by Cascadia Root Force
In order to understand what the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America is; what it was created for and what it intends to do, one must be aware of the framework that it was created in. The Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) is itself an Orwellian misnomer, that is to say that the wording in its name means something other than it implies. The language that is used by Washington to describe the SPP is laced with Orwellian phrases, intended very purposefully to mask its real purposes. In order to “decipher the code,” so to speak, a general understanding of the Washington Consensus and the neoliberal economic development model, two very interrelated things, is required.
Right now, most of what has been written negatively about the SPP comes from a perspective that fails to realize the actual intentions of the SPP. Much of this information has come from members of the far-right, xenophobes, and conspiracy theorists. They have one thing right, the SPP is bad for America and bad for the world. The first thing that far-right analysts have to say about the SPP is that it means the loss of National Sovereignty for Americans. This is incorrect, since we lost National Sovereignty long before the SPP. We can’t lose something that we don’t have to begin with.
Second, the SPP intends to turn North America into a single country and eliminate the Canadian/U.S. border and the U.S./Mexico border. This is also wrong. Although the SPP advocates for the “deep-integration” of the three countries, and a common security perimeter (a North American border), it is speaking about the integration of trade and investment, the mobility of capital (including human labor), and the “harmonization” of the military apparatus. They don’t have to eliminate borders to do this, rather they need to strengthen border security so that the flow of goods and services can be better administered. This is why the SPP is spending millions of dollars on building up military forces on the border, militarizing police, and conducting satellite training operations with the militaries of the United States and Canada.
The SPP is concerned with a new kind of political economics. They want to protect the flow of trade from anti capitalist threats, ensure that trade infrastructure is secure from “terrorists,” and be able to turn the spigot of immigration on or off at a whim. The immigration question, from their viewpoint, reduces human beings to a commodity -human capital. This capital needs to be regulated in the best interests of profit. Follow the laws of supply and demand and you’ll start to get the picture. The more immigrants, the more cheap non-unionized labor for U.S. corporations to exploit for profit. But if there is too much, then there is political instability, hyper-inflation, etc. Too little, and the wages start to rise, as competition for jobs becomes scarcer. That is why they want to “strengthen border security,” stop illegal immigration, but allow for millions of new legal immigrants on temporary work visa programs.
The third fallacy, is that the entire point of the SPP is to form a North American Union and a common currency, the “Amero.” This is possible, but evidence suggesting it is purely circumstantial. The important thing to note is that proponents of the SPP have called it NAFTA 2.0. That is key. NAFTA already established a North American trade bloc with set-in-stone regulations and established institutions for their administration. The SPP is furthering that process along the lines of a “free trade” ideology, as in the Free Trade Agreement (US/Canada 1989) or the North American Free Trade Agreement (1994).
The creation of the Amero could be likely if the dollar continues to plummet and the members involved in the SPP think it could offer a counterweight to the Euro, but the only evidence suggesting that this is being planned is in a Council on Foreign Relations policy recommendation report where it is offered as one of multiple options. I think it is important to remember that the “dollarization” of other countries’ currency is commonplace and a recurring theme in International Monetary Fund (IMF) imposed structural adjustment programs (SAPs). Tying a foreign currency to the value of the dollar happens all the time, and it accomplishes the same exact thing that creating a common currency would.
In short, none of these claims about the SPP is viable. The reason: the SPP is smarter than that. If they were to just come out and do these things in the wide open, people would get pissed off. You can’t just do these things in the wide open. Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans would wonder how come they never got to vote or discuss these issues. The illusion of democracy would be shattered.
With that being said, I think that the SPP is far worse than analysts on the far-right or liberals think they are. I would also like to point out, that some of those who criticize the SPP, if they were more knowledgeable on the subject, might actually support it. After all, the SPP is largely about consolidating U.S. power and our access to resources, it is largely based on free market capitalist principles, and it is outright racist.
The creators of the SPP made an intelligent decision. They recognized that oil is running out, that freshwater is running out, that, if we stay the course, were not going to have much of a planet left in the very near future, and they decided that when the resources really start to get scarce, they are going to be prosperous and the rest of the world can go to hell in a hand basket. Protecting “their share” is what the SPP is all about. This is a “realist” proposition. What is important for people to understand, the “rest of the world” means everyone but the wealthiest 5 or 1 percent, including most of the American population.
Understanding this requires an understanding of the neoliberal model of economics, what is mistakenly called “free trade.” This model came to dominate the U.S. political landscape under Ronald Reagan, one of its strongest proponents, in the 1980′s. The end of the Cold War ushered in a new era where implementing this model became much more viable. Probably the greatest consequence of U.S. victory in 1989 was to both open up the world for the implementation of this model and to allow for a global propaganda campaign that built a nearly global consensus about its desirability.
The Washington Consensus, a term used to describe the U.S. doctrine on foreign policy, has fully incorporated the ideology of neoliberalism. Nearly all Democratic politicians and nearly all Republican politicians support the neoliberal agenda, if not in word, in action. The neoliberal model is about turning everything into a commodity, incorporating the entire world into a single global market, and remaining competitive in that global market.
Remaining competitive is the goal of the SPP. It is an attempt to shore up U.S., Canadian, and Mexico’s economic power by more voraciously and efficiently extracting and transporting key resources.
The name of the game is quicker environmental destruction, lower wages and more flexible labor, and further externalization of costs onto the public while profit is being internalized. In other words, the public deals with bad stuff and the corporations and investors take all the good stuff. Costs are made public and Profits are made private.
The security part of the whole thing is about creating a fully integrated North American security force to ensure “the rule of law.” As Secretary of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and head of the Prosperity pillar of the SPP, Carlos Gutierrez has said, “The role of government is to create an environment within which business can prosper.” What he is really saying, is that the role of government is to maintain the rule of law, which is really the rule of capital. In other words, all the military integration is to ensure that money equals access to resources. Those that can afford to buy water (what should be a common good free to all) will have water and those who cannot afford it will just have to go with out. If it comes to that, which is being predicted by all experts by the year 2025.
The instability that global resource shortages will create threatens the entire class hierarchy and the globalized corporate form of capitalism itself. They need a lot of military to keep the “order,” to keep rich folks rich and to ensure that their money actually means something when nobody else has it or cares about it. That’s why they build a giant wall at the border. That’s why they privatize road-systems and move to make a national id card. That’s why they passed legislation to put militarized checkpoints at every state border and are requiring a national id card or special “traveler’s pass” to go through it. That’s why they are building massive detention centers along the border and elsewhere in the United States.
That’s why they passed the Homegrown Terrorist and Violent Radicalization Act of 2007. That’s why the SPP exists. Get it? Got it? Good!