Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 





The WTO’s Last Gasp
Sunday, 17 August 2008 13:06
by Shamus Cooke

Most had already pronounced it dead, and were surprised to learn that the WTO had meet in a frenzied attempt to conclude its “Doha Round” negotiations. The prospects for wrapping up the deal were always slim, however, and now the WTO has lapsed peacefully back into coma. It was made official on July 29th, when it was announced that the trade talks had officially collapsed.

Doha has confirmed what everybody already knew: the WTO is dead. And although keeping a brain dead patient on life support is sometimes comforting, the plug must be pulled eventually. The US and the EU refused to lower agricultural subsides (for their giant Agri-corporations), while China and other emerging economies refused to open their markets wide enough (protecting their own mega-corporations) for the leading industrialized countries.

The WTO’s death rattle has reverberated throughout the ruling class and beyond. Stark warnings are being broadcasted. The once mighty optimism in the market economy has turned sour. The Economist, in a most foreboding tone, decried: “it is possible to imagine the world economy becoming less integrated. It has happened before: the fairly free world economy of the late 19th century was riddled with protectionism by the 1930s.”

Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.

And with this we get to the heart of the matter. Like the UN (itself experiencing terminal illness) the WTO was set-up after WWII with the intention of managing and minimizing economic disasters and consequent wars. It was understood that multilateral (international), free-trade was a precondition for a healthy capitalism, preventing trade blocs from forming that could lead to military confrontation.

When the economy is growing, this is easy to do. When a serious, global recession hits, free-trade is quickly tossed aside—an everyone for themselves attitude takes over. Protectionism in the form of trade blocs develops in an attempt to push the effects of the recession onto someone else.

And while many so-called liberals are whining about the sacredness of the “democratic” institutions of the WTO and UN, we must expose the lie and show its true class nature. The UN is controlled by the elitist Security Council— the same countries that pull the strings at the WTO. It is illustrative enough to mention that only 30 countries (out of 153) were invited to the current WTO negotiations. After creating a “model” agreement, the rich nations attempt to force it down the throats of the poorer ones. Even though every member country has a veto vote in the WTO, the poor countries know their place. After the last WTO talks collapsed, the poorer countries that rejected submissiveness were subsequently threatened by US politicians, who made it clear that they would be forbidden access to the all-powerful US market. Similar threats, though usually made behind the scenes, are the basis for this institution of democracy.

But even farcical democracies have their limits. The nations that once ruled the world with an iron first are losing their ability to intimidate and control the others. A block of recently-developed countries— China, India, Brazil, South Africa, etc— have used the WTO as a venue to flex their muscles. China in particular is using the WTO to expand its power at the expense of its rivals. The NY Times agrees: “The [WTO] discussions in Geneva have confirmed that the balance of power in global trade has shifted irrevocably with the rise of China.” The old powers—Europe, US, Japan, etc— are feeling their supremacy melt away; they are the ones who are abandoning the WTO for the calmer waters of bi-lateral and regional free-trade agreements.

These kinds of free-trade agreements now account for more than half of the world’s trade. The WTO’s demise has accelerated this process, which has the effect of making an already-slumping world economy worse; while heightening tensions between nations that were already strained.

The giant corporations — themselves owned by billionaires— are quickly driving the world towards greater and more destructive wars. The international institutions of stability that the mega-rich created for themselves— WTO, UN, IMF, World Bank, etc— have been discredited or self destructed. This is because the balance of power between countries has shifted dramatically, requiring new organizations to express the change. Historically, the process of “re-organization” requires the nastiness of war, the winners of which create international institutions to their fitting.

Economic superpowers do not simply forfeit their power, the basis of which is rooted in the economic system of capitalism. This system has, once again, outlived its historic usefulness, and threatens to return the world to the state of barbarism that it assured us could never happen again (the WTO was a key “insurance” company). Society cannot be run for the private profit of individuals without these periodic episodes of crisis and misery. Taking the control of social wealth out of private hands is society’s crucial task, a struggle guided by the ideas of socialist internationalism

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for the Workers International League (www.socialistappeal.org). He can be reached at shamuscook@yahoo.com
More from this author:
Obama and the War (2410 Hits)
by Shamus Cooke As Barack Obama's anti-war rhetoric is blasted around the country in his attempt to seal the Democratic nomination, his real...
Alternatives to Free-Trade: Fair Trade and Beyond (3472 Hits)
by Shamus Cooke The global debate around free-trade and its consequences has evolved tremendously in recent years, from tiny circles of leftist...
Will Obama Start the Next Trade War? (2043 Hits)
by Shamus Cooke While campaigning to be president, Obama gave the general impression that he would act “cooperatively” to solve...
Related Articles:
Last Sunday: Digging in and digging deep (9494 Hits)
by Robert Jensen [Remarks to the first in a series of “Last Sunday” community gatherings in Austin, TX, November 26, 2006.] ...
Capitalism first – climate last (11535 Hits)
by William Bowles I think it should be pretty clear to all by now that regardless that the ruling elites of the planet know what’s in store...
Tomgram: Biking with Donald Rumsfeld - Rumsfeld's Last Stand (14492 Hits)
by Tom Engelhardt Last week, someone slipped New York Times reporters Michael R. Gordon and David S. Cloud the secret memo finished by...
Last Bad Deal Gone Down: War Profits Trump the Rule of Law (7556 Hits)
by Chris Floyd This is my latest piece for Truthout.org. I. The Wings of the Dove Slush funds, oil sheikhs, prostitutes, Swiss...
One Last Chance for Sanity in Iraq (5438 Hits)
By Ramzy Baroud US President George W Bush's new war strategy due to be officially announced on Wednesday, which will likely meet an uphill...

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments (2)add comment

Wingnut said:

Collapsing of the pyramid scheme called capitalism
"Economic superpowers do not simply forfeit their power, the basis of which is rooted in the economic system of capitalism. This system has, once again, outlived its historic usefulness, and threatens to return the world to the state of barbarism that it assured us could never happen again (the WTO was a key “insurance” company)."

Hi. What makes you think that capitalism wasn't already barbaric? Its a felony pyramid scheme... packed with servitude, infested with inequality, dripping with "pay up or lose your wellbeing" felony extortion, and forces the 18 year olds into "join or die" (get a job rat-racing aboard the pyramid scheme, or starve). That's forced joining of the competer's church (capitalism), thus forced unjoining of the cooperator's church (Christianity/communes). Forced religion is also a felony.

See the pyramid scheme symbol on the back of the USA dollar bill? Sure ya do. Do a Google IMAGE SEARCH for 'pyramid of capitalist' and see the AmWay (American Way) pyramid scheme in full color. Pyramid schemes are EXACTLY like the pyramids we failed-at building as children in the farmyard. The upper 1/3 are "heads in the clouds" while the children on the bottom ALWAYS GET CRUSHED from the weight of the world's knees in their backs.

The capitalism pyramid scheme was doomed to failure from the get-go, and that's why many of us American's, as well as many non-Americans... refused to join the thing, and we stayed-with Christianity (sharing systems) instead. (We also see the pyramids in the dessert, reminding us to avoid pyramiding our Earth cohabitants.)

What would make the capitalism ownership'n'greenpaper rat-racing servitude'n'inequality slavery-system buy-ins... think it wouldn't eventually self-destruct? ALL pyramids collapse eventually... and capitalism is no different. OF COURSE capitalism will self-destruct... its an idiotic felony pyramid scheme... invented by long-ago-dead-of-old-age Free Masons and Illuminati control freaks. We American Christian socialists (commune lovers/economy abolishers) have been waiting for Collapse Day for a long time. "Pay up or lose your wellbeing" is an perfect replica of Chicago mob felony extortion. And we can all see the parental policy reversal from share share share, to fight fight fight, when American kids turn 18. We know 18 yr olds are getting "join or die"-sharktanked into joining capitalism. This happens because AmWay (capitalism) got the exclusive (legal tender) on the TYPE of survival coupons (money) allowed and accepted in supply depots (stores). That's discrimination against using survival coupons from OTHER religious organizations. VERY illegal. Almost all survival supplies, opportunities, and experiences, are now blockaded by AmWay-coupon-only rationing gates called "pricetags", and like money and "entitles of ownership", are a purely capitalism-invented thing. No other living creature on the planet... uses money, ownership, or pricetages. JUST capitalists.

The WHOLE SHEBANG of capitalism...is a felony, but the USA DOJ is asleep... and/or controlled by capitalism buy-ins. Unfortunately, servitude (slavery) is still legal and considered moral, in the USA. Its going to be a rough afterlife for those who wear such moral blinders.

Larry "Wingnut" Wendlandt
MaStars - Mothers Against Stuff That Ain't Right
Bessemer MI USA
August 17, 2008
Votes: +0

Alix said:

You should do a little more research into the WTO before writing such an article. You clearly do not know what you are talking about. For instance, the WTO was established in 1995. It was the GATT (an international treaty) that was signed shortly after the conclusion of WW2 in an effort to manage international trade and commerce and to guard against protectionism. I study international trade policy and to effectively convince the reader, you really need to do your homework instead of spouting off Marxist rhetoric left and right.
August 19, 2008
Votes: +0

Write comment
smaller | bigger



Top 123