CETA – fait accompli against democracy

by Natacha Polony, France

“The day that the elites decide to meet the expectations of the people rather than to pocket the praise of the multinational companies, then the elites will no longer have to fear the rage they are so afraid of today.”

The day that the elites decide to meet the expectations of the people rather than to pocket the praise of the multinational companies, then the elites will no longer have to fear the rage they are so afraid of today.
“One million indicatives never produce an imperative,” said the mathematician Henri Poincaré. With this statement, he clarified that law should not be determined by the Fait accompli – the accomplished fact –, but by common good and by the will of the sovereign people in the republic. Already for decades, the supporters of free trade ideology have been trying to impose accomplished facts on us – which in France already led to the destruction of one million industrial jobs.
CETA, the EU’s free-trade agreement with Canada, has recently been ratified by the EU Parliament. Thereby the parliament once again proves to us that its members are no longer representing the population in the Western countries. On the crucial issues, they hastily make decisions opposing their voters wish, who have entrusted them with the mandate. (Remember: the Lisbon Treaty was ratified by 90% of the French parliamentarians, although it was, so to speak, a copy of the constitutional treaty rejected by 55% of the voters.) This time the Walloon resistance allowed the high priests of free trade, to present the hypocrisy of a re-negotiated contract. The Walloons only received a safeguard clause for their agriculture, as well as the promise that the European judges of the arbitration courts would be appointed by the Member States. This does absolutely nothing to alter the fact that the number of candidates for this task is far too small to prevent them from being subject to a market logic that is diametrically opposed to the interests of the peoples.
Of course, this ratification by the EU Parliament is not yet sufficient. The parliaments of the EU Member States and certain regional parliaments must also give their consent. However, it already permits the provisional application of various provisions. So, we already have the famous Fait accompli. When all farmers have committed suicide because they have been being ruined by the flood of 80,000 tons of beef and 75,000 tons of Canadian pork, it will be time to suspend the treaty. But the automobile manufacturers, the pharmaceutical laboratories and the large service providers are expecting high profits. What do some peasants matter, even if they are part of the country’s history and culture?

Ideology

Behind this choice there is an ideology: the increase in trade itself is a benefit for mankind. Imagine! It has been explained to us, that CETA will increase trade between the EU and Canada by 25%. What kind of trade? What is the quality of the traded products? Will they lead to a standardization of production and consumption between the participants? None of that matters, to trade, that is good. Producing what you consume is “outdated” and bad. The idea is alien to them, that many gradations exist between absolute self-sufficiency and the global division of labor, which these happy supporters of distortions of competition obviously care about. Either this ideology or chaos will ensue.
In fact, the danger is impressive: “protectionist” ideas are gaining ground in Europe. Stubborn minds insist on seeing what they see: destroyed jobs, the disappearance of farms, social dumping within the European Union and wild competition of countries that do not observe any standards …and they refuse to believe what the high priests of free trade ideology present to them: a wonderful future, bright prospects … What is worse, they even are dubious of the sacrosanct argument of competition. Or perhaps they realize that this incline plane is very slippery and that with their decent wages, their old age pensions and their social security they will never be sufficiently competitive with regard to half-slaves in the rest of the world. With their family businesses, their mountain farming, their local characteristics, they will never be sufficiently powerful compared to the Canadian agricultural factories ...

Blackmail

In short, they no longer allow themselves to be blackmailed. The most important freedom for them is not to be dependent on others for their basic needs. Because the worst fraud is to call it “encapsulation” or “isolation” when someone prefers to buy a product that allows his brother or neighbor to live off his work, that respects certain legal standards imposed by the state and thus by the people, instead of systematically looking for the cheapest, regardless of the ecological and human cruelties hiding behind this lower price. And since the poorest scarcely have this choice, protectionism gives to the state the opportunity to make this choice possible for them by compensating the different production conditions by taxes, standards and customs duties. This does not mean at all that there is no trade going on, but only that the conditions are freely chosen in order to be able to preserve one’s own identity with its peculiarities and its knowledge.
The day the politicians understand that all this is the transcription of their actual task, the day they decide to meet the expectations of the citizens instead of courting the approval of the media clergy and the praise of the multinational companies which they are busily servicing, then they will no longer have to fear the citizens’ anger, which scares them and which is stirred up by their cowardice.

Source: Le Figaro of 18.2.2017

(Translation Current Concerns)