For 40 years the West's major threats and crises have come from oil states.
ISIS. Al Qaeda. Putin. Assad. The Syrian refugee crisis. Gaddafi. Saddam. 9/11. Darfur. The Saudis’ spread of an extreme anti-Western ideology. The Soviets’ surge ahead in the nuclear arms race. Iran’s incessant support for terrorism.
With Clean Trade, Australia can counter the ‘Western imperialist’ narrative that recruits so many extremists.
Australia will peacefully affirm the rights of the people of resource-rich countries—as it gets out of business with those who oppress and attack the people.
Clean Trade can also further other priorities, like reducing military spending in the Middle East, creating good Australian jobs by further developing Australian own energy resources, and moving from ‘Authoritarians to Alternatives’ by replacing imports of autocratic oil with greener energy sources.
Parliament should pass a Clean Trade Act now.
Why is this happening?
An archaic law turns resources into unaccountable power: ‘Might Makes Right’.
All countries today still make it legal to buy resources from whoever can control them by force. ‘Might Makes Right’ puts consumers into business with the world’s most repressive and violent actors. Because Australian law says coercive control over oil will win large revenues, Australian law incentivizes armed conflict over the wells and empowers petrocrats to stay in power.
All countries default rule is: Whoever can control it by force can sell it to us.
The better, modern rule for resource trade: A country's resources belong first to its people.
All governments must be accountable to their citizens when they sell resources to foreigners.
Popular Resource Sovereignty
Leaders worldwide already publicly affirm popular resource sovereignty. Its language is already declared in major treaties ratified by nearly every country (Australia, US, China, India, etc.) covering 98% of the world’s population. The principle is entirely compatible with resource privatization.
Historic Global Leadership
300 years ago, ‘Might Makes Right’ was the rule for all of international law.
300 years ago, 'Might Makes Right' was even the international rule for human beings: ‘whoever can control them by force can sell them to us.’ This was the rule made the Atlantic slave trade legal.
Even 100 years ago, ‘Might Makes Right’ still made colonial rule legal.
Even in our time, 'Might Makes Right' made apartheid legal.