The US and the World

John McMurtry

In 2001, Bush Jr.'s Assistant Deputy Sec¬retary of State proclaimed what the US had long showed its colours on: “There is no such thing as international law.”1

To confirm the position, the American government refused to accept application of international law to itself, rejecting ratification of the International Criminal Court it agreed to in 1998. Yet it demands the prosecution of others for crimes against humanity which - in the words of Mark Morris - "pale as a candle to the sun against its own." The US corporate state also repudiated every other kind of international law it originally signed to bind others, from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change of 1998. It further refused to sign international laws against the export of personal weapons murdering 500,000 people a year, the UN Convention on the Child, the Covenant Against Torture, the 2001 enforcement pact of the Biological Weapons Convention, and the original United Nations Declaration of Rights itself. The US is in these ways the quintessential "rogue state," a term it stopped applying to others when it became dear the meaning applied most of all to itself. "Terrorist state" has been the next projection.

Just before September 11, I neared the end of my next book, Value Wars. I posed a question which is more relevant afterward than before.

The Unanswered Question

"Although the world remains in unacknowledged subjugation to this grisly game, a question arises. Why rush to build a "rules-based global order" with an internationally lawless nation which most of all benefits from the financial, trade and resource dominance which the WTO enforces against societies, while at the same time it repudiates all life standards? Other national trade missions purport "national self interest." But in fact they sacrifice their national interests to a foreign power which declares only its own national interest as of value. Thus the US corporate party still reserves to itself the right not to comply with any international law or even trade rule it has constructed for others.2 Only the in-dwelling repertoire of a locked mindset can explain the abject servility of other governments.

"Unlike enslaved conditions of the past, this program of world rule and servitude has an option. That is why the


When I first heard about their problems I had not realised the expansionist nature of the world money system. Presumably Mondragon did not need borrowed money from outside the organisation and thus lacked the inflationary tendencies which would have kept them in step with the rest of the world. If this is so it emphasises the need for monetary reform to prevent the uncontrolled expansion of the money supply.

Meanwhile small co-operatives are springing up everywhere. The Green Party should be engaging in dialogue with these and with more established cooperatives such as the John Lewis Partnership, the Co-operative Society, farmers' co-operatives and Radical Routes to work out what is needed to integrate these various movements. Then we need to find ways of 'recycling" existing organisations, - banks, supermarkets, manufacturers and so on so that their skills can be used in the developments of co-operatives.

Local money, probably organised by regional authorities and integrated with a time-based international currency, seems likely to be part of the emerging picture.

Finally we should be using films, plays, stories, humour etc., etc., to make people see what a valuable and necessary system this co-operative approach could be. How, then, would we put such ideas into a Green Party voting paper?

Perhaps, though, we need to change the way we describe all our future plans. If these plans say we 'will' do certain things when we gain power we are in danger of being embarrassed by the rapidly changing circumstances of our modern world. It might be wiser to produce policy documents saying that we will EXPLORE particular approaches and ask for input from all those interested in particular aspects of our policies, perhaps conducting small-scale experiments to see how particular approaches work out. Certainly for the ideas outlined above we could not offer anything more definite that this at the moment but we should consider offering something of this sort as soon as possible.