Yesterday (Lö 16.04.), as part of Suomen Sosiaalifoorumi, I took part in a workshop about ways how to stop TTIP and CETA; today Torbjörn Kevin wrote in Hbl in rather clear terms that we have in fact an attempt at an economical-political revolution to deal with (in other words an attempt of Big Money to grab the power over the whole political system). Most of the readers of this blog will not like this, myself I certainly do not, but, WHAT TO DO ?
Demonstrations are quite nice, but most of those who do not themselves participate will mostly be just a bit curious or also amused and will mostly not give the matter any second thought once the demonstration has passed; thus, demonstrations may have their uses for recruiting and motivating some people, but mostly they will be insufficient to bring about political change. Writing letters to newspapers has that advantage that the letters will appear in a large number of copies and have a chance to come to the attention of people who at least may be in the habit of reading anything at all; but the head editors can of course at any time declare the discussion to be closed, and if the papers are anyway not writing so very often about these matters most readers’ interest will not easily be sufficiently aroused for any action (the TTIP etc. negotiators are presumably very well aware how important it is for their intentions to avoid getting into any headlines – and the editors of the media are lazy and/or obedient enough to let things go the negotiators’ way). During the workshop somebody was stressing the importance of talking to the politicians face-to-face – to which one can only say yes, very good, but who knows any politician so well that one will ever get into the situation where one really can discuss with her/him so far that one gets afterwards any more than the usual smile & warm handshake (and NEVER EVER anything further)? But by all means, if somebody really does know a politician well, certainly let her/him try with the very best effort. Still, altogether it does not look good.
In spite of my just-expressed pessimism, I am afraid there is not so very much which one can try aside of writing letters to the media (this is MY attempt to write a letter to THIS medium, namely the blog of Tigern, but anybody who can express her/himself in Finnish or Swedish should of course write to further-spread media). And what and how to write then? I think it would be good to start with a display of a positive attitude: it is, after all, not really any bad or criminal idea to simplify the bureaucracy which is mixing up the international trade (it would be quite a relief for a Finnish firm if it could start selling its products in the USA without having to hire one or a few of those expensive US lawyers before being able even to begin selling). But, during the negotiations how to simplify, quite a number of big international firms have been allowed to give their advice, and after our experiences with, among others, tobacco, fossil fuel and pharmaceutical firms we simply KNOW that at least such firms have NOT our well-being at heart (but just their profits – any surprise there?). Further, we should not forget that it is just the USA with whom we have to deal in this matter, and there is to be pointed out that (a) the top 0,1 % of the US society own as much as the poorer 90 %, (b) this big money has a very clear tendency to try and help the Republican party to power (presumably because this party does not show tendencies to tax the rich), (c) we are experiencing right now what type of presidential candidates the US Republican party is producing (perhaps to the dissatisfaction of the party establishment, but the support for Trump, and Cruz, can be seen as a direct result of the obstructionist and polarizing policy the party has been pursuing), and even if the next election should not produce a Republican president, there will every 4 years be an acute danger that it might, (d) we know our own politicians and their abject submissiveness to anything any US government wants (or JUST MIGHT want), (e) we can be sure that US governments will usually show a strong tendency to act ”in the American interest” (which at least a Republican government will mostly equal with the interest of US Big Money). Somewhat shorter formulated: all the same what the text of a TTIP agreement says on paper, everything will be re-interpreted to the disadvantage of European citizens as soon as a US government clearly demands it. Thus, the details of the negotiations which have meanwhile become known are bad enough, but that is still as nothing compared to what will happen afterwards, considering our politicians’ submissiveness and the type of government the US political system has an obvious tendency to produce. Thus, simply let TTIP, CETA etc. be! Quite some trade has been going on already up to now, quite without those.
And if our politicians should really go ahead with those contracts (as they certainly show a tendency to do), a very last resort might be to drag them to court: if somebody is in secret negotiations handing over large amounts of power over a nation’s citizens to foreign decision makers it is commonly called TREASON. Well, capital punishment is meanwhile abolished even for treason, but we can hope that also years behind bars will be felt as uncomfortable by our decision makers …