Voltaire Network
Themes

Economic globalisation

The theory of "free trade", appearing in the 18th century, was initially formulated to prevent the Dutch from closing their colonial empire to English commerce. It served as the political rationale for British colonial expansion, imposing an international division of labor that revealed itself to be much more effective for pillaging resources than the colonial system itself.
In 1941, the Anglo-Saxons devised, as an aim of the war, a shift from the prevailing mode of colonial exploitation to that of unequal exchange in the aftermath of victory over Nazi tyranny. The Atlantic Charter promoted decolonization, free trade and freedom of the seas. This model was formalized in 1947 with the GATT Agreements. This was reinforced during the Reagan-Thatcher era by a vast movement of privatization and deregulation.
In 1991, President Bush announced his vision of a new world order: globalization. The objective was to fill and profit from the void created by the disappearance of the USSR and extend Anglo-Saxon domination in a manner that closely twinned economic and military expansion.
The new model encompassed not only the free trade of goods but also of services and capital, to be regulated by an arbitrating tribunal that would constrain the sovereignty of individual states, which is today embodied in the World Trade Organization.
In the 21st century, this on-going process has led to the dematerialization of the world economy. Favoring the expansion of military-related industries while manufacturers of domestic consumer goods shut down, the Anglo-Saxons created an economy based on "financial products’ (meaning speculation) and the profits derived from "intellectual property" (so called "fair use"). They extended their control over the free trade of goods and services in air space using the "war on terror" as a pretext and over the seas under cover of a "war on piracy". In the meantime, however, the exorbitant costs of the neocolonial occupation of Iraq in 2003 nearly brought about the complete financial collapse of the empire.
At this point, President Obama and Prime Minister Brown attempted to save the system by eliminating foreign financial positions thus compelling capital to migrate in the direction of an Anglo-Saxon fiscal paradise. Additionally, Western governments have in a concerted way placed their means of public finance entirely in the hands of a small number of private banks. As a result, these are now in a position not only to avert collapse but also to acquire firms as they spiral into failure, accelerating the already gigantic concentration of riches.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
«Current Concerns», n°5, February 21st, 2017
Free trade and protectionnism
270. Free trade and protectionnism Zurich (Switzerland) | 21 February 2017
Why free trade is not always an advantage ...and why protectionism can also mean protection, by Karl Müller / Germany threatened by currency war, by Sebastian Müller and Heiner Flassbeck / Export surpluses: blessing or curse?, by Eberhard Hamer / 500 years of reformation, or when the elites ignore the people. Speech given by Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer / The “wrong” opinion before the election campaign. Censorship in Germany? / News from Federal Berne. Alternative draft to the “Rasa-Initiative”: legislative process by consultation is in progress, by Marianne Wüthrich / Gender – theory or re-education programme?, by Gerlinde Höschter / The refugees are to be prepared to rebuild their country, by Roland Hureaux / “There is no use in altitude training” – but no way! The attack on altitude training was a barrel burst, by Heini (...)
 
Behind the bipartisan wall
by Manlio Dinucci
Behind the bipartisan wall Rome (Italy) | 28 January 2017
Extending the Wall separating the United States and Mexico: the Western press condemns it, leaving no ground for appeal. Manlio Dinucci on the other hand, recalls that far from resulting from a desire to protect and [erect barriers], it is the product of a policy to globalize [and dismantle barriers]. This construction is a bi-partisan project, initiated by Bill Clinton, followed up by George Bush Jr and then by Barack Obama. Dinucci observes that it is NAFTA not the Wall that is responsible for the devastating effects that have rippled through Mexican society. NAFTA was conceived as a bridge between the three signatory states. It is a treaty which strives to broaden the normal process of delocalization yet carries the risk of poverty spreading [like an Albertan wildfire] in Mexico and then the United (...)
 
«Current Concerns», n°24, November 7th, 2016
Money to make money ?
261. Money to make money ? Zurich (Switzerland) | 8 November 2016
The financial industry, by Heini Lippuner / How the Walloon Parliament discussed the CETA issue - Minutes of the parliamentary debate / “Under Hillary Clinton, we could slide into nuclear war very quickly” / Escalation including nuclear potential / However, if Germany would not join the US war policy… and if there were a little more truth in dealing with Russia, by Karl Müller / “Stop the siege of the Syrian People! Lift the International Sanctions on Syria”. A Humanitarian Appeal from the Patriarchs of Syria to the International Conscience and the Concerned Countries / Curriculum 21 – resistance is growing. Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) causes educational disaster and ruins Switzerland as an educational location / For the maintenance of marriage and the strengthening of the family. Cantonal People’s Initiative «Protection of marriage», by Marianne Wüthrich / Constitutional considerations about the initiative “Protection of Marriage” / Growing up in the mountains, (...)
 
 
 
 
 
Current Concerns, n°12, May 30th, 2016
TTIP
250. TTIP Zurich (Switzerland) | 13 June 2016
TTIP – arbitration courts – an assault on democracy and the state of law. Human Rights compatibility of investor-state arbitration in international Investor-Protection Agreements, by Alfred de Zayas / “It is time for Europe to return to its own culture”. EFTA free trade versus globalisation made in USA, by Dieter Sprock / TTIP or the entrenchement of US hegemony in Europe?, by Stefan Haderer / The Greek tragedy, next act. Torture without purpose and sense, by René Zeyer / Brazil – misled, humiliated and robbed. Knocked back for decades in its development shortly after the Government was overthrown / How Angela Merkel is dismantling the CDU – and why this should concern all Germans, by Karl Müller / CETA shall apply already “preliminary”, by Eberhard Hamer / Putting the person back in the centre of medicine, by Nicole Duprat / Eugenic “Dreams of Genetics”, by Moritz Nestor / Federalism and direct democracy in the Swiss school system. On the popular vote about three education-bills in the (...)