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Sun May 3, 2015, 02:21 PM

What DO you call it when democracy is broken at the behest of business?


http://thefloridasqueeze.com/2015/05/03/what-do-you-call-it-when-democracy-is-broken-at-the-behest-of-business/


“Democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 29, 1938 (Letter to Congress on the problem of Curbing Monopolies)

We sometimes forget that private monied interests have been campaigning for “small government” since long before Grover Norquist dreamt of drowning government in the bathtub. In this letter to Congress on curbing monopolies, Roosevelt warns that government must be strong enough to make corporations play by the rules or else we’ll be playing by their rules. Implicit is the idea that our interests don’t necessarily align.

The very next words that he wrote were, “that, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.” Does the word “fascism” shock you the way it does me? I read this and thought “Didn’t FDR know that the first person to mention Nazis loses the argument?” But of course he hadn’t heard that (Godwin’s Law was coined in 1990), and he was dealing with real Nazis, so we have to cut him slack here.

When Roosevelt wrote this, I believe he chose his words carefully. In 1933 he’d encountered a group of right-wing bankers who tried to convince him to turn over his power to them in a corporatist government backed by the military. By the time he wrote this letter he’d already dealt with on attempt by big business to topple democracy in order to muscle its way into power. He called these Wall Street bankers “economic royalists” and warned: “give them their way and they will take the course of every aristocracy of the past – power for themselves, enslavement for the public.”

Wall Street bankers grabbing power for themselves is a very familiar tune. As a matter of fact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an overt attempt to achieve many of the end results of a corporate government that Roosevelt warned about.

The TPP asks us to deputize private interests to run public policy as a profit center. This is antithetical to democracy as FDR points out later in his letter: “We believe in a way of living in which political democracy and free private enterprise for profit should serve and protect each other—to ensure a maximum of human liberty not for a few but for all.” As a successful capitalist Roosevelt knew that you can’t have a healthy business environment without fair rules of the road.

We know through leaks that the TPP seeks to tilt those rules toward the largest, most lawyered-up global businesses. Members of the Senate who’ve seen the actual TPP document are so alarmed they’re asking for it to be declassified. Currently they’re only allowed to read it with a minder present (no notes, no photos), and aren’t allowed to discuss it with the public. A staffer can read it only if their Senator is there with them by their side. That’s why Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown challenged President Obama to release the text of the negotiation to the public.

Regardless of the secrecy, we know that the most shocking features of the TPP gives corporate lawyers the ability to preempt “non-tariff barriers” to trade that could impact “expected future profits.”

Let’s be clear — non-tariff barriers are government policies that make it possible to have safe food, good jobs and a clean environment. Basically, this is what Republicans call “big government.” Under TPP, 500 the lawyers for the 1% were empowered to identify government policies on health, environment, labor and safety, that could impact business’ future profit with the intent of preempting any barrier to profit. These are the details they won’t let us see. On this subject, the usually understated Sierra Club says “these provisions elevate corporations to the level of nation states and allow them to sue governments over nearly any law or policy which reduces their future profits.”



(more at link)

http://thefloridasqueeze.com/2015/05/03/what-do-you-call-it-when-democracy-is-broken-at-the-behest-of-business/

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Reply What DO you call it when democracy is broken at the behest of business? (Original post)
nashville_brook May 2015 OP
leveymg May 2015 #1
gelsdorf May 2015 #2
Jackpine Radical May 2015 #18
JEB May 2015 #25
nashville_brook May 2015 #73
Jackpine Radical May 2015 #76
nashville_brook May 2015 #83
nashville_brook May 2015 #44
appalachiablue May 2015 #78
ananda May 2015 #3
winetourdriver May 2015 #7
volstork May 2015 #15
nashville_brook May 2015 #67
cui bono May 2015 #4
nashville_brook May 2015 #16
cui bono May 2015 #22
DirkGently May 2015 #79
PatrickforO May 2015 #5
nashville_brook May 2015 #13
hifiguy May 2015 #24
PatrickforO May 2015 #39
Octafish May 2015 #6
nashville_brook May 2015 #11
Enthusiast May 2015 #57
nashville_brook May 2015 #66
Enthusiast May 2015 #81
nashville_brook May 2015 #85
Autumn May 2015 #8
Enthusiast May 2015 #59
nashville_brook May 2015 #70
kentuck May 2015 #9
moondust May 2015 #10
nashville_brook May 2015 #12
moondust May 2015 #17
nashville_brook May 2015 #74
hifiguy May 2015 #23
DirkGently May 2015 #49
Enthusiast May 2015 #58
mountain grammy May 2015 #14
nashville_brook May 2015 #65
heaven05 May 2015 #19
Jackpine Radical May 2015 #26
zeemike May 2015 #34
nashville_brook May 2015 #42
Exilednight May 2015 #20
nashville_brook May 2015 #28
hifiguy May 2015 #21
nashville_brook May 2015 #30
hifiguy May 2015 #35
nashville_brook May 2015 #37
DirkGently May 2015 #52
orpupilofnature57 May 2015 #27
mckara May 2015 #29
nashville_brook May 2015 #32
mckara May 2015 #36
Demeter May 2015 #31
nashville_brook May 2015 #33
DirkGently May 2015 #51
Enthusiast May 2015 #60
kairos12 May 2015 #38
Bossy Monkey May 2015 #40
TBF May 2015 #41
nashville_brook May 2015 #43
TRoN33 May 2015 #45
GoneFishin May 2015 #46
nashville_brook May 2015 #48
GoneFishin May 2015 #54
nashville_brook May 2015 #71
DirkGently May 2015 #47
nashville_brook May 2015 #50
sadoldgirl May 2015 #53
nashville_brook May 2015 #68
GoneFishin May 2015 #55
nashville_brook May 2015 #64
GoneFishin May 2015 #69
nashville_brook May 2015 #72
bobjacksonk2832 May 2015 #56
Enthusiast May 2015 #61
pampango May 2015 #62
nashville_brook May 2015 #75
pampango May 2015 #80
NuttyFluffers May 2015 #63
Erich Bloodaxe BSN May 2015 #77
nashville_brook May 2015 #82
Rex May 2015 #84

Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 02:30 PM

1. I know what FDR called it - Fascism

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself.

That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Sun May 3, 2015, 02:47 PM

2. +1 to infinity n/t

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:07 PM

18. That term was certainly my candidate.

Fascism--the Corporate State.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #18)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:22 PM

25. That is exactly correct. eom

 

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #18)

Mon May 4, 2015, 09:36 AM

73. why is our response to fascism so muted?

if we know this to be the case, why are we so complacent?

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #73)

Mon May 4, 2015, 09:58 AM

76. Because I live out in the country

and it upsets the wildlife when I scream.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #76)

Mon May 4, 2015, 02:51 PM

83. hee hee :)

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Sun May 3, 2015, 05:19 PM

44. i hope more people are starting to understand what's really going on.

the TPP gives up a perfect opportunity to discuss it.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #44)

Mon May 4, 2015, 11:31 AM

78. Excellent OP. Thanks, esp. for including quotes and FDR who well knew the ruthlessness of

the powerful who opposed his policies the very first year, in 1933 soon after his inauguration. Major industrialists then planned a coup take over of the WH with the assistance of military leader Smedley Butler and a veterans army. Thankfully Butler said no to the industrialists' Business Plot and had the courage to stand up for democracy and testify about the affair before Congress the next year, in 1934.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 02:48 PM

3. I call it a corporate fascist coup.

..

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Response to ananda (Reply #3)

Sun May 3, 2015, 03:01 PM

7. you know

When I think of these fascist bastards, I think of the millions of people fighting against fascism during WWII and it makes me SICK! What did all those people die for?

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Response to winetourdriver (Reply #7)

Sun May 3, 2015, 03:46 PM

15. know your BFEE

Prescott Bush had his company's assets seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act when his support of the founders of Nazism was uncovered. How anyone cannot think the current fascist state of America is not tied to the Bushes is completely beyond me.

If everyone knew this history, the repercussions would be astounding...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

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Response to volstork (Reply #15)

Mon May 4, 2015, 09:01 AM

67. +1 calling Octafish!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 02:49 PM

4. And centrists are helping them.

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Response to cui bono (Reply #4)

Sun May 3, 2015, 03:49 PM

16. yes they are. not all intentionally -- many are just ill-informed, or don't grasp the entirety of the problem.

too many view politics like sport where a "team" wins, which ignores policy entirely.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #16)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:14 PM

22. Yes, but the ones in power implementing moderate Republican policies know.

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Response to cui bono (Reply #4)

Mon May 4, 2015, 11:42 AM

79. Helping corporate fascism has become what "centrist" means. n/t

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 02:56 PM

5. Good post.

For the last several elections we've been going down the path. Even Obama's election and reelection only slowed the process. And why is he touting the TPP now???

Unless we get a good populist message out and show up at the polls, we're screwed.

Unfortunately, capitalism can't see beyond the end of its nose; short term profit is everything. I've got a friend who says that a capitalist will sell you the rope you're going to use to hang them.

The moral of the story is that capitalism has been such a cancer on the earth that it is now actually destroying the earth.

So if we lose this coming one, our species will lose. Maybe permanently.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #5)

Sun May 3, 2015, 03:41 PM

13. there's so much urgency in these messages. we have to wake up.

i spend a lot of time on the water kayaking, either in the springs here in FL or around estuaries or coral down in the keys. we're well into a "tipping point" here in FL. we're about to have a water problem like CA, but it will be b/c our water is fouled from salt water intrusion (what happens when we use more water than we have, the ocean seeps into our aquifer). On the other end of the stick, the pH is so off in the keys that the corals are dying...and with them go whole ecosystems. Ugh...i could go on and on. there's so many attacks on our fragile habitat and so little being done to help.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #5)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:20 PM

24. So true about the short-term focus of modern capitalism.

 

Lenin was right when he said the capitalists would sell him the rope he would use to hang them.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #24)

Sun May 3, 2015, 05:10 PM

39. Thanks! I did not know it was Lenin who said that about the rope.

Very cool.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 02:59 PM

6. Fascism for a thousand, Alex!

Globalism isn't what it's cracked up to be.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #6)

Sun May 3, 2015, 03:32 PM

11. i think it's important, for myself, to cop to the fact that I actually "supported" globalism

in the 90s. I was young and my idea of "globalism" was 'everyone would have SE30s and we'd all telecommute doing fascinating cultural production projects.' which SOME people can do now...getting paid for it is another issue entirely.

I wasn't so much behind Clinton as I was Steve Jobs. I didn't understand about manufacturing, so when it was pitched as "this will be great for the environment" I was like, sign me up. But what was hidden in that is that we'd have no more industrial base, which has been worse for the environment b/c we've switched to resource extraction like fracking which is way dirtier.

they lied to us then, and they're lying to us now. I fell for it once, but i'm not getting fooled again. and neither should anyone else.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #6)

Mon May 4, 2015, 05:12 AM

57. Globalism is only a means for the greedy assholes to take maximum advantage of us.

How often have we heard them say, "Globalism is here to stay, better get used to it."

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #57)

Mon May 4, 2015, 08:59 AM

66. you'd think the "black helicopter" people would be up in arms about this

there's a stretch of road on I-10 to Tallahassee where a landowner has erected a bunch of signs that say something to the effect of "The UN is coming for our property!!"

how come they're not bothered when there's a real threat of global interests seeking their property?

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #66)

Mon May 4, 2015, 12:08 PM

81. I guess their only source of information is Alex Jones.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #81)

Tue May 5, 2015, 02:47 PM

85. apparently!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 03:14 PM

8. Vote for Bernie Sanders. I don't see any other way of fixing it.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #8)

Mon May 4, 2015, 05:15 AM

59. Voting for Bernie appears to be the only possible solution.

And then the fight will have only just begun.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #8)

Mon May 4, 2015, 09:28 AM

70. this is why we've seen such an explosion of Bernie support here

DU gets it.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 03:19 PM

9. Interesting.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 03:25 PM

10. Jefferson understood the problem,

though he may not have known what to call it--at least 199 years ago. (see sig line)

I only wish they would have done something to stop it back then.

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Response to moondust (Reply #10)

Sun May 3, 2015, 03:35 PM

12. indeed. i feel like Eisenhower gave the last great warning, when it was too late...

when he pointed to the fact that we'd let the military-industrial complex accrue too much power. after that all bets were off.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #12)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:01 PM

17. Lately I've wondered

if some Americans didn't learn the wrong lessons from Vietnam, specifically how profitable long wars can be. It would help explain the long, unwinnable wars in the Middle East started by corporate chickenhawks with little or nothing to lose personally.

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Response to moondust (Reply #17)

Mon May 4, 2015, 09:38 AM

74. halliburton, brown bros, KBR...they all learned how profitable unending war can be

the wrong people learned the wrong lesson.

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Response to moondust (Reply #10)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:16 PM

23. One of my favorite Jefferson quotations!

 

Lincoln had a duzy, too:

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." 12/3/1861 at Cooper Union, NYC

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #23)

Sun May 3, 2015, 07:19 PM

49. I LIKE that.


A lot.

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Response to moondust (Reply #10)

Mon May 4, 2015, 05:14 AM

58. +1! They just didn't have a name for it then. It existed nonetheless.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 03:45 PM

14. Thank you.. good article

Amazing what's been going on in Florida and everywhere else for that matter.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #14)

Mon May 4, 2015, 08:56 AM

65. it's scary what flies under the radar in state and local politics!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:10 PM

19. corporate coup d'etat?

 

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Response to heaven05 (Reply #19)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:25 PM

26. 1963.

Unless you maybe wanna argue for 1948 and the Dulles boys with their unholy alliance between the CIA & Wall St.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #26)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:50 PM

34. Well if you had to put a date on it I would say 1963.

But what us little people don't understand is that the PTB plan long term.
They gave up the short term takeover when the Business Plot was uncovered in the 30s and foiled by General Smedley Butler.

But 1963 showed them they could get away with anything as long as they controlled the media, and they have done so effectively ever since.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #34)

Sun May 3, 2015, 05:15 PM

42. i totally agree. there's been an accrual of power that's been exercised in shocking ways.

it's the same people, too. The Business Plot was Wall Street financiers with the backing of military. they just made the "military" easier and less transparent to outsource with the CIA. it's the same threat, though -- and the same interests lining up in the hierarchy.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:10 PM

20. To answer the question: it's called a plutocracy.

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Response to Exilednight (Reply #20)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:32 PM

28. or kleptocracy. i try to avoid those words b/c as academic language they tend to hide

the action required to fix things.

I've been searching for years for a non-academic word that means "stealing money from poor people" so that the action is implied. rich people need to stop stealing from the poor.

whenever i use plutocracy or kleptocracy, i know i'm leaving people with the feeling that there's nothing to be done. that, it's just the nature of the dystopian future we've created. oh well -- what's on TV tonight.

i think it says something about the culture of progressivism in this country that (from time to time) we find our language to be inadequate to describe things. shows how much "blue sky" there is to work with. there's so much to do we even have to explore our language options.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:14 PM

21. Giovanni Gentile and Benito Mussolini called it fascism

 

and they should know; they invented it.

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #21)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:43 PM

30. you know what's funny about that Mussolini quote...

as i was writing this i went down a giant rabbit hole about the history of the usage of the word fascism, and to my astonishment there's confusion about if Mussolini actually ever said that. took more over a week to write this stupid essay b/c i wanted to be very careful about how i addressed that language.

which got me to thinking...we don't have a clear citation for Mussolini saying this, BUT we have FDR using this definition in a letter to congress -- as clear cut as it gets. and, it's kinda a better source. i'd always attributed the definition to BM. my sense now is that it was probably something he said on "the stump" but never in official writings, b/c it seems to be what FDR was alluding to.


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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #30)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:51 PM

35. It's attributed to Mussolini but it was actually written by Gentile

 

the in-house philosopher of Italian Fascism.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #35)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:55 PM

37. OH! in the manifesto! that makes total sense!

Thank you -- this was driving me crazy. Writers who I completely trust have posts up where they're stumped.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #21)

Sun May 3, 2015, 08:47 PM

52. Well that bears repeating a few million times.


Here's one:

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:28 PM

27. fascism .

 

Fascism

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:42 PM

29. Finally After Many Decades, Since Bretton Woods in 1947...

 

People are starting to catch on!

Americans are not the brightest bulbs in the knife drawer!

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Response to mckara (Reply #29)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:44 PM

32. The US of ADD.

We've had it for way before Adderall came along!

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #32)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:54 PM

36. +1

 

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:44 PM

31. The Cost of Doing Business

 

including pollution, hoarding, discrimination, fraud, embezzlement, influence buying.....

I could go on, but I'd like to get something useful done today.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #31)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:46 PM

33. i HEAR ya! you know who put me on to this is Alan Grayson.

He talks a lot about non-tariff barriers to trade -- well, not in this video, so much. Check out the HuffPo link.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-alan-grayson/time-to-end-the-free-trad_b_3246607.html

His new video totally rocks the top-line issues with TPP, which are enough to fill 9 minutes!

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #33)

Sun May 3, 2015, 08:35 PM

51. That video is FANTASTIC. Simple, but true.


Should be required viewing.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #33)

Mon May 4, 2015, 05:29 AM

60. +1 an entire shit load.

We have to stop this damn thing.

When you're already in a hole, stop digging!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 04:59 PM

38. It is kleptocracy.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 05:13 PM

40. Ooh! Ooh! I know this one! "Here." n/t

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 05:13 PM

41. Business as usual -

at least for capitalists. The rest of us would use the term "corporatocracy" and/or "fascism".

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Response to TBF (Reply #41)

Sun May 3, 2015, 05:17 PM

43. Evil is truly banal. it IS business as usual for many people...i bet most of which don't have a clue

that the work they do helps shift the pieces on the chess board. we're all just doing our jobs.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)


Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 05:31 PM

46. Holy shit. "TPP gives corporate lawyers the ability to preempt “non-tariff barriers” to trade"

"TPP gives corporate lawyers the ability to preempt “non-tariff barriers” to trade"

The term "non-tariff barrier" is important because it reminds us that TPP has very little to do with trade and everything to do with stopping the government (in this context we the people) from creating rules to keep the corporations from cheating and endangering workers or destroying the planet (faster than it is). For other countries, constraints on their tariffs would be a non-starter because some of them actually use tariffs effectively to protect their industries (otherwise known as bariffs and terriers, but I diverge).

So they have tipped their hand. The thing that might have actually increased U.S. exports to other countries, lower tariffs, was explicitly circumvented by this term. At the same time, it does nothing to slow imports of competing goods because the tariff system for imports into the U.S. has not been used to protect our industries as is demonstrated by the flight from the U.S. of about 5,000 factories a year.

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Response to GoneFishin (Reply #46)

Sun May 3, 2015, 07:17 PM

48. and the weirdest thing is that Alan Grayson has been sounding this alarm since at least 2013

and i live in his district, AND I'm a nerd about the TPP, but it didn't register with me about "non-tariff barriers to trade" until I sat down to write about TPP fast track. The more i dug, the more I found that this this is where they tip their hand.

of the 29 chapters we know about, only 5 deal with tradition trade issues -- the sort of stuff that would apply to "if we don't write the deal China will write it for us." that leave 24 chapters dealing with non-tariff barriers.

in the whole piece i gave an example of "preemption" that i'm familiar with from here in Central Florida. But there's been preemption measures enacted in many states with those 2010 Koch-funded Tea Party Republican governors.

here's something Alan Grayson wrote in 2013 on non-tariff barriers --> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-alan-grayson/time-to-end-the-free-trad_b_3246607.html

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #48)

Sun May 3, 2015, 09:59 PM

54. From your link : "Canada has ... been sued for ... taxing windfall profits by oil companies."

So there is pretty much no law or regulation that will be out of bounds. It's a blank check for big corporations.

"Your laws against slavery and human trafficking are increasing our labor costs and making us less profitable. We are going to challenge those laws under the TPP ISDR provision."

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Response to GoneFishin (Reply #54)

Mon May 4, 2015, 09:31 AM

71. that is the fear, at least -- and it seems to be the case. we need to see the whole document.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 06:53 PM

47. +++ Fascism creeps in on little loafered Banker feet

We shy away from brash ideologically loaded terms like "fascism," because collectively we agree so seldom on when a political system has gone too far that we end up comparing everything to Nazis, and nothing really compares that well to the Nazis. They really went the extra mile in terms of horrifying the world. We may not see their specific brand of terribleness again.

But private money trying to undermine democracy? That's not any kind of special evil unicorn. That's common as dirt. It happens every day. We would be buried by private money tomorrow if we stopped pushing actively against it for a second. It's not unique. It's not even particularly evil, really, although its effects if unchecked certainly are. It's just a thing that money and power do to any kind of civilization.

Like Pinky and the Brain, the privately wealthy and privately powerful wake up every morning, drink some fine, strong Columbian coffee, and decide HOW TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD.

One thing we do have in common with Germans and Italians and everyone else who has seen their country go through horrifically destructive political paradigm shifts, is that we *assume things will never get that bad.*

We really do give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. We don't see jackboots in the street or hear bombs exploding above, and we assume things will remain within at least some modicum of sanity.

But that's not true at all. Radical things can happen in an instant, and THE MOST COMMON way is not through crazed painters shooting guns in beerhalls. It's with the stroke of a businessman's pen.


Of COURSE business interests want to force through a sweeping realignment of power, elevating "investors" to the level of nation states and erecting an extra-judicial system run by corporate lawyers to punish countries that interfere with "expected future profits."

It's what they've always wanted. And it's not like we don't see them trying to get there, every single day. It's what lobbyists are for, and lobbyists have all the business they can handle.

We need not to shy away from strong talk. We need to understand that secret international trade agreements are EXACTLY how things can go horribly wrong. Not a shot fired, not a jackboot in sight. But they can still take it all, and they will, and we need to call these massive power grabs out for what they are, and not be bored to sleep by the details, or cowed into not using harsh terminology.

“give them their way and they will take the course of every aristocracy of the past – power for themselves, enslavement for the public.”


FDR was no conspiracy theorist. He was reporting what he saw, and he'd report the same today if he was here to see this.

Great post.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #47)

Sun May 3, 2015, 07:25 PM

50. here's a piece by Ezra Klein in VOX that I believe makes the case for getting real about fascism

http://www.vox.com/2015/4/24/8489065/politics-negative-partisanship-fear

it says, essentially, that both parties move their voters based on fear that the other is a "threat to the nation's well-being."

but here's the catch! Democrats are lag R's by 9-points in our ability to raise the threat level. everyone here on this board is sick to death of R's screaming "nazi" at every move obama makes. But they do it for a reason -- b/c it works to move their voters. they don't care if it's TRUE or not.

on our side it actually is TRUE that we're dealing with fascistic elements attempting to amass control...and yet we want to pussyfoot around with academic words like "plutocracy." you know what the average joe thinks Plutocracy is rule by this guy:



If they only realized how close they are b/c it's actually rule by Disney.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #50)

Sun May 3, 2015, 09:04 PM

53. Call it the Robin Hood reversal

The problem goes farther than corporate and financial control, imho.
They will insist on succeeding with their long term plan, and while
they do they already plan on indirect or even direct physical
control. They realize full well, that there may come a point of
a popular uprising (Bernie's candidacy is an indication), and they
will be ready for this as well.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #53)

Mon May 4, 2015, 09:05 AM

68. i believe that we already have that with private prisons

in breaking down the situation in Baltimore, for instance, you can't help but come face-to-face with what real physical control looks like. people are arrested before they're old enough to get a job, then they can't get a job b/c of the record, which leads to whole swaths of town where there's nothing but poverty and the streets b/c everything else has been handed over to the prisons.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #50)

Sun May 3, 2015, 10:09 PM

55. That's another reason the right calls Obama a nazi and fascist. Because it is actually true that

they exhibit strong fascist behaviors. But their base just perceives it as a pissing match because the rightwing talking heads have been calling Obama a fascist forever.

It is a Rovian tactic to go after your opponents strengths. And since our strongest argument against the right wingers is that they are fascist and destroying the country, it makes sense that they would accuse the Democrats of those same things first in order to neutralize the allegations.

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Response to GoneFishin (Reply #55)

Mon May 4, 2015, 06:52 AM

64. but, it's an argument we don't use...

i think some who carry the Dem banner sit on their hands b/c their campaign coffers depend on Wall Street money. the ones who actually step up and say something get attacked by both sides. there's little incentive to fight the good fight other than to actually win one for real people. and we keep being shown that we're not the priority.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #64)

Mon May 4, 2015, 09:09 AM

69. You are correct. There are many who call themselves Dems who are sympathetic to rightwing economic

theories. And very few who will call out unfair, unethical, or illegal business practices.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #47)

Mon May 4, 2015, 09:34 AM

72. it's much more efficient to achieve their ends thru secret trade agreement

than thru any kind of physical confrontation.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 02:27 AM

56. Plutocracy would be the right term.

 

Sadly I see no light at the end of the tunnel for this country. Any hope of democracy returning here is pretty much gone. Welcome to the Corporate States of America.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 05:33 AM

61. K&R! This post should have hundreds of recommendations!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 05:48 AM

62. "The 1920's and early 30's." FDR and Truman knew it. The ITO was to keep it from returning.

republicans of that era cut taxes for the rich, cut regulations, cut the safety net, cut immigration, weakened unions, raised tariffs, etc.

FDR (who proposed the ITO) and Truman (who negotiated and signed it) wanted a multilateral organization that would promote and govern trade through consultation and arbitration, not unilateral national actions which they saw as the hallmark of the republican 1920's. And the ITO would have linked trade with labor rights, full employment, business regulation, investment protection and regulation, monopoly prevention, etc.

It is no wonder that a republican congress refused to ratify the ITO saying it gave up too much of our national sovereignty to an international organization. republicans got what they wanted. Now trade is not linked to full employment, labor rights, business regulation, etc.

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Response to pampango (Reply #62)

Mon May 4, 2015, 09:40 AM

75. it's completely unsustainable, what we have now.

when these privileges aren't tied to full employment, labor rights, etc...it means that it's these things that are being traded away.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #75)

Mon May 4, 2015, 11:49 AM

80. What we do need is a trade agreement(s) or organization, like the ITO, that would be focused on

just those things.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 06:28 AM

63. loves me some FDR

to the top with you! good readin'.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 10:03 AM

77. Business as usual for most politicians. nt

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 02:58 PM

84. Plutocracy. It is what those three asshole charlitans wanted in your picture and they got it.

 

And now they make millions off of their snake oil and people buy it up like it was life saving mana. Pathetic.

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