The noted blogger Fjordman guest posts at several prominent blogs. This time at Gates of Vienna with commentary by Dymphna.
Fjordman's one-paragraph comment sums up the predicament in which now find ourselves:
“I keep thinking I have been focusing too much on the Marxists, and forgot about Big Business and the corporate interests behind mass immigration to the West. They have the money, and money makes the world go around, after all. The problem is that they treat countries as if they are corporations, and people as if they are commodities. They want us to import people as if they were toys or cheap toasters made in China. But people are not commodities, and countries are not corporations. It is a concept of capitalism that I cannot approve of, of reducing man to nothing but a worker and a consumer, homo economicus:”
Dymphna follows with:
To reinforce his course correction to take into account Homo Corporatus, Fjordman uses a snip from The Vanishing American Blog. Here, Jerome Corsi is explaining why Jed Babbin kicked him off the masthead of the contributors at Human Events (online e-zine)I also tried to explain to Babbin my view that right now, the Republican Party is controlled by what used to be called the “Rockefeller Wing.”
Like David Rockefeller himself, the Rockefeller Wing involves millionaires and billionaires who run multi-national corporations.
Rockefeller Wing Republicans are already beyond borders in their determination to advance their multinational corporations for unbridled profit, whether or not U.S. sovereignty and the middle class are destroyed in the process.
I have reflected that Howard Phillips was probably right when he urged Ronald Reagan to form his own, new political party.
I’m not sure the moral Christians belong in the same party with the Rockefeller Republicans.
At any rate, George W. Bush in his second term seems determined to destroy the Reagan coalition once and for all.
We would be better off without a Republican Party if having a Republican Party means sovereignty under this false banner of one-sided trade agreements that have nothing to do with legitimate “free trade.”
Both the Dems and Republicans are equally plagued with fractures and fissions, and Dymphna's statement rings true many Americans, and reflects my personal feelings about American political parties and politicians:
Both parties have to deal with the reality that many — if not a majority — of Americans have begun to toss off their party ties, preferring to be known as conservatives or liberals, even while chafing at the broad-stroke definitions that these labels imply.
Unfortunately many states require voters to register under the so-called auspice of a party in order to vote. The reality is that many prefer to remain non-aligned as no party can claim loyalty and few politicians deserve their vote. Instead they charge into situations that alarm the American people: the War in Iraq, The Law of the Sea Treaty, and so on. And they do so because voters feel helpless to stop them, especially if the policies promoted are done away from the public eye and without Congressional assent or oversight, a possibility that many consider to be a myth.
Fjordman has considered this topic in "Mexicans Welcome the North American Union."
Quoting from the California Republic:
The United States is perfectly prepared to fight the last war: If any enemy tried to drive tanks across our borders, fly bombers into our airspace, or sail warships into our harbors, we would easily prevail.
Unfortunately, we are in a new kind of war that most of us don't even know is underway. It is the most innovative and successful war ever waged in history. And we're losing it, badly.
I’m not talking about the war with Islamic terrorists.
I'm talking about the war with Mexico.
On September 3, 2007, Mexico’s President stated, “I have said that Mexico does not stop at its border, that wherever there is a Mexican, there is Mexico.”
Mexico’s strategy is brilliant. Mexico is effectively taking control of our territory simply by having its citizens walk across our undefended border. Their only “weapon” is shoes. You still think the Maginot Line was dumb? At least the French tried to keep out foreign invaders, and at least the Germans had to go around it.
Although certain gangs of illegal aliens have used violence to engage in “ethnic cleansing” in certain L.A. neighborhoods -- a la Croatia and Darfur -- Mexico’s war against us is for the most part non- violent, waged with nothing more than money and words.
Our vulnerability isn’t military. Rather, our Achilles’ Heel is “political correctness.” As a nation, we’d rather silently endure the invasion than subject ourselves to the embarrassment of being called “racist.” Can you think of any other nation in history that would be so easily defeated? Defeated by name-calling? Criminy!
Mexico’s word-weapon is more effective than any neutron bomb.
And there are others that have noticed the same phenomenon, such as Alan Wall's "Calderon Continues Mexican Mooching and Meddling" at VDare.
Mexico is a resource rich country that has been mismanaged for centuries, and resources don't last forever:
Mexican lawmakers had fallen back upon the time-honored tradition of using oil to pay the bills. The fiscal reform includes an increase in the price of gasoline. That means that all Mexicans and foreigners residing in Mexico (like yours truly) will be paying more at the gas pump. The gasoline price hike is scheduled for January 1st except for the price of Premium gas, which can be hiked earlier. (Hmm, that’s the kind of gas my family’s automobiles use.) But despite the gas price rise and other tax modifications, even the Mexican government calculated that that fiscal reform will only bring in the equivalent of 1% of Mexican GDP, although some analysts put it as high as 2.5%.
So what do Mexico’s leaders intend to do if oil production continues to decline?
Well, they do have a plan. That plan is to keep Mexicans emigrating.
That’s right, emigration is their economic platform. That reduces social costs by pushing them onto the U.S. (where Mexicans are more demanding than they are in Mexico) and also gets potentially troublesome Mexicans out of the country.
And Mexico’s leaders see linking Mexico to the U.S. in some sort of formal partnership/community/union as just a way to steer more American development dollars to Mexico.
Dymphna at Gates of Vienna reminds us of the many Mexicans that would like to affect the return of the Southwest part of the United States to Mexican political control. Some would like to create a totally new entity, Aztlan, which is "akin to the Muslim concept of the Ummah," a type of shared cultural unity of people of the same heritage or religious affinity.
Jerome Corsi, staff writer at WND and author of "The Late Great United States: The Coming Merger With Mexico and Canada, focuses on theNorth American Union, one of those "myths" that is derided and pooh-poohed as fantastical, worthy of the "black helicopter and tin-foil-hat brigades."
It isn't much of a stretch to see how easily it would be to move from an economic partnership to a full-blown political bureaucracy in the style the EU which began in the same manner.
Deep integration, characterized as "anti-demoratic," is following a timeline which puts forward a North American "commitment to strengthen regulary coopertion in [food safety] and other key sectors and to have our central regulary agencies complete a trilateral regulatory cooperation framework by 2007."
This is being done behind closed doors :
Integration Behind Closed Doors
There is no better example of the secrecy that has cloaked the NAFTA-plus or SPP negotiations than the meeting held in Banff, Canada Sept. 12-14, 2006. Sponsored by the non-governmental North American Forum, the governmental and high-level nature of the secret meeting was difficult to conceal once Canadian groups publicized the draft agenda. The meeting was chaired by former U.S. Sec. of State and Bechtel executive George Schultz, former Mexican Finance Minister Pedro Aspe, and former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed; keynote addresses were slated to be provided by then-Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Canadian Ministers of Energy Greg Melchin and Public Safety Stockwell Day. Luminaries of the U.S. military-industrial complex mixed with government officials including Thomas Shannon, Assistant Sec. for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in the State Department, Adm. Tim Keating, Commander of NORAD/USNORTHCOM, and officials from energy, natural resources, and defense departments. The team that wrote up the Council on Foreign Relations report was on deck, as were private sector players.
Despite the unprecedented policymaking power in the room—and issues on the table such as military-to-military cooperation, a North American energy strategy, and border infrastructure and prosperity—none of the privileged participants or governments involved felt it necessary to inform the press or public about the event that Shannon reportedly later referred to as "parallel to the SPP."
Information is not publicly available on who makes up the working groups either. An appendix of the Competitiveness Council report, oddly enough lists the representatives of the Mexican and Canadian private sectors by name, but lists only companies on the U.S. side. These include Chevron, Ford, General Electric, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Merck, New York Life, Procter & Gamble, and Wal-Mart.
So where are the environmental council, the labor council, and the citizen's council in this process? None of these exist. The SPP is an invitation-only affair and representatives of these sectors were explicitly not invited.
It is no coincidence that the meetings that define regional integration under the SPP take place behind closed doors. It is a process run by and for elites that seeks to avoid public scrutiny or protest. The "silent integration" that is the follow-up to NAFTA relies on anonymity, no accountability to Congress or the public, the absence of public debate, and as little information to the public as possible.
The regulatory changes and programs that have resulted and will continue to result from SPP negations are born with a common genetic defect. They were born of a "North American vision" that was never consulted with the citizens of the three nations, and that even at the level of the governments involved is more a hodgepodge of diplomatic arm-twisting, U.S. security hype, and corporate wish-lists, than a goal of continental well-being.
Deepening the Chaos
There are many problems with the SPP and the White House's goal of "deep integration" but perhaps the most fundamental is that it takes place at a time when North American integration faces a crisis. Economic integration under NAFTA has led to job loss and erosion of job security and quality in the United States, while also increasing unemployment in Mexico. Over 13 years, the model has confirmed, rather than reversed, Mexico's status as the less-developed partner; the rise in immigration to the United States attests to the failure of NAFTA in development. It has not increased the United States' competitive edge although it has delivered record profits to a few major global traders. Unfortunately for the majority, those "few" are now driving the efforts to deepen integration under the NAFTA plus Homeland Security model.
But to deepen it would mean deepening the contradictions and the problems that have led most Americans to express in polls their rejection of the current model, and spurred widespread public protest in Mexico and Canada.
There are four more Free Trade Agreements currently before Congress. The Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America demonstrates that this model of economic integration has taken on a momentum of its own, unaccountable to legislatures and citizens, and driven by interests that do not represent the public good. Citizens and their representatives need to mount a concerted effort to re-examine these policies, to bring them to light, and to halt movement forward until a strong and informed consensus exists on their value to society.
The North American Future 2025 Project,pp. 9-12, sums its up:
The increasing speed and magnitude of globalization will significantly shape the world out to 2025. Globalizing forces include the growing global economy, technological advances, demographic shifts, and the rise of new political powers and new national alignments. The expected rise of India, China, and Indonesia as global economic and political powers will change the shape of the global demand for capital, technology, and goods and services.
The North American Future 2025 project will examine how North America can foster future
regional competitiveness through a series of policy initiatives related to the various aspects of
competitiveness. By focusing on trade and market integration, technological innovation,
development of human capital, protection of intellectual property rights, regional regulatory
harmonization, and future infrastructure needs, North America can continue to adapt and
maximize the direction of globalizing forces in its favor and remain competitive with
countries like India and China.
Initially, it is important to evaluate current and future North American competitiveness visà-
vis other regions. Key questions will be addressed, such as the following: What internal and
external factors contribute to the current overall level competitiveness of North America?
What policies can be enacted now to improve future competitiveness in the region’s
relationship to other regions of the world?
Trade and Market Integration: As an overall component of competitiveness,
North America needs to continue to strive toward increased trade and marketintegration. Increased trade liberalization and market integration will help promote
economic competitiveness by decreasing the costs of transactions and increasing the
opportunities for trade. The North American Future 2025 project will examine
increased trade and market integration from the perspective of the economy as a
whole and on a sectoral basis, including key sectors such as the steel, automotive,
manufacturing, and health industries.
Technological Innovation: The North American Future 2025 project will examine
how North America can foster innovation in order to remain competitive and
capitalize on increased global demand for high technology. The North American
Future 2025 project will help determine how the three North American countries
can work together to promote innovation through increased investments in science
and technology, as well as in research and development. In addition to looking at
investment in these two areas, the project will examine policies related to gaining
access to capital, increasing investment from the private sector, and building
supporting knowledge infrastructure.
Human Capital Development: In order for a country to be innovative it needs a
foundation of skilled laborers. The North American Future 2025 project will
examine how North America can foster the development of human capital by
pursuing policies that are designed to educate new generations of future laborers and
to improve the skill-set of the current workforce. The project will look at policies
that can help North America retain and develop a competitive labor force, including
increased investment in education, expanded trilateral cooperation in higher
education programs, and worker retraining programs.
Intellectual Property Rights and Regulatory Regimes: Because intellectual
capital and technological innovation are increasingly important forces driving future
economic growth, the protection of intellectual property rights and effective
regulatory governance are crucial to the region’s future global economic
competitiveness. Cooperating on enforcement and protection of intellectual property
rights, harmonizing legislation and coordinating law enforcement in this area, and
raising the political will to fight intellectual property piracy will all contribute to
North America’s future competitiveness.
The North American Future 2025 project will also examine the North American
regulatory regime and will look to see how it can be further harmonized in order to
drive down transaction costs, increase efficiency, and promote trade between
Canada, the United States, and Mexico. By promoting unified North American
regulatory standards in key sectors—such as customs, transportation, health
(medicines and medical devices), and food and agriculture (food safety and
biotechnology, for example)—North America will improve the efficient flow of
resources while ensuring high standards for the safety and security of the population.
The ability of North American governments to cooperate on regulatory issues is an
integral part to ensuring the future global competitiveness of North America.
To examine future policy options related to competitiveness in North America, the CSIS
North America Project will rely on James Lewis, senior fellow and director of the CSIS
Technology Policy Program, along with key forward-thinkers in the government and
private sector from each of the North American countries.
ROUNDTABLE VII: THE FUTURE OF NORTH AMERICAN BORDER INFRASTRUCTURE
It has been suggested by all three governments that there would be a tremendous benefit to
the current decision-makers in all three countries if the proposed North American Future
2025 project included a seventh area of study which focused on identifying future border
infrastructure and logistic needs. This seventh area of study would use the study’s projected
trends and proposed policy recommendations as the underpinnings to develop a blueprint
for future border infrastructure and logistics systems as it relates to labor mobility, energy,
the environment, security, and competitiveness.
Labor Mobility Infrastructure & Logistics
Based on the projected future trends in labor mobility, CSIS will outline future
border infrastructure and logistical needs to allow for a secure and efficient flow of
labor across North American borders. In essence, this subsection would focus on
enabling North America to tap into intra-and-inter labor migration to pool the
human capital necessary to source a competitive North American workforce.
Energy Infrastructure & Logistics
CSIS will examine how future North American energy projections will impact the
region’s energy infrastructure and logistic needs. A crucial measure in guaranteeing
North America’s energy security will be developing and maintaining physical and
virtual infrastructure that ensures for interconnected electric, oil, and natural gas
networks across Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Environment Infrastructure & Logistics
CSIS will work to identify necessary border infrastructure and logistic improvements
to address future environmental challenges which accompany the projected increased
levels of economic and other human activities in border areas. This subsection will
address future infrastructure and logistic needs as it pertains to atmosphere and
climate change; fresh water; biodiversity and bioinvasion.
Security Infrastructure & Logistics
Projected North American integration presents the region with opportunities to
continue to be a global power; however, it also poses potential challenges to the
security of the region. This underscores the need for trilateral cooperation in
developing the security infrastructure and logistics to maximizing the efficient and
secure flow of people and goods across the North American borders, as well as
ensuring the security of critical infrastructure in the areas such as energy,
telecommunications, and financial systems, among others.
Competitiveness Infrastructure & Logistics
This section will explore how trilateral transportation opportunities (including
railways, air, ports, and highways) can be expanded and made safer and more
efficient through trilateral cooperation. Improving the physical infrastructure and
harmonizing transportation regulations will decrease the cost of doing business,
improve safety, and enhance efficiency of trade flows in North America. The project
will also look strategically at how customs can be improved through the
development and implementation of new technologies in screening and processing
cargo shipments and will examine what role the private sector can play in keeping the
borders running efficiently and securely.
This is not playing well north of the border in Canada where the SPP, Deep Integration, and the possible North American Union are getting coverage. For some reason these topics are never given coverage in the Mainstream Press in the United States. But that doesn't mean that there is no opposition in Mexico where
...eighty-six percent of Mexico's industry belongs to U.S. transnational corporations...Eighty-eight percent of Mexico's foreign trade is done with the United States, and while the balance is positive for Mexico, due among other factors to the high prices of Mexican crude oil, it is evidebnt that Mexico's dependency has risen to levels never seen before...
The big beneficiaries of NAFTA and the application of the neoliberal model have been the transnational companies in the U.S. and the sectors of the Mexican oligarchy whose wealth has increased substantially. The world’s second-richest man is no longer Warren Buffet of the U.S.; it is Carlos Slim of Mexico. [Posses 8% of Mexico's GDP.] The big losers have been the farmers and the working people, who have seen a substantial drop in their wages and standards of living.
What could happen if we reached the "deep integration" envisioned by the SPPNA? It is not hard to see. Social movements in Mexico are increasingly more numerous and combative. Electoral fraud, such as was committed during the July 2006 election, is not enough to keep up a false democratic facade. Despite the apparent tranquillity, social pressures are increasingly heavier; repression, usually unchecked, can provoke other social upheavals like the one in Oaxaca.
Will "deep integration" mean the free flow of goods and people through the three borders? The measures taken by Washington against immigration from Mexico seem to indicate that only the flow of goods and capital will be accepted — not the flow of people — so the social temperature in the pressure cooker known as Mexico will continue to rise.
Young people are being trained to "shape North America's future" at the Triumvirate, "a unique parliamentary exercise that annually brings together a hundred university students from Canada, Mexico, and the United States, in order to simulate...a parliamentary meeting between North American national and sub-national parliamentarians, joined by journalists and lobbyists." Here is the Final Report of the 2007 session in which the students learned how to create an "integrated regional plan of action to undertake measures" to solve a variety of problems.
Contrary to NAFTA, whose tenets were laid out in a single negotiated treaty subjected to at least cursory review by the legislatures of the participating countries, NAFTA Plus is more the elites' shared vision of what a merged future will look like. Their ideas are being implemented through the signing of "Cœregulations," not subject to citizens' review. The vision may initially have been labeled NAFTA Plus, but the name gives a mistaken impression of what is at hand, since there will be no single treaty text, no unique label to facilitate keeping tabs. Perhaps for this reason, some civil society groups are calling the phenomenon by another name, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPPNA), an official sobriquet for the summits held by the three chief executives to agree on the future of North America.
Contrary to NAFTA, whose tenets were laid out in a single negotiated treaty subjected to at least cursory review by the legislatures of the participating countries, NAFTA Plus is more the elites’ shared vision of what a merged future will look like. Their ideas are being implemented through the signing of “regulations,” not subject to citizens’ review. This vision may initially have been labeled NAFTA Plus, but the name gives a mistaken impression of what is at hand, since there will be no single treaty text, no unique label to facilitate keeping tabs. Perhaps for this reason, some civil society groups are calling the phenomenon by another name, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPPNA), an official sobriquet for the summits held by the three chief executives to agree on the future of “North America.”
When NAFTA was negotiated in the early 90s, civil society had little chance to provide input. In Mexico there was no public consultation. The Mexican congress at the time, still controlled by the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI), held perfunctory debates. Today civil society in the three countries is better informed and mobilized. In Mexico the congress no longer rubber stamps bills sent by the president. This explains in part why deeper integration is taking place through a series of regulations and executive decrees that avoid citizen watchdogs and legislative oversight. Activist civil society organizations have to work overtime to keep up.
The initial steps for the creation of a new North American space have already been taken. Mexico, in particular, will have to make the most far-reaching adjustments, and face difficult questions regarding national identity and the nation’s future. In Canada, although the issue is generally unknown, there is now lively discussion within academic settings and NGOs.2 In the United States, the issue is still off the screen.
Matters of identity and sovereignty for the United States will likely be mute, given that it has the most to gain and the least to lose. Advantages for the United States will include the right to decide on crucial matters such as “pushing out” its borders in response to regional security concerns, and access to strategic natural resources, particularly oil, gas, and fresh water. For the trade, manufacturing, and financial elites of Mexico and Canada, NAFTA Plus will likely mean a “porous” border for its products and services, and virtually unrestricted access to the United States, still the largest consumer market in the world.
The trinational elites of the private sector will accrue greater benefits in this new space, but the American government and private sector will reap the greatest gains. The three countries will not be equal partners. As in the early 90s when NAFTA was negotiated, no pretense will be made now of taking into account the huge asymmetries between the United States and its smaller partners, likely leading to an erosion of sovereignty for Mexico and Canada.
In spite of the foreseeable advantages to the United States from this new North American space, the idea does not seem to have originated with the U.S. government. Rather it has been a “work in progress” for more than a decade by academics and entrepreneurs in Canada and the United States and, surprisingly, by President Fox after his election, or, more accurately, by his closest advisers.
Which brings us back to Fjordman's original premise:
...Big Business and the corporate interests behind mass immigration to the West. They have the money, and money makes the world go around, after all. The problem is that they treat countries as if they are corporations, and people as if they are commodities. They want us to import people as if they were toys or cheap toasters made in China. But people are not commodities, and countries are not corporations. It is a concept of capitalism that I cannot approve of, of reducing man to nothing but a worker and a consumer, homo economicus:”
Don't you hate being a economic pawn to fill someone else's pocketbook!