So in short, the US proposals would allow companies to avoid national laws and regulations, making it easy to avoid prosecution when they violate civil rights (mainly privacy) or the interests and well being (both financial and physical) of their customers through negligence or outright fraud. In addition it would also create a doorway to circumvent net neutrality in the future.
Yea, its a lovely deal for the powerful. I cant see why they wouldn’t agree to it themselves. Fair play to them.
As for the rest of us… maybe not so good.
Is this something that can threaten the coming SAFE network?
That’s all I care about / want to know
With respect to privacy protections, the leaked text reveals that the U.S. negotiators are pushing for new corporate rights for unrestricted cross-border data flows and prohibitions on requirements to hold and process data locally, thus removing governments’ ability to ensure that private and sensitive personal data is stored and processed only in jurisdictions that ensure privacy.
To me that looks like a pretty serious step toward megacorps winning the war with nation-states as to which of them will be the fundamental institutions. While its true that the Westphalian style nation-state system has not done a terribly great job at running the world, the megacorps represent (at best) profit-driven oligarchies. Therefore, this likely comes under the heading of a Very Bad Thing.
Probably not, at least in the short-term. In fact, the mega-corps attempts to weaken the nation-state system may inadvertently create more space for other alternatives to nation-states, which certain aspects of SAFE certainly are.
Trying to make the piece of shit marshal law patriot act global- trying to keep the 911 fraud alive. They always want to elevate this stuff but some day a disagreement will have a block member like the EU stand up and say its vacating it participation in all treaties and agreements and the whole thing will crumble with the precedent of a single objector. Its hard to break to agreements that help people but when you roll back corrupt bull shit people feel it was just in the nic of time.
Shut them down is a two step process. Transparency followed by outlawing media sponsorship in all forms. Its a basic matter of conflict of interest.
@Warren, You are more optimistic than I. There are so many people who stand to gain from these kinds of unjust agreements. I sometimes despair of finding a way out of the narrowing of civil freedoms without violence.
You are aware nation states ARE corporations right? You are aware you are all being bought and sold on the stock market right? You are aware that the moment your parents created your birth certificates to get al yl those nice stgovernment benefits you were sold into slavery and became a legal asset to the corporation of your given nation. Canada the “United States of America”, Scotland, England, whatever, these so called “nation states” are all corporations with their own stocks and bonds and the people? The people are commodities, moo.
Spot on…summed up the problem.
The info is out there about this kind of stuff
Book: Censored 2015: Inspiring We the People; The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2013- 2014
Audio: Extended interview with Peter Phillips about this Book Excerpt
Book Excerpt: Financial Core of the Transnational Corporate Class
In this study, we decided to identify in detail the people on the boards of directors of the top ten asset management firms and the top ten most centralized corporations in the world. Because of overlaps, there is a total of thirteen firms, which collectively have 161 directors on their boards. We think that this group of 161 individuals represents the financial core of the world’s transnational capitalist class. They collectively manage $23.91 trillion in funds and operate in nearly every country in the world. They are the center of the financial capital that powers the global economic system. Western governments and international policy bodies work in the interests of this financial core to protect the free flow of capital investment anywhere in the world.
A Brief History of Research on the American Power Elite
A long tradition of sociological research documents the existence of a dominant ruling class in the United States, whose members set policy and determine national political priorities. The American ruling class is complex and competitive, and perpetuates itself through interacting families of high social standing with similar lifestyles, corporate affiliations, and memberships in elite social clubs and private schools.1
The American ruling class has long been determined to be mostly self-perpetuating,2 maintaining its influence through policy-making institutions such as the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council, Business Roundtable, the Conference Board, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Council on Foreign Relations, and other business-centered policy groups.3 These associations have long dominated policy decisions within the US government.
In his 1956 book, The Power Elite, C. Wright Mills documented how World War II solidified a trinity of power in the US that comprised corporate, military, and government elites in a centralized power structure motivated by class interests and working in unison through “higher circles” of contact and agreement. Mills described how the power elite were those “who decide whatever is decided” of major consequence.4 These higher-circle decision makers tended to be more concerned with interorganizational relationships and the functioning of the economy as a whole, rather than with advancing their particular corporate interests.5
The higher-circle policy elites (HCPE) are a segment of the American upper class and are the principal decision makers in society. Although these elites display some sense of “we-ness,” they also tend to have continuing disagreements on specific policies and necessary actions in various sociopolitical circumstances.6 These disagreements can block aggressive reactionary responses to social movements and civil unrest, as in the case of the labor movement in the 1930s and the civil rights movement in the 1960s. During these two periods, the more liberal elements of HCPE tended to dominate the decision-making process and supported passing the National Labor Relations and Social Security Acts in 1935, as well as the Civil Rights and Economic Opportunities Acts in 1964. These pieces of national legislation were seen as concessions to the ongoing social movements and civil unrest, and were implemented instead of instituting more repressive policies.
However, during periods of threats from external enemies, as in World Wars I and II, more conservative/reactionary elements of the HCPE successfully pushed their agendas. During and after World War I, the United States instituted repressive responses to social movements, for example through the Palmer Raids and passage of the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918. After World War II, the HCPE allowed and encouraged the McCarthy-era attacks on liberals and radicals and, in 1947, passage of the National Security Act and the anti-labor Taft-Hartley Act. In the past twenty-five years, and especially since the events of 9/11, the HCPE in the US has been united in support of an American empire of military power that maintains a repressive war against resisting groups—typically dubbed “terrorists”—around the world. This war on terror is much more about protecting transnational globalization, the free flow of financial capital, dollar hegemony, and access to oil, than it is repressing terrorism. Increasingly, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a partner with US global dominance interests.7
The Transnational Capitalist Class
Capitalist power elites exist around the world. The globalization of trade and capital brings the world’s elites into increasingly interconnected relationships—to the point that sociologists have begun to theorize the development of a transnational capitalist class (TCC). In one of the pathbreaking works in this field, The Transnational Capitalist Class (2000), Leslie Sklair argued that globalization elevated transnational corporations (TNC) to more influential international roles, with the result that nation-states became less significant than international agreements developed through the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international institutions.8 Emerging from these multinational corporations was a transnational capitalist class, whose loyalties and interests, while still rooted in their corporations, was increasingly international in scope. Sklair wrote:
The transnational capitalist class can be analytically divided into four main fractions: (i) owners and controllers of TNCs and their local affiliates; (ii) globalizing bureaucrats and politicians; (iii) globalizing professionals; (iv) consumerist elites (merchants and media). . . . It is also important to note, of course, that the TCC and each of its fractions are not always entirely united on every issue. Nevertheless, together, leading personnel in these groups constitute a global power elite, dominant class or inner circle in the sense that these terms have been used to characterize the dominant class structures of specific countries.9
William Robinson followed in 2004 with his book, A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class, and State in a Transnational World.10 Robinson claimed that 500 years of capitalism had led to a global epochal shift in which all human activity is transformed into capital. In this view, the world had become a single market, which privatized social relationships. He saw the TCC as increasingly sharing similar lifestyles, patterns of higher education, and consumption. The global circulation of capital is at the core of an international bourgeoisie, who operate in oligopolist clusters around the world. These clusters of elites form strategic transnational alliances through mergers and acquisitions with the goal of increased concentration of wealth and capital. The process creates a polyarchy of hegemonic elites. The concentration of wealth and power at this level tends to over-accumulate, leading to speculative investments and wars. The TCC makes efforts to correct and protect its interests through global organizations like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the G20, World Social Forum, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, Bank for International Settlements, and other transnational associations. Robinson claimed that, within this system, nation-states become little more than population containment zones, and the real power lies with the decision makers who control global capital.11
Deeper inside the transnational capitalist class is what David Rothkopf calls the “superclass.” In his 2008 book, Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making, Rothkopf argued that the superclass constitutes 6,000 to 7,000 people, or 0.0001 percent of the world’s population.12 They are the Davos-attending, Gulfstream/private jet–flying, money-incrusted, megacorporation-interlocked, policy-building elites of the world, people at the absolute peak of the global power pyramid. They are 94 percent male, predominantly white, and mostly from North America and Europe. Rothkopf reported that these are the people setting the agendas at the G8, G20, NATO, the World Bank, and the WTO. They are from the highest levels of finance capital, transnational corporations, the government, the military, the academy, nongovernmental organizations, spiritual leaders, and other shadow elites. (Shadow elites include, for instance, the deep politics of national security organizations in connection with international drug cartels, who extract 8,000 tons of opium from US war zones annually, then launder $500 billion through transnational banks, half of which are US-based.)13
Rothkopf’s definition of the superclass emphasized their influence and power. Although there are over 1,500 billionaires in the world, not all are necessarily part of the superclass in terms of influencing global policies. Yet these 1,500 billionaires possess two times as much wealth as the 2.5 billion least wealthy people, and they are fully aware of these vast inequalities. The billionaires inside the TCC are similar to colonial plantation owners. They know they are a small minority with vast resources and power, yet they must continually worry about the unruly exploited masses rising in rebellion. As a result of these class insecurities, the TCC works to protect its structure of concentrated wealth. Protection of capital is the prime reason that NATO countries now account for 85 percent of the world’s defense spending, with the US spending more on military than the rest of the world combined.14 Fears of rebellions motivated by inequality and other forms of unrest motivate NATO’s global agenda in the war on terror.15
NATO is quickly emerging as the police force for the transnational capitalist class. As the TCC more fully emerged in the 1980s, coinciding with the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO began broader operations. NATO first ventured into the Balkans, where it remains, and then into Afghanistan. NATO started a training mission in Iraq in 2005, has recently conducted operations in Libya, and, as of July 2013, is considering military action in Syria. Superclass use of NATO for its global security is part of an expanding strategy for US military domination around the world, whereby the US/NATO military–industrial–media empire operates in service to the TCC for the protection of international capital anywhere in the world.16
The most recent work on the TCC is William K. Carroll’s The Making of a Transnational Capitalist Class (2010).17 Carroll’s work focused on the consolidation of the transnational corporate-policy networks between 1996 and 2006. He used a database of the boards of directors of the global 500 largest corporations, showing the concentrated interconnectedness of key corporations and a decreasing number of people involved. According to this analysis, the average size of corporate boards has dropped from 20.2 to 14.0 in the ten years of his study. Furthermore, financial organizations are increasingly the center of these networks. Carroll argued that the TCC at the centers of these networks benefit from extensive ties to each other, thus providing both the structural capacity and class consciousness necessary for effective political solidarity.
A 2011 University of Zurich study completed by Stefania Vitali, James B. Glattfelder, and Stefano Battiston at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology reported that a small group of companies—mainly banks—wields huge power over the global economy.18 Applying mathematical models—usually used to model natural systems—to the transnational corporations in the world economy, the study found that 147 companies controlled some 40 percent of the world’s wealth.19
Yes, and thats why in a certain sense, this doesn’t immediately matter. Its similar (in fact it may in fact be precisely the same thing) to the US voting about whether to “allow” the NSA to keep its surveillance programs, or the CIA its torture programs. The NSA and the CIA are going to keep their programs no matter what. The only thing that would change if the programs became legal is that the programs would be more efficient in the sense that the organizations involved wouldn’t have to invest time and energy keeping them secret/doing damage control.
In the same way, the people that are working on this treaty are gonna do substantially this, and the mega-corps are already such big players that they are in many really important ways functionally independent of the nation-states. This treaty is nothing new, and really its only function is to marginally increase the efficiency of the behavior it validates. On the other hand even small increases in efficiency in a global system have a pretty powerful absolute effect. That is to say that the systemic increase in efficiency will result in however many millions of people being specifically and directly harmed, and to them, this marginal increase is pretty damn important. But really this is just one layer of velvet being stripped away from the iron fist, and its the SAME iron fist as it was yesterday and as it will be tomorrow.
This is part of an ongoing process, which I called mega-corps becoming the “fundamental institutions.” And by fundamental institutions I mean essentially this:
…and for the underlying nuts and bolts view:
And once you understand, maybe play the debt game yourself
How to create your own Promissory Notes
I think Richard Wolfe has it right that more humane institutions including schools and work places are the place to start the reversal. Simple stuff. To me every employee should have the benefit of hourly, contract or salary depending on the context and the application which would benefit the employee most. Also I think all large firms, especially so called publicly held ones ought to be converted to full employee ownership but barring management from any ownership or options and divesting where management comes from the ranks- and with boards composed only of employees. Hell, get rid of management all together, its largely psychopathic and can be replaced with software,. Another step in getting rid of a useless TCC is removing any reasonable expectation of organizational secrecy. They cannot dominate opinion when their manipulations are live out in the open, their sponsorship fails to pay off because they’ve been made transparent.
The is nothing wrong with promissory notes. It is just bad when you fraudulently pretend they are equivalent to the underlying asset, then use violence to force people to accept them as settlement in court.
Are you referring to say, Federal Reserve notes or maybe commercial paper of some kind…I’m pretty new to this subject matter and how it fits into the overall ‘Debt based monetary system’
Thanks for that info - I got a Kindle version of the book and had a look at all the videos . . and then on to related videos etc etc . .
What did you make of Damon’s quit message?:
I’ll post the main points from his last post here:
Several people have asked why I stopped publishing. To answer the question, this will be my last post:
- As Bill Clinton basically said when asked why his administration had been so favorable toward China after beating up Bush in the campaign about it, sometimes we don’t know what we think we know until we’ve jumped into the ring.
- One reason I did jump into the ring was to run my own direct test to determine (a) whether change is possible, and (b) what people really want. I planned a 1-year test from the point I initially started publishing, but it took less than 9 months to conclude:
a. Change is not possible through journalism, the media, or online debates. Plus, as Chris Hedges says in Empire of Illusion, at this point it is impossible to bridge the divide between “a literate, marginalized minority and those who have been consumed by an illiterate mass culture.”
b. As I said in previous articles, IF we participate in the system, I’m not opposed to it at all. How could I be? I’d be a tyrant if I wanted to force hundreds of millions of people to change their behavior. And the fact is, that “IF” was answered long ago. We Americans have chosen the material benefits of being managed by the financial system for generations. We like demand-side freedom, i.e. choosing between Coke and Pepsi, but don’t want supply-side freedom. We like the supply-side to be taken care of for us. We love the benefits that come from it being imperially run — the credit card always works, the gas station is always open, our water faucets and light switches do what they’re supposed to do, the markets keep going up (oops…maybe not). All of our economic needs are outsourced to others, so we have the luxury of spending our time pursuing wants. And if these types of benefits are good for us, they’re good for the rest of the world. We have no moral authority to stand opposed just because we’re now going to lose our privileged position — a rather child-like perspective.
- Given #2, my only wish is that the system would be transparent. Like Carroll Quigley, I see no rational reason not to inform people so there are fewer caught on the wrong side of the tragedy and hope dialectic. That was the purpose of my last video — to simply explain what’s happening with a slightly different twist than the others who have described the same basic system.
- Putting all blame on the top of the system is biased and psychologically immature. Labeling a group “all bad” is an example of splitting — a primitive defense mechanism we tend to use to maintain an illusion of “all good” for ourselves, our country, our political party, etc. Some of my articles and videos intentionally played the splitting game because the media is designed to exacerbate splits, so if I wanted to pursue media work, I needed to play the game. But splitting is very harmful to society, so I will no longer do it. Moreover, as stated in #2, almost everyone contributes to the system so blaming only the top would be disingenuous.
- Given human nature and the inherent requirement for empires to grow (or die in defeat to another empire), we will have one type of imperial system or another as long as humans are in charge. All such systems are narcissistic in form, so it’s futile in my view to argue between different forms of narcissism.
When you get threats like at 23:12 of ‘The Way the World Really Works’ and it becomes life or death, you reappraise I guess.
When he made that series it was uploaded in individual videos over time and then all of a sudden, he pulled all the videos off of YouTube…gone. The Renaissance 2.0 videos did not get pulled.
Luckily they were saved by someone, who stitched them together into ‘The way the world really works’
If you then tie Damons ‘Capital Machine’ in with the ‘Fifth Column’ in Russia it tends to gel in a rather disturbing way…but maybe in a way he didn’t envisage i.e the capital machine being severely wounded.
Very very interesting stuff…
Very informative videos. Could Bitcoin or safecoin be considered a sovereign currency? I know it’s not from a country and safecoin is in its own ecosystem but they are both for the individual which to me is sovereign.
State licensed bank notes primarily.
From first principles, there is nothing wrong with choosing to accept a promise of a good, instead of the actual good. However, it is clearly not the equivalent and being forced to accept it at par is wrong.
The TISA stuff seems like a way to try to address Google’s problem with the EU and the EU attempting to enforce privacy rights. I don’t think Google succeeds because its model is simply unethical and plain wrong. It doesn’t get to profit from damaging people socially.
But in a sense for most of human evolution human’s haven’t been in charge and we haven’t had empire. This vertical top down thing is new. I’ve heard historians hold out hope that more horizontal forms of communication could level things out for us. And then there is the bit about “humans in charge.” Can we had it over to machines or automated systems in a way that wouldn’t be shallow game theory. Trustless DAOs?