedom.

If we do not come together, and not just right and left libertarians, but more traditional liberals, conservatives, social democrats, greens and progressives, and all who oppose the, by now undeniable, drift into oligarchy and corporate fascism, and stand together for constitutional democracy, civil liberties, human rights and freedom, all other considerations will become merely abstract, and we will find ourselves living in a brave new world, and a very dark age,  leading rapidly to ecological collapse and the end of human life on earth.

Jamie Brownlee sums up the current, central challenge to humanity at this time, in one brief and extremely lucid passage:

“At present, the state is the only institution large enough to act as a counterweight to corporate power; therefore, short-term goals should involve defending, even strengthening, those elements of the state that are accountable to public input (which are the ones constantly under attack by private power.) Opening up the state to democratic participation and improving the effectiveness and accountability of state regulation are the most realistic interim strategies for dealing with the corporate threat and the practical problems of tomorrow—problems on which people’s lives depend. In the short-term, then, political activism that directly targets corporate power should be complimented by efforts to re-democratize the state and government.”

– Jamie Brownlee, Ruling Canada, Corporate Cohesion and Democracy, 2005

As constitutional lawyer Joel Bakan, author of, The Corporation, has said, if the typical corporation really was a person, then by an exact psychological definition, it would have to be labelled as a sociopath. Even if we did not have grave misgivings about excessive concentrations of power in human society, as we should, these are not the kind of powers which we should wish to govern and rule our nations or the world. Clearly, it is time for a change – a real change, and now. The urgency cannot be overstated, or emphasized enough.

First things first – let us recapture, reclaim and renew our democracy, and “crush in its infancy”, as Thomas Jefferson said, the oligarchy, the new empire, and the excessive powers of “the new moneyed aristocracy,” which now threaten, not only democracy and freedom, but all life on earth. Then we can decide where to go from there. On this point, we must be clear.

We must gain the clarity that is urgently needed at this time, and unite and inspire, and empower the people. And we must act decisively, and now.

J. Todd Ring

April 15, 2007

Further reading:

Writings of J. Todd Ring

Amazon.com: Civil Disobedience and Other Essays (Dover Thrift Editions): Books: Henry David Thoreau

Amazon.com: Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism & Syndication: Books: Bertrand Russell

Amazon.com: The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future: Books: Riane Eisler

Amazon.com: The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy: Books: Murray Bookchin

Amazon.com: Escape from Freedom: Books: Erich Fromm

Amazon.com: The Power Elite: Books: C. Wright Mills,Alan Wolfe

Amazon.com: The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power: Books: Joel Bakan

Economist’s View: You’ll Miss Us When We’re Gone

Economist’s View: Can Democrats and Libertarians Find Common Ground?

“Their Libertarianism and Ours” – from:

Amazon.com: Don’t Think, Smile!: Notes on a Decade of Denial: Books: Ellen Willis