Let me introduce myself: my name is Teddy Kronthaler, I am Andreas’ cousin, and I come from the Tyrol in Austria. I have studied Politics and Human Rights in London and recently joined Climate Revolution working with Vivienne. Last week Vivienne and I went to visit Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Julian talked about the emergence of nation states throughout history, their coming into existence through political strife and civil war. The established power is then consolidated through the use of force – police and military. Law is set up in order to run the country; no modern nation state, a liberal democracy if we want to use the term, can function without law.
I know that the major institutions of a state should be kept separate. A) the legislature, i.e. parliament, B) the executive, i.e. the government and C) the judiciary, i.e. the courts should be functionally independent of each other. Parliament passes the law but then the government chooses who goes to jail – we need fair trials! No one institution should become so powerful as to override the other two without being held accountable. In practice this idea has often been, and regularly is, violated – in authoritarian regimes one does not expect this system to be practiced in the first place.
Important here: just because an action by the state is said to be “according to the law”, or “not illegal,” that this does not mean that the action is necessarily just, ethical, or moral; for instance Anti-Jewish Legislation in Nazi Germany or the system of racial segregation in South Africa known as Apartheid.
So far we talked about nation states, but what about the international state system? The United Nations, The WTO, The IMF, The World Bank, The European Union, etc. What do they mean?
We are entering the territory of Anarchy! These institutions are set up and controlled by the ones “in power”- political and economic power is the overriding principle. International law exists, but is it enforceable? – just look at the so esteemed Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Who set it up? How did it come into being? Whose rights are to be enforced? Where can I go to claim my individual human rights? How does all work out in practice?
Julian told me his current situation is orchestrated by the governments of the US, Great Britain, Sweden and Australia, based on shared political interests. His situation is a perfect example of how international law and political power are abused in the real world.
2nd Topic, TPP: Julian mentioned a quote by US defence secretary, Ashton Carter: “TPP is as important to the US as another aircraft carrier”.
I guess neo-liberal trade policies since Thatcher and Reagan have destroyed as many lives as war. World Control by trade agreements is as expedient as World Control by military force. TPP, and with it TTIP, CETA, TISA are blanket laws to consolidate the power of the CRIMINALS in overruling all traditional laws. This is a “racket”, conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the very many.