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Slave or Free, a Tale of Trade Treaties

What you do or do not do will affect your children, and their children and their children.

The question being re-asked is: People over Property or Property over People? If we pick the wrong choice, we will stand to lose all those rights which we hold dear, and which are our only protection from government and private tyranny. As we will show, this is a worldwide problem, not limited only to Americans, so we suggest that everyone pay some attention.

We are all familiar with the concept brought into very public discussion by Occupy Wall Street: Inequality and the excessive financial gains of the 0.1%.

Having achieved such enormous wealth, one might have expected that their attempt at gains would rest there. But they never cease seeking advantage, because greed, especially their greed, knows no limits.

Let’s start by explaining the basis of this essay with reference to the US Constitution, a revolutionary document for its day. Afterward, we will discuss the general worldwide problem.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We’d summarize the items in this preamble as: Rule of law, Defense, General Welfare, and Liberty, for now and the future.

We’d note these are benefits for the people, and the people are considered Sovereign in the US:

at the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects…with none to govern but themselves; the citizens of America are equal as fellow citizens, and as joint tenants in the sovereignty.” CHISHOLM v. GEORGIA (US) 2 Dall 419, 454, 1 L Ed 440, 455 @DALL 1793 pp471-472

And

The people of this State, as the successors of its former sovereign, are entitled to all the rights which formerly belonged to the King by his prerogative. Through the medium of their Legislature they may exercise all the powers which previous to the Revolution could have been exercised either by the King alone, or by him in conjunction with his Parliament; subject only to those restrictions which have been imposed by the Constitution of this State or of the U.S.

A second part of the Rule of Law, as established after William the Conqueror in England, is the establishment of property rights, which are not expressly supported in the US Constitution:

It is sometimes suggested that the Founders did not consider property rights important because the term “property” was mentioned only once in the Constitution.
The truth is that the Founders were concerned about a range of human values, but property rights were high on their list

We’d observe that NOT having property rights was unthinkable, and is enshrined in “Rule of Law”. The omission was as deliberate as not mentioning that it rains.

Property rights just “were, a given” and were established and had been established for thousands of years.

If one were to question the concept of property rights, one would receive responses which indicate the questioner is an imbecile, either by persuasion or from mental illness. As a fundamental legal concept, it has been embedded in English law since the Normans conquered England in 1066. It has also been built into the laws of (former) British colonies.

In the US, property rights are so important that both the Democrats and Republicans expressly refer to them in their 2012 election platforms, in the summaries. There is absolutely NO disagreement across the political spectrum as to the necessity of property rights, along with the legislative support that property rights demand.

  • Republican
    1. Homeownership expands personal liberty, builds communities, and helps Americans create wealth.
    2. This worldwide explosion of trade has had a downside, however, as some governments have used a variety of unfair means to limit American access to their markets while stealing our designs, patents, brands, know-how, and technology—the “intellectual property”that drives innovation.
  • Democratic
    1. That is why Democrats are fighting to give every responsible homeowner the chance to refinance their home.
    2. We have taken steps to open new markets to American products, while ensuring that other countries play by the same rules….and fighting against unfair trade practices.

Both agree property ownership is important (as expressed in Homeownership), and needs Government protection (from foreign evildoers, for Intellectual Property rights).

Property rights are the ONLY item addressed twice in BOTH party platforms. Property Rights are also the foundation for wealth in this society.

Historically property rights devolved from the King or Emperor, and were enjoyed mainly by the aristocracy. The (Male) Aristocrats had people’s rights, and protected their rights; nearly everybody else was some form of chattel, either directly a slave, a serf or villein, a female, or indirectly a vassal or “commoner”.

Vassals had some rights, but not as many as an aristocrat. Serfs or Villein were considered slaves.

Property rights were very hierarchical. These rights flowed from the sovereign, through the nobility or aristocrats, in fee (paid property tax, ownership of land, down to the common man.

The US changed this, with the US Constitution. The People became Sovereign, and thus the People’s rights were superior to Property Rights; at least those people who were considered “free men or emancipated,” because women, minors and slaves, at first, were considered property.

We’d note, with some irony, in the US, male slaves became emancipated before women.

The majority of Emancipated people, now Sovereign, for the first time had rights which were superior by definition to “Property Rights.” Previous to the US Constitution the great majority of people were considered “property” in one form or another, and only a very small minority, the 0.1%, or aristocracy, actually possessed what we now call “people’s rights.”

Now to the Threat: The Attack on the Constitutional Guarantee of people’s Rights!

Perhaps you’ve wondered why our President has been pushing “Trade treaties” which are negotiated in secret, and which contain the seemingly innocuous phrase “Investor State Dispute System,” or “ISDS.” This is an interesting mechanism, whereby the laws of countries get bypassed, replaced by a system of arbitration which cannot be appealed. Unfortunately, the organizations which are in charge of this “legal Constitutional bypass” are not elected by the people of any country. They are employees of the organization which manages these treaties: a US Vassal, the World Bank.

Arbitrators, paid by Investors, have gained notoriety for appearing both corrupt and partial. They are NOT an independent Judiciary, paid by the state to render fair judgment under the law. ISDS Arbitrators first serve those who pay them, and bring them new cases to arbitrate. And these are the “investors.”

The protection given to the “investors” is profit protection, for both the current and theoretical future profits from their business. The “investors” are protected from the sovereign decisions (laws) of the people of the countries being brought into this arbitration scheme by this mesh of trade treaties. So, what are we really talking about, here?

Property rights, run amok. Investors are granted property rights which are SUPERIOR TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE SIGNATORY COUNTRIES. These property rights are used to generate profit; the property doesn’t have to be real estate – it can be in any form, including real property, a treaty , or some form of intellectual property, such as a license, trademark or patent. The arbitration panel typically decides in favor of the company or the investor, and against the country, even if the country’s laws have been violated by the company or the investor.

There have been many documented instances of large monetary awards against countries who are signatory to these treaties. laws of not-so-sovereign-now people and their government or states. The purpose of these awards is to provide a chilling effect, to prevent countries from enacting laws which protect their people, if those laws are likely to affect the “future profits” of the investors. PROPERTY RIGHTS SUPERCEDE the rights of the country and its people. These treaties CHANGE this, without any sort of Constitutional debate in Congress. These treaties deprive you of your Liberties: for example: if your speech hits on the potential future profit from “property rights,” these lawsuits could encourage countries to enact laws limiting “free speech.” It’s an end-run around the Constitutional protection of the sovereign rights of citizens. Sneaky.

Here’s a list of an Energy Industry Subset of these awards.

Wikipedia has active topics on the subject of ISDS here
.
We note: Any mechanism which can institute actions, fines and sanctions on a body which is normally considered Sovereign (e.g. a country), has effectively removed the Sovereignty from that body, without ever announcing it to the citizens of that country! Talk about a “quiet revolution!” Hence, the following question:
Who and what gains from ISDS process, and who loses?

First and foremost, especially in the case of the US, The People are no longer Sovereign. The treaty automatically acquires legal force equivalent to the Constitution, and modifies the Constitutional language guaranteeing that the People are sovereign, and therefore have rights superior to property rights.

Investors, primarily working for the 0.1 % are now sovereign (remember no appeals!)
These investors are protecting the proceeds from property rights — profits, and rent, over your rights and liberties.

Conclusion

These so called “trade treaties” are nothing of the sort. They are mechanisms, pushed and implemented by constitutional lawyers, to exploit a loophole (in this case, in the US Constitution,) to force Property Rights to be superior to People’s Rights.

The people thus become subservient to the 0.1% and their henchmen, which is just the first stage of the 0.1% regaining their ability to enslave the vassals (the rest of us), and continue their despoliation of the people of the world.

To those of you who do not live in the US, do not take comfort from your location. It was necessary for these people to attack the US Constitution first, because that document is the first and only document to elevate People’s rights above Property Rights. If Your country has signed one of those so-called “trade treaties” which are really intended to elevate property rights above the sovereign rights of countries, YOUR rights are in danger, too.

This is also the message of the Eurozone, wher the Troika is part of the property rights enforcement mechanism, and is busy subugating people to property rights.
People, do you want you and your children and grandchildren to become SERFS? Are you OK with that?

Here are some steps that your country can take to protect you and your families, and this is also recommendation to the PIIGS:

  1. Tell your government that you do not support these treaties, and that you do not want your country to sign any treaty which tries to force private arbitration in place of the country’s laws.
  2. Publicly fund elections, from precinct citizens to precinct representatives. Do not permit the 0.1% to buy elected representatives. Publicly measure the representatives’ performance against objectives set within their own precinct. This will help keep your government honest. If you do not have publicly-funded elections, whoever supplies the money to run the elections will have undue influence on the outcome of the elections, and the behavior of your representatives.
  3. Tax all property in the same progressive manner, Real Estate, Stocks, Bonds, Bank Accounts Balances, etc.
  4. Tax all income the same, whether it be income, dividends, interest, or passive earnings with the same progressive formula. Current systems discriminate against wages (labor) in favor of “investments” (capital).
  5. Erect a large Inheritance or Death Tax. Make people earn their wealth.

Protect your rights people, or have them removed from you. An example of this is featured in the Nestle Chairman’s rant on Water. He’s trying to gain control of water rights, to enable Nestle to be your (expensive) water supplier, and remove water supply either from wells on your property, or by privatizing city and town water supply systems. He’s also got a follow up puff piece here. Nestle believes in profits so much it encouraged, through advertising, the use of baby formula and untreated water in Africa, which killed babies in Africa, as a replacement for of breast feeding.

What you do or do not do will affect your children, and their children and their children.

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