Black Star North - An Anarchist Statement against the FTAA (and capitalism in general)

Chuck0's picture

On April 20th, heads-of-state from every country in South and North America and the Caribbean (except for Cuba), along with delegates from many of the world's wealthiest corporations, will meet in Quebec City, Canada in an attempt to finish negotiations regarding a trade pact called the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Accompanying them will be over 5,000 riot police, secret service agents, undercover agents, private cops, and other armed personnel-- amounting to the largest police mobilization in Canadian history.

Additionally, a ten-foot fence, topped with barbed wire, is being erected around the periphery of downtown Quebec. Officials think this will aid the police in their attempt to enable the representatives of the wealthy elite to carry out a successful meeting, undisturbed (or so they hope) by the tens of thousands of activists and concerned individuals who plan to go to Quebec to protest the hideous implications of the FTAA. The corporate media will be there too, of course, to distort the opinions of the activists (especially anarchists) as well as the truth on how the FTAA's policies will affect the majority of the Western Hemisphere's population-- while presenting the public with the lies told to them by their powerful corporate bosses.

The FTAA is the latest attempt by the rich and powerful to extend capitalist relations to literally every corner of the globe. Like other trade agreements (World Trade Organization, European Union, etc.) the FTAA, with its emphasis on unrestrained economic growth, will lead to an increase in poverty, militarization, and ecological destruction. The objective of the FTAA is to extend an existing treaty, called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA-- which has already lead to an increase in poverty, militarization, and ecological destruction in North America, particularly Mexico), to all countries in the Western Hemisphere except Cuba. Doing so will open all included borders to economic liberalization-- forcing the nation-states involved to forego environmental protection and labor laws that may be viewed by the corporate elite as barriers to such "free trade." International borders will not, of course, be open to the flood of Latin American immigrants who will eventually head north to escape the utter poverty that the FTAA, if enacted, will inevitably create in southern countries.

We oppose the FTAA and all so-called "free-trade" agreements because they are an extension of capitalism-- an economic system based on ruthless competition, which creates hierarchical social relationships of rich/poor, exploiter/exploited, and have/have-nots. It is a system so entrenched in our daily lives and interpersonal relationships that we cannot escape it without demolishing it completely. Most of us experience it's cruel reality every day at work-- where we are forced to slave away, under degrading and humiliating conditions, just so that we may be able to afford the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter needed to keep us and our families alive. Others of us experience it at school, where we can only hope to enjoy a few moments of youthful bliss before succumbing to a similar fate of utter boredom and meaninglessness. Still others are not even so lucky. Victims of poverty and often institutionalized racism, they languish in the concrete hell of America's growing prison system. Let us also not forget the others: the homeless, the illegal aliens, the forgotten seniors quietly withering away in nursing homes, and the hundreds of thousands internationally who die each year in wars for capitalist lust.

Inherent in the maddening logic of capitalism is a "grow or die" imperative that urges it to expand relentlessly-- constantly seeking new markets to exploit, ever cheaper sources of labor, and new ecosystems to destroy in its quest for more raw materials. We therefore reject the calls of "Anti-Globalization" liberals who denounce "global capitalism" and "corporate capitalism" as if a return to locally based capitalism would be any sort of a desirable or plausible alternative. We reject the insane, exploitative capitalist system as a whole, in both its global and local forms. We also reject reformist and nationalist calls for "green" politics and stronger state sovereignty. Support for such efforts will only continue the reign of capital or create new forms of tyranny and authority. The state, like capital, is an institutionalized form of violence and oppression that must be destroyed.

Capitalism, backed by government and the patriarchal, racist, ecocidal worldview of Western Civilization, is the root source of the vast misery currently inflicting the majority of the Earth's inhabitants. The gross expansion of capitalism into its present phase has created a situation in which the very future of life on Earth is under threat. The precious ecosystems of the Earth are being destroyed irreparably, an our very humanity is becoming lost to the artificial, computerized, genetically-engineered future of capitalist progress. Time is running out.

The days of pleading to the consciences of those in power are over. We have learned from history and experience that this rotten order cannot be reformed.

So let us go to Quebec City on April 20th to shut down the FTAA-- but let's do so with a larger goal to shut down capitalism and the state. Let us fight every day, in our workplaces, schools, communities, and autonomous cells, by daylight and by the darkness of night, for a world in which human beings, collectively and individually, may have the freedom and autonomy to make their own decisions regarding the issues directly affecting their lives. Settling for anything less is a compromise to our liberty and our humanity.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet