Free Trade Agreements, as presently conceived, are really global constitutions for global corporations. They are designed primarily to create a beneficial transnational habitat for corporations to grow and flourish in a World Economy because the fact is that corporations are no longer sedentary, but chase their resources, labour, and markets around the world. These FTAs are designed to provide a favourable business climate for investment and profit-taking. And no one, and not Mr. Trump, is going to command them to heal, sit, and stay.
Labour used to be the mobile social factor and the corporation (or capital) was the fixed or sedentary factor. This situation has reversed itself, and this fact is connected not only with “rootless capitalism” (as even the UK’s Conservative PM Theresa May put it), but also with the “Precariat” and what is called “job churn”. As a former IBM executive put it, “money knows no country”.
The former USSR had a great and admirable constitution. Constitutions are supposed to be the “law of the land”. Unfortunately, the Soviet constitution was mostly symbolic and pro forma, because the real constitution and the law of the land was contained in the regular economic “Five Year Plans”. These rotating Five Year Plans were the equivalent of terms of government in the electoral democracies, after which they were likewise, reviewed, or amended, or scrapped and replaced with another cycle of Five Year Plans.
Very much the same thing seems to be occurring with so-called “Free Trade Agreements”. These FTAs are taking the form of global political and economic constitutions which supersede national ones, much as the Soviet Five Year Plans superseded the Soviet Constitution. This was the “Trojan Horse” in the CETA deal that bothered Mr. Magnette and his Walloon government. These FTAs have served, in effect, as a usurpation of constitutional government — the equivalent of the Soviet Five Year Plans.
The process of globalisation, in the form presently pursued, quite literally generates “more heat than light”. Is that not evidently so? Climate change and globalisation are conjoined. Our present enthusiasts for the economic orthodoxy of global economic growth and the expansion of the realm of production and consumption have somehow managed to ignore the second law of thermodynamics.
Since it is not a question of reversing globalisation, but of transforming it through a “transvaluation of values” to overcome its more destructive tendencies — that is to say, reversing the relationship between heat and light so that it assumes more the character of the latter than the former — we’re obliged to consider how this alchemical process of value transmutation can be effected so that “more light than heat” can be the outcome.
As far as I’m concerned, Belgium’s Paul Magnette is an heroic figure. He has, almost single-handedly, tamed the rampaging bull of corporate globalisation and brought it to its knees, and has probably set a precedent for any future trade deals of this sort. If so, it effectively ends the era of neo-liberalism.
Today it was announced that a deal had been reached to overcome the impasse that prevented Belgium from concurring with the Comprehensive European Trade Agreement. A secondary Joint Interpretive Declaration was apparently leaked to the public that satisfied Mr. Magnette’s objections to CETA. And what’s in that Joint Interpretive Declaration is quite eye-popping, mainly for what it reveals about the initial and main text of the trade agreement, which really was “a bridge too far”.
It is Time. It is High Time. It is high time we interpreted the construction of the Anthropocene as the project of neo-liberal globalisation which is, in principle, the corporatisation of the Earth as the one World Economy — Earth Inc. — and this in the form of the universalisation of commerce and “the market mechanism” — of the Earth conceived as this single market mechanism itself, administered by the “Invisible Hand”. And it is also this Anthropocene that we know as anthropogenic “climate change”. It’s all conjoined.
The Anthropocene is the corporate form of the Earth, being realised through globalisation, although this is not the first time in history that it has been conceived as such. Presently, even though it is largely a technocratic construct, being corporate led and driven process, it is also informed by the irrational, by the implicit mythical and magical, or “return of the repressed” — even as “technocratic shamanism”.
I would like, with this post, to suggest a way of appreciating the Earth alternatively as other than a commercial entity or “global marketplace”, as I described it in the last post. And to do that, I would refer you to a video that DavidM linked to in an earlier posting called “The Illuminated Chakras” which described the serpentine energy and the human chakra system of the body, which I believe are aspects of the Earth’s own chakra system or of the “spheres”, and which may deepen our understanding of Nietzsche’s summons for us to “be true to the Earth” and to “become what we are”, for I believe he had a valid intuition about this. That is to say, to become what we are already implicitly is also a matter of being “true to the Earth”. As Rudolf Steiner once expressed it, we come to know Nature only through the body and as the body. But there may well be more to this than meets the eye.