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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/13/09


By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   4 comments
Message Kent Welton
         “The financial and economic crisis now upon us is by far the most menacing of the past century - even more so than the Great Depression of the 1930s. It is not just a "subprime" crisis; it is systemic - affecting the entire financial system. It is also global, affecting various countries in various ways but affecting them all. In achieving a certain "globalization", we have been uniquely successful in globalizing collapse, chaos and misery. It is a globalization which, in our short-sighted negligence, we never envisaged.”
                                              James Cumes 

      Globalization has been a dismal failure, a fascist pathway to global oligopoly and oligarchy – i.e. the worst of worlds seeing a tearing away of necessary trade balancing mechanisms for disparate nations to remain viable and responsible for their local economies, as well as an idiotic attempt to use currencies rather than tariffs to balance trade.
       Everything GATT-NAFTA proposed and created served the interests of multinational corporations and not local economies, democracy or the interests of the vast wage-earning majorities around the world. 
       Remember that “protectionism” is not the cause but always the necessary response to capital’s ruination of economy and freedom, both yesterday and today.  The Great Depression was a result of the same private central bank “FED” monetary policies and deregulation creating a horrific boom-bust.  As Ben Bernanke said of the Fed’s role in the Great Depresssion: “yes, we did it.”  
      But capital will always inform you that Smoot-Hawley was the cause in order to take the heat off “our” central bank.   In fact, all Smoot-Hawley did was to let demand be filled locally rather than globally.  Aggregate demand did not change so much as product demand was simply fulfilled internally, thus keeping jobs and capital local rather than exporting a nation’s capital as the US has done – all to leave us abjectly dependent on a totalitarian “capitalist” regime.  To see the real "trade" picture you have to match trade statistics with local supply and demand statistics or you're only telling one side of the story.
       So where is the mea culpa from the free traders who got us into this mess – against the wishes and wisdom of the vast majority of American people when GATT-NAFTA regimes were proposed and railroaded over their objections?  Well, they're just starting to come forward.
      In any case, to get out of this new depression mess now requires a rebuilding of local economies. To accomplish this task we must suspend GATT-NAFTA rules or gut them entirely - and rebuild a democratic trade regime reflecting the will of the wage-earning majorities around the world.  Imagine that, a democratic trade regime where the people elect their representative!
       We’ve had enough of capital’s predation over labor and extortion of democracy – we’ve paid mightily with our lives, our freedom, our budgets, our health, and our democracy. 
      These is no way countries are going to export their way out of this crisis. It is domestic demand which must be re-stimulated.  Economies must be re-built from the local to the regional to the global, and not the other way around.   Globalization as we know it is sick and despotic monoculture... its a disease, a weakening of diversity, a collapse of freedom of culture and economy – its the psychopathology of capital.   Capital Uber Alles.
      One method to give local production a small break would be to introduce Distance Tariffs – a tariff carbon tax on containers traveling thousands of miles to market and competing with local products traveling 10-100 miles. We are then reducing the subsidization and ruination of our world via fossil-fuel driven trade which not only rewards the greater distance polluter but also the greater slave in terms of human rights, wages, standards and lack of democracy.  This is sick, corrupt and ruinous "free" trade.   
      The GATT-NAFTA regime must go or global fascism will emerge even stronger than it is today, and all talk of freedom and democracy is sheer nonsense. 
       Free trade... make that democratic trade... and and we will see more localization restoring true economic freedom, diversity, and democracy.
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