Sunday, June 17, 2012

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Expands Corporate Rights

From "Newly Leaked TPP Investment Chapter Contains Special Rights for Corporations"

The most important paragraph is:
"The new texts reveal that TPP negotiators are considering a dispute resolution process that would grant transnational corporations special authority to challenge countries’ laws, regulations and court decisions in international tribunals that circumvent domestic judicial systems."

This is entirely consistent and predicable with how corporations have responded in the face of people flexing their democratic/self-governance muscles over the last several centuries. Corpses escape democratic control in three distinct but related ways. They seek to shift decision-making from:
1. A lower level of government to a higher one (local to state, state to federal, federal to international) -- which are further removed from the public.
2. The legislative level to the courts - especially appointed ones – which are easier to influence or capture.
3. The legislative level to regulatory agencies (which are often stacked with corporate appointees, serve as shields between the public and corporations and can always be appealed to courts - see point 2 - in the oft-chance that decisions are made in the public interest.

The TPP is simply the latest chapter to what began with the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, dubbed by corporate anthropologist Jane Ann Morris as "Baby NAFTA" (see her book Gaveling Down the Rabble) which shifted trade powers from the states to the federal government over 200 years ago. The U.S. Constitutional Convention was in some striking ways similar to the current TPP in terms of meeting/deliberating in secret (including not making the minutes public for decades) and is usurping existing and established laws and rules (i.e. the Constitutional Convention was intended originally to amend, not replace, the Articles of Confederation). The TPP, however, is worse since corporations can directly challenge laws, rules and court decisions without having to use government as a surrogate. It's expanding what the U.S. Constitution never intended — corporate rights.

Maybe this will give rise to a global Move to Amend campaign.

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