This is an end-run around left and/or liberal activism and a major threat to all working people around the world. The TPP will be used to extract wealth, consolidate corporate power, and quell dissent in the most wicked, nefarious, and brutal ways possible. The agreement has been described as “NAFTA on steroids.” Consider how much damage has been done to our country – and others – by massive corporations and financial institutions who used NAFTA to rip good jobs out from under us, only to give them to unprotected workers in other countries, where the corporations polluted and exploited with impunity. Then the manufactured crisis of 2007-08 was unleashed on us by the same people. They have stuck the knife in, they have turned it, and now they want to finish us off and put the final nail in the coffin of anything resembling freedom or democracy.
The myth of the american dream has become superfluous to our global corporate elite. It is simply no longer necessary for them to continue the lies. When the myths are gone and they have crushed the last dreams, the only thing left will be for us to consume and obey. Look around. We aren’t far off. Millions suffering in poverty, a rapidly dwindling middle-class, the rich reaching new heights of wealth every day. They have bought the political system, they have instituted mass surveillance, militarized police forces, there is corporate control of every aspect of our lives…and this is not enough for those who constantly want more.
People who are still paying the bills, have retirement, and can buy a few high tech consumer goods, help their kids out every month, maybe take a vacation now and then, somehow think they’re immune. If they think about the reality of our situation as a country (and as a world) they may despair or shrug and think, same as it ever was…but it’s not. Things have changed. We have never had a global elite like this in the history of the world. They cross borders with impunity, have no allegiance to any state, play entire countries off of each other, raid pension funds and government treasuries, they write the laws and make the rules and the only use they have for us is as labor to exploit – and maybe as consumers (if they actually produce anything).
Even if TPP is never enacted, a variation will be – or a thousand variations, stuck into laws and trade agreements around the world. NAFTA has had a massive impact on all of us. Most of us chose not to listen to the people who warned us about it as Clinton fast-tracked it and pressed for China’s entry into the WTO. Now, the TPP promises to be a thousand times worse. Intellectual property rights enabled pharmaceutical companies to keep poor people in need from getting access to generic drugs, they helped monsanto make criminals of millions of farmers. Now it seems Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), an aspect of existing trade agreements under the WTO, are a major focus of the TPP. Not only will they criminalize even more of the world, they will use TRIPS to clamp down on the internet and all of its users. They believe they can succeed where SOPA and PIPA failed.
Of course the earth, our environment, is front and center in most big trade agreements written by corporations. Not only do they want to more efficiently exploit more of the earth with impunity, they want to rig the system to pay them – with our tax dollars – when they see an opportunity for exploitation, say oil drilling, but a country (and it’s citizens) doesn’t want it to happen.
It’s time to be honest with ourselves and have a sense of urgency. Whatever your situation is today, it is not static. There are dynamic changes happening and the people writing the TPP in secret are at the vanguard of those changes. The only true way to fight this is to realize it is part of the same neoliberal agenda that corporations and venal politicians are using to privatize education, steal money out of our pockets through the FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) “economy,” make war, sell weapons, and displace huge populations around the world.
Many people are beginning to see the same policies enacted in different countries with the same wealthy elite benefiting and the same working people paying the price. So, first we need to realize what is happening, then we need to organize to fight it. Not only do we need to organize world wide, but we need to have a vision of what we want. I suggest we create a way of life that puts people before profits. No time like the present…