Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘shrouded in secrecy

Of Bats, Bees and Capitalism: The Two insurmountable contradictions…

The motto of Neo-liberal capitalists is: “Economical Factors that can be monetarily evaluated should be considered as Capital to be plundered

You read that the economists have lately estimated that Nature can extend worth of 54,000 billion per year on services rendered . What that means?

That concept of valuing the various services that nature are saving the corporations was first contemplated in 1997 by Robert Costanza, and the studies multiplied since then. For example:

Bats save $23 bn per year in the US on pesticides

Bees and pollinating insects save $190 bn per year.

You read that daily transactions amount to over what all nations produced in GNP for an entire year. What that means?

The neoliberal capitalists have been trying hard to eliminate the notion of “value of work” and replace this term with “circulation of capital” as the main wealth generating factor, sort of connecting work with exchange value and disconnecting human work as a significant value.

Neo-capitalists want to equate value with everything that can be transformed into capital, including knowledge, talents, health care, education, potable water, breathable air… Everything that maintain life and the survival of mankind has to be taxed and “capitalized”…

To that end, multinational corporations and financial institutions are giving their best shots for handicapping States sovereign power for enacting laws that safeguard the best interest of their people.  Like How? Allowing multinationals to sue States at an international commerce tribunal for laws that are not to the corporations interests…

It turns out that it has very little to do with meaningful human freedom, and rather a lot to do with corporate freedom – the freedom of corporations to extract and exploit without hindrance.

“Free trade” agreements such as North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the latest Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), focus primarily on battering down import barriers, curbing labour unions, reducing restrictions on pollution, legalizing capital flight, cutting corporate taxes, eliminating state subsidies for local industries, privatising public assets, and extending foreign patent protections.

None of these measures have to do with enhancing human freedom. Rather, they are designed in the interests of multinational corporations, who through them gain access to new export markets and investment opportunities, and cheaper labour and raw materials.

The disturbing thing about the rhetorical strategy of “free trade” is that the very things that do promote real human freedoms – such as the right of workers to organise, equal access to decent public services, and safeguards for a healthy environment – are cast as somehow anti-democratic, or even totalitarian.

This term of freedoms in Free trade is an obvious propaganda term, a form of Orwellian doublethink that means exactly the opposite of what it claims.

The constraints are reframed as “red tape”, as “market interventions”, or as “barriers to investment”, even when, as is almost always the case, they have been won by popular grassroots movements exercising democratic franchise

In two new “free trade” deals that are about to come into effect: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which will govern trade between the US and the European Union, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which will govern trade between the US and a number of Pacific nations.

We hear very little about these deals because they are shrouded in secrecy, and because six of the corporations leading the negotiations happen to control 90 percent of our media.

Yet, we need to pay attention, because these deals are set to form the blueprint for a new global order.

In addition to battering down import tariffs and privatising public services, the latest trade agreements grant corporations the power to strike down the laws of sovereign nations. You read that right.

Neo-capitalism has created two contradictions that is handicapping any progress in sustainability of nature and mankind.

1. The devaluation of the human workforce has generated s surplus in production in the industrial sectors. The consequences were acute rates of unemployment in almost all the industrialized nations, reduction in social protection level (health, unemployment pay, retirement, schooling…), and a  terrible growth of  wealth inequality and life-styles…

2. The infinite accumulation of capital is confronting earth natural limitations: destabilization of eco-systems, diminishing of natural resources that cannot be regenerated, degrading biodiversity, generating multiple polluting calamities (rivers, air, soil…), and climate change…

Neo-liberal capitalism is dealing with two contradicting challenges:

1. Cannot exploit human labor beyond a certain level of no return without ruining the potential for further expansion

2. Cannot transgress nature limitations in massive exploitation without destroying the basis of material accumulation…

These two inseparable and insurmountable contradictions between human labor and nature limitations have forced the multinational corporations, particularly the financial multinationals, to drop their previous illusions of auto-sufficiency and  endogenous source of value

A new “explicit” dimension of value is taking roots: Knowledge in the production process or the Cognitive Capital.

Question: How knowledge and what kinds of knowledge may modify the meaning of value?

Knowledge in all fields of study and applications is a collective endeavor and imposing high fees on license, trademark and corporation registered patents are extreme barriers that handicap the emerging nations to contribute effectively to word wealth sustainability…

Only applied knowledge in production can be exploited as exchange value, but never the spirit of acquiring knowledge…

Obviously “feeling good” attitude and having hope for a better future are not in the capitalism vocabulary to quantify in their economic models, or the multiple interactions among the economic factors that tell the real story for a sustainable environment to mankind.

Note 1: Post inspired by the article of Jean-Marie Harribey in Le Monde Diplomatic #717 under “Of bats and capitalism

Note 2: Read part 1

Note 3: On Free Trade Agreements




June 2023

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