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Anti-Globalization Protestors State Goals

By Merk00 in MLP
Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 04:54:58 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

The Voice of America is reporting that the Mobilization for Global Justice has issued the following four demands to the IMF and the World Bank: cancel the debts of impoverished nations, open IMF and World Bank meetings to the public, end support of privatization and austerity, and halt lending for dams and pipelines that damage the environment.


This list of demands was given as part of the build up to the meeting of the IMF and World Bank in Washington, DC next month. Anti-globalization protestors are expected to attend and police are preparing for possible violence.

One of the main problems with the previous anti-globalization protests was a lack of a clear message. It was very difficult to determine what exactly the protestors were protesting except for the ambiguous globalization. Given the list of demands, the protestors are in a much better position to garner some sort of response from the IMF and the World Bank.

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Poll
Anti-Globalization protestors have
o completely valid concerns 42%
o somewhat valid concerns 35%
o mostly invalid concerns 15%
o completely invalid concerns 6%

Votes: 45
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o Voice of America
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o Mobilizati on for Global Justice
o IMF
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Anti-Globalization Protestors State Goals | 51 comments (51 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Response (4.33 / 12) (#1)
by Merk00 on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 12:21:22 PM EST

I personally have a few responses to the demands that are listed below.
  • Cancellation of Debts
    While most of the IMF loans are from government sources, the World Bank does not derive all of its funding from public sources. Instead, a significant portion of its funds comes from private banks which would seemingly prevent the World Bank from canceling all debts. The cancelation of debts also will have a tendency to promote fiscal irresponsibility among developing nations.
  • Open IMF and World Bank Meetings to the Public
    If the World Bank and IMF want to be taken as being for the public and not for political interests, they need to open up their meetings to public scrutiny. To do otherwise would be against the forms of free and open government they seek to encourage.
  • End Support of Privatization and Austerity
    In some cases privatization can have disastrous effects on a country. In other cases government owned corporations are worse than privately held ones. Local private ownership over industry needs to be encouraged but not in all industries (electricity and water are two examples where public ownership could be useful).
  • Halt Lending for Dams and Pipelines that Damage the Environment
    Unfortunately, all civil works projects damage the environment in some way. Wholesale destruction of the environment should not be funded but given the situations in many countries, these projects are necessary for the country's economic survival. There should be careful consideration of all projects' economic impacts before they are approved and the various factors should be weighed accordingly.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission

assumptions (3.60 / 5) (#2)
by Refrag on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 12:30:19 PM EST

You assume that fiscal responsibility and "economic survival" are goals of "developing nations." Developing nations are simply countries that we wish to artificially accelerate the development and exploitation of.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

erm (3.50 / 2) (#4)
by et on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 12:57:54 PM EST

...they need to open up their meetings to public scrutiny. To do otherwise would be against the forms of free and open government they seek to encourage.

I believe you meant to say, "the forms of free and open government they claim to encourage."

--
rOWR!!!!! | I don't fucking dance
[ Parent ]
Congratulations. (3.60 / 5) (#3)
by Electric Angst on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 12:53:50 PM EST

Well I'll be damned. It looks like there's an actual movement growing out of the chaos of these last two years.

Personally, I was wondering how long the larger supporters of the protests, such as the International Socialist Organization, were going to keep the protests purely antagonistic; attacking their political enemies while removing any ability to debate the issues that were being brought forth (For the life of me, I've never actually seen an ISO member debate anyone or anything before).

Now, there are issues, but rather than screaming and yelling, there are things that everyone can focus on, something we can argue about and acheive greater understanding of.

There are some problems, though. I think the "halt lending for dams and pipelines that damage the enviornment" demand is overbroad. "Damage" needs to be more exactly defined. Otherwise the demands are clear and sensical.

Now, to start a little argument rolling, I'll state my views on some of this:

I disagree with the third demand. I believe that privatization shouldn't be evangelized, but I think that supporting the action in the case of nations that come to that decision on their own is just fine.


--
I fly the UN Flag.
It's not just evangelized, it's a condition (4.83 / 6) (#8)
by et on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 01:34:23 PM EST

I disagree with the third demand. I believe that privatization shouldn't be evangelized, but I think that supporting the action in the case of nations that come to that decision on their own is just fine.

Sure, that'd be ideal, but as the situation stands now, World Bank and IMF loans are strictly tied to such privatization - it's hardly an 'at your leisure' option. The nations aren't at liberty to make such decisions on their own - dismantling any and all forms of state socialism is a prerequisite for bailout cash. Such a state of affairs fucks the people over with a ten-foot-pole - but not the oligarchs at the feeding trough. It doesn't really matter if your people are fond of that socialised medicine, it's getting privatized and HMO-ized if you want IMF cash. Subsidized rents? hahahahaha. Different tax brackets? Nope - you're going to have the sort of flat tax system that the IMF folks wish they had in their home countries, cause after all that encourages multinationals to do business in your attractive investment climate (read: exploit your cheap labour force and funnel money). That nearly every rightist 'libertarian' here has deliciously paradoxical justifications for such coercion and interference, I don't doubt for a second.

Going off on a tangent, I was on a long road trip yesterday, and considered the absolutely blind-to-the-facts inanity of the libertarian argument that taxation is utterly unjust and evil. Oddly enough, taxation and state works has brought us these incredible super-highways and suspension bridges. Oddly enough, taxation and state expenditure gave birth to the Internet we chest-beat on now, not the wonderous private sector. They only co-opted it later, in typically vampiric fashion. Taxation and the state has made everything we take for granted every day possible - and these fucks would have us living in a class-stratified hell where we'd likely be getting around in horse-and-buggy on dirt roads in the year 2001. Ah, the joys of 'meritocracy', which is synonymous with either aristocracy or feudalism, take your pick.

Anyways, for the most part I agree with you, though I actually wouldn't even care if they want to carry on evangelizing about the wonders of privatisation. They can shout it out as loud and as often as they like, I care not as long as the countries, meaning their people, not the pragmatist politicians who would sell them out for a pittance, were able to make that choice for themselves.

--
rOWR!!!!! | I don't fucking dance
[ Parent ]
Response from IMF (4.75 / 4) (#5)
by UncleMikey on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 01:26:40 PM EST

Given the list of demands, the protestors are in a much better position to garner some sort of response from the IMF and the World Bank.

I agree. I suspect, however, that the response they will receive is, 'Buzz off'. Actually, I'd be astonished if it were as polite as all that.

Cancelation of debt is a non-starter, as far as I can tell. You completely invalidate the entire concept of debt, and encourage others to plead poverty to get out of honouring their obligations

Ending privitisation as an ultimate goal is also a non-starter. The IMF and World Bank are capitalist institutions; they're going to continue to promote capitalist solutions. I happen to think that they push a bit too hard and a bit to fast, in many cases, but the goal itself is not one they're likely to budge from.

An end to support for dams and pipelines is only slightly more likely to get anywhere. There is, of course, a strong pro-environment movement aside from these protests. That said, functional, capitalist economies (which is what the IMF and WB aim for) require energy in quantity. It's got to come from somewhere.

The only item I see going anywhere at all here is opening up the meetings to at least the scrutiny of the public. If they're looking for actually public participation, then they're going to have to get used to disappointment; but public scrutiny would be a useful bone for the IMF/WB to throw at them, and indeed at others who actually support the IMF/WB's work, but dislike their secrecy.


--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
No Friends of the Poor... (4.00 / 7) (#6)
by WombatControl on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 01:27:35 PM EST

I believe President Bush hit the nail on the head when he described the radical anti-globalization protestors as being "no friends to the poor". Helping to retard economic activity in the Third World and reduce the flows of incoming capital will only keep those nations mired in their bad situations longer. Only by allowing the free flow of capital into the borders of Third World nations and reducing bureaucratic roadblocks to investment and wealth will the situation of the Third Wold be made better. With that premise in mind, let's look more closely at the demands this group is making.

Debt Cancellation - President Bush and other G8 members have been working on making IMF debt easier for these developing nations to swallow, as well as reducing interest and other penalizing aspects of these loans. I think there is a compromise to be had here, and one that will allow the maxmimum amount of growth while still keeping agancies such as the IMF solvent. Decreasing trade roadblocks will help developing nations gather the capital to repay some of their debts, which would greatly help the situation. Debt forgiveness is one issue that should be implemented quickly, along with reforms to the lending procedures of groups such as the IMF and World Bank.

Open meetings of IMF and World Bank - Once again, this is something that is a fairly reasonable demand. However, I don't think that making them publically open for anyone to walk in would be productive. However, doing something like having some additional media presence or live telecasting of the meetings is a good thing. What I feel the real reasons for this demand are, however, is to allow protest groups to derail the meetings with their additional demands. This would get nowhere, and would further hurt Third World and developing nations. However, these meetings should have some level of democracy and openness to them, but reasonable limits need to be maintained.

Ending privatization and austerity - This is the single most egregious selection I've yet heard. State-run enterprises are almost universally less efficient and more prone to cronyism than are private enterprises. Look at the economic reforms made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel. He managed to dramatically boost the Israeli economy through deregulation and privitization of many state-run enterprises. While he was not entirely sucessful, and the transition wasn't easy, it did result in economic growth across all income brackets. (It was such a good idea that his successor Ehud Barak continued many of his policies.) Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan both led their respective nations to new levels of economic growth through encouragement of private investment and economic growth from the private sector.

In order to boost the economies and more importantly, the quality of life for these developing nations, you need to encourage the free movement of capital on all levels. One has to ensure that those who have good ideas for new businesses have every chance to take those ideas to market. It's that kind of raw innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that can transform a sagging nation into an economic powerhouse. (Just as post-war Japan and West German both did to great effect.) True social justice demands that we not repeat the mistakes of the past but look towards the future. Socialism and Marxism have failed the developing world. Free markets can transform it into a better place.

Halting lending to "environmentally damaging" projects - Once again, a surefire way to keep the developing world trapped in poverty. According the United Nations, billions currently live in regions without potable water, and millions are killed by cholera, dysentary, and other pathogens spread through unclean water. This has got to be ended, and if there's a potential for slight environmental damage, then so be it. Human life comes first. If one has to build a pipeline to the rainforest to save a million lives, then it should be done. It should be done in a way that minimizes environmental impact, but it still must be done. Likewise if it takes a hydroelectric dam to bring cooling or heat to an impoverished region, then it should be done. If we're to truly be on the side of social justice, then we must not shirk from the noble task of improving human life. While a clean an environment is important, human life takes precedence. I find it ironic that a group calling for global justice would be willing to abandon that principle by placing an untouched environment over human life.

These policies are an improvement over the mindless rhetoric of the Left on the issue of globalization, but they are still based on a set of faulty premises. It is those groups who fight for individual rights, free movement of capital, political freedom, and economic growth for the developing world that are truly on the side of global justice.



Idiocy (1.75 / 4) (#15)
by PhillipW on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 02:48:08 PM EST

Human life comes first.

That is complete crap, and you know it is. The human race has fucked up more on this planet than any other, so there is no real reason that we deserve to live more than any other inhabitants of the planet.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
If that's the way you feel about it (2.50 / 4) (#16)
by wiredog on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 02:53:33 PM EST

I could make some arrangements...

;^)

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]

That's a keeper (5.00 / 3) (#29)
by ubu on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 06:26:20 PM EST

There you have it. The environmentalists hate humanity. They want you dead. I'm not making this up.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Well, some do (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by delmoi on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 06:43:26 PM EST

but I don't really think you can make a blanket statement like that.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
'real reason' (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by delmoi on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 06:42:50 PM EST

there is no real reason that we deserve to live more than any other inhabitants of the planet.

There is no 'real' reason for anything.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry but I must point out one thing: (2.50 / 2) (#33)
by Kasreyn on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 07:27:15 PM EST

..."Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan both led their respective nations to new levels of economic growth through encouragement of private investment and economic growth from the private sector."


Uhmm, BULLSHIT. Reaganomics was one of the worst things to happen to this country in the 80's. Do you REMEMBER the 80's recession? Or when you say "economic growth" are you remembering how reaganomics lined big business's pockets at the expense of the little guy?

Bush continued the same junk and the recession flattened out but did not improve. Then Clinton got in office and THEN we saw your "new levels of economic growth".

Or am I just engaging in "mindless leftist rhetoric"? Well, it's only fitting to match your mindless rhetoric of the right and your lack of understanding of either history or basic economics.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Look at the figures... (4.00 / 2) (#35)
by WombatControl on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 09:49:17 PM EST

Dispite the revisionist rhetoric, the Reagan tax cut did create more economic growth in the United States across all tax brackets. Congressional spending (both Republican and Democrat to be fair) along with the need for massive defense spending spiraled the debt out of control, but the economic expansion helped keep the country afloat.

Clinton was not responsible for the economic boom of the mid/late 90's. Once again, in all fairness, it was the bipartisan Gramm-Rudman-Hollings bill and the Budget Act of 1997 that restricted government spending along with the Internet boom that further invigorated the US economy.

The lesson to be learned here? Controlled government spending, responsible budgeting, and economic growth are the three legs to a well-ordered economy. It is these principles which the World Bank and IMF should adhere to in regards to the developing world.



[ Parent ]
What Conservative BS (4.33 / 3) (#36)
by AArthur on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 11:00:24 PM EST

As soon as you hear "revisionist", you get this feeling that the person you are talking about is so far right, he's not worth talking to. ;)

It wasn't congressional spending that broke the budget, but defense spending. National debt increased the most with Republican presidents in office. Nixon. Regan. War is expensive.

I'd have an easier time swallowing the whole fiscal responsiblity argument of the Republicans, if they didn't believe in unlimited defense spending.

Usually when a Republican is in office, we have recessions. There are some exceptions, like the minor recessions of '63 and '68.

Andrew B. Arthur | aarthur@imaclinux.net | http://hvcc.edu/~aa310264
[ Parent ]

speaking of BS... (none / 0) (#47)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 01, 2001 at 03:51:46 PM EST

It wasn't congressional spending that broke the budget, but defense spending. National debt increased the most with Republican presidents in office. Nixon. Regan. War is expensive.
Three letters: FDR. You bet war is expensive, that's how you win one. What do you think made the USSR fold up? Might it have something to do with all the money they had to pour into missiles and tanks at the expense of thier standard of living?

I'd have an easier time swallowing the whole fiscal responsiblity argument of the Republicans, if they didn't believe in unlimited defense spending.
Not every Republican believes in unlimited defense spending, and those that do generall aren't all that big on fiscal responsibility. Democrats have also been known to favor increased military spending, as long as the money is going to thier district.

Usually when a Republican is in office, we have recessions. There are some exceptions, like the minor recessions of '63 and '68.
I want you to repeat after me: "Correlation does not imply causality." You would be in a much better position if you could also show that every time there was a Republican president there was a recession, and if you didn't just disregard two contrary data points. Looking at the five recessions since 1967 (the best data I can find, if you know of anything better I'd be glad to see it) two were post-war recessions, after Vietnam and Gulf, and once started in 1980, before Reagan could have much economic influence. That leaves two, one about 1974, and one about 1979, or during the terms of Ford and Carter. In other words using this (admittadly limited data) you have a correlation of precisely ZERO.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Gimme a break (3.00 / 4) (#37)
by Kasreyn on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 12:27:41 AM EST

"...along with the need for massive defense spending spiraled the debt out of control..."

Need? What need? Billion-dollar bombers that were obsolete before they got off the ground. A dying soviet union that couldn't even threaten the military we already had. Massive financial boondoggles with kickbacks left and right. And what did we do with those billions for the Pentagon? We invaded Granada and sold guns to our enemies. And we started the War on Drugs. Wow, there's "responsible budgeting" for you.

Please don't try to tell me Reagan was something good for this country. I'll still be cursing his name 40 years from now when I'm retired on social security and getting about $5 a month because of the way he and those like him rearranged it and preempted the funds. So don't piss on my back and tell me it's raining.

Oh, wait, that already happened - they called it "trickle-down".


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
How do these demands == anti-globalization? (4.00 / 6) (#7)
by ignatiusst on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 01:30:14 PM EST

How the hell does any of these demands establish a foundation for an anti-globalization movement?

Canceling debt, giving handouts, and protecting the environment is going to stop governments and corporations from consolidating global power?

If I had to choose between the two evils, I would prefer power-hungry governments and corporations guiding my life than to put my faith in a bunch of whiny, ignorant zealots like our friends at Mobilization for Global Justice

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift

Hey... (none / 0) (#13)
by PhillipW on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 02:43:56 PM EST

Sorry but I don't see handouts listed anywhere. Perhaps you posted to the wrong thread?

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Re: How do these demands == anti-globalization? (3.66 / 3) (#38)
by malcolm on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 01:12:07 AM EST

There is some meaning here, not that I agree with all of this.

Cancel the debts of impoverished nations - I guess the theory is that this will stop exploitation of poorer nations by corporations and enable them to compete on a more even footing. Let's ignore the fact it would effectively cease all investment in the countries concerned.

Open IMF and World Bank meetings to the public - Obviously these evil organisations are conspiring to betray mankind and hand the world over to the corporations. Opening the meetings will at least make it more obvious what they are up to.

End support of privatization and austerity - Privatised businesses in poorer countries will inevitably end up foreign-owned and run into the ground for profit. At least the locals will always have control of government institutions.

And halt lending for dams and pipelines that damage the environment. - Private operations in developing countries don't care about damage to the environment because legislation and enforcement are non-existant and their shareholders are far away. Often natural resources are the only thing developing countries have going for them, if their environment is wrecked they will really have nothing.

There, I managed to get some anti-globalisation out of all for issues. I think these guys need to put far more thought into all of these, but at least they're trying now.



[ Parent ]
Hmm... (4.12 / 8) (#9)
by trhurler on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 01:40:33 PM EST

Well, regardless of whether I agree with them or not, I'm glad to see these people acting like adults for once and saying what they want instead of just whining, ranting, and breaking stuff.

As for their demands, I think debt cancellation is a good thing if and only if they get the nations in question to agree to certain things in exchange. For instance, they should agree not to allow international criminals safe harbor in their borders, and they should agree not to take any more loans they have no ability to pay off, and they should agree not to build or buy nuclear weapons, and so on. Limit the list, but get the things that are really important down, because a lot of smaller nations really aren't obligated right now by much of anything to actually observe any kind of norms of civilization.

I think the IMF and World Bank should be abolished, but opening their meetings is certainly a good start.

Ending support of privatization is questionable. Privatization can be good or bad depending on how it is done. I would agree that changes need to be made, but "end support" seems awfully cold, given that governments have shown such utter ineptitude in running anything more complicated than a lottery.

As for dams and pipelines, I don't think IMF and the World Bank should exist, so clearly I disagree with all their lending, but to single out certain loans based on environmental concerns given that we ourselves build such structures all the time is pretty contemptible.

I halfway agree with these people, but I don't think their tactics make any sense. What you need in order to oppose something like the IMF or the World Bank is perceived legitimacy, and what these protesters are getting is exactly the opposite.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

no way, dude (5.00 / 1) (#18)
by ubu on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 04:04:27 PM EST

I'm glad to see these people acting like adults for once and saying what they want instead of just whining, ranting, and breaking stuff.

You really prefer that they issue ultimatums to purpose their violence? I think I rather prefer the randomly-violent type to the criminal mastermind.

I think debt cancellation is a good thing if and only if they get the nations in question to agree to certain things in exchange.

Trade fiscal responsibility for greater Western hegemony? Couldn't disagree more. Debt cancellation means quite literally nothing. If foreign loans to these countries are secured by fiat (i.e., government) it won't matter in the least whether they have poor credit. And if they're secured through private lenders, it won't matter whether you call it "debt cancellation" or "defaulting".

There is no altruistic system of international leadership. The governments in play here are acting in their most selfish interests, and debt-riddled countries should be terrified of any gift horse we have on offer.

I think the IMF and World Bank should be abolished, but opening their meetings is certainly a good start.

I think that in the long run it would be best if they remained bitter enemies of the anti-globalization protesters, with the result that anti-globalization violence eventually frightens them into doing nothing at all.

Ending support of privatization is questionable. Privatization can be good or bad depending on how it is done.

This is the sort of statement that gets you into trouble with streetlawyer, tr. The question of government "competence" is irrelevant; central authority over production is never more "competent" than private authority. The question here is control: who gets it? The anti-globalization protesters don't want the IMF, World Bank, and Banana Republic dictatorships to give up their tyranny as long as they are willing to share control with the protesters. It's the old matter of political compromise: do we hoard the small pie, or do we share a much bigger tent^H^H^H^Hpie? [that was a sly dig at your old boss, Haley Barbour... I kill me -ubu]

What you need in order to oppose something like the IMF or the World Bank is perceived legitimacy, and what these protesters are getting is exactly the opposite.

What you need -- in order to oppose the IMF and the criminal protesters alike -- is a gun.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Well, (4.00 / 1) (#19)
by trhurler on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 04:37:55 PM EST

You really prefer that they issue ultimatums to purpose their violence?
Certainly. The violence isn't going to change any; the only difference is, this way there are things that can be done about it. For instance, grant them the open meetings, but don't change anything else just yet. This won't eliminate the violence, but it will make the thugs doing it look like ungrateful, unreasonable jerks in the public eye. This might persuade the organizations behind the protests to change their tactics a bit, and if not, they'll just marginalize themselves.
Trade fiscal responsibility for greater Western hegemony?
Call me an imperialist bastard, but the West is relatively peaceful and prosperous, and the rest of the world is relatively violent and poor. I'd much rather see our norms spread than theirs, and while I would agree that we shouldn't even have these loans around in the first place, I'm not opposed to getting rid of them in some useful manner. Of course, if we had leaders who would let the third world alone, this would all be a moot point and you'd be right, but you and I know that isn't going to happen anytime soon.
If foreign loans to these countries are secured by fiat (i.e., government) it won't matter in the least whether they have poor credit. And if they're secured through private lenders, it won't matter whether you call it "debt cancellation" or "defaulting".
Presumably they're talking about IMF loans, since the IMF has no authority to cancel private loans and would probably suffer harsh consequences if it tried.
I think that in the long run it would be best if they remained bitter enemies of the anti-globalization protesters, with the result that anti-globalization violence eventually frightens them into doing nothing at all.
Except that they're not going to be frightened. Remember, it isn't their homes and businesses being destroyed, or their kids being killed or beaten up. They stand to benefit hugely by these agreements they make - why would you believe they'd give it all up over a riot or ten in someone else's back yard?
This is the sort of statement that gets you into trouble with streetlawyer, tr.
Anything I say gets me "in trouble" with him, if he bothers to read it. It isn't my fault he's got socialist dementia.
The question of government "competence" is irrelevant; central authority over production is never more "competent" than private authority.
Certainly true.
The anti-globalization protesters don't want the IMF, World Bank, and Banana Republic dictatorships to give up their tyranny as long as they are willing to share control with the protesters.
Sort of true. There's some confusion between what they want and what they'd be willing to accept, I think. Hence the term "selling out."
What you need -- in order to oppose the IMF and the criminal protesters alike -- is a gun.
A lot of them, in fact. Which is what "perceived legitimacy" ends up getting you. Granted, an outright war would also do the trick, if you could win it, but the sheer ridiculousness of the idea of "winning" such a war ought to be readily apparent.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
*sproing!* Do you guys come here often? *blush* (none / 0) (#21)
by communityAutism on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 04:55:21 PM EST

I want to have both your babies. So, who are a nice pair of guys like you doing in a place like this?

---
Me, me, me.
[ Parent ]

Greets (none / 0) (#24)
by ubu on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 05:25:08 PM EST

trhurler tears it up daily. I'm just here to give him a hard time. As far as I know he's still available :-)

Join the Free State Project. Maybe when we're all living in Wyoming we could hook up a little casual association *wink wink nudge nudge*

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
ubu my friend (none / 0) (#40)
by thePositron on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 03:23:17 AM EST

Your link in the post above is broken.

[ Parent ]
http://www.freestateproject.com (none / 0) (#43)
by ubu on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 10:00:09 AM EST

It's working for me...

Ubu

!
--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 0) (#51)
by thePositron on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 05:43:56 AM EST

Interesting concept.

[ Parent ]
Will there be more sermons? (none / 0) (#46)
by communityAutism on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 12:03:35 PM EST

No thanks, I prefer to rant and natter without irony on the lunatic fringe of thought, like a mosquito with an exaggerated opinion of self.

*slap*
*flick*

---
Me, me, me.
[ Parent ]

Hah (none / 0) (#22)
by ubu on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 05:13:40 PM EST

Call me an imperialist bastard, but the West is relatively peaceful and prosperous, and the rest of the world is relatively violent and poor.

You imperialist bastard. On the face of it the West has serenely gone about its business while the savages overseas murder and plunder and rape and such. In fact, we've been party to nearly all of it. Ye gods, I don't need to tell you that. We're just especially good at keeping a straight face when we talk about "human rights".

Except that they're not going to be frightened. Remember, it isn't their homes and businesses being destroyed, or their kids being killed or beaten up. They stand to benefit hugely by these agreements they make - why would you believe they'd give it all up over a riot or ten in someone else's back yard?

I guess I was thinking maybe the protesters would grow a pair and maybe assassinate a few of the IMF/World Bank luminaries. That would be a trip and a half.

Anything I say gets me "in trouble" with him, if he bothers to read it. It isn't my fault he's got socialist dementia.

So many great quotes, only one sigfile. Fuck.

Sort of true. There's some confusion between what they want and what they'd be willing to accept, I think. Hence the term "selling out."

Nobody's "selling out"! These people sold themselves out 30 years ago, or whenever they went to state schools to fill their heads with a lifetime supply of environmentally-sound horse shit. The issue is, and always has been, control. The altruism so ridiculously assigned such idiots and their demands -- by themselves, generally; witness streetlawyer's "moral" indignation over "selfishness" -- is a crass, pathetic lie.

Which is what "perceived legitimacy" ends up getting you.

"Perceived legitimacy" is a Faustian bargain, i.e. a bad one.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Hah (5.00 / 1) (#23)
by ubu on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 05:14:47 PM EST

Call me an imperialist bastard, but the West is relatively peaceful and prosperous, and the rest of the world is relatively violent and poor.

You imperialist bastard. On the face of it the West has serenely gone about its business while the savages overseas murder and plunder and rape and such. In fact, we've been party to nearly all of it. Ye gods, I don't need to tell you that. We're just especially good at keeping a straight face when we talk about "human rights".

Except that they're not going to be frightened. Remember, it isn't their homes and businesses being destroyed, or their kids being killed or beaten up. They stand to benefit hugely by these agreements they make - why would you believe they'd give it all up over a riot or ten in someone else's back yard?

I guess I was thinking maybe the protesters would grow a pair and maybe assassinate a few of the IMF/World Bank luminaries. That would be a trip and a half.

Anything I say gets me "in trouble" with him, if he bothers to read it. It isn't my fault he's got socialist dementia.

So many great quotes, only one sigfile. Fuck.

Sort of true. There's some confusion between what they want and what they'd be willing to accept, I think. Hence the term "selling out."

Nobody's "selling out"! These people sold themselves out 30 years ago, or whenever they went to state schools to fill their heads with a lifetime supply of environmentally-sound horse shit. The issue is, and always has been, control. The altruism so ridiculously assigned such idiots and their demands -- by themselves, generally; witness streetlawyer's "moral" indignation over "selfishness" -- is a crass, pathetic lie.

Which is what "perceived legitimacy" ends up getting you.

"Perceived legitimacy" is a Faustian bargain, i.e. a bad one.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure (5.00 / 1) (#25)
by trhurler on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 05:39:27 PM EST

You imperialist bastard. On the face of it the West has serenely gone about its business while the savages overseas murder and plunder and rape and such. In fact, we've been party to nearly all of it.
Agreed, but my real point was that law more often than not wins the day here, and that's not true everywhere. I'd rather see that spread than the other way around.
I guess I was thinking maybe the protesters would grow a pair and maybe assassinate a few of the IMF/World Bank luminaries. That would be a trip and a half.
Most of the protesters you're talking about couldn't assassinate someone for love or money; it might be a surprise if they could balance a checkbook or operate complex machines such as shower controls. The few who could are probably smart enough to realize this would only cause greater crackdowns, greater security, greater secrecy, and so on.
The altruism so ridiculously assigned such idiots and their demands -- by themselves, generally; witness streetlawyer's "moral" indignation over "selfishness" -- is a crass, pathetic lie.
I certainly agree that this is the case with the leaders of many such movements, but I think some do start out with "noble" intentions. The notion that you must be consciously evil in order to advocate a silly idea is a bit too cynical for me, and a bit too infalliblist. People can be wrong about almost anything, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, and are every day.
"Perceived legitimacy" is a Faustian bargain, i.e. a bad one.
Yes, but it is what the current powers that be operate on, and if they used it to proper advantage against these protesters, the protests would become fringe events in a hurry. On the other hand, if the protesters used it against "the Man," they might get most of what they want. Sure, it would screw them in the long run, but they're screwed in the long run anyway, because their whole movement is based on a world view that is absurd; their opposition to privatization should be evidence enough of that.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
scare quotes, you disappoint me. (5.00 / 1) (#41)
by streetlawyer on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 07:05:49 AM EST

The altruism so ridiculously assigned such idiots and their demands -- by themselves, generally; witness streetlawyer's "moral" indignation over "selfishness" -- is a crass, pathetic lie

Call a spade a spade. Selfishness is selfishness, indignation over it is moral, and it is just as easy for me to accuse you of a "crass, pathetic lie" when you pretend that you are remotely interested in liberty, as opposed to the rate of income tax. Why not, to coin a phrase, "grow a pair" and come up with an argument?

Oh yes, and statements like "central authority is never more competent than private authority" are not truths of logic, and are fairly easily empirically falsified in the real world. Far better to use "hardly ever"; for one thing, you look less of a nut.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

And now... (3.00 / 2) (#42)
by ubu on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 09:57:57 AM EST

Streetlawyer, Master of the Irrational, I, who summoned you, now banish you. Begone!

*wipes hands on pants*

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
d'you know (none / 0) (#44)
by streetlawyer on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 10:50:56 AM EST

If Ayn Rand actually were God, that might have worked.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Er... no. (none / 0) (#45)
by trhurler on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 11:50:48 AM EST

Selfishness is what everyone, including you, has as a primary fact of existence. Your hypocritical self-righteous condemnation of others for being human is amusing; I wonder if you realize that the desire for altruism is still a desire...

As for liberty and tax rates, I am more than remotely interested in both of them, and regard them as related. Low tax rates will not in and of themselves repeal all the stupid laws regarding guns, business regulation, and so on. They will not fix eminent domain to limit its applications in any way. They will fix nothing -except tax rates. That's a big improvement, but it is hardly the only one I'm after. Limits on your ability to understand my position are not limits on my position itself.

You're more than welcome to try to demonstrate that central authority has ever competently managed to carry out even such a simple task as flushing a toilet. I'm waiting.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
*heh (none / 0) (#48)
by streetlawyer on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 01:23:54 AM EST

You're more than welcome to try to demonstrate that central authority has ever competently managed to carry out even such a simple task as flushing a toilet. I'm waiting.

Just out of interest, are you using the Internet at all?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Yes, and guess what? (none / 0) (#49)
by trhurler on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 11:35:57 AM EST

"The internet" is and has been the most decentralized structure in human history. Granted, not as much as people like to pretend, but moreso than anything else. Its original development was mostly a function of people at universities. The money was mostly government money, but the myth that it was a highly centrally controlled development is at best described as "silly." Yes, in theory, the government was in charge. In fact, the research that was going on was going to go on one way or another; what actually happened was, the researchers were doing the work, and the government decided it wanted a network, and so it funded them. They then did whatever the hell they pleased, as evidenced by the fact that the Arpanet met basically zero of the requirements of the military which were not also requirements of academic research, but managed to meet all requirements of researchers. Access control? Hah. Prioritization and traffic rerouting? Surely you jest. Compartmented data security modes? Hehe... yeah, right. There's a "security" field in the packet headers, but it is useless for any practical activity.

Today, that Internet you mentioned is the property of thousands of corporations, hundreds of governments, and millions of individuals and small organizations. The government nominally has some kind of "control," but for all their bluster, they basically don't have any idea what's going on.

You lose, champ. Try again sometime.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
so in other words (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by streetlawyer on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 08:56:07 AM EST

you've basically decided that "central authority" can only be such when it uses a particular kind of management structure which involves micromanagement at every step by a small committee. I'm sure, for example, that "Winning the Second World War" would not be taken by you as an example of a success of central planning, nor "Rebuilding the Japanese Economy after 1945", nor "Irrigating the flood plain of the Yangtse", nor "putting a man on the Moon", nor anything else; given such a narrow definition, it's almost inconceivable that one couldn't think of a description of any system which didn't fit it.

So fair enough, I lose, and you care. But just tell me one thing:

Given that you've gone to the trouble (and sacrificed the credibility) to define governmental organisations as incompetent and wasteful, why do you ever bother to argue that they are?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

The U.S. has a multitrillion dollar national debt (4.50 / 4) (#10)
by joegee on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 02:04:25 PM EST

U.S. National Debt Clock

So we get out of our responsibilities too? Cool. :)

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
But... (5.00 / 3) (#12)
by wiredog on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 02:19:04 PM EST

The U.S. is making the payments. The debt is in the form of Treasury Bills and Bonds and US Savings Bonds. Much of that debt is held by people outside the U.S., as they regard it as a safe investment.

An interesting argument about the debt is wether or not it is harmful. It soaks up alot of investment capital, so reducing the debt frees up that capital for investment in companies that actually produce things. But those companies aren't as safe an investment, as they could go under. Also, a large US debt, by soaking up investment, may act to reduce the volatility of the debt market.

There's a movie, with John Ritter, called Americathon, wherein the USA defaults on its debt, most of which is held by and old Indian Chief, who's going to foreclose. Very cheesy.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]

Maybe we should stop making payments ... (5.00 / 2) (#14)
by joegee on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 02:47:27 PM EST

Could we be forgiven? Probably not. :/

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
I can't believe your complain (1.50 / 2) (#20)
by jazzido on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 04:48:09 PM EST

Besides the fact i don't like US and USians by default, you don't know what a poor nation is.

i'm in argentina, and while we're not Bolivia or even Zimbabwe, we're on that way.

--
"Patriotism is the last resource of scoundrels" (Samuel Johnson)

[ Parent ]

Good for you ... (4.33 / 3) (#27)
by joegee on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 05:52:35 PM EST

Sorry, we should be falling all over ourselves to create an international welfare system to help people who apparently cannot help themselves ... In some ways I actually agree with forgiving debt to some nations, but we're supposed to feel good about giving to someone who "doesn't like USians"?

If you don't like us, tell your government to put their hands back in their pockets when they come to talk to us. Tell them to go beg from Europe. Europe claims that after a millenium of crusades, colonialism, and history's blooddiest wars they have finally learned their lesson and can play better on the international stage, let them have a crack at it ...

I really enjoy how many countries seem to feel it is acceptable to say "we hate you" and "give us money" in the same sentence. Gosh, why don't our politicians just fall all over themselves to hand you a blank check? I have no idea ...

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
Hmm... (4.50 / 4) (#28)
by trhurler on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 06:03:56 PM EST

You dislike US citizens, almost all of whom you both have never met and have no knowledge of whatsoever, by default? People like you(who, incidentally, have an annoying habit of VISITING the US despite their supposed dislike for it,) are the reason most US citizens really don't give a damn when our government goes and blows up some village in one of your countries, or sells weapons to rebels there, or whatever. Why should we care about people who explicitly state their hatred for us? Hate my government? Sure, and I do too. What does that have to do with hating me? I didn't vote for the assholes in charge, and I don't approve of what they're doing. Many others are in the same position.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Well, we arn't 'impovrished' (4.50 / 2) (#30)
by delmoi on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 06:35:13 PM EST

Don't forget, the US government is making intrest payments on the Debt each year, so there is no reason that we should go into bankrupcy.

Also, don't forget who the government owes that money too. Just what exactly do you think a government bond is?
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
True, there isn't any reason for it ... (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by joegee on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 08:10:16 PM EST

Delmoi, I am not arguing against what you said, not at all. :)

To me it looks like there is no reason that these countries that are looking to have loans forgiven cannot simply make smaller payments. Maybe we can temporarily suspend payment for these nations?

On an aside I wish I could convince my creditors to erase my debt just because I have hit a bad stretch. Would anyone like to protest my debt to Citibank, please? There will be a rally out front of the NYC headquarters of Citybank at 2 PM Eastern on the 3rd of September. Be there to help liberate Joe from his oppressive debts. Look for the JoeAid website soon. :)

I can guarantee that within two years of having their loans forgiven these countries will turn around and borrow again. I suspect that forgiving debt does nothing except make it easier to create more.

What about instead of loans that seem to disappear as quickly as they are issued Western powers begin giving real, non-negotiable, non-financial assistance in the form of food, help building shelter and infrastructure, education and training?

I'll bet there would be problems with this too ... I'd be willing to bet that the leaders of these various countries, who seldom seem to do without, find a thousand new reasons for the payments to come in cash. The one reason these leaders want cash, that they never take the time to explain is: "real goods cannot be hoarded in foreign bank accounts."

What we are seeing today is failed policy. To me it does not make sense to simply turn around and commit the same mistakes all over again. I believe in foreign aid, I do not believe in "more of the same." It hasn't worked so far, so let's look for different solutions. Let's share more of the burden with Europe and the Asian economies.

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
Debt cancellation (4.50 / 4) (#11)
by wiredog on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 02:07:01 PM EST

We have that in the USA. It's called bankruptcy. It's a bit tough to get loans in the future if you go that route, however.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
Anyone else (3.57 / 7) (#17)
by pallex on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 03:11:26 PM EST

find it amusing that the anti-globalization protesters are an unelected, unaccountable collection of people, working independantly of the laws of any given country? Still, its good that, after several years of protests, they've managed to put down their spliffs and income support application forms, and got around to working out whatever it is they are complaining about.

anyone else? (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by Ender Ryan on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 05:48:13 PM EST

Anyone else here very concerned about the secrecy behind all the meetings? Why are they not open to public scrutiny? How can these people do what's best for the people if they don't allow the people to see what's going on a put their own voice in?

This whole thing just baffles me, such strong supporters on both sides when no one even really knows exactly what the fuck is going on...


-
Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!


It's simple. (4.50 / 2) (#39)
by Apuleius on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 03:02:28 AM EST

The decisions made at WTO meetings sometimes have billions at stake. There's a serious risk that people in these meetings will be threatened in order to sway them one way or the other. WTO arbitrators are anonymous for the same reason. The WTO cannot function without a measure of secrecy. Arguably, therefore, it should not exist at all.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Anti-Globalization Protestors State Goals | 51 comments (51 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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