Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

We must all work to rebuild the crumbling international consensus

By Peter Lewis - posted Thursday, 20 February 2003

Beyond the threats, the lies and the diplomatic manoeuvres, we could be witnessing the ultimate end game in a two-decade project of deregulation - the deregulation of international relations.

The consensus reached after the ravages of World War II look like going the same way as the post-Depression Keynsian economic consensus and the still-born environmental consensus of Rio and Kyoto.

The architect of its destruction is a far-right US administration born of the culture wars of the 90s, oil-hungry extremists who won the Republican Party, the Congress and then the Presidency with a potent mix of lies, dirty tricks and big corporate dollars.


Their mission has been to cut the State out of every sphere of life, except, of course, defence - where the massive corporate donors dominate the one remaining subsidised industry left in their lean and mean world.

These Deficit Hawks cut all layers of public spending for the poor, quarantining defence and delivering a trillion dollar tax cut to the rich; until they have a new surplus to squander on armaments.

Until they achieve their ultimate goal - a system where the only valid regulations are those that ensure corporations have freedom of movement; where the only rule is that of the market, controlled by the executive class whose idea of society begins and ends with their shareholders.

On a global stage, they have trashed international cooperation on climate change, multilateral trade and an International War Crimes Tribunal, while demanding the UN bend to its will on Iraq.

And all the way with Dubya, our own brown-nosin' PM, chief cheerleader in the Coalition of the Willing, talking up our obligations to America, while squibbing on our international responsibilities on refugees - many of whom are fleeing the dictator we are now told must be eradicated.

Maintaining the fight for a system of rules are those who felt the brunt of WWII - France, Germany and Russia - insisting it must be the UN that deals with the real threat that Saddam Hussein poses the world, knowing more than most that national interest carries untold pain for their people.


But there is a growing sense that the USA will block this push, pressuring the UN Security Council into approving US intervention in Iraq or risk being circumvented and rendered completely irrelevant.

If this occurs, those of us opposed to a War in Iraq face a difficult dilemma; having argued for months that the US must not act unilaterally, what do we do if the UN gives its rubber stamp?

For a union movement that sees a global system of international conventions under the auspices of such bodies as the ILO, UNHCR and UN Security Council as one of the key rays of hope for regulating global capital, this is an important call.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Peter Lewis is the director of Essential Media Communications, a company that runs strategic campaigns for unions, environmental groups and other “progressive” organisations.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Peter Lewis
Related Links
Photo of Peter Lewis
Article Tools
Comment Comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy