48

Goodbye ‘Freedom and Democracy’ – Hello ‘Rules-based International Order’

Paul Carline

The banner and the clarion call of western countries, and their own asserted legitimation – especially when they are engaging in illegal wars and coups – used to be “freedom and democracy”: the precious gift they were generously and selflessly offering to a backward world – or one allegedly in the ‘chains’ of Socialism/Communism. There was “Radio Free Europe”, for example, pushing out western liberal propaganda, primarily against the countries of the former Soviet Union.

The Washington-based “Freedom House” organisation, which claims to be independent, has around 150 staff members in Washington and in ‘field offices’ around the world. Its President is Michael J. Abramowitz, who before joining Freedom House in 2017, was director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education. Before that, he was National Editor and then White House correspondent for the Washington Post. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former fellow at the German Marshall Fund and the Hoover Institution. He is also a board member of the National Security Archive. The Board of Trustees is chaired by Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush and co-author of the USA Patriot Act.

Since 1972, Freedom House, whose website sports a warm endorsement by none other than Francis Fukuyama, has produced an annual “Freedom in the World” global map (above), which divides the world into countries which are either “free”, “partly free”, or “not free”. The allegedly “free” countries are coloured green, the “partly free” ones a kind of muddy yellow, and the “not free” ones blue.

Its analysis of “freedom” covers “the electoral process, political pluralism and participation, the functioning of government, freedom of expression and belief, rights of association and organization, the rule of law, and personal autonomy and individual rights”. The word ‘democracy’ is not used in the ratings system, nor is it defined anywhere, but the 2018 analysis is headlined “Democracy in Crisis”.

According to Freedom House, in 2018 45% of the world (by country) or 39% (by population) was “free”, 30% (country) or 24% (population) was “partly free”, and 25%/37% “not free”. Countries are rated on a percentage points system. Sweden, which last year joined in the NATO ‘war games’ – despite not being a NATO member – is given a full 100 points, Canada 99, Uruguay 98, both Chile and the UK 94, France a completely undeserved 90, the USA 86 and Israel an unreal 79. By contrast, China scores 14, Iran 17, and Russia a mere 20, while Tibet and Syria are granted only 1 point each (no bias there). Almost incredibly, Ukraine scores 62 – allowing it to be rated as “partly free”! Very oddly, the FAQ section is available in only two languages – English and Ukrainian!

I suspect that the statement by Freedom House’s President, Michael J. Abramowitz, to the effect that: “A quarter-century ago, at the end of the Cold War, it appeared that totalitarianism had at last been vanquished and liberal democracy had won the great ideological battle of the 20th century”, must induce wry smiles – if not outright anger – in many Off-Guardian readers. Abramowitz predictably refers to “the rise of populist leaders who appeal to anti-immigrant sentiment and give short shrift to fundamental civil and political liberties” and describes “newcomer Emmanuel Macron” as a “centrist” who “handily” (interesting choice of words!) won the French presidency.

Depressingly predictable is his comment on China and Russia, which he labels “the world’s leading autocracies” and which he asserts “have seized the opportunity not only to step up internal repression but also to export their malign influence to other countries, which are increasingly copying their behaviour and adopting their disdain for democracy” (emphasis added; no mention of the massive ‘disdain for democracy’ in the USA, UK, and numerous members of the EU).

According to Abramowitz, “Democratic governments allow people to help set the rules to which all must adhere, and have a say in the direction of their lives and work!” If that were true, there would be lots of direct democracy in all those “free” countries. It’s true that there is some ‘direct democracy’, e.g. popular initiatives and referendums, in a few states of the USA and in a few European countries – with Switzerland far and away the best example, followed by Germany at the regional and local levels, thanks to the efforts over decades of its leading pro-democracy organisation “Mehr Demokratie”, which has been trying to have direct democratic rights established also at the national level, which would really allow the people to “help set the rules”. Germany’s “Basic Law” (it doesn’t have a proper constitution for reasons which I cannot go into here but which will be known to many) actually states: “All power derives from the people” (Article 20) and “State power is exercised by the people in elections and referendums” (emphasis added) – but successive governments have refused to enact the laws that would allow state-level referendums, presumably because they fear the “people power” that is the literal meaning of ‘democracy’.

Given subsequent developments, Kofi Annan’s 2001 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech now strikes a sour note:

“The obstacles to democracy have little to do with culture or religion, and much more to do with the desire of those in power to maintain their position at any cost. This is neither w new phenomenon nor one confined to any particular part of the world. People of all cultures value their freedom of choice and feel the need to have a say in the decisions affecting their lives”

In the 2002 UNDP World Development Report, Annan re-affirmed the true nature of democracy in these words:

“True democratization means more than elections. People’s dignity requires that they be free – and able – to participate in the formation and stewardship of the rules and institutions that govern them”.

According to Abramovitch’s definition, and that of Kofi Annan, there is zero genuine democracy in the U.K. (a purely representative system – especially one still using an outdated and wholly disreputable FPTP system, with rare referendums arranged by the government, which sets the question – is not a legitimate form of democracy).

We may also ask, in parenthesis as it were, who – if not the electorates – is “helping to set the rules”, for example in Europe specifically. As of July 2017, there were 11,327 registered lobby organisations in the EU, employing some 82,096 people – the equivalent of 50,326 full-time personnel – of which nearly 7,000 have access to the Parliament. In Germany there are around eight lobbyists – representing ‘outside’ interests – for every member of the national parliament – and the lobby registers are voluntary. Only seven countries (France, Ireland, Lithuania, Austria, Poland, Slovenia and the UK) have passed any laws on lobbying.

What is extremely interesting and telling is the general absence of references to ‘freedom and democracy’ by our so-called ‘leaders’. Those words have been replaced in the political lexicon by the now clearly favoured expression “the rules-based international order” – which doesn’t have quite the same ring, or the same connotations, as “freedom and democracy”.

One is forced to ask: whose order? whose rules? If Abramowitz is correct, and since we are privileged enough to live in a country which, if we are to believe its FH rating, is little short of perfect, we the people must have been involved in setting those rules. We should at least have been told what they mean! For example, what does ‘international’ mean in this context? It suggests a global compact – but when it is used it specifically excludes certain countries and regimes which we are led to believe are not part of, or indeed are allegedly trying to undermine, this new ‘order’.

Although the word ‘international’ is often taken to be a synonym for ‘global’ or ‘universal’, its literal meaning is ‘between nations’. The UN has of course long promulgated and endorsed all kinds of ‘universal’ rules (the ICC rules on aggression for instance) – many of which are routinely flouted by the countries which most loudly lay claim to being ‘democracies’ and loyal observers of the “rules-based international order”.

But we are now seeing a new type of literally ‘inter-national’ agreements being made in Europe, often merely between two governments at a time (with no democratic endorsement by either parliaments or people) and where the suspicion is that this is a new way of hiding from the general public what is really going on in Europe – specifically the step-by-step implementation of the “United States of Europe” project which dates from at least 1946.

There seems to be an undue haste to complete the creation of a unified military establishment that would not be answerable to the individual nation states which are contributing their forces (and infrastructure!) and which would also appear to include a much closer working relationship between military and police forces. Does the urgency have to do with the level of chaos in Europe and the threat – now materialised in the form of the “Yellow Vest” protests – of widespread civil unrest and potentially public revolt?

So Prime Minister Theresa May can pretend to the public that the ‘Brexit’ approved by a majority of voters will take place i.e. that Britain will “come out of” the EU, while at the same time, and largely in secret or behind closed doors in completely undemocratic meetings, the government is committing the entire UK military establishment, step by step, to the new ‘unified European defence establishment’. The UK enters into a special relationship with France (and thereby with the EU). France and Germany have just signed a new treaty – the Aachen Treaty – so does the UK automatically acquire the special relationship with Germany? And will this “two-step” approach eventually link all willing states (one could imagine Hungary, perhaps Italy and Greece also, not being so willing) in the ‘new European order’?

In struggling to understand the “rules-based international order” I found this definition by the RAND Corporation very helpful:

Since 1945, the United States has pursued its global interests through creating and maintaining international economic institutions, bilateral and regional security organizations, and liberal political norms; these ordering mechanisms are often collectively referred to as the international order.

In recent years, rising powers have begun to challenge aspects of this order. This report is part of a project, titled “Building a Sustainable International Order,” that aims to understand the existing international order, assess current challenges to the order, and recommend future US policies with respect to the order.

This report is the first of those and reflects the project team’s attempt to understand the existing international order, including how US decision makers have described and used the order in conducting foreign policy, as well as how academics have assessed the mechanisms by which the order affects state behaviour.

When discussing policy responses to a fraying international order, the first challenge is to understand what we mean by the term. Order has various meanings in the context of international politics, and specific orders can take many forms.1 For the purposes of this project, we conceive of order as the body of rules, norms, and institutions that govern relations among the key players in the international environment. An order is a stable, structured pattern of relationships among states that involves some combination of parts, including emergent norms, rulemaking institutions, and international political organizations or regimes, among others.

– RAND Corporation 2016, Understanding the Current International Order

This more recent observation was both insightful and amusing:

“The rules-based international order is being challenged, quite surprisingly, not by the usual suspects, but by its main architect and guarantor, the US,” Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said as the summit meeting got underway in Quebec’s picturesque resort town of La Malbaie on the banks of the St. Lawrence River.

The trans-Atlantic rift manifested itself in a behind-the-scenes debate about the wording of the traditional summit communiqué. The American side objected to including the phrase “rules-based international order,” even though it is boilerplate for such statements, according to two people briefed on the deliberations. The Europeans and Canadians were pushing back, but it remained unclear whether the Trump administration would ultimately sign the statement or be left on its own.

– NYT June 8, 2018 Michael D. Shear

So the ‘rules-based international order’ is, in reality, the expression of America’s “global interests”. Other parties – such as British and other governments – may be allowed to put on the mask of the Eagle, whilst claiming to be on the side of justice, truth, human rights … and yes, democracy. And since it’s a US construct, the US and its allies can feel free to ‘make it up as they go along’.


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USAma Bin Laden
USAma Bin Laden

If you want to understand what the Western democracy’s (sic) vaunted Rules Based International Order is really about, you must look at their illegal invasion of Iraq, their humanitarian bombing of Libya, their proxy terror war against Syria, their unending colonial occupation of Afghanistan, their backing of the Saudi/UAE war on Yemen, and the regime change/sanctions war against Venezuela.

The West is dripping in the blood of millions of people, and attempt to disguise this reality with pathetic delusions that they are crusaders for a rules based international order.

What an Orwellian joke.

The Western Civilizing Mission and European-American colonialism never ended.

They have only been given a new rebranding.

Everyone's a Winner!
Everyone's a Winner!

Good catch finding that cheesy CIA map, which is in panicked response to this:

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Indicators/Pages/HRIndicatorsIndex.aspx

Comprehensive indicators of all state duties under world-standard human rights law. This map has multiple precisely-specified indicators, compiled by internationally-elected experts acting in their personal capacity and not for governments. The indicators are based on inputs of independent NGOs, treaty bodies, charter bodies, or special procedure and documented to a gnat’s ass.

They show the US is in the cellar in all categories but one. That one, reporting, is an ‘E for Effort’ that discounts the US failure to report to the Convention Against Torture.

TFS
TFS

A few signs of a Democracy are:

1. The Judiciary is even handed and not subject to a Political will or Affluenzer.
2. That a law exists, and the people are aware of it AND that such a law is Jury Nullification; The ability of the public to say, the law is not applicable in this case.
3. That laws exists to make sure those in Parliament are as patriotic as the men and women they send into harms way are given the cocktail of drugs the military are.
4. That laws exist, so when a referendum is held, the Politicians honour its outcome or face automatic removel from Parliament.

https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2019/02/01/opinion-we-dont-need-14th-century-treason-laws-to-make-brexit-happen-we-just-need-concerted-will/

https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/81a76aba-1e5f-4a02-92c7-248f2a072f42?in=14:30:48.

okulo
okulo

You can’t have freedom AND democracy.

In a democracy, your freedom is curtailed in one circuitous way or another by the will of the majority or greater minority.

And democracy as we know it is just a prestidigitatory means of converting dissent into a mandate.

Just saying.

zach
zach

Abramowitz needs to stop with the fairy tales and listen to what his own country”s oldest living president had to say about the US in 2015 . . .

https://theintercept.com/2015/07/30/jimmy-carter-u-s-oligarchy-unlimited-political-bribery/

George cornell
George cornell

Abramowitz et al have everything to do with sliming the only principled president they have had for a long time. He could not be bought or bullied so the media was used to demean him.

zach
zach

George, i’m afraid Trump has exactly the same core principles as all the rest of them: to further enrich the richest at home and to ruthlessly assert US power abroad. The sole reason he upsets the likes of Abramowitz is because he has stripped away the customary veneer of bogus respectability from the Hegemon. Trump is representing far too vividly to the rest of the world what America is all about.

zach
zach

Gah! You were referring to Jimmy Carter. Sorry, George!

rtj1211
rtj1211

I am afraid that once you get quasi private organisations defining what ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ mean, you are rapidly going down the road of invalidating them.

By definition demos kratos can only be defined by the demos, as only the demos will know whether the kratos they have is worth anything. Having some unaccountable elitist body do it guarantees political shenanigans.

I define my kratos in the UK as the relevance and utility any vote of mine has. Living often in ‘safe seat’ constituencies, my Westminster election votes are frequently worthless. I can harangue politicians in a variety of ways, make constructive suggestions, but none of them are demonstrably meaningful. There is very much a sense of hoping against hope that what you can do has some vague sliver of utility.

George cornell
George cornell

Do you think it might have something to do with the demand by the American consumer for inexpensive goods, and the political suicide that would follow if they were thwarted?

White Rabbit
White Rabbit

Are you entirely dure the Yellow Vests genesis is organic?
Not synthetic at all?
Why does the Economist 2017 Year in Review magazine front cover depict the Yellow Vests arrival on the 23rd of November 2018? You think surely not?
Then take a look at that magazine cover and notice it is tiled with Tarot Cards. Then zoom in on The Hermit card. Do you see the Yellow Vests? Do you see the constellation Leo and it proximity to the moon in its phase? Do you think Leo arrives at that position on the 23rd November on the first day of the Yellow Vest by accident?
And what about the globe atlas depicted in the Hermit card. Does it not show a map of the outline of France and the UK cojoined. And why is there a black lightning bolt striking Alsace Lorraine.? And what does that say about Merkel and Macrons dissolution of their respective State sovereignty they have committed to in the recently signed Treaty? And was the terrorist attack on Strassbourg part of the plan?
The owners of the Economist are his previous employers.
Macron means ‘mark’
He is a prince and co-ruler of Andora.
He is not French. He is entirely Latin.
It is an ancient name Macron.
You can find reference to it with regards to Alexander.
He is obviously not female centred.
He won the Presidency with 66.6% of the vote.
He was constrained by le pen…a pen…and overcame it.
He worships Jupiter…a god not of his father’s.

Simon Hodges

The United States of Europe was being planned by the Nazis as early as 1936

[1] “Above and beyond the concept of the nation-state, the idea of a new community will transform the living space given us all by history into a new spiritual realm… The new Europe of solidarity and cooperation among all its peoples, a Europe without unemployment, without monetary crises, … will find an assured foundation and rapidly increasing prosperity once national economic barriers are removed.”

Arthus Seyss-Inquart, Minister of Security and the Interior in the post-Anschluss Nazi government, 1938, and later Prefect of Occuppied Holland – here he is addressing his Dutch subjects

[2] “There must be a readiness to subordinate one’s own interests in certain cases to that of the European Community.”

Walther Funk, Finince Minister in Hitler’s government, 1942.

[3] “The solution to economic problems… with the eventual object of a European customs union and a free European market, a European clearing system and stable exchange rates in Europe, looking towards a European currency union.”

Memorandum of the Reich Chancellery, 9 July 1940, signed by Hermann Göring

[4] “The results of excessive nationalism and territorial dismemberment are within the experience of all. There is only hope for peace by means of a process which on the one hand respects the inalienable fundamental patrimony of every nation but, on the other, moderates these and subordinates them to a continental policy… A European Union could not be subject to the variations of internal policy that are characteristic of liberal regimes.”

Alberto de Stefani, Finance Minister in Mussolini’s government, 1941

[5] “A new Europe: that is the point, and that is the task before us. It does not mean that Italians and Germans and all other nations of the European family are to change their spots and become unrecognizable to themselves or to one another, from one day or one year to the next. It will be a new Europe because of the new inspiration and determining principle that will spring up among all these peoples.” … “The problem of the hierarchy of states will no longer arise. At least in its usual form, once we have cut off the dragon’s head; that is, the notion of state sovereignty. Moreover, this does not have to be done outright, but can be achieved indirectly, e.g. by creating interstate European bodies to look after certain common interests (exchange rates, communications, foreign trade etc….)”

Camillo Pellizi, editor of Civilita Fascista, in an article entiled ‘The Idea of Europe’

[6] [Here I shall quote from a well received, at the time, policy document which recommended the need to] “…put forward a European con-federal solution based on free cooperation among independent nations” [culminating into uniting Europe] “on a federal basis” [and adding that, to see this federation process through], “all that is required of European states is that they be loyal, pro-European members of the community and cooperate willingly in its tasks… The object of European cooperation being to promote peace, security and welfare for all its peoples.”

Cicile von Renthe-Fink, Nazi official holding the diplomatic rank of minister of state, 1943.

[7] “We must create a Europe that does not squander its blood and strength on internecine conflict, but forms a compact unity. In this way it will become richer, stronger and more civilized, and will recover its old place in the world.” “National tensions and petty jealousies will lose their meaning in a Europe freely organised on a federal basis. World political development consists inevitably in the formation of larger political and economic spheres.”

Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian Nazi Collaborator, ‘Prime Minister’ of Occupied Norway, 1942

[8] “It is not very intelligent to imagine that in such a crowded house like that of Europe, a community of peoples can maintain different legal systems and different concepts of law for long.”

Adolph Hitler, addressing the Reichstag, 1936

[9] “In my view a nation’s conception of its own freedom must be harmonised with present-day facts and simple questions of efficiency and purpose… Our only requirement of European states is that they be sincere and enthusiastic members of Europe.”

Joseph Goebbels, 1940

[10] “The people of Europe understand increasingly that the great issues dividing us, when compared with those which will emerge and will be resolved between continents, are nothing but trivial family feuds.” … “In fifty years Europeans will not be thinking in terms of separate countries.

Joseph Goebbels, 1942

https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2013/03/14/lest-we-forget-the-neglected-roots-of-europes-slide-to-authoritarianism/

Paul Carline
Paul Carline

Excellent supplementing and reinforcing information! Thanks!

Simon Hodges

Dear Paul

The phase know thy enemy springs to mind. There are too many Neo-Nazis hiding behind a liberal and moderate veneer when their politics are in fact anti-democratic, authoritarian, totalitarian and imperialist. This includes many who present themselves as Progressives and declare that there are no alternatives to globalism, neoliberalism and neoconservative imperialist foreign policy it seems.

If you compare and contrast the Euston Manifesto with the Project for the New America Century (basically the prototype for globalist neoliberal imperialism) you will see that the EM effectively rewrote and reduplicated the foreign policies of the PNAC. Roughly half of that text is solely concerned with protecting Blair’s reputation in the embarrassing event that no WMD had been found in Iraq. It is more than curious that the PNAC was notionally shut down in 2006 the very same year that the EM was published and instantly popularised both in the UK and in the US. The PNAC didn’t have to exist after the EM because the Progressives had picked up the Neoconservative baton on their behalf. All to defend the reputation of their monstrous Messiah Blair. What a price the people of the Middle East have been made to pay for Blair’s defence.

The implication is that because Neoliberal Blairite Poogressives merely state an ‘association’ with the Left we seem to have ended up thinking that their actual politics are not relevant. I see things rather differently. If you end up thinking and writing the same things as the Nazis for the same reasons and you also end up thinking and writing the same things as the hard right imperialist Neoconservatives then you actually are those animals and you squarely belong to that far right category. We need to call them out on this and make it very obvious how they have duped true liberals and moderates into not recognizing them for what they actually are. This applies to all progressives in the Labour, Liberal and Tory parties not just the Blairite sycophants.

Regards

Simon

olavleivar
olavleivar

EXCELLENT ARTICLE ! … But …Some Observations :with Comments

a. Did anyone notice the ETHNICITY of the Director of ” Freedom” House ? Or the ETHNICITY of the CHAIR of Trustees ?
If NOT … I did and do … and so should YOU !:
The same pattern can be observed in all other ” International Order ” Institutions !

Comment : The TRUTH is that United Kingdom and subsequently the USA are JEWISH RULED Nations and the People of these nations are used as CANNONFODDER for JEWISH INTERESTS …MINISCULE MINORITIES having URSURPED the BULK of WEALTH and POWER , Just like the SOVJET UNION was used …until some time in the 60 – 70ies in the 20th Century . And as the EU is transforming into … TODAY

b.It is almost HILARIOUS to observe that anyone OPPOSING ” The International Order ” Institutions and Agendas immidiately is attacked , vilyfied and defiled using EXACTELY the same METHODS employed in the PROPAGANDA against NATIONAL-SOCIALIST GERMANY before , during and after WW 2 …. well .. all the LIES starting from WW 1 ..continuing through WW 2 .. extending into the Post War massive LIES .. including Persia , Latin America, , The Assasination of Kennedy , Weapons of Mass Destruction , 9 n 11 … and .. and … and … and … it is ENDLESS !

The totality of JEWISH OWNED MEDIA as well as HOLLYWOOD is once again employed working HARD to hammer down all the LIES.

Comment : The PUSSYLAMINOUS POPULATIONS of TARGET COUNTRIES ( the whole WEST including the former Sovjet Block ) are now merciless subjected to their own LIES and COWARDICE … and they DESERVE their FATE !

MORAL : One cannot build something POSITIVE … on LIES , which has been the case for the whole 20ties CENTURY , the BASIS for the WORLD as it is … TODAY …. The chicken are coming home … to Roost !

Michael Needleman
Michael Needleman

To anyone living here who is not a multi-millionaire, the UK’s 94% rating can only be seen as top quality satire.

George cornell
George cornell

94%? Does Berlusconi actually live in a bunga-bungalow? Is there anything in the UK on the level?, would give a shorter answer.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

The problem with people who think they are free is that they are blissfully unaware that the opposite is in fact the case. Freedom is slavery okay! The people of Europe have lost their sovereignty to the hegemon, are under military occupation, political obligation, and even ideological occupation. Not that they are aware of any of this.

It would be true to say that NATO policies of the US have been designed and worked to prevent independent action among the US allies/vassals. This can be taken further and postulate that the alliance policy has intentionally and systematically worked to turn Washington’s allies into clients/satellites. This is what Gaullists and leftists in Europe were objecting to and fighting against. A fight that was lost.

The US has been slowly eroding the independence of Europe the social, legal, political in the Euro-Atlantic bloc have been increasingly aligned with and integrated into the complementary American model. This process of gleichshaltung has transformed Euroland into a US clone and the population is largely unaware of what has happened. This occupation of ‘free’ Europe is not only accepted without reservation, and moreover, it is also largely invisible.

There is only one thing worse than being unfree and that is being unaware that you are unfree.

BigB
BigB

Francis Lee

Exactly, a point I have been making for a while now. People do not understand the political concepts of autonomy, sovereignty, consent, and legitimation. Indeed, Paul could have made more of this in his informative article. When countries amalgamate into trade blocs, any autonomy and sovereignty is subjacent to the imposed rules of the bloc. The idea that the UK will be autonomous and sovereign in a Customs Union arrangement is a logical fallacy. A distinction that our leadership expects us not to be able to make. Another big deception going on in the UK is the inculcation of Parliamentary sovereignty – which it is not. We, the People are sovereign. Or we were, before we anti-constitutionally acceded to Europe.

It may be academic: but I think the notions (as that is what they have been reduced to) of consent and legitimation should be studied. Weber/Habermas’ theory of legitimation is that we form constituencies of consent in our political alliances. Once we vote for a political party, our autonomy, self-sovereignty, consent and legitimation are transferred to the group. In democratic theory, the group, or party, can be held accountable in the interim – in practice it is generally not. In no small way, we are co-responsible for the group behaviour – legitimating it with our transferred (to representative plenipotentiaries) consent. Our political autonomy is held in trust at the group level. For better or worse.

This is nominally fine in ‘democracies’: such as there are any (Paul’s main point) – but in a bloc, or supranational governance …just who have we ceded our autonomy to? Who makes the rules? And for whom? Anyone who thinks that the answer is something called an MEP has already totally misunderstood the concepts I am addressing.

So in a bloc – most importantly, in the EU – there is no supranational democracy …only unrepresentative autocracy. One that nevertheless, we legitimated and consented to. In other words, there needs to be an overlay of regional and free trade blocs over the above map – to see where democracy truly lies. Are there any, or are they subjacent to supranational authority and control?

A working definition of an autonomous, sovereign agent is one who has at least partial participatory control of their own destiny. One that is at least partially able to redress situations that are beyond their direct control. One that is able to give informed consent and participatory legitimation by becoming co-responsible for the decisions made in their name. Better still, one who is able to at least co-participate in the administration of democratic control. By such definition, participatory democracy is only available for elitist control, with corporate consent. We have no say in the silent autocracy of unfreedom.

Our consent is taken as a token of sham-democratic legitimacy. When elitist participatory democracy becomes normalised, we are excluded from any form of autonomous sovereign governance …in all but name only. This constitutes a crisis of legitimacy. If anyone wants to see where this is heading, enter ‘global governance’ (global financial order) into a search engine – the centralised ‘Washington Consensus’ administration of the “rules based international order”. Those who think China/Russia are self-excluded can be disabused of the notion by referencing any BRICS Declaration – which confirms their allegiance to the ‘rules’. To be sure, they want more multilateralism (more of a say) – but they are dedicated to inclusion within a modified set of ‘rules’ – under the WTO and UN global governance.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201807/27/WS5b5a7e22a31031a351e90845_2.html

It will be one globalised set of rules for them: and one for us. Under a centralised, distributed network of authority – administered by an autonomous, self-sovereign, self-consenting, self-legitimating suprasociety. Which is why all consent and legitimacy must be devolved to the base – whilst we still have sight of it. For the moment, we are still the sovereign force in the UK. When that has gone (to the EU); it is gone. There will be no use demanding it back. The global fascist suprasociety (which supervenes the EU) don’t give a flying funk about democracy. They just want us to believe in it and consent to their autonomy: until their integration of bloc within bloc is completed in ‘global governance’. Then we will never be consulted again.

[It is worth referencing the Aachen Treaty: for the clause [Article 13:2] whereby Franco/German “Eurodistricts” can be ‘derogated’ from applicable direct EU treaty rule. One rule for them, another for us?]

https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/aachen-treaty-germany-and-france-become-all-single-state

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym

Why do you think that we, the people(s) of the island of Britain, are sovereign, B? Where does it say that in our non-existent constitution? Whenever the topic comes up some pol or corpomedia hack usually starts bloviating about ultimate sovereignty resting with Paedominster, or Mrs. Windsor (aka Mrs. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha). We, the peoples of Britain are supposedly Mrs. Windsor’s ‘subjects’ – sic!

If Britain is ever to see – credible – democracies arise amongst its peoples, we’re going to need a hefty input of Swiss arrangements here, including written constitutions; effective proportional representation; genuinely independent, non-commercial media that are constitutionally forbidden from being owned by foreign interests, or by any oligarch plutocrats, and which may need to be sustained by non-commercial, constitutionally-guaranteed subsidies not subject to the whims of any passing parliament, so vital is their function; and also we need mandatory – and binding! – referenda for any matter where they’re demanded by a defined triggering number of petitioning citizens; those things at the very least.

What we have now is a rank evasion of any worthwhile degree of democracy in FPTP Paedominster, and a couple of toy parliaments in Alba and Cymru, which are still heavily subject to being over-ridden by the whims of the Paedo house whenever it sees fit, and which can be unilaterally abolished by the Paedos, if they choose to do so.

Democracy? Hah! This is simply a deceitful pretence, dedicated to preventing – with rabid determination – any real democratic set-up, and which lulls enough of the people enough of the time into thinking that we already have democracy. :O) It’s been carefully evolved over a long period by the self-perpetuating minority English-raj class for precisely those purposes.

The subterranean fact – sic! – of carefully smokescreened customary paedophilia as an unaddressed habitual crime amongst a percentage of the Paedominster denizens, and their cronies amongst the rajistas – all massively evidenced! – is a clear indicator of the rotten ineffectualness of British ‘democracy. (A particularly vile instance, but by no means alone.) Savile wasn’t just an anomaly. He was a crafty pleb paedo who realised that he could blackmail his way to ‘success’ by grabbing the short-and-curlies of his fellow kiddie-fiddler exploiters amongst the raj, and twisting cruelly.

BTW, readers of my occasional comments may have noticed that I’m a fan of the Confucian doctrine of ‘The Rectification of Names’… 🙂

Paul Carline
Paul Carline

Please have a look at the article on ‘Sovereignty’ on the UK Column website at: https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/fundamental-principles-our-constitution. Popular sovereignty is enshrined in both the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights.

Successive governments in the UK and elsewhere have for generations claimed the “democracy” title. A country is only a democracy if the institutions of ‘government’ have been specifically chosen by the people and if the powers and limitations on power of those institutions can be challenged and amended by the people.

‘The people’ exists before the state! A genuinely democratic constitution represents the choice of the people (usually a simple majority – as in Athenian democracy – but there is no reason why a two-thirds or four-fifths majority cannot be chosen to avoid the “tyranny of the majority” accusation) as to the kind of society they wish to live in and the rules they wish society to respect.

Such a constitution has to be co-authored by (representatives of) the people and approved by the majority (see above) in a referendum. Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights represent the only legitimate expressions of the public will to date and as such are the constitution. Neither parliament nor the monarch has a legitimate claim to sovereignty. In his book “The Social Contract”, Jean-Jacques Rousseau argued that representation is impermissible because “sovereignty cannot be represented for the same reason that it cannot be alienated”. He said that ‘the English people” were “mistaken” when they believed themselves to be free; they were free “only during the election of the Members of Parliament. Once they are elected, the populace is enslaved; it is nothing”.

It’s our birthright that has been ‘sold’ – foolishly given away – for a mess of pottage.

In 1911, the work of another astute Frenchman, Francis Delaisi, was published under the title: “Les financiers et la democratie”. I decided to translate it (an unfinished work as of now!). In the preface to the 1936 reprint of the first work, Delaisi noted:

” .. the people, who only saw the window-dressing, despite the repeated deceptions, continued to trust. Basically, they only wanted two things from the Republic: an increase in their material well-being, and peace.

To be sure, it has to be recognised that, despite the glaring social injustices and the scandalous wastefulness, the forty years which separated the two wars (1870 – 1914) were marked by an unprecedented increase in wealth for the middle classes – and even for the poor (the increase in deposits in the savings banks is one of the many proofs).

Moreover, the awareness of his sovereignty gave the peace-loving Frenchman the assurance that he could no longer be thrown by dynastic or other interests into another military adventure. He had given up the idea of revenge and was prepared to accept armaments only for purposes of national defence.

He did not see the approach of the horrific conflict which the struggle between economic empires was about to unleash. [In the same year, 1911, I published La guerre qui vient – ‘The coming war’ – in which I announced the spread of the conflict across the whole of Europe and the invasion through Belgium, and predicted that hostilities would begin in 1914].

The first time, his financial oligarchy had procured war (1914-1918), then the depression (1921-1926). But he had not understood. He had attributed the responsibility for the disaster solely to the intrigues of foreign countries, and the financial collapse to the consequences of the war.

Now, for the second time, he had been driven into a monetary collapse after a crisis which had cost him more than a war – and which didn’t have a war as an excuse. And for a second time, here he was again under threat of a European conflict.

This time, his trust was shaken. He begins to suspect that behind the democratic decor dark forces are active. At the last elections, the citizens demanded of the candidates of all colours information on the Two Hundred Families and on the directors of the Bank of France. And it was against these forces, of which people had hitherto been unaware, that the Popular Front was formed.

Thus the eyes open. At last, the sovereign citizen wants to know about this occult power which hides behind his ministers and which controls them. It is for that reason that I thought it well to remind him of this old testimony of a usurpation already accomplished long ago.”

BigB
BigB

“The English Constitution confers treaty making powers on only the Sovereign. The Sovereign cannot transfer those powers to a foreign power nor even, to our own parliament because they are mere servants of the Monarch. Sovereignty itself cannot be given away as it resides with the people who entrust it to the Monarch for his/her lifetime and the Monarch is obliged by law to pass that sovereignty on to any successor as it was received.”

Advice from Lord Chancellor, Lord Kilmuir, to Edward Heath – on (the constitutional illegality of) joining the EEC

Welcome to the 800 year debate as to who is the boss: the people, the crown, or parliament? The answer to the tri-partate system of rule is the Queen – but only as the plenipotential representative of the people (as confirmed in the Coronation Oath). The power of the people is held in trust by the monarchy, who cannot abrogate that power to anyone (unless we are defeated in war).

It is important to recognise that we DO have a written constitution – its just not collated in one document. It is a corpus of common law and web of constitutional common law contracts: the foundation of which is obviously the Great Charter of Magna Carta, 1215 – which stopped John asset stripping feudal England (no taxation without representation!) It is the Petition of Right and Declaration of Right that establish Common Law contracts between the People and the Crown. The Bill of Rights, 1689, is a statute law enactment of the Declaration of Right. This was a Special Act of Parliament; not subject to repeal.

https://www.britishconstitutiongroup.com/british-constitution/introduction

The argument that Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights are repealable is made by parliamentarians. Arguments of the pseudo-legality of the Constitutional position; and the ‘unwritten’ nature thereof – ditto. The obfuscation of the above position is a deliberate campaign of omission and misinformation. Parliamentarians want a new or codified constitution. Who would you trust with our rights? I think you already answered that!

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmpolcon/463/46333.htm

crank
crank

It wasn’t so long ago that we were all being encouraged to get behind statements like this one:
‘ I am fine with giving up my freedom to defend democracy’
[some voxpop on the streets of London – post 7/7]

Let us not forget that there has not yet been a single significant prosecution for the crimes of 9/11, and that these people are innocent:.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/02/why-cant-we-get-this-over-911-hearings-drag-on-guantanamo

There is only one rule in the ‘rules based order’:
do what the man with the gun tells you to do.

Yarkob
Yarkob

i can’t remember who said it (Washington? Jackson?) and i cba to scroogle it, but it’s very apt:

“those who surrender liberty for temporary security deserve neither”

i’m paraphrasing of course, but you get the gist.

vexarb
vexarb

@Yarkob. First of a million www replies in 5 seconds:

Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” That quote often comes up in … concerns about government surveillance.

Terje M

“Rules-based” are weasel words…most listeners would associate the term with international law and the UN Charter. In fact, they mean something entirely different, more like “the arbitrary rules US/NATO make up on the spur of the moment when they want to attack someone.”

Western countries have no choice but to use the vaguer “rules-based international order”, since they routinely an blatantly breach the UN Charter – the real and binding rules for international conduct.

lundiel

I think “Freedom” has been quietly dropped because America pushed the envelope too far for European consumption.
“Freedom” for me, creates an image of armed school teachers. “Rules-based international order” is just another term for “managed democracy”.

harry stotle
harry stotle

Nowadays freedom means freedom from responsibility.

The US commits serial war crimes yet is never held to account – as I say (below) the precedent for double standards is illustrated by Nuremberg.

Chilcot was a sham process all along, as were the official 9/11 investigations.

Meanwhile the corporate media quake in their boots should anyone whisper the name of cartoon right wingers like Tommy Robinson while cheering on real fascists as they seek to undermine countries that do not subscribe to the neocon agenda.

harry stotle
harry stotle

A precursor to US exceptionalism, and asymmetrical power was Nuremberg.

One the one hand they wanted Nazis to atone for the crimes they committed while on the other turning a blind eye to those committed by the allies.

This cock-eyed view of morality allowed the US to incinerate of 250,000 Japenese civilians while triggering a wave of cancers and birth defects without understanding why the legitimacy of such an act should be subject to legal scrutiny.

These double standards have continued ever since – the logic of such an ideology allows the US to see the wrongs in the various targets they identify but no almost no insight into why they are the worlds leading terror state.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

Ukraine, partly free! What is this – satire!? It is a country ruled by various contending mafia-thug elites Kolomoisky, Poroshenko et al. and neo-nazi militias, Right Sektor, Svoboda, Patriots of the Ukraine. Europe’s first post-war neo-nazi state. Anyone with any sense is trying to get out.

George cornell
George cornell

Of course they have freedom. Freedom from the inconvenient truths. Freedom from accountability. Freedom from insight. Freedom from hindsight.
Btw where is their gold? Not in the US is it?

eddie
eddie

Yes. yes it is, along with Yat the Rat; the cookie queen’s annoited fellow Jew. Not that there is any connection, or anything wrong with that.

Schlüter

See also:
„One Thing Must be Clear to the World: The US Power Elite Regards the Whole Globe as Their Colony!“: https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/one-thing-must-be-clear-to-the-world-the-us-power-elite-regards-the-whole-globe-as-their-colony/
Have a good Weekend!

Archie1954
Archie1954

Insouciance is deeply ingrained in the minds of the American public. As aresult the terms democracy and freedom continue to mutate. Now if you are not gunned down by the police, you live in a free and democratic nation. Obviously American Blacks don’t!

Gary Weglarz
Gary Weglarz

A – “‘rules-based international order” – indeed! Where the “rules” apparently say the U.S. and the West can openly engage in coups to overthrow democratically elected governments who we in the U.S. disapprove of, international law be damned.

I must admit that I have had to completely rethink my previous take on the Trump presidency. Soon after his election I found myself thinking that at least there is “one silver lining” to his election. That silver lining as I first saw it was that the Orange One is so odious and reprehensible that no European leaders would dare try to get the citizens of their nation to follow Trump into the next U.S. led regime change insanity. Then the open Venezuela coup is announced by the U.S., and what do European and other Western leaders do but line up like freaking sheep in support of the Orange One and in complete violation of international law and pretty much every moral principal one can think of! Absolutely freaking amazing!

I’ll say it again as it’s becoming my mantra it seems. The West and its institutions are totally and completely corrupt to the core. They retain no moral legitimacy whatsoever. The West doesn’t even pretend to believe in the rule of international law at this point. So I stand corrected. No “silver lining” that I can detect as a by product of the Orange One’s election. Just more amoral vacuous imperial war mongering from the U.S. with the support of its many Western vassal states – the vaunted “Western democracies” of the world! Democracies indeed!

F
F

My thoughts exactly. The euro elites are little more than Vichy subalterns to the elites on the other side of the pond. They will not change, they cannot. Like the Bourbons they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing. They are an anachronistic ex-imperial gofers who fall over themselves to do the bidding of their transatlantic masters – the second tier of the hegemonic structure of globalist imperialism. Moreover they simply stand there and let thereand let themselves be insulted, patronised and mocked by their masters. This has been illustrated to the wire tap on Merkel’s mobile and the ineffable Ms Nuland and her f*** the EU remarks.

mark
mark

Britain and all the other EU satrapies are more US satellites than the old East Germany was of the Soviet Union. That is literally true. East Germany occasionally showed some independence from Moscow. They went ahead and built the Berlin Wall even though Khruschev told them not to.

You hear people like Hague, Fox, Gove and the rest grovelling on their bellies to Uncle Sam and it’s just nauseating, lickspittle toadying. The US spits in Merkel’s face bugging her phone and she just smiles and pretends nothing happened. Trump brags that Saudi Arabia and South Korea are just US satellites who can’t do anything without his permission.

Brutally Remastered

And what would be your opinion on dialogue with North Korea?

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

I don’t have any opinions on North Korea old chap, nor do I have any opinions of Paraguay, or Fiji, why should I. As long as they do not threaten my country’s strategic interests they can eat babies for breakfast as far as I am concerned.

This is called ‘Realism’ or the Westphalian system in the International Relations jargon. You should try it some time

padre
padre

So, threatening “your country’s strategic interests” beats all?Have you considered that they may have their own interests, too?And what “strategic interest” does your country have in such a “shit hole country”, could it be their natural resources?

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

Of course they have their own strategic interests, I never suggested that they didn’t and shouldn’t. I am just concerned that our interests do not clash. Every country has strategic interests and will be concerned to protect them if they have any sovereignty at all.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Have you seen the price of Butter, Europe wide ? !