Misnomers that hide what the strong and rich control — and aspire to control — help promote our world’s numerous political ills.
‘Spreading democracy’ in the Middle East and Africa has been used to excuse much slaughter – ruin and higher risks of wider war for purposes not remotely connected with democracy.
The designation ‘trade’ used by politicians and the media when talking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact and the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TPIP) agreement is another perfect example of a misnomer thanks to which a new shadow will be cast over the generally more fortunate parts of the world.
If signed and ratified the trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic agreements – which seek to organize business activity under one gigantic umbrella of new rules – are likely to change our living environment in ways very different from what elected officials have been misled to imagine.
They have been peddled as trade treaties and hence as being wonderful for economic growth – job creation – social well-being and general happiness.
But the TPP agreement which aims to tie the United States together with close to a dozen countries in Asia Oceania and a bit of Latin America is not in the first place about trade and may hardly be significant at all for stimulating genuine exchanges traditionally labelled that way.
The same is true for its TPIP companion which is meant to create and foster a new American-European business environment.
The TPP and TPIP accords are about power not trade.
More specifically the agreements are about changed power relations between a collectivity of politically well-connected large corporations and the sovereign states in which these entities want to sink new roots.
In particular these treaties would allow U.S. corporations to engage in conduct unchecked by national rules of the participating countries.
In eyes not fogged over through neoliberal dogma such a thing would be recognized as predation.