Europe Needs Better Consumer Liberty Advocates

US founding father Benjamin Franklin famously stated that “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety“. Today, whether in the US, Canada or in the European Union, the pantomime false flag of “security” is being used to justify restrictions on consumer liberty in matters that have nothing to do with protecting the safety of human beings, but have everything to do with protecting corporate interests. What for the US is a geo-strategic ‘great game’ against the rise of Chinese innovation in the marketplace, has led European consumers to become a group of unwilling whipping boys in a fight to curtail genuine marketplace freedoms for European consumers who stand to gain nothing from America’s increasingly hyper-nationalistic and tariff happy policies.

While the US market has used the false flag of “security” to stifle US consumer choice when it comes to buying ultra-modern Chinese designed smartphones, European consumers have generally had more choice when it comes to shopping for Chinese brands including the industry leading Huawei. This is what makes the arrest of a former Huawei employee in Europe by the Polish authorities deeply worrying. The arrest of Chinese national Wang Weijing in Poland comes just over a month after Canada kidnapped and illegally detained Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on orders from Washington – thus leading one to deduce that Wang’s arrest in Poland was likely underpinned by the same nefarious motives.

For the United States, stopping China from competing in a free, globalised market remains a goal and most deviously of all, the US is attempting to do this not only by erecting tariff barriers which are nothing but a regressive tax on American consumers, but also by forcing its allies in Europe and beyond to curtail the economic activity of Chinese firms by invoking the big “security” lie.

First of all, as Huawei’s existing products have been on the market in Europe for years and have never raised any actual security red flags, there is absolutely no reason to think that the next generation of ultra-fast 5G Huawei products should be any different in this respect. Secondly, as China is keen to develop freer and more open trading relations with Europe, Beijing’s companies would be happy to see more of their products in European shops in exchange for more European products on Chinese shelves and popular online retailers.

With European leaders too supine to come out with protectionist tariffs of the aggressive Trump variety, they instead are hiding behind the dirty veil of the great security swindle in order to punish European consumers in the same way that Trump’s tariffs and sanctions have punished American consumers.

The solution is that citizens of the European Union need better consumer liberty advocacy groups that can tell their leaders that enough is enough. People the world over seek a similar experience in any marketplace – they want the best quality goods for the best available price. Such considerations should not be limited to the vulgar nationalism of yesteryear and indeed for the vast majority of consumers, such notions never come into play.

The ironic reality is that in the 21st century, all governments spy on other governments and beyond this, most governments spy on their own citizens. This was true even before Edward Snowden revealed the extent to which US authorities spy on Americans. Furthermore, even if one were to believe the Sinophonic “security” canard, one has far more to fear regarding their own government spying on them than a foreign government doing so. This is true for the simple reason that while China cannot abuse the due process of a US or European citizen in America or Europe – the US and European governments certainly can do so and indeed have done so – just ask Julian Assange.

Thus, even if one was so naive as to believe that curtailing free and open market competition was motivated by actual security concerns rather than by corporate protectionism, even then the argument does not hold water as China could not detain or persecute someone in Europe or the US even if they wanted to do so.

This is why the time is now to call for greater consumer choice and greater protections to consumer liberty in both Europe and also the United States.

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