The original title of this article was “G20 keeps its friends close – its enemies closer”. However, there isn’t much daylight to be found between the demands made by the NGOs at this meeting and the positions that global governmental bodies like the G20 have been moving towards. This article, therefore, sets the bounds of debate around what Noam Chomsky called “the bounds of the expressible” in the text based on his groundbreaking 1989 Massey Lecture, Necessary Illusions. It may be helpful to keep the following in mind as you review this article, in which global governance sets the baseline and the future “green economy” currently driving Spain into the hands of its creditors is offered as opposition to the banks and a solution to poverty.
“Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very conditions of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns.” (pp 48)
Update (2010/06/14): Additionally, Obama has just sent out an email to his base asking them to leverage momentum around the BP oil spill disaster to drive towards his an American version of the green economy agenda. It will be interesting to see what happens at the Toronto G20. Recall that Harper, despite his being tarred as unwilling to move independently on an environmental tax, is more than willing to move in continental lockstep with the US administration on this.
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Kevin Carmichael, The Globe and Mail
June 14, 2010
Now for a word from the outside of the security fence.
On Friday, civil society leaders from 17 countries met in Ottawa with Len Edwards, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s representative at the Group of 20, and Graham Flack, a senior international official at the Finance Department. Peter Harder, a former Canadian sherpa, chaired the meeting, which was the first official contact between the G20 and its non-governmental critics.
This was a significant development. To become effective, the G20 must establish legitimacy beyond the governments that make up the group. One way to achieve this is by listening to your critics. Think of it this way: If you know you are being watched, you might as well invite the watchers in for tea. It builds trust. Failure to do so only creates doubt, of which there already is plenty.
The civil society groups were brought together by FIM-Forum for Democratic Global Governance, formerly known as the Forum international de Montreal. Rajesh Tandon, the chairman of FIM-Forum, said their meeting with the Canadian officials revolved around these themes: individuals’ anger that billions in public money was used to rescue the same institutions that caused the crisis; concern that the banking system is receiving more attention than issues such as unemployment and food security; and accountability.
On the first two, Dr. Tandon said in an interview from Ottawa on Sunday that they asked the G20 to “look at the future through the lens of a green economy that eradicates poverty.” In other words, create a global economy is less geared toward banks and bond traders. “You don’t have to rescue the model,” Dr. Tandon said. “While rescuing the economy you can construct a new model.”
On accountability, Dr. Tandon said they encouraged the Canadian sherpas to institutionalize a dialogue between civil society and the G20 much like had been done between NGO’s and the G8. This isn’t a given. Not all G20 countries – China, for example – are fans of public criticism, let alone striking up a relationship with those critics. But in Dr. Tandon’s view, this is where the G20 will prove itself as a political body. If it can encourage China and others to take a warmer view on free speech and open debate, it might be worth supporting.
According to Dr. Tandon, the G20 also must end the deadlock surrounding an overhaul of governance at the International Monetary Fund, a major symbolic issue for emerging countries who tend the view the institution as a tool of the White House, or at best, a tool of the White House and Brussels.
In Pittsburgh, the G20 leaders pledged to change the formulas that determine shares in the IMF and World Bank to give the bigger emerging markets a bigger say in how the institutions are run. The World Bank changed its voting structure in April. By all accounts, the IMF is deadlocked, as European nations that would lose clout under a new arrangement cling to power. Beyond simply chaning the share structures, civil society also wants the U.S. and the Europe to drop their historic right to choose the heads of the World Bank and IMF, respectively, Dr. Tandon said.
“Unless it is delivered, the public’s faith in these institutions will not revive,” Dr. Tandon said. “We told them that we are watching and if by the end of 2010 we don’t see significant reform enacted, we will be quite disappointed on G20’s ability to deliver.”
Source | See also: Tucker Bilderberg 2010 Wrapup: Attack on Iran discussed, World Treasury Dept delayed | Bilderberg 2010: Don’t call it a pow-wow! | G20 agenda named as “global government” by thinktank, Toronto summit set to sit on hands | Former Nato Secretary-General Admits Bilderberg Sets Global Policy | G20 leaders signal move from aid to business, call for increase to central bank budgets | Bilderberg Agenda Revealed: Globalists In Crisis, Supportive Of Attack On Iran | G20 to delay tough bank tax regulations | Geithner speaketh on the globalization of risk as G20 meets in Seoul | PM takes pre-summit pitch to Europe | G20 now singing different regulatory tunes | The Toronto G20 Police State Crackdown | European Council On Foreign Relations: EU Needs To Use Crisis For Greater Power | Dublin Trilateral attendees let slip need for world govt, war with Iran, Bilderberg oversight | European Powerbrokers Present Proposal For New Economic And Political Order | Toronto G20 should address climate issues: Nicholas Stern, UN | International Copyright Draft Release Was Apparently A One Time Deal: Now We’re Back To Secrecy | Lewenza: Canada-EU deal will affect more than trade | Western Central Banks back Trillion Dollar European rescue plan, ECB to manage markets | MPs divided on Canada-Colombia trade agreement | Canada, EU at loggerheads over bank tax | Report: U.S. attempting global censorship of GMO food labeling at CODEX Conference | Greek rescue fears hit global stock markets | Cybersecurity event seeks to spur international talks | Greece erupts as men from IMF prepare to wield axe | European Central Bank chief: Bank of International Settlements to Rule the Global Economy | Greece’s near bankruptcy won’t scuttle Canada-EU trade talks: minister | Harper calls for global economic governance, lauds G20 as ruling forum | Truth and Reconciliation Commission seeks global forum on abuse of native peoples | Big stakes in Canada-Europe trade talks, but little attention | US prepares to push for global capital rules | World Bank gets $3.5-billion boost, revamps voting structure to make China number 3 | Greek bailout not limited to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬45bn, Flaherty warns | Flaherty wins delay in decision on global bank tax at interim G20 meeting | IMF to move quickly on Greek request for loan | Global bank tax urged by IMF | Abdelrazik’s bank assets frozen | University of Toronto, Peter Munk to reveal new School of Global Affairs | Oil sands deal gives China crucial voting bloc in bitumen export issue | Thousands condemn secrecy of New Zealand round of internet copyright talks | Nuclear summit urges anti-terror treaty | Terence Corcoran: The rise of global statism | Confidential document reveals Obama’s hardline US climate talk strategy | Tucker: Bilderberg To Meet in Spain, Prolong Global Financial Recession For Another Year | Climate talks reopen at Bonn summit | J.P. Morgan rolls into Calgary | Toronto braces for G20 logistics crunch | Hundreds of Toronto G20 delegates granted diplomatic immunity | Britain pushes for new climate talks; IMF and global taxes to figure into wealth redistribution scheme | Clinton’s Arctic comments cheer Inuit | Interpol heads to World Cup in record numbers | Lovelock Calls For End to Democracy as Humans ‘Too Stupid’ to Prevent Climate Change | EU ‘Free Trade’ and CETA: Advancing the Transatlantic Agenda | CETA worse than ACTA — EU Trade Negotiators Demand Canada Completely Overhaul Its Intellectual Property Laws | IMF struggles to conceal glee at Greek deal | Canadians to get biometric, RFID enabled passports in 2011, security experts voice concerns | Toronto G20 summit security to be ‘massive’ | Revealed: ACTA to cover seven categories of intellectual property | New ACTA Leaks Complete Picture of Oppressive Global Copyright Treaty | Banking reforms urgent, Harper says at G20 sherpas’ meeting | RCMP needs 5,500 rooms during G20 summit | G20 ’sherpas’ meet with IMF, World Bank on Ottawa | Pacific North American Regional Integration and Control | MEPs vote overwhelmingly for an EU Tobin Tax | ‘Doomsday’ seed bank growing strongly | IMF chief calls for quota-based global warming slush fund | Frustrated Icelanders vent rage by voting no in referendum | EU considers general carbon tax | Downtown Toronto to become a fortress for G20 summit | IMF chief proposes new reserve currency | Man who broke the Bank of England, George Soros, ‘at centre of hedge funds plot to cash in on fall of the euro’ | Leaked UN Documents Reveal Plan For “Green World Order” By 2012 | EU executive recommends fast-track membership for Iceland | G8/G20: Gearing up for the biggest security event in Canadian history | Inuit group blasts Cannon over summit | Precedent setting meeting called as Canada’s premiers attend Governors Association in Washington DC | Global security to top agenda of G8 foreign ministers | Euro currency union shows strains | G20 security could strangle downtown | Gordon Brown’s plan for global bank tax ‘a step closer’ | EU leaders reach secret Greek bailout deal | Indigenous groups left out of Arctic leaders’ summit | G20’s Metro Convention Centre location to bump baseball, pride activities | ACTA Is Called An ‘Executive Agreement’ To Implement Restrictive Copyright With Less Hassle Than A Treaty | A New Generation of ‘ North American’ Citizens | Hollywood loses landmark copyright case in Australia | EU cautions Greece about its deficit | Global Bank Insurance Levy Wins Support over Transaction Tax at Davos | No solution in dispute over Iceland deposits | Harper urges G20 to follow economic accords | Canadian scientist says UN’s global warming panel ‘crossing the line’ | UN drops deadline for countries to state climate change targets | EU urged to adopt bank supertax | Flaherty to use February G7 in Iqaluit (or Ottawa?) to push for global changes to financial system | Iceland says IMF aid likely delayed | The next big scam: Fraud endemic to carbon market | Reading Between The Still Secret Lines Of The ACTA Negotiations | Sarkozy says world currency disorder unacceptable | Iceland blocks central bank debt repayment deal | For more see The Memory Hole — Globalization