Continuous growth – otherwise declining capitalism?

Dean Baker of the US CEPR has been diligent in monitoring the process (theatre and theatrics) related to the US proposed ‘free trade’ deals, and unsparing in exposing and dissecting them. In a post at AlJazeera he summarises and dissects the contradictory arguments made by the proponents and the loyal, supporting corporate media, Pro-TPP arguments show desperation.

In the last few weeks, TPP advocates have repeatedly tripped up, getting their facts wrong and their logic twisted. This hit parade of failed arguments should be sufficient to convince any fence sitters that this deal is not worth doing. After all, if you have a good product, you don’t have to make up nonsense to sell it.

No prolonged reflection is necessary to discern ulterior, possibly nefarious, motives in these deals. And the scale of the human tragedies to serve what such deals seek to formalise has become too large even for the corporate media to ignore – one country in particular appears involved in slave labour, and is among the ‘partners’ in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) charade.

If needed, we have a quick expedition into those Asian countries suspected of slave labour, yet still find favour as trading ‘partners’. In Peru, we have just one of some examples; Mexico,well, any day, any reputable newspaper. And the assertive proponent?

Clearly, there has to be some implicit agreement to ignore the clear, disturbing links to the proposed TPP.

As the US President, like a latter day Admiral Perry, seeks to ‘force open markets’ – to spare the vulnerable world from being victims of the malevolent Chinese – and, as a consequence, earn ‘plaudits’ to be received in his subsequent career path to greater wealth, others have been having a closer look at this desperation in an increasingly erratic and creaky US to secure, force passage, and passage to controllable markets (and, increasingly elusive, economic growth).

The foregoing has set the context for this Chris Hedges offering, illuminating reading, Marx Was Right.
Lest the thought of an abstruse Marx be a deterrent, Hedges simplifies to encourage thought, contemplation and action to move to a world less subordinate to a still grasping oligarchic class,

Marx warned that in the later stages of capitalism huge corporations would exercise a monopoly on global markets. “The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe,” he wrote. “It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere.” These corporations, whether in the banking sector, the agricultural and food industries, the arms industries or the communications industries, would use their power, usually by seizing the mechanisms of state, to prevent anyone from challenging their monopoly. They would fix prices to maximize profit. They would, as they [have been doing], push through trade deals such as the TPP and CAFTA to further weaken the nation-state’s ability to impede exploitation by imposing environmental regulations or monitoring working conditions. And in the end these corporate monopolies would obliterate free market competition.

[bold added for emphasis]

To increase scepticism, and to put to work some healthy critical thinking, a prescription, patent-free, of Baker, Hedges and this from the Intercept that is indicative of moral probity in the US Congress is just what the doctor would order.

That laudable intervention of the US Sen Warren, so immediately calumnied by a very senior colleague so petulant and so confidently inexperienced, points to the inescapable conclusion that a prompt arrival of the Deus ex Machina of the ascendant China with Russia and the other BRICS members is critical for a peaceful, healthy, prosperous and less inequitable world.


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