– as world public opinion becomes a ‘second superpower’.
When we ask ‘who rules the world?’ we commonly adopt the standard convention that the actors in world affairs are states – primarily the great powers and we consider their decisions and the relations among them.
That is not wrong.
But we would do well to keep in mind that this level of abstraction can also be highly misleading.
States of course have complex internal structures and the choices and decisions of the political leadership are heavily influenced by internal concentrations of power – while the general population is often marginalized.
That is true even for the more democratic societies and obviously for others.
We cannot gain a realistic understanding of who rules the world while ignoring the ‘masters of mankind’ as Adam Smith called them: in his day the merchants and manufacturers of England – in ours multinational conglomerates – huge financial institutions – retail empires and the like.
In the contemporary global order the institutions of the masters hold enormous power not only in the international arena but also within their home states – on which they rely to protect their power and to provide economic support by a wide variety of means.
When we consider the role of the masters of mankind we turn to such state policy priorities of the moment as the Trans-Pacific Partnership – one of the investor-rights agreements mislabeled ‘free-trade agreements’ in propaganda and commentary.
They are negotiated in secret – apart from the hundreds of corporate lawyers and lobbyists writing the crucial details.
The intention is to have them adopted in good Stalinist style with ‘fast track’ procedures designed to block discussion and allow only the choice of yes or no (hence yes).
The designers regularly do quite well – not surprisingly.
People are incidental – with the consequences one might anticipate.
(ed:..chomskys’ thesis is proven by the current global outrage and demands for reform as a result of the revelations in the panama-papers of the elites/corporates evading paying tax by using tax-havens in places like new zealand.
..this is this ‘second superpower’ of public-opinion in action..
‘cos i think we all can see that there is no way the elites/corporates are going to be able to stuff this genie back into the bottle..
..the global-outrage is palpable from those who pay every cent of tax demanded..and who struggle..at the elites/corporates screwing us all over in this way..
(laughing all the way to their tax-havens – as it were..)
..there is no need for poverty/inequality in new zealand – there is the money for all those needs the government constantly tells us we ‘can’t afford’..
..it’s just a matter of getting those who are currently using these tax-havens to pay what they should..
..then of course there is the obscenity of how much money is being looted from the poorest countries by the kleptocrats running/exploiting/thieving from them..
..this also must be stopped..
..and this ‘second superpower’ chomsky defines will be satisfied with nothing less than wholesale global reform of the systems that allow this to happen…)