Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Is There No True Justice or Rule of Law in Brazil? If So, How Can There Ever Be Economic Freedom??

In Brazil, Justice is For the Birds

By Augusto Zimmermann

Brazzil Magazine

June 17, 2008

(Translation: 'Picture of Brazil')
This article is based on a paper presented at the annual conference of the Australian Society of Legal Philosophy, June 13-15 2008.

Brazil is a nation suffering from a substantial lack of commitment to the rule of law. As a result, most of what happens in Brazil lies outside the statute books and law reports.

In that country there is indeed a very sharp contrast between, on the one hand, statutes and the written texts of the constitution, and, on the other hand, the daily life as demonstrated in the dealings between individuals and public authorities.

In an important survey conducted by DaMatta in the mid 1980s, citizens in Brazil were asked how they classify a person who obeys the law. The common answer was that such a person must be an individual of "inferior" social status. But when asked about a wealthy person who wishes to obey the law, the common answer to this situation was that this person is simply a babaca (fool). DaMatta then concluded from this empirical research that, in Brazil, "compliance with law conveys the impression of anonymity and great inferiority".
In Brazil, social status is far more important than any protection of the law, because laws are generally perceived as not being necessarily applied to everyone. Unlike a typical North American citizen who would use the law to protect him-or-herself against any situation of social adversity, a citizen in Brazil would instead appeal to his or her social status.

Respecting the law in that country implies a condition of social inferiority and disadvantage that renders one subject to it. As the late historian José Honório Rodrigues observed: "In Brazil, personal liking is above the law". And so the familiar Brazilian maxim: "Para os amigos tudo, para os indiferentes nada, e para os inimigos a lei" (For my friends, everything; for strangers, nothing; for my enemies - the law!).

Since Brazil's society stresses direct relations based on personal liking as opposed to formal relations which are based on the law, the greatest fear of Brazilians is that of eventually becoming an isolated citizen. The isolated citizen is an inferior who is reduced to the condition of being merely "under" the law.

Accordingly, people without the necessary ability to develop such relationship ties have "only" the law on which to depend, whereas a citizen with "good" friends can also obtain any "special" treatment from the state and other institutions of prestige.

A phrase that is typically applied by people who expect such "special treatment" is "Você sabe com quem está falando?" ("Do you know whom you are talking to?"). It is often used by those who wish to somehow disobey formal rules, and as such it can be applied to a vast range of situations. A common application is when a police officer is "daring" to apply a fine for parking infringement. In such a case it is the officer himself who risks being punished if he tries to enforce the law.

It is not so much that the individual declaring personal exemption from the law necessarily views it as being wrong or unfair; it is just that he or she believes the law does not apply to a person like him or her. To obey it would be beneath him or her. The premise is that he or she possesses the privilege of being "more equal" than others, and so exercises the prerogative to ignore the law with impunity and utter arrogance. This sort of behaviour, argues history professor José Murilo de Carvalho, might be provoked by the mixed nature of the Brazilian citizen which he describes in the following terms:

"Master and slave live together inside him. When occupying positions of power he exhibits the arrogance of a master, when outside power he oscillates between servility and rebelliousness. A true citizen conscious of his (legal) rights and mindful of the rights of others did not develop..."

This cultural trait may help to explain the persistence of (social) inequality whose major victims are the descendents of the former slaves.

In reality, the fact that many people in Brazil often consider themselves above the law might be a legacy of the institution of slavery infecting contemporary Brazilian society.

The hypothesis posits that slavery might have contributed to a low value being placed on compliance with law. While slavery was abolished a long time ago, in May 1888, a master-slave mentality might still permeate Brazil's social relations. According to Joseph A. Page,
"There are... societal ills that can be traced at least in part to slavery. For example, the slave owner could do as he pleased with his slaves without having to answer to anyone for the consequences of his actions. The master-slave relationship replicated the medieval relationship between Portuguese king and his subjects, and it came to define the link between the powerful and the powerless in Brazil... Indeed, a sense of being above the law became a prerogative of the nation's haves. The notion of impunity - the avoidance of personal responsibility - became deeply ingrained in Brazilianness and has proved a barrier to development."

To understand the reasons for problems blocking the rule of law from taking hold in Brazilian society, we need to investigate these patterns of social behaviour that inhibit the normal respect for legal norms and principles.

The abysmal difference in Brazil between legal provisions and reality bears a good testimony to the fact that "good laws" might be important, but what really matters is individual, straightforward conduct, which in turn is the natural result of a culture of legality entailing the willingness by all citizens, including judges and politicians, to honestly respect legal obligations.

Indeed, Brazil does not have the rule of law because Brazilians have not yet developed this kind of culture.

* Augusto Zimmermann, LLB, LLM, PhD is a Law Lecturer at Murdoch University, Western Australia.


Comments (2)
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Dr.Zimmermann strikes again! written by João da Silva, June 17, 2008

A splendid article and my kudos again. We do need more Brasilians like Augusto and Ricardo to write such articles, questioning the lack of commitment to law in this country, not disregarding the fact that there are several hundreds of thousands of Brasilians that share their views. Let me cite a few examples from my own experience.

But when asked about a wealthy person who wishes to obey the law, the common answer to this situation was that this person is simply a babaca (fool).

I am not wealthy at all, but just a middle class person.But I obey all the laws, including the traffic rules. When I stop my car at a pedestrian crossing to let the people cross teh street, I get harassed by other drivers some of whom call me a "babacão" and some others (especially the lady drivers) show me fingers! Lately I have seen that evern the cops dont give a damn about pedestrian crossings. Because they are "autoridades maximas" (The highest authorities) and above any blooddy law.

Since Brazil's society stresses direct relations based on personal liking as opposed to formal relations which are based on the law, the greatest fear of Brazilians is that of eventually becoming an isolated citizen. The isolated citizen is an inferior who is reduced to the condition of being merely "under" the law.

Spot on again, Dr.Zimmermann. 100% correct. He becomes not only isolated but a "pariah" (because "ele não tem jogo de cintura")!!

"Master and slave live together inside him. When occupying positions of power he exhibits the arrogance of a master, when outside power he oscillates between servility and rebelliousness.

Augusto is brutally blunt again". Even the "Zelador" of a building becomes arrogant, when occupying power.Imagine the "doutores" in the justice system. They are beyond any control!! Have experienced this too.

The abysmal difference in Brazil between legal provisions and reality, bears a good testimony to the fact that "good laws" might be important, but what really matters is individual, straightforward conduct, which in turn is the natural result of a culture of legality entailing the willingness by all citizens, including judges and politicians, to honestly respect legal obligations.

100% correct again.

Indeed, Brazil does not have the rule of law because Brazilians have not yet developed this kind of culture.

Sadly, it will take many more years to develop this culture. I enjoyed reading the article and kudos again to Zimmermann.

Spot on written by jakob, June 17, 2008

Ditto about rules and laws in Brazil... When I try to cross the street, it's amazing how EVERY motorists cuts into my path, and does NOT stop to let me pass... Sometimes, even when I'm already 2 meters into the street, they STILL do not stop ... I am amazed every time at this insensitivity, rudeness and lack of civility. As if I, a "mere" pedestrian, have absolutely no rights with respect to car drivers ... Stunning, this lack of upbringing. But hey, it's "culture"!

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Irish People Have Spoken: NO EU TREATY; EU Commission & US Democratic Congress BEWARE!!

Ireland rejects EU reform treaty

BBC News

June 13, 2008

Voters in the Irish Republic have rejected the European Union's Lisbon treaty in a vote by 53.4% to 46.6%.

The poll is a major blow to leaders in the 27-nation EU, which requires all its members to ratify the treaty. Only Ireland has held a public vote.

The European Commission says nations should continue to ratify the treaty, designed to streamline decision-making.

Irish PM Brian Cowen said he respected the vote but it had caused a "difficult situation" that had "no quick fix".

Leaders of the No campaign said the vote was a "great result for Ireland".

An earlier, more wide-ranging EU draft constitution failed after French and Dutch voters rejected it in 2005.

'Uncharted territory'

The Irish No campaign won by 862,415 votes to 752,451. Turnout was 53.1%.

Mr Cowen said: "The government accepts and respects the verdict of the Irish people."

He said he would work with other EU leaders to try to find an "agreed way forward" but that the bloc was in "uncharted territory".

At the end of the day, for a myriad of reasons, the people have spoken Dermot Ahern, Justice Minister "Ireland has no wish to halt the progress" of the EU, he said.

A referendum was mandatory in Ireland as the country would need to change its constitution to accommodate the treaty.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he had spoken to Mr Cowen and agreed with him that this was not a vote against the EU.

"Ireland remains committed to a strong Europe," he said.

"Ratifications should continue to take their course."

France and Germany quickly issued a joint statement expressing regret over the Irish result.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the UK would press on with ratification, saying: "It's right that we continue with our own process."

[THIS IS THE TYPICAL BRUSSELS/GERMANY/FRENCH RESPONSE: WHO CARES WHAT THE PEOPLE SAY?? THEY WILL LEARN THAT WE KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR THEM! WE SHALL EDUCATE THEM THROUGH REGULATION... See, e.g., UK Labor Party Willing to Give-Away Country's Sovereignty to EU; Does the US Democratic Party Wish to Do the Same for America??, ITSSD Journal on Pathological Communalism, at: ; Why Europe’s National Politicians Sign Away National Sovereignty , ITSSD Journal on Economic Freedom, at: ; Brussels' and Gordon Brown's Contempt for the European People, ITSSD Journal on Economic Freedom, at: ; Forner UK Prime Minister Tony Blair Was Determined to Modify Public Behavior Through Claude Helvetius’ ‘Education Thru Legislation' Program, ITSSD Journal on Pathological Communalism, at: ; Roger Helmer - UK Member of EU Parliament - "Straight Talking" Newsletter Dec. 2007, ITSSD Journal on Economic Freedom, at: ; 11/6/07 E-mail Correspondences Between Roger Helmer UK Member of European Parliament & Lawrence Kogan, ITSSD CEO, ITSSD Journal on Economic Freedom, at: .]

Spain has said a solution will be found but Czech President Vaclav Klaus said ratification could not now continue.

Mr Barroso said EU leaders would have to decide at a summit next week how to proceed. He called for the EU to continue focusing on issues of interest to people like jobs and inflation, energy security and climate change.

This is democracy in action... and Europe needs to listen to the voice of the people Declan Ganley, Libertas.

But BBC Europe editor, Mark Mardell, says this is a multiple crisis for the EU - a crisis of rule change, of legitimacy and of morale.

In the end, he says, the Lisbon treaty could be declared dead: some parts of it would be implemented without a treaty, others abandoned, others put in a new treaty when Croatia joins the EU in a couple of years time.

Declan Ganley of the anti-treaty lobby group Libertas said: "It is a great day for Irish democracy." He added: "This is democracy in action... and Europe needs to listen to the voice of the people."

The No campaign was a broad coalition ranging from Libertas to Sinn Fein, the only party in parliament to oppose the treaty.

Gerry Adams, the president of Sinn Fein, said: "People feel secure at the heart of Europe, but they want to ensure there's maximum democratic power."


Correspondents say many voters did not understand the treaty despite a high-profile campaign led by Mr Cowen, which had the support of most of the country's main parties.


Jose Manuel Barroso said the EC respected the vote but had hoped for another outcome.

Mr Cowen accused the No camp of "misrepresentation", saying voters had voiced concern about "issues that clearly weren't in the treaty at all", the Irish Times reported.

The treaty, which is designed to help the EU cope with its expansion into eastern Europe, provides for a streamlining of the European Commission, the removal of the national veto in more policy areas, a new president of the European Council and a strengthened foreign affairs post.


The treaty was due to come into force on 1 January 2009.

Fourteen countries out of the 27 have completed ratification so far.

Just over three million Irish voters are registered - in a European Union of 490 million people.


The EU Brussels and National Government Elite Continue to Express Contempt for What the European People Want!!,,91211-1318932,00.html?f=rss

EU Treaty 'Not Dead' Despite Irish Vote

Sky News

June 14, 2008

European governments have pledged to continue implementing the EU reform treaty, despite its rejection by Irish voters.

More than half those who cast their ballots said 'No' to the Lisbon Treaty, which requires the support of all 27 EU members.

The Irish Prime Minister says there will be no second referendum - which could result in the treaty being scrapped altogether.

Official results of the treaty referendum showed out of some 1.6m votes cast, 53.4% people said No, while 46.6% said Yes.

The vote means the reforms will no longer come into force on January 1, 2009 as planned. "In theory this should kill the treaty dead," said Sky's political correspondent Glen Oglaza.

"The European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said during the course of this campaign that there is no Plan B.

"Euro-sceptics are pointing out that this was already Plan B - the failed European Constitution was Plan A.

"They want to know how far down the alphabet we are going to go."

However, Mr Barroso argued that despite the referendum outcome, the treaty was "not dead". He said he had spoken to Ireland's Premier Brian Cowen and that "he also believed the treaty is not dead, the treaty is alive".

Mr Cowen, whose Fianna Fail party supported a Yes vote, said he was disappointed but the judgment of the Irish people must be respected.

Irish PM after result announced

"In a democracy, the will of the people - as expressed at the ballot box - is sovereign," he said.
But he added: "We must not rush to conclusions. The Union has been in this situation before and each time has found an agreed way forward."

Gerry Adams, whose Sinn Fein party urged voters to reject the reform, told Sky News: "It's a very good day for Europe and a very good day for Ireland."

The 'No' vote will cause a major headache as it was designed to streamline decision-making for the enlarged EU's 27 member states.

Ireland was the only country to hold a public vote on the Treaty because it would have had to amend its national constitution to enact it.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Britain would continue its process of ratifying the Lisbon treaty, despite the setback in Ireland.


EU referendum: Ireland votes against Lisbon Treaty

By Tom Peterkin in Dublin

UK Telegraph

June 13, 2008

Irish voters have left Brussels' plans for EU integration in tatters by rejecting the Lisbon Treaty.

Even before all the official Ireland referendum results were announced, Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, conceded that the public had voted against the Treaty.

But despite the result, he still called on other member states to ratify the Treaty. "I believe the treaty is alive and we should now try to find a solution," he said in Brussels.

Dermot Ahern, Ireland's justice minister, said: “At the end of the day, for a myriad of reasons, the people have spoken.”

The result is bad news for Ireland's leader, Taoiseach Brian Cowen, who will have some tough explaining to do when he faces EU leaders at the European Council summit next week in Brussels.

Mr Ahern said he became somewhat despondent and surprised at the opposition to the treaty in the final days of canvassing.

The minister believes high numbers of women rejected the EU deal because of fears over army conscription in a new military alliance.

At the major ballot-counting center in Dublin, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan struggled to speak to reporters as anti-treaty activists jubilantly drowned him out with songs and chants of "No!"

"This is a huge rebuff to the political establishment. It shows there is massive distrust among ordinary working people," said Joe Higgins, the sole Socialist Party member in the Irish parliament.

The decision places massive doubt over the future of the pact designed to bring more European integration.

All 27 European member states have to ratify the treaty for it to go come into force next year. So far it has been approved by 18 members including Britain, but Ireland is the only country to put it to a public vote.

The leaders of the 26 other member states watched with dismay as Ireland voted “no”, a decision that will inevitably lead to much infighting and bickering across Europe.

The main Irish political parties, including Taoiseach Mr Cowen's leading government party Fianna Fail, have fought hard for a Yes vote, with Sinn Fein campaigning against the Treaty.

Despite benefiting from £32 billion in European Grants in recent years, a low turn-out (45 per cent) of the Irish electorate discarded the Treaty, designed to streamline the EU.

The outcome was triumph for a highly-effective No Campaign masterminded by the Libertas group led by the multimillionaire Declan Ganley. Libertas argued that the Treaty would undermine Ireland’s influence in Europe, would open the door to interference in taxation and enshrine EU law above Irish law.

For Brian Cowen, the newly-installed Irish Prime Minister, the result was a disaster. All the main political parties, aside from Sinn Fein, had supported the Treaty and made strenuous efforts to win the referendum.

Mr Cowen now has to face the embarrassment of explaining to his fellow European leaders why he failed to persuade his nation to adopt the Treaty.


Ireland Snubs the EU

By Conor O’Clery

Irish voters, making up a fraction of one per cent of the population of the European Union, have rejected a crucial EU reform treaty by a narrow margin, leaving itself isolated in Europe and the European Union in crisis.

The result stopped in its tracks an accord hammered out in Lisbon, Portugal, to enable European institutions to cope with a rapid EU growth to 27 countries with a population of 495 million people.

The outcome, announced yesterday afternoon, of the referendum held Thursday dismayed and angered governments across Europe, which saw their tortuous negotiations to make EU institutions more efficient thrown into disarray.

The Lisbon Treaty had to be ratified by every country before coming into effect and EU leaders must now find some other way for European integration to go ahead. Twenty-six countries left ratification to their national governments and only Ireland, with 3.05 million voters, staged a referendum, as required under its constitution.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will now face furious domestic pressure to hold a once-promised referendum rather than continue to ratify the treaty through parliament. Ireland can only hope that Britain will also reject the treaty: a small country saying no is a problem for the small country, but a big country saying no is a problem for Brussels.

The vote is a slap in the face for the French Government whose foreign minister Bernard Kouchner warned Ireland on Monday that it would be very troubling “that we would not be able to count on the Irish who counted a lot on Europe's money.” Such comments, implying that an ungrateful Ireland would be cast adrift, sounded like bullying to many Irish voters.

What has left veteran European observers scratching their heads in genuine bewilderment is that Ireland of all countries should rebuff the EU, as membership of the European club has allowed Ireland to prosper mightily and to escape from the shadow of Britain, its former ruler.

The result confounded and infuriated the Irish political establishment, which had thrown all its energies into securing a “Yes” vote. The government, the major opposition parties and the biggest labor and farming unions all campaigned for ratification.

It also confounded Ireland’s leading gambling company, Paddy Power PLC, which was so convinced of the outcome it prematurely paid out winnings to people who bet on a ‘Yes’ vote, leaving the company left with “egg on our faces” as a spokeswoman put it.

Irish prime minister Brian Cowen put his personal prestige on delivering a “Yes” vote and is also left with egg on his face. Seemingly unaware how compromised the Irish political class has been by corruption allegations and failures to cope with internal problems such as a dysfunctional health service, he and other government ministers erected posters on every Irish lamp post with their portraits, urging a “Yes” vote.

Opponents of the treaty in Europe cheered on the Irish ‘No” campaign, and British newspapers circulating in Ireland, like the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times, campaigned against ratification, leading to accusations from the “Yes” campaign that Britain's Eurosceptics were waging a proxy war in Ireland.

For the anti-EU Europeans, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, never has so much been done, by so few, for so many, as the Irish have scuppered a treaty which would likely have been rejected by the electorates of several other member countries.

One reason for the “No” vote was that the 287-page document was so full of bureaucratic language that people did not know what they were voting for. The treaty proved impenetrable even to legal experts: the chairman of the independent Irish Referendum Commission, Iarfhlaith O Neill, was embarrassingly unable to answer a technical point at a press conference last week.


In an ill-tempered national debate, both sides threw around accusation of lies and distortions. A free-market organisation called Libertas formed by Irish businessman Declan Ganley argued that the country’s low corporate tax rate, crucial for international investment, would be jeopardized by the treaty.

The pro-life lobby expressed fears that a loss of sovereignty could mean the end of Ireland’s strict anti-abortion law.

The minor opposition party, Sinn Fein, stirred up concerns that Ireland would lose its cherished neutrality and become part of a militarized Europe. Some voters said they thought they were voting against conscription.

Opponents also argued that Ireland’s influence in Europe would be weakened through the loss its commissioner on the European Commission, the de facto European cabinet, for five out of every 15 years.

The government rejected all these claims, and pointed out that every EU member country would lose their commissioner for similar periods. But as Irish radio presenter Pat Kenny put it, the “No” campaign had all the best tunes.

Anticipating the outcome, the Irish Times thundered its disapproval on Saturday in an editorial headed “Are we out of our minds?” Seeking an explanation for a likely defeat it reflected on “a strange public mood out there that is anti-establishment, anti-authority and anti-politician.”

Ireland’s foreign minister Micheál Martin admitted the result showed a disconnect between EU institutions and its people. Martin, who has to face his fellow EU foreign ministers on Monday to explain what happened, admitted “There was a general sense we were giving away too much power.”

Ireland may try again as it did with a previous EU treaty when it held two referenda in 2001 and 2002 to get a “Yes” vote, but such a move would only confirm the argument that European democracy means everyone agreeing to what the bureaucrats decide.

Conor O'Clery is former chief foreign correspondent of The Irish Times, Ireland's leading national newspaper.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Universalizing the U.S. Constitution and its Accompanying Bill of Rights, Which Together Remain the Only Truly Enforced Declaration of Human Rights

ITSSD Response to:

Global Governance vs. Liberal Democracy? We are Going to Have to Choose, by John Fonte


May 18, 2008

Global Governance vs. Liberal Democracy? We are going to have to choose
by John Fonte

I want to thank Peter for inviting me to participate in this discussion. It has been very useful and clarifying. I will close with a few thoughts. Peter's book addresses what will become the major issue of world politics in the 21st century and I'm grateful for his efforts. He has made a strong descriptive case (as has Alex and others), but, in the end, we are all moral human beings interested in the normative.

What we are talking about is the ultimate normative question of politics going back to Plato and Aristotle: who shall govern? For many among Western elites the big idea of the coming century will be how do go beyond the nation-state and national citizenship and create some new form of global governance. In my view (and I realize I'm in a minority in this discussion) global governance (as it has been articulated to date) presents a direct challenge to the legitimacy and authority of the liberal democratic nation-state in general and to American constitutional sovereignty in particular. It is not possible, in my view, to have the new forms of post-national global governance (that have been described in our exchanges) and have, at the same time, constitutional democratic government. At the end of the day, we must choose global governance or liberal democracy?

I choose liberal democracy and its only real historical home, the liberal democratic nation-state as the highest political authority, above any international institution or laws. This is a universal principle and American foreign policy should apply this universally, speaking not simply for American democratic sovereignty, but for the democratic sovereignty of other liberal democratic states as well in arguments over, for example, the International Criminal Court (ICC). Particularly, we should speak up for and protect those democratic nation-states that are under pressure from transnational institutions and forces such as Israel and the Czech Republic (non-ratifiers of the ICC). I will be addressing these issues in my forthcoming (2009) book, Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others? (Encounter Books). Thanks Peter. 05.15.2008 at 11:43am

(link)Ron Moss (mail) (www):

Of course global governance presents a direct challenge to the nation-state, just as the formation of tribes presented a challenge to clans and the formation of nations presented a challenge to tribes. It does not present a challenge to democracy. The question is how are Human Rights best served? Individual Human Rights must be the foundation of all governance. The world has become globalized but is not governed globally. We are a world community, like it or not. How can we address climate change other than on a global basis? How can we allow the free flow of capital without global accounting and disclosure standards? How can we protect oppressed peoples other than on a global basis? As the US Constitution says, each human being has rights that no government can take away. No sovereignty, global or local, should be recognized that deprives human beings of their rights.

5.15.2008 2:17pm


Absolute nonsense. There is no single good reason why the US, Israel and Czechia should not ratify the ICC Statute, period.
5.16.2008 6:39am

(link)Lawrence Kogan (mail) (www):

I believe that Mr. Fonte is correct in his assertion that Americans are not ready or willing to concede the obsolecence of the nation state in furtherance of greater global governance. In fact, they are more likely to object to such a movement than is being represented by the globalists.

I previously engaged in a dialogue with Peter Spiro about the hierarchy of law within the US. I insisted that a treaty is of the same legal significance within the US as is a federal statute (i.e., a legislative promulgation of Congress), and that both are lesser in legal significance than is the U.S. Constitution. In other words, in the case of a conflict, the US Constitution trumps both a federal statute AND a treaty. This truism is absolute insofar as the Supreme Court has ruled that a treaty, like a federal statute, cannot contravene the Constitution and its Bill of Rights and remain legally valid for purposes of US law.

Of course, Peter, being a revisionist, disagrees with this outcome. And, based on his prior statements to me, he endeavors to reinterpret US case precedent and the original intent of the US Constitution (particularly its federal treaty-making clause) for the purpose of facilitating greater US legal harmonization with foreign national and international laws.

There are a number of reasons why the citizens of the U.S., boasting the world's oldest functioning representative democracy, truly a republic, should be reluctant to subject themselves to the evolving bureaucratic institutions of global governance that lack significant checks and balances and public accountability. Chief among the reasons why Americans should resist integration within such institutions, is that such institutions do not recognize, reflect and embody the primacy of natural individual rights, as embodied and incorporated within the U.S. Constitution, its accompanying Bill of Rights and the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

The ICC, like most other international institutions, is at best a compromise between the competing common law vs. civil law institutions of Anglo-American and Continental legal systems. And, we can all see how 'well-functioning' and respectful of individual rights the emerging EU regional Continental legal system is, especially considering how the European national and regional politicians have handled the EU Constitution/EU Treaty issue. In a nutshell, the politicians along with the national and regional governmental bureaucrats trampled on the individual rights of European citizens by misrepresenting the nature of the new treaty, following the prior failed public referenda in 2005. Fortunately, Giscard D'Estaing publicly admitted that the Treaty was merely a subterfuge - a restated and reorganized EU Constitution that the politicans and bureaucrats were trying to cram down the national legislatures without public consent - rule BY law (or rule of MEN).

This continuing disrespect for the rule OF law is symptomatic of European Continental law. While they give lip service to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other lofty instruments, they do NOT practice what they preach. For example, European scholars readily admit that under the Continental legal system, guilt is presumed before innocence in the event of an alleged violation of civil or criminal law (e.g., one need only review the bases and modus operandi undertaken in the recent antitrust raids in Europe), whereas under the Anglo-American system, the opposite is true (i.e., the government must show 'probable cause' to issue a warrant). Also, European scholars readily admit that exclusive private property rights are 'negative' rights under the Anglo-American legal system (i.e., contra the rights of other property holders and of the government,) whereas, under the Continental legal system, property rights are deemed as 'positive' rights subject to governmental override when government considers them to be inconsistent with the public/social interest. Hence, European scholars acknowledge that property rights in Europe are ATTENTUATED. I would be pleased to provide Peter with the growing scholarship in this area if he requires a bit of persuasion.

The UN/EU philosophy of climate change as the sin qua non justification for greater global goverance perhaps reflects the greatest attempted mass fraud on the human race ever conceived since the Marxist and Nazi eras. When one looks closely at the emerging regulatory instrument of choice i.e., the nontransparent and overly complex GHG emissions cap &trade system, one can clearly see how no specific emissions reductions achieved by particular emitters can be guaranteed, how the major GHG brokerages on Wall Street and in London's financial district will be the ones to make most of the money, and how energy, goods and services prices of consumers on both sides of the Atlantic will significantly rise, all in the name of 'global governance'. The whole purpose behind a nontransparent regulatory instrument such as this is 'burden sharing' - UN/EU speak for wealth redistribution.

While the world has become more integrated and the interests of diverse peoples have become more closely aligned than ever before, this does NOT suggest that only ONE analyis, ONE solution and/or one set of 'standards' is called for. Nor does it suggest that the only model of governance to address global issues is that of a massive supranational global regulatory welfare state that incorporates values found within EU Continental law and cultural preferences that place the individual secondary to society. Despite my disagreement with Mr. Moss's and Mr. Spiro's proposed global governance prescriptions, I do agree with Mr. Moss' statement concerning the US Constitution. "As the US Constitution says, each human being has rights that no government can take away. No sovereignty, global or local, should be recognized that deprives human beings of their rights."

Now, if globalists wish cover up these and other distinctions in order to 'sell' their brand of Global Governance, they should be well aware that there a number of us out there who will continue to point out and press them on issues that must first be resolved before the US engages in any further global integration. Americans must be educated by Congress about what is at stake. If the globalists are as confident about their new world system as they claim to be, then they should be willing to put their words on the public record for Americans to see. Americans must be ensured that they are to retain at the very least the same rights and opportunities to which they are entitled under the US Constitution and its accompanying Bill of Rights, which was and remains the only truly enforced Declaration of Human Rights. Nothing less would be acceptable.

The U.S. Constitution and its accompanying Bill of Rights remains the only bulwark against the creeping international laws and bureaucratic institutions of the supranational global governance movement. Since that movement seeks to establish the primacy of the global public good over the private good, it would behoove us all if we were to help Americans to quickly become reacquainted with these founding documents and the European history (i.e., the Enlightenment Era) from which they arose.

5.18.2008 12:39pm

Friday, June 6, 2008

Czech President Vaclav Klaus Has Long Warned Against Global 'Europeanism': But is the 110th U.S. Congress Listening? Does it Want This for America??

Czech President Warns Against “Europeanism”

From the desk of Paul Belien

The Brussels Journal

August 28, 2005

The most impressive speech during the recent Regional Meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society was undoubtedly Czech President Václav Klaus’s “View from a Post-Communist Country in a Predominantly Post-Democratic Europe.” Klaus has been an MPS member since 1990 and likes to attend the MPS meetings. Though his political obligations (as Prime Minister from 1992 to 1997 and President since 2002) do not always allow him to attend, he combined his presence at the MPS meeting in Reykjavik with an official visit to the Republic of Iceland.

Václav Klaus President Klaus spoke last Monday, warning for the new “substitute ideologies of socialism” such as “Europeanism” and “NGOism.” These “isms” are currently threatening Europe. “In the first decade of the 21st century we should not concentrate exclusively on socialism,” he said.

“There is a well-known saying that we should not fight the old, already non-existent battles. I find this point worth stressing even if I do not want to say that socialism is definitely over. There are, I believe, at least two arguments, which justify looking at other ideologies as well. The first is the difference between the hard and soft version of socialism and the second is the emergence of new ‘isms’ based on similar illiberal or antiliberal views.”

Václav Klaus is an indomitable defender of liberty, Europe’s only leader in the mould of the formidable Lady Thatcher. Though communism, the “hard version of socialism” is probably over this has not automatically led “to a system we would like to have and live in,” he said.

“Fifteen years after the collapse of communism. I am afraid more than at the beginning of its softer (or weaker) version, of social-democratism, which has become – under different names, e.g. the welfare state or the soziale Marktwirtschaft – the dominant model of the economic and social system of current Western civilization. It is based on big and patronizing government, on extensive regulating of human behavior, and on large-scale income redistribution.

[See, e.g., V. I. Lenin, Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution, (Foreign Languages Press, Peking (c) 1965), at: ].

He urged the MPS members and all freedom loving Europeans “to understand this contemporary version of world-wide socialism, because our old concepts may omit some of the crucial features of what is around us just now. We may even find out that the continuous use of the term socialism can be misleading.”

“Illiberal ideas are becoming to be formulated, spread and preached under the name of ideologies or “isms”, which have – at least formally and nominally – nothing in common with the old-style, explicit socialism. These ideas are, however, in many respects similar to it. There is always a limiting (or constraining) of human freedom, there is always ambitious social engineering, there is always an immodest ‘enforcement of a good’ by those who are anointed (T. Sowell) on others against their will, there is always the crowding out of standard democratic methods by alternative political procedures, and there is always the feeling of superiority of intellectuals and of their ambitions.”

As substitutes of socialism, Václav Klaus cited “environmentalism (with its Earth First, not Freedom First principle), radical humanrightism (based – as de Jasay precisely argues – on not distinguishing rights and rightism), the ideology of ‘civic society’ (or communitarism), which is nothing less than one version of post-Marxist collectivism which wants privileges for organized groups, and in consequence, a refeudalization of society […], multiculturalism, feminism, apolitical technocratism (based on the resentment against politics and politicians), internationalism (and especially its European variant called Europeanism) and a rapidly growing phenomenon I call NGOism.”

“These alternative ideologies […] are successful especially where there is no sufficient resistance to them, where they find a fertile soil for their flourishing, where they find a country (or the whole continent) where freedom (and free markets) have been heavily undermined by long lasting collectivistic dreams and experiences and where intellectuals have succeeded in getting and maintaining a very strong voice and social status. I have in mind, of course, rather Europe, than America.


It is Europe where we witness the crowding out of democracy by post democracy, where the EU dominance replaces democratic arrangements in the EU member countries, where [some people] do not see the dangers of empty Europeanism and of a deep (and ever deeper) but only bureaucratic unification of the whole European continent. They applaud the growing formal opening of the continent, but do not see that the elimination of some of the borders without actual liberalization of human activities ‘only’ shifts governments upwards, which means to the level where there is no democratic accountability and where the decisions are made by politicians appointed by politicians, not elected by citizens in free elections.

The European constitution was an attempt to set up and consolidate such a system in a legal form. It was an attempt to constitute it. It is, hence, more than important that the French and Dutch referenda made an end to it, that they interrupted the seemingly irreversible process towards an ‘ever-closer Europe’.”

Václav Klaus called for a European political system not to be “destroyed by a postmodern interpretation of human rights with its stress on positive rights, with its dominance of group rights and entitlements over individual rights and responsibilities, and with its denationalization of citizenship.” He explicitly opposed the “weakening of democratic institutions, which have irreplaceable roots exclusively on the territory of the states,” as well as “the ‘multiculturally’ caused loss of a needed coherence of various social entities” and the “continental-wide rent-seeking made possible when decision-making is done at a level which is very far from the individual citizens and where the dispersed voters are even more dispersed than in sovereign countries.”

He also opposed “excessive government regulation” and “huge subsidies to privileged or protected industries and firms.” He warned that Europe’s social system “must not be wrecked by all imaginable kinds of disincentives, by more than generous welfare payments, by large scale redistribution, by many forms of government paternalism.” Instead, Europe has to “be based on freedom, personal responsibility, individualism, natural caring for others and genuine moral conduct of life.”

“[Europe] is a system of relations and relationships of individual countries, which must not be based on false internationalism, on supranational organizations and on misunderstanding of globalization and of externalities, but which will be based on good neighborliness of free, sovereign countries and on international pacts and agreements.”

President Klaus’s speech was spot on. One rarely hears a politician outlining in such poignant and clear words the problems of our times that others dare not mention out of fear of being “politically incorrect.” It reminded us of Margaret Thatcher’s seminal “Bruges Speech” on 20 September 1988.

Mr. Klaus’s Reykjavik MPS speech of 22 August can be found in full on his website. The Brussels Journal has recorded the speech on audiotape from within the conference room. It can be downloaded here (see "attachments" at the bottom of this article).