It is unbelievable how they treat us like we are dumb!  Look, I know we don’t look very smart, but stop over doing it. How does it come that now transnational organisations are signing contracts with governments, states in secret and in such a way that we: you and me (citizens) we do not have any way of expressing our point of view in this matter?

What outraged me the most, is the lost of power that each and every single one of us is suffering! As citizen of the world, of a Nation and of a community: I want my political rights to be respected! and I think I am not the only one.

Let’s take an example. Have you heard of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)? It is a serie of trade negotiations between the european union (EU) and the united states (US). Above all the outrageous points of those contracts, the worst part is that they are being carried out secretly! In view of this, we can consider an atrocity that in those trades-negotiations, they are giving the transnational organisation the power to sue Nation-States!

 

“ One of the main aims of TTIP is the introduction of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which allow companies to sue governments if those governments’ policies cause a loss of profits.”

as said Lee Wiliams in the independent the 12 october 2015 in his article “What is TTIP? And six reasons why the answer should scare you”.

Who has the power? How did we, citizens, let that power slip through our hands to end up there, far away, in pockets of toffee-nosed people? How does it come that in nowadays global political economy, the decisions making  has come to the hands of corporations? How democratic is the World Trade Organisation? (O’Bien and William 2013: 130)

 

To explain how a democratic sphere can be turn into a commercial sphere we could talk about the press. Let’s take the example of English press in the early XX century. So let me try to explain how the economic system- neo capitalism- is taking over the political system, -democracy-  through local processes that, I think, can be transposed into a global perspective.How do markets frame and gobble up the political sphere, how to transform Citizen into Consumers.

Some time ago, in the early XX century, newspapers were financed by political parties and by their lectors. We can stand up the importance of the political aspect of those newspapers as in the news they were publishing. As a result each newspaper had its own political orientation and targeted a specific class or group of political individuals.We can point out, that in this particular framework, news weren’t suppose to be neutral, but politically orientated. (That could sound crazy for us today, because we expect the news to be as objectives as possible).

It is interesting to underline is the key moment, when adds enter the news sphere. This changed this sector modus operandi. Ads companies targets were newspapers made for a middle or high class, that had a higher acquisition power. That means a more selective and restraint audience, most likely to be a future consumer.

On the other side, newspapers that had a bigger audience, with less acquisitive power, began to lose competitivity in the newspaper market. The radical press for example, lose its competitivity in the newspaper market given the lack of incomes others than the readers contributions and the political parties support.

The importance of financial incomes and its influence in the content that is been spread can not be underestimated. Incomes provided from ads to the high-middle class newspapers made them so competitive that the radical press had to shut down because of lack of means.

What I forgot to explain, is that those high-middle class newspapers did not focus on the same kind of news than the radical press. You could ask me why is that so important? Because news began, in that process, to be more sell if they were non political! (or less engaged if you prefer). This could be a way of explaining how corporations start seen masses, more as consumers rather than citizens. (Croteau and Hoynes 2014)

 

Laetitia Nauleau

 

bibliography

 

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/25/1250079/-When-Did-We-Start-Being-Viewed-as-Consumers-Rather-Than-As-Citizens -by Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees the Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:54 PM PDT

 

TTIP. Written by Lee Williams, In  “the independient” on Monday 12 October 2015

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/what-is-ttip-and-six-reasons-why-the-answer-should-scare-you-9779688.html

Oxford dictionnary online http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/politics

 

 

John Ravenhill (2011) ‘The Study of Global Political Economy’ Chapter 1 in Global Political Economy (OUP 3rd edition), pp. 3 – 19.

 

David Croteau, William (2014) Media/society : industries, images, and audiences. 5th edn. Los Angeles

 

O’Brien, R. and Williams, M. (2013)

Global political economy: Evolution and dynamics. 4th edn. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan

 

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