When the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections commission that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government, many of us who care about the principles of Democracy (first and foremost among them that the people rule) felt as if we had been punched in the gut by Andre the Giant, kicked in the privates by the steel toe of a Gene Simmons boot, and Mike Tyson was making a meal out of our ear.
It is hard to imagine feeling worse than that, but President Obama is working to see that you do.
The Obama administration is brokering a secret global deal that combines all of the worst elements of NAFTA and Citizens United, shoots them up with steroids, sprinkles in a speedball and codifies these principles into a trade agreement that is in fact much more than a trade agreement. The trade agreement is the Trojan horse to bore you and put you to sleep so that when you wake up a global corporate coup will be in place creating a parallel system of justice where three private attorneys would oversee a kangaroo court set up to defend corporate interests that the laws all countries signing on to what is known as the Trans Pacific Partnership would be subservient to.
The TPP is a lot of things- it emboldens the farming practices of Monsanto, it empowers big banks and Wall street interests, it threatens the rights of working people, it will increase the costs of medicine- and it will end the free and open internet as we know it, among other things.
For now, let us focus on three things about the TPP:
#1. It’s a secret. While parts of the TPP draft texts have been leaked, the Obama administration is brokering this deal behind closed doors & aggressively pursuing an agreement that, if the text were in fact shared publicly, the deal would be impossible to sign because that opposition to it would be so great. But who has time to sit down and parse through 24 chapters of legal babble, bicker and balderdash- that is what we have our elected officials in Congress for right? Yes, well, about that- as Lori Wallach and Ben Beachey wrote in a New York Timed op ed on June 2nd: “While Congress has constitutional authority to set the terms of trade, so far the executive branch has managed to resist repeated requests by members of Congress to see the text of the draft agreement and has denied requests from members to attend negotiations as observers — reversing past practice.”
This is congress we are talking about- these gals and guys are by and large total yes men for corporate interests. If you can’t find allies in that group of swine, than what exactly are you selling here? A few days ago, after navigating a labyrinth of red tape- Congressman Alan Grayson was allowed to read the text of the agreement.
In a private room.
With no aides present and under the conditions that no notes could be taken or copies made and that the contents are classified top secret.
2. The TPP makes corporations more powerful than governments. Say that out loud to yourself and let it sink in: The TPP makes corporations more powerful than governments. As Kevin Zeese points out, that even though the public and the media can not see the texts, and select members of congress only get very limited access 600 corporations have been advising the president and suggesting amendments as they have full access to the documents. This includes some of America’s worst corporate citizens: Monsanto, WalMart, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Phiser and big Pharma, Cargill, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron among them. In other words, a corporate advisors to what Matt Taibbi famously called a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money gets to read and craft the text and you me and just about everyone we know, including our so called representative officials, are locked out.
3. The third thing you need to know about the TPP is the most important: we can stop it. Obama wants to fast track it through Congress this October. If you want to help stop the TPP, visit PopularResistance.org and sign up.