Sunday, January 24, 2010

What Nation Do We Live In?

Perhaps a more accurate question would be, do we still have a Nation? So many Americans still wave the flag, and think of the United States as a cohesive set of states under an umbrella government run in Washington DC. I question whether that is still the case, or at least I wonder if these are the last days of such a Nation.

This week, the U.S. Extreme Court's ruling has gone a long way toward shifting the rule of our country from citizens to corporations. And this shift opens the door not just for U.S. corporations to control our electoral process - global corporations operating under shell companies in the U.S. will participate, too.

Find a map of the United States with a nice thick, black border surrounding the outer edges of our Nation. Now picture those borders dissolving away until you can't tell where the U.S. ends and Canada or Mexico begins. That's what is happening.

The Extreme Court's ruling is, (with apologies to Neil Armstrong), one giant leap for Corporate-kind. But it's by no means the first step in this process. There have been other developments setting the stage for the delegitimization of the United States, as well as other governments.

Plans have been proposed to create a North American Currency Union, which would abolish the U.S. Dollar and establish a currency called "The Amero".  To be fair, though this concept for some sort of North American Union has been the on the table in political circles for decades, government officials would deny that such a union has progressed past the planning stage.

However, one lynchpin in the plan to create a North American Union is more than idealist speculation: The NAFTA Superhighway. This link includes numerous well-researched articles about such plans, which would create a highway system inside the U.S. linking Canada and Mexico. Though the highway would be on U.S. soil, it would not be subject to U.S. law. Truckers transporting goods along the highway would be prohibited from belonging to any labor union. The ribbons of highway would operate much like many of the "free trade zone" gulags that corporations have established in Central America (which also are not subject to the laws of the countries in which they are located).

Workers on the superhighways would have no rights whatsoever, and would have to tolerate whatever wages and conditions decided upon by the North American Union (which would simply be a shell for a group of multinational corporations). The Bush administration was involved in plans to develop this highway back in 2006, and Texas Governor Rick Perry fought state legislators to begin development for some of the ports that would feed the superhighway.

The state of North Carolina's redesigned driver's license is "North American Union ready", and features a hologram of the North American continent on the reverse side. I just checked the back of my driver's license, and this hologram is proudly displayed in the lower right.

Most people don't realize it, but the international trade agreements already in place (like NAFTA and CAFTA) negate the domestic laws of the countries who have signed onto these agreements! Many efforts to improve labor conditions in the U.S. have been thrown out in court because the decisons made by the tribunals established by NAFTA trump our own laws.

We can continue to delude ourselves into thinking that we are citizens of a great nation governed by representatives that are still elected by the People (with the exception of the Extreme Court in the election of 2000), but that's no longer the case.

Our nation is quickly devolving into a shell operation that is controlled by multinational corporations, and the Extreme Court just gave those corporations a huge opportunity put the last nails in the coffin of U.S. sovereignty and democracy.

Don't expect this transformation to be drastic or speedy. It will be performed slowly, gradually and incrementally. The corporations will be clever enough to leave a facade that resembles a functioning government so most people won't notice until it's too late. It may already be too late, but I am holding out hope that it's not.

In considering the question "Which Side Are You On?", we must reconsider our notion of who comprises the parties on each "side". We can no longer view our struggles in terms of the U.S. versus another nation, or the U.S. versus some ridiculous abstract like drugs or terrorism. These conflicts are canards that have been manufactured by those in power in order to divide and conquer - and to distract us while they rob us of our collective power.

If there is going to be a battle or a struggle, it will take place between what I call the Corporatists (or Capitalists) and the Humanists. The Corporatists/Captialists are those "persons" (be they actual human beings or fictitious entities such as corporations) who place acquisition of material riches and profit above the welfare of human beings. The Humanists, are of course, those who put the common welfare of all human beings ahead of profit and material wealth.

The current imbalance of wealth, the looting of the Commons by big business, and the obliteration of national governments and entities via international "free trade" treaties illustrate the massive gains that have been made by the Corporatists in the last 3 decades.

What can we do to reverse this trend, to embrace our fellow man and band together in defiance of any organization that doesn't mind harming people in order to boost its profit margin? As of yet, I'm not sure how to answer this question, but I am sure that the time to act is now.

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