The Re-enserfment of Western Peoples — Paul Craig Roberts

November 11, 2015


The re-enserfment of Western peoples is taking place on several levels. One about which I have been writing for more than a decade comes from the offshoring of jobs. Americans, for example, have a shrinking participation in the production of the goods and services that are marketed to them.

[Reposted from Paul Craig Roberts |  Paul Craig Roberts |  November 9, 2015]

On another level we are experiencing the financialization of the Western economy about which Michael Hudson is the leading expert (Killing The Host). Financialization is the process of removing any public presence in the economy and converting the economic surplus into interest payments to the financial sector.

These two developments deprive people of economic prospects. A third development deprives them of political rights. The Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic Partnerships eliminate political sovereignty and turn governance over to global corporations.

These so called “trade partnerships” have nothing to do with trade. These agreements negotiated in secrecy grant immunity to corporations from the laws of the countries in which they do business. This is achieved by declaring any interference by existing and prospective laws and regulations on corporate profits as restraints on trade for which corporations can sue and fine “sovereign” governments. For example, the ban in France and other counries on GMO products would be negated by the Trans-Atlantic Partnership. Democracy is simply replaced by corporate rule.

I have been meaning to write about this at length. However, others, such as Chris Hedges, are doing a good job of explaining the power grab that eliminates representative government.

The corporations are buying power cheaply. They bought the entire US House of Representatives for just under $200 million. This is what the corporations paid Congress to go along with “Fast Track,” which permits the corporations’ agent, the US Trade Representative, to negotiate in secret without congressional input or oversight. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Almost-200-Million-Donate-by-Paola-Casale-Banking_Congress_Control_Corporations-150620-523.html

In other words, a US corporate agent deals with corporate agents in the countries that will comprise the “partnership,” and this handful of well-bribed people draw up an agreement that supplants law with the interests of corporations. No one negotiating the partnership represents the peoples’ or public’s interests. The governments of the partnership countries get to vote the deal up or down, and they will be well paid to vote for the agreement.

Once these partnerships are in effect, government itself is privatized. There is no longer any point in legislatures, presidents, prime ministers, judges. Corporate tribunals decide law and court rulings.

It is likely that these “partnerships” will have unintended consequences. For example, Russia and China are not part of the arrangements, and neither are Iran, Brazil, India, and South Africa, although seperately the Indian government appears to have been purchased by American agribusiness and is in the process of destroying its self-sufficient food production system. These countries will be the repositories for national sovereignty and public control while freedom and democracy are extinguished in the West and the West’s Asian vassals.

Violent revolution throughout the West and the complete elimination of the One Percent is another possible outcome. Once, for example, the French people discover that they have lost all control over their diet to Monsanto and American agribusiness, the members of the French government that delivered France into dietary bondage to toxic foods are likely to be killed in the streets.

Events of this sort are possible throughout the West as peoples discover that they have lost all control over every aspect of their lives and that their only choice is revolution or death.


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  • Thank you Paul Craig Roberts for explaining why the TPP (and TTIP, TISA and other impending Free Trade treaties) will offshore American industries and jobs and undermine the real wages of the non-exportable jobs that will remain.

    In the west, we are increasingly dominated by corporate Free Traders who have, for decades, seen national sovereignty (and the “local” regulations it brings) as an obstacle to be replaced with global governance via treaty law written by corporate lobbyists and adjudicated by international tribunals staffed by corporate lawyers.

    Meanwhile the Asian countries generally have retained a sense of economic nationalism and thus, as Eamon Fingleton shows in his books and articles, eagerly join trade treaties that open access to the US market even as the Asian top national leaders pose as needing more western patience while they “struggle against their own domestic backwards-looking protectionists” at home. Meanwhile enticing formerly US corporations into joint-ventures with Chinese state enterprises that require transfer of technologies. Give the Chinese one more generation to digest these transferred technologies and mature their many new engineering schools and then they will throw out the western barbarians as no longer necessary. China will then be a huge industrial power and the west will be a rust-belt “has-been.”

    Its time for Congress to recognize the globalized corporations for what they are: foreign entities with no loyalty to our national interest and therefore no right to fund our electoral system or staff the revolving door in Washington that writes these disastrous treaties. No treaty will rebuild our lost manufacturing or restore our national sovereignty and democracy eclipsed by the global governance of treaty law and international tribunals.

    Nor will just killing Fast Track and the TPP and other proposed treaties in negotiation rebuild our industries and our sovereignty already badly damaged by the existing Free Trade treaties. Congress should replace the Free Trade policy with a Balanced Trade policy that uses an Import Certificate system to limit our imports to the same value as our exports. Diverting our annual $720+ billion merchandise trade deficits into that much more demand for US-made goods would create over 8 million new US jobs and rebuild our manufacturing and our tax base, not to mention re-shoring the centers of innovation that are key to our future competitiveness and prosperity.
  • PCR you are one of my favorites because you tell it like it really is. No smoke and mirrors. I only wish that more people would read and think about more the many intelligent things that you have to say. Know we know why the government has been ramping up it’s paramilitary police state with warrior cops and a futile and corrupt justice system.
  • Hi Bruce I miss seeing your most prescient postings in this new format…Anyhow I think we need to do all the things laid out in the Comprehensive National Trade Strategy laid out below but I think it will not happen in the current TPP plan. We are currently being sold out by the current USTR Secretary Jack Lew who I’m sure will get a nice cozy job after somewhere. We will become a society of second class citizens and country if we let the current TPP go through as written. The re enserfment of the American people will become much more very real as PCR is warning us. This is why the private contractor model of employment is gaining so much steam. IMHO.
  • While CPA frets over trivialities like “currency manipulation,” our out-of-control government continues to surrender our economy and our sovereignty with little opposition.