Ever More, More, More … (TTIP)

Growth, Growth, Growth!

Eine Liliputaner-Parade marschiert durch Gullivers Beine. Illustration von Louis Rhead, 1913.
A parade of Lilliputians marching through Gulliver’s legs. Illustration by Louis Rhead, 1913.

The G7 summit led by US president Obama and Mrs. Merkel wants “more growth” world-wide, because that will solve all the problems – including the refugee problem. The CDU wants more and longer jail time for those who committed breaking and entering, because this is allegedly one crime sector that increases. And more punishment, including longer jail time, will certainly deter the burglars.

The unions want more quietness on Sundays and consequently stop the open shops on the Sunday of the Munich Founder’s Celebration. The german Leftist want more radical attitudes and more freshness in order to stop the AfD from stealing their voters.

The people governing France want more “international competitiveness”, because they think this will make them more successful in terms of business.

To me, this all sounds like bullshit. All I basically want is more peace and less consumer attitude. If you absolutely need growth, why not let “wisdom” and “ratio” grow? And I do not only mean our politicians. I would restrict growth to sectors where no harm can be done. For example more good theatre, but only if more people actually go there more often.

Since we all need more growth, the TTIP agreement needs to be ratified and installed at the end of this year, say Obama and G7. They want to promote the economic activity on our planet by all means. Consequently, there might be some serious progress with TTIP.

So here is my clear announcement:

I am against TTIP and limitless free trade. This is not only because TTIP will in an abominable way usurp the idea of democracy and put the right of enterprises over the right of governments and parliaments. That alone is bad enough. This is also not because, for instance, the experiences and consequences of a similar free-trade agreement in South America are all but encouraging. Which, incidentally, is also an argument against such an agreement.

For me, the worst is that the concept of absolutely free trade basically should be a thing of the past, because it is no longer at all trendy. Because it ruins our planet. It is no longer at all in accordance with modern times. The same is true for many other things we produce and have by now made an essential part of our life style.

Who among us still wants “predator capitalism” the only purpose of which is the increase of the shareholder value? I mean a capitalism that forcefully installs irresponsible activities, for profit and power on the market. Should we not be happy that, by now, we are back on the way towards regional products? Thinking in terms of “less is more”? By now, we understand that consumption does not make you happy, don’t we? All is does is give us depressions. That too much convenience and the absence of physical effort might well sound attractive, but that this is what, in the end, makes us sick? And I mean very sick!

Do we really want yet another increase in world-wide division of labour? After all, it just creates even more losers because it kills good jobs and promotes cheap labour (exploitation). And it also intensifies the murderous race of nations, all of whom want to produce cheapest by exploiting both humans and nature. Who wants concerns that are more powerful than the government and the UNO? Lobbies that dominate everything? And enterprises that manipulate and cheat their customers, artificially generate demand and control markets, yet – at best – ignore the interests of the people?

So how is economic activity generated? It is certainly not generated by making food – such as milk – in poorer quality and cheaper. Economic activity is only possible industrially with expensive products. Such as cars and tanks. In other words: growth will be easiest if you produce and sell even more expensive vehicles. Then you will win twice: first because of the products and secondly because you will have to improve the infra-structure. So you need garages, streets, bridges, motorways … or even worse: you will have to make a few more wars for the armament industry!

But we no longer want that! We want transparent, lean systems and easily understandable structures. We want strong regions in world-wide harmony. As the Agenda 21 used to advertise:

“Think globally, act locally!“ or “Think global, act local!“
And, please, let us do that in a more humane way and be more considerate of our environment.

I wrote this tonight in the hotel in Piräus while watching the first innings of the Champions League Final Match.
(Translated by EG)

Well, one cynic hope remains: Mr. Trump does not like the TTIP either (even if for totally different reasons). And by now, chances are pretty good that he will be the next US president.

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