Goodbye ‘Freedom and Democracy’, Hello ‘Rules-based International Order’

The banner and the clarion call of western countries, and their own asserted legitimization – especially when they are engaging in illegal wars and coups – used to be “freedom and democracy”: the precious gift they were generously and selflessly offering to a backward world – or one allegedly in the ‘chains’ of Socialism/Communism. There was “Radio Free Europe”, for example, pushing out western liberal propaganda, primarily against the countries of the former Soviet Union.

by Paul Carline

The Washington-based “Freedom House” organisation, which claims to be independent, has around 150 staff members in Washington and in ‘field offices’ around the world. Its President is Michael J. Abramowitz, who before joining Freedom House in 2017, was director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education. Before that, he was National Editor and then White House correspondent for the Washington Post. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former fellow at the German Marshall Fund and the Hoover Institution. He is also a board member of the National Security Archive. The Board of Trustees is chaired by Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush and co-author of the USA Patriot Act.

Since 1972, Freedom House, whose website sports a warm endorsement by none other than Francis Fukuyama, has produced an annual “Freedom in the World” global map (above), which divides the world into countries which are either “free”, “partly free”, or “not free”. The allegedly “free” countries are coloured green, the “partly free” ones a kind of muddy yellow, and the “not free” ones blue.

Its analysis of “freedom” covers “the electoral process, political pluralism and participation, the functioning of government, freedom of expression and belief, rights of association and organization, the rule of law, and personal autonomy and individual rights”. The word ‘democracy’ is not used in the ratings system, nor is it defined anywhere, but the 2018 analysis is headlined “Democracy in Crisis”.

According to Freedom House, in 2018 45% of the world (by country) or 39% (by population) was “free”, 30% (country) or 24% (population) was “partly free”, and 25%/37% “not free”. Countries are rated on a percentage points system. Sweden, which last year joined in the NATO ‘war games’ – despite not being a NATO member – is given a full 100 points, Canada 99, Uruguay 98, both Chile and the UK 94, France a completely undeserved 90, the USA 86 and Israel an unreal 79. By contrast, China scores 14, Iran 17, and Russia a mere 20, while Tibet and Syria are granted only 1 point each (no bias there). Almost incredibly, Ukraine scores 62 – allowing it to be rated as “partly free”! Very oddly, the FAQ section is available in only two languages – English and Ukrainian!

I suspect that the statement by Freedom House’s President, Michael J. Abramowitz, to the effect that: “A quarter-century ago, at the end of the Cold War, it appeared that totalitarianism had at last been vanquished and liberal democracy had won the great ideological battle of the 20th century”, must induce wry smiles – if not outright anger – in many Off-Guardian readers. Abramowitz predictably refers to “the rise of populist leaders who appeal to anti-immigrant sentiment and give short shrift to fundamental civil and political liberties” and describes “newcomer Emmanuel Macron” as a “centrist” who “handily” (interesting choice of words!) won the French presidency.

Depressingly predictable is his comment on China and Russia, which he labels “the world’s leading autocracies” and which he asserts “have seized the opportunity not only to step up internal repression but also to export their malign influence to other countries, which are increasingly copying their behaviour and adopting their disdain for democracy” (emphasis added; no mention of the massive ‘disdain for democracy’ in the USA, UK, and numerous members of the EU).

According to Abramowitz, “Democratic governments allow people to help set the rules to which all must adhere, and have a say in the direction of their lives and work!” If that were true, there would be lots of direct democracy in all those “free” countries. It’s true that there is some ‘direct democracy’, e.g. popular initiatives and referendums, in a few states of the USA and in a few European countries – with Switzerland far and away the best example, followed by Germany at the regional and local levels, thanks to the efforts over decades of its leading pro-democracy organisation “Mehr Demokratie”, which has been trying to have direct democratic rights established also at the national level, which would really allow the people to “help set the rules”. Germany’s “Basic Law” (it doesn’t have a proper constitution for reasons which I cannot go into here but which will be known to many) actually states: “All power derives from the people” (Article 20) and “State power is exercised by the people in elections and referendums” (emphasis added) – but successive governments have refused to enact the laws that would allow state-level referendums, presumably because they fear the “people power” that is the literal meaning of ‘democracy’.

Given subsequent developments, Kofi Annan’s 2001 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech now strikes a sour note:

“The obstacles to democracy have little to do with culture or religion, and much more to do with the desire of those in power to maintain their position at any cost. This is neither w new phenomenon nor one confined to any particular part of the world. People of all cultures value their freedom of choice and feel the need to have a say in the decisions affecting their lives”

In the 2002 UNDP World Development Report, Annan re-affirmed the true nature of democracy in these words:

“True democratization means more than elections. People’s dignity requires that they be free – and able – to participate in the formation and stewardship of the rules and institutions that govern them”.

According to Abramovitch’s definition, and that of Kofi Annan, there is zero genuine democracy in the U.K. (a purely representative system – especially one still using an outdated and wholly disreputable FPTP system, with rare referendums arranged by the government, which sets the question – is not a legitimate form of democracy).

We may also ask, in parenthesis as it were, who – if not the electorates – is “helping to set the rules”, for example in Europe specifically. As of July 2017, there were 11,327 registered lobby organisations in the EU, employing some 82,096 people – the equivalent of 50,326 full-time personnel – of which nearly 7,000 have access to the Parliament. In Germany there are around eight lobbyists – representing ‘outside’ interests – for every member of the national parliament – and the lobby registers are voluntary. Only seven countries (France, Ireland, Lithuania, Austria, Poland, Slovenia and the UK) have passed any laws on lobbying.

What is extremely interesting and telling is the general absence of references to ‘freedom and democracy’ by our so-called ‘leaders’. Those words have been replaced in the political lexicon by the now clearly favoured expression “the rules-based international order” – which doesn’t have quite the same ring, or the same connotations, as “freedom and democracy”.

One is forced to ask: whose order? whose rules? If Abramowitz is correct, and since we are privileged enough to live in a country which, if we are to believe its FH rating, is little short of perfect, we the people must have been involved in setting those rules. We should at least have been told what they mean! For example, what does ‘international’ mean in this context? It suggests a global compact – but when it is used it specifically excludes certain countries and regimes which we are led to believe are not part of, or indeed are allegedly trying to undermine, this new ‘order’.

Although the word ‘international’ is often taken to be a synonym for ‘global’ or ‘universal’, its literal meaning is ‘between nations’. The UN has of course long promulgated and endorsed all kinds of ‘universal’ rules (the ICC rules on aggression for instance) – many of which are routinely flouted by the countries which most loudly lay claim to being ‘democracies’ and loyal observers of the “rules-based international order”.

But we are now seeing a new type of literally ‘inter-national’ agreements being made in Europe, often merely between two governments at a time (with no democratic endorsement by either parliaments or people) and where the suspicion is that this is a new way of hiding from the general public what is really going on in Europe – specifically the step-by-step implementation of the “United States of Europe” project which dates from at least 1946.

There seems to be an undue haste to complete the creation of a unified military establishment that would not be answerable to the individual nation states which are contributing their forces (and infrastructure!) and which would also appear to include a much closer working relationship between military and police forces. Does the urgency have to do with the level of chaos in Europe and the threat – now materialised in the form of the “Yellow Vest” protests – of widespread civil unrest and potentially public revolt?

So Prime Minister Theresa May can pretend to the public that the ‘Brexit’ approved by a majority of voters will take place i.e. that Britain will “come out of” the EU, while at the same time, and largely in secret or behind closed doors in completely undemocratic meetings, the government is committing the entire UK military establishment, step by step, to the new ‘unified European defence establishment’. The UK enters into a special relationship with France (and thereby with the EU). France and Germany have just signed a new treaty – the Aachen Treaty – so does the UK automatically acquire the special relationship with Germany? And will this “two-step” approach eventually link all willing states (one could imagine Hungary, perhaps Italy and Greece also, not being so willing) in the ‘new European order’?

In struggling to understand the “rules-based international order” I found this definition by the RAND Corporation very helpful:

Since 1945, the United States has pursued its global interests through creating and maintaining international economic institutions, bilateral and regional security organizations, and liberal political norms; these ordering mechanisms are often collectively referred to as the international order.

In recent years, rising powers have begun to challenge aspects of this order. This report is part of a project, titled “Building a Sustainable International Order,” that aims to understand the existing international order, assess current challenges to the order, and recommend future US policies with respect to the order.

This report is the first of those and reflects the project team’s attempt to understand the existing international order, including how US decision makers have described and used the order in conducting foreign policy, as well as how academics have assessed the mechanisms by which the order affects state behaviour.

When discussing policy responses to a fraying international order, the first challenge is to understand what we mean by the term. Order has various meanings in the context of international politics, and specific orders can take many forms.1 For the purposes of this project, we conceive of order as the body of rules, norms, and institutions that govern relations among the key players in the international environment. An order is a stable, structured pattern of relationships among states that involves some combination of parts, including emergent norms, rulemaking institutions, and international political organizations or regimes, among others.

– RAND Corporation 2016, Understanding the Current International Order

This more recent observation was both insightful and amusing:

“The rules-based international order is being challenged, quite surprisingly, not by the usual suspects, but by its main architect and guarantor, the US,” Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said as the summit meeting got underway in Quebec’s picturesque resort town of La Malbaie on the banks of the St. Lawrence River.

The trans-Atlantic rift manifested itself in a behind-the-scenes debate about the wording of the traditional summit communiqué. The American side objected to including the phrase “rules-based international order,” even though it is boilerplate for such statements, according to two people briefed on the deliberations. The Europeans and Canadians were pushing back, but it remained unclear whether the Trump administration would ultimately sign the statement or be left on its own.

– NYT June 8, 2018 Michael D. Shear

So the ‘rules-based international order’ is, in reality, the expression of America’s “global interests”. Other parties – such as British and other governments – may be allowed to put on the mask of the Eagle, whilst claiming to be on the side of justice, truth, human rights … and yes, democracy. And since it’s a US construct, the US and its allies can feel free to ‘make it up as they go along’.

https://off-guardian.org/2019/02/02/goodbye-freedom-and-democracy-hello-rules-based-international-order/

16 thoughts on “Goodbye ‘Freedom and Democracy’, Hello ‘Rules-based International Order’”

  1. Please, please consider all the bad crap perpetrated on the people started during the founding of America. It was all fraud and deceit from the beginning starting with the 1783 Definitive Treaty of Peace and the 1789 1st Act of Congress.

    The settlers receive non of the spoils of war. The King and the King’s men were awarded the spoils of war. This cannot be disproven.

    The wording of the Constitution Preamble/Tile was changed for purposes of taking the oath office. Since that time no one has ever taken an oath to “the Constitution for the United States of America”. This too cannot be disproven.

    The truth is in your face should you seek to see it.

    1. Even before that Ri-chard, 1492 was the first infringement. before that in the 700’sAD certain muslim ‘leaders’ lead voyagers across the Atlantic to the Americas – these in themselves were the first perpetrators of the peoples there.
      If one believes in the Creator, then one would realise that this was not part of God’s ‘gifts’. The chosen people of the Creator had been given their land already by this time, it was not to be extended so why colonialism?
      Furthermore, the year of darkness back in 1816 was created by what over what time period?
      People talk of possible nuclear explosions and a lot of seismic and volcanic activity before, during and post this period. Yes 1816! I have read probable accounts of Napoleons officers in their capture of Moscow? (Questionable as I was taught that he surrounded the city but never captured it). There was a description that a second sun appeared and mens faces were burn’t etc etc. So what actually happened? The other occurrence I heard about was in Poland whereby it appeared to be another atomic explosion( I am not sure of the year yet but will find out). This period, 1800-1816 was a very tough time for humanity in the northern hemisphere whereby thousands died, smothered in what was presumed volcanic ash? During this same period and not really mentioned much was a comet that split in two. Was this the real reason of the ash cloud or was it nuclear? Many people in the northern hemisphere died because of the poor crops, was this the real reason why the infringement and thence the total colonialism of other nations took place?
      I ask this because when examining old maps pre the 18th century, one will discover that there was evidence of a huge lake east of Salt Lake City, it was huge! Another was in Central Africa, far far bigger than the Lake Victoria that we know. Both lakes are gone and we are left with the evidence of such. i.e The Grand Canyon.
      We are followers of the ‘good’ book, or so one thinks. If so then one would also have read that whatever has been done will be undone, those that have ‘died’ are only sleeping and will be resurrected and be judged with the living.
      So I ask,’ what part of this voyage that we are on that we came to misunderstand?’
      As always it started as the guise of friendship, but the intention was invasion. Chaos from the very beginning.

      1. I’m talking about the formal founding of America set with rules and laws. The ones that were killing off the Indians and others that sought their freedoms. They were all grounded people. Then the British and French came.

        America was founded on 2 frauds that has allowed all other frauds to be perpetrated on us to this date. The foundations of America must be rebuilt for what we thought should be, it is owed to all of us.
        Repair America to what it once was to be and by example you begin to repair the world.

        Note: The first documents written for claims in America were of the King’s claims in 1606 as The Virginia Charter.

        Remember the victors write the history they want you to know that is to be taught in our schools. never the truth. Columbus did not discover America, many were here before him that created settlements and were active in trade and commerce.

        The Indians were killing off the fallen ones and the seed of them from South America well before the King and the King’s men arrived. The Egyptians were the first to arrive as foreigners to America. Muslims were in search of their treasurers.

        Read those damn Treaties and remember they are contracts. Private ones.
        Moroccan Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States and the Moors. 1200 A.D. (1786)
        All Moorish Americans should be aware of and diligent in matters in all social, economic and political matters occurring on the North American continent due to the profiting and racketeering operatives benefiting by their allegiance to the Secret Treaty of Verona.
        And by Treaty you will also discover another deception. America was not founded on any religious principals. Our representatives said so.

        Again all the bad crap that happens in America has happened because of the 1783 Treaty and 1789 1st Act of Congress for the oath of office. This include Roosevelt in 1933 because George Washington didn’t cancell the War Power Act. The first Chapter of America must be corrected. Then the Pope can’t even play here..

      2. RI-Chard’s Version lack One HUGE thing about AMERICA…It was Already OCCUPIED by “Indigenous” Being’s that Already EXISTED here Before the Europeans INVADED it.
        Their Very “Constitution” was Based off HOW the INDIGENOUS Beings lived here!
        The Europeans have LIED about EVERYTHING regarding Their VERSION of what they call “His-Story”.
        When someone LIES about almost Everything that comes from their mouths….CAN THEY BE TRUSTED…ABOUT ANYTHING???

      3. READ WHAT I SAID THERE WERE MANY OF DIFFERANT CULTURES HERE BEFORE WHAT YOU SPEAK OF.
        THE FALLEN ONES AND THE SEED OF THEM WERE HERE IN NORTH AND SOUTH America BEFORE THE ENGLISH AND SPANISH HAD THEIR BRAIN FART.

        READING COMPREHENSON IS A DEDUCTIVE SKILL LACKING IN MOST.

        I AND YOU SHOULD ONLY CARE ABOUT WHAT AFFECTS THE PEOPLE IN AMERICA FIRST – AND WHO DONE IT AND WHY. HAVE THOSE ANSWERS AND NOW YOU KNOW WHAT CORRECTIVE ACTIONS MUST BE TAKEN FOR THE GOOD OF ALL PEOPLE.
        UNTIL THEN PEOPLE ON THIS SITE WILL KEEP ON IDENTIFYING NEW CRIMES WITH OUT A PERMINANT SOLUTION.

        ONE MORE TIME1 THE FOUNDATIONS OF America WERE BUILT ON LIES, FRAUDS AND DECEPTIONS. THAT IS WHAT MUST BE CORRECTED. FOLLOW THE MONEY TO CONNECT THE DOTS OF EVIL.

      4. Also, you show your ignorance of American History by saying – Their Very “Constitution” was Based off HOW the INDIGENOUS Beings lived here!

        The Constitution was only a deceitful calming message. The organic Constitution is a dormant employment contract for those that are to represent us.

        There is no Constitution that anyone is party to. the 1st Act of Congress 1789 voided it by the oath they are required to take.

        How in God’s name could you have a Constitution when first of all you are not party to it, and those that are supposed to swear to their employment contract (Constitution) that We the People gave them never took an oath to it.
        How could you possibly believe in the Declaration of Independence is and active document when the 1783 Treaty Contract says the King is the Arch-Treasurer and Prince Elector of the United States of America.

        Who controls the Money, the lands, Rule of Law and the Body Politic have the control of it Citizens, Subjects and Debt Slaves by their silence.

    1. Having read GP previous post and researched the subject of oil and oil reserves it has come to my mind that Venezuela has far more oil than Saudi Arabia. However this is not he path that energy is chasing.
      But what direction are the ‘elite’ taking us and for what purpose?

      1. @Kennedy
        I watched the Un-Editted version of this vdeo, and IN it Mike Admits FACTS that are covered and made VERY Clear WHY there are Those among US that are Liken to his Illustration about the “Scorpion and the Turtle” scenarion stated in this version!
        IT, makes it MANDATORY to watch Dr. Frances Welsing’s videos to UNDERSTAND, What Mike was saying about the REAL problems with HU-Manity, an dWHY it SEEMS to be going nowhere.
        TRUTH IS ALWAYS VERY “SIMPLE”…One only needs to be OPEN to It.
        LIES ARE THE OPPOSITE!

    2. This guy was one of the best sources of info I used To inform myself about HOW this “System” actually works. I even have one of his books he wrote (Crossing the Rubicon)
      I’m somewhat surprised that he is till living in California though, because I thought he had moved to a South American country.
      Anyway, This video was outstanding about facing “Reality” about WHY Governments do NOT help “Humanity”…and this video is already Nine years old!
      As is said the “Poof is in the Pudding” about the MESS this planet is in.
      There is a You Tube video line documenting the work and Material presented by a Female doctorate; Dr. Frances Welsing, I believe contains a LOT of “Answers” as to WHY this “System” is so Destructive to “Humanity”…In ONE Word = UNJUST.
      When REAL “Justice” replaces JUST-US…REAL HUMANITY (God-Woman/Man) will become ONE as purposed by “Divine Source Creator”
      http://www.youtube.com/results?_query=dr+frances+welsing/
      Its a LONG Train of videos going back a few decades, BUT Well worth watching, simply because it ADDS-UP to be “Truthful” about OUR “Situation” WE are in!
      WITH A VERY SIMPLE SOLUTION!…LOVE.

      1. I have watched some of her videos and her arguments. She makes sense and very grounded in her reasoning. I will watch more of her.
        You are right and the solution should be simple, it is only LOVE.

    3. @RIChard
      Did you WATCH the video on Kennedy’s post??? Because IN IT, Mike Rupert makes CLEAR, WHY “YOU” Must review Dr. Welsing’s material about WHY “Mankind’s” situation SEEMS to look Bleak.
      It just a matter of SOME people CHANGING-THEIR-BELIEF “SYSTEM”
      MAKE SURE TO WATCH THE “UNEDITED” VERSION, FOUND ON THE SAME VIDEO LINE DOWN BELOW.
      Listen to Mike’s parable about the “Scorpion & The Turtle” and Figure out WHAT it is Saying about this world’s Supposed “Divisions”, OK???

      1. Yes, you should follow through on the advice of those videos. That will scare all the bad guys to go straight. The Banksters, The Military & Security Industrial complex, SES, politicians, queen of England, and the Popes will all shut down their operations against us. Yes that will make them see the light. Surly that will make them just walk away from all they have – good luck.

  2. When I saw the Piece-a-Chit Michael Chertov (FAKE JEW), I KNEW why his views about ANYTHING are ALL “Extremely Evil”
    ALL Luciferian/Satanic and works for VATICAN “Interest”.

  3. These Zionist FAKEJOOS are really pushing this One World Governance now trying to get it set in place real fast before it all blows up in their ugly faces, because the swell of ordinary people are NOT going along with their DECEPTIVE LIES of REGIME CHANGE for the better, now we know ,the better part is ONLY FOR THEIR FAT DEEP POCKETS ALONE.. THIEVES DECIVFERS AND LIARS.

  4. @ RI-chard
    The ONLY problem with this planet is WHITE SUPREMACY…The FEAR of “Extinction” and Dr. Frances Wesling’s (And Others) PROVES it is what is causing this SEPARATION between the races…Only its Really unfounded Fear, because there is Only ONE race that was “Created” on this planet…From THAT one Race the White race Also came.
    The Material from Dr. Welsing’s books and videos make this VERY Clear in a AMUSING way that ANYONE can related to..NO MATTER WHAT RACE THEY ARE.
    WS is a SYSTEM…Created by UNFOUNDED Fear…and will only cause a SELF “Exinction” as long as the “Wite-Supremacy” people continue to BELIEVE It.
    ONLY “LOVE” WILL “HEAL” this False Belief “System”.

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