Nov 30, 2015

November 30, 2015: Slave Trade Agreements, Instruments of Exploitation, Controlling the Debate

"The British and Americans, as all nations, have always been adept at covering the basest crimes with a coat of righteousness"
                                 ---from "The Quotations of Chairman Joe"
There were two postings on my Facebook page this morning on different but highly relevant and connected issues.  Both by Senator Bernie Sanders. The first questioned why, under the pending trade deals, we are moving to further the importation of all kinds of cheap goods into this country but we cannot bring ourselves to do the same thing when it comes to importing cheaper pharmaceuticals from abroad.  I commented that I agree with the Senator, but that we should remind ourselves that the entire ‘principle’ of “Free Trade” was largely the invention of the British and to a lesser extent the other western European powers, later followed by the United States, to enforce first the British Mercantile System and slave trade, and later to impose and maintain the drug trade, principally the production of opium in India for sale in China. This, by degrees led to the use of military force to suppress insurrections as, famously, in the case of the Boxer Rebellion and the Opium wars, conflicts in which the United States, not yet a world power, played a secondary, albeit supporting role. 

I raised this point to demonstrate that the lofty ‘principle’ of “Free” trade was, at its origin, nothing less than a ruse for exploitation leading speedily to the oppression and colonization of the rest of the world.  A “noble” principle assuaging the consciences of expanding wealth; a veneer of righteous ‘principle’ covering, however transparently, the base instincts of human avarice, gluttony and greed.
The British and Americans, as all nations, have always been adept at covering the basest crimes with a coat of righteousness. 

 The proclamation of “Free Trade” is, perhaps for us, the most mendacious of the use of Orwellian language.  More accurately, one would presume, what we are truly witnessing is the emergence, or rather re-emergence, of a modern form of the ‘slave’ trade; and, accordingly we might better refer to the pending group of agreements as slave trade agreements inasmuch as the effect, if not the outright intent, of these instruments is to drive down the standard of living around the globe and make more universal the misery of the human race. 

The second posting by the Senator asked why the media is not covering the issue.  As seen in a previous column the White House had promised a full-fledged public discussion and debate. (1)

Given the secrecy surrounding the negotiations and the reluctance—indeed the refusal—of this administration to be forthcoming concerning the contents of these trade agreements, I had my doubts.  Granting the president ‘fast-track’ authority in which the treaties would not be subject to committee hearings, or any hearing, and their would be no amendments allowed to these agreements, but rather a simple up and down vote, it was clear that we—the people—were about to be railroaded.

 Accordingly, I submitted this comment to the Senator’s post:

“The conspiracy of silence. The last thing the national and multinational corporations want is a full-fledged discussion of this travesty against the peoples of the world. It follows, then, that the media will do the bidding of their corporate paymasters and remain silent. MSNBC's dismissal of Ed Schultz was the shot across the bow and the rest of the so-called 'journalists' wet themselves to their socks.”
And so it goes.  He that has the gold makes the rules; he that controls the forum and the language controls the debate. 

(1).  See blog posting:

May 22, 2015: Response from the White House, Shroud of Secrecy, Deep Suspicions

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