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[P]
The Myth of antiglobalisation

By MSBob in Op-Ed
Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 06:18:35 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

Bertrand Russel once said that boredom is at the root of greatest tragedies in humanity. There was no boredom in Genoa. One dead, a thousand wounded, five hundred arrests and material losses of tens of millions of dollars add up to quite a bill. Those participating in protests lived a couple of exciting days which they'll no doubt keep in memory for a long time to come. There not only did they clash with Italian Police, they also battled the most powerful alliance in the world. In their own eyes they came out on top.


However spectacular the street fights were in Genoa (and Quebec, Davos and Prague) in reality they were nothing out of the ordinary. They are only more exposed as they represent a new trend in our democratic culture.

This trend seems to be developing in most democratic nations. Citizens elect their own representatives in free elections only to see others go out on the streets later to protest their own representatives and their programmes forcing them into a policy of quick, short sighted solutions. This is a very direct form of democracy taken to the extreme. It is becoming more and more common often taking forms of strikes, blockades and now terror. If they become successful they are posed destroy foundations of democracy and free speech. Those who protest are rarely supported by the majority of citizens meaning that they force their own agenda on the rest of our society while the silent majority are supposed to accept that their democratically elected representatives are being coerced by a loud and determined minority.

In Genoa we saw people that are well trained in the art of forcing their agenda not only on their own governments but also on international bodies such as the EU and NATO. They fight for all types of pet causes ranging from saving tropical rainforests through to addressing the nuclear balance of the world. I call them ideologic orphans.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union the last big empire based on a doctrine fell on its knees and created what one could call a doctrine void. On the surface it appeared that there was no longer any impediment to a steady economic development in all parts of the world barring any smaller conflicts and an occasional rogue government. Soon after the collapse of communism it became apparent that many people did not like the ideological vacuum. The lack of a political theory that would explain all inequalities on this planet was a fertile ground for a new doctrine which promised to eradicate all the evil provided the big enemy called globalisation gets beaten and destroyed. Only then we will be able to turn the world into a fair and happy place. Or at least that's how the story goes. I'm afraid that having been born in a communist country I heard many fairy tales of this sort and excuse me for being sceptical if I dare calling this one a scam as well.

Naturally, there are models for a slow and progressive economic advancement of the entire world. Economists such as Amartya Sen, Mancur Olsen or Douglas North covered this topic in depth. Unfortunately what they came up with is not a very good material for a revolutionary movement. What all those great minds seem to have agreed on is that the only way to improving the fate of the poor is through advancing to proper democratic systems which is inherently a slow process that often takes several generations. Well that's just not good enough for some as there is nobody to blame and it lacks that quick revolution theme that any demagogery worth its salt must have. And like it or not demagogy bonds people. The promise of a better world once this last revolution is complete can unite many often even fairly bright folks. Given the above it's pretty hard not to interpret antiglobalisation as yet another incarnation of the Marxist sentiments in the West.

At the foundation of the antiglobalisation myth lies the legend of extreme explotation of former colonial nations. This gets expanded into a theory that the West got rich through ruthless explotation of the third world and the third world got robbed of what little it used to have. Actually with the exception of a couple (UK, France) most rich countries of this world (USA, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Finland) have never had colonies. Some had them for a very brief period (Germany). The biggest colonial powers (Spain, Portugal) can't be considered economic empires by any stretch of imagination. In fact looking at pure facts it's easy to see that the opposite relationship took place. Countries which held colonies in the last couple of centuries saw their growth hampered as a result. Belgium was considered an economic miracle in the 19th century but only until they acquired Congo. Holland saw their economy thrive only once they got rid of their colonial influence. Generally as Paul Bairoch notes the more colonies the weaker the economy. The exploitation of natural resources is a myth too. Most goods imported from colonial territories were luxury goods such as gold, diamonds, silk and spices. In the beginning of the twentieth century most western economies were self sufficient in their supply of then important goods such as iron, copper, coal and others. Coal was even exported. The only country that was (and still is) reliant on importing raw materials is Japan but Japan never had colonies. The myth of antiglobalisation explores the colonialism concept to prove that those former oppresive powers have now taken the form of megacorporations who continue the exploitation of the third world. What antiglobalisation proponents suggest is that those poor countries would be much better off if left to their own devices. This is quite untrue. Third world countries are not suffering because their ties with industrialised nations are too strong but because those links are too weak. HongKong, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore were as poor as North Korea, Bangladesh and Pakistan not that long ago. It's only thanks to their embrace of the free trade that they experienced levels of growth that were once thought impossible to attain in such a short time span. In fact the per-capita GDP of North Korea was higher than South Korea's up until the early seventies. There is a frequently repeated truism that the richest third of the world consumes two thirds of all goods made on this planet. It's true but what is also true is that the rich third produces 75 per cent of all the world's GDP. In simple terms if I run a farm and have grown three chickens while all my neighbours only manage to grow one each that doesn't make me inherently evil for having a bigger feast. The poorest 20 per cent of our planet (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan) produces only 2 per cent of the global GDP. If their piece of the global pie seems too small it's only because they contributed comparatively less to baking it.

What antiglobalisation folks refuse to hear is that poverty in the third world is caused by politics of governments of those countries and has little to do with politicians of G7 or EU. Some of the older folks here might remember how the socialist movements in the west actively encouraged those newly established nations to rebuild their countries based on the Marxist doctrine. They persuaded those poor folks to nationalise industries and introduce centrally planend economies. The consequences of switching from tribal feudal systems to military based socialist experiments were naturally catastrophic. The socialist doctrine in Ethiopia already cost millions of lives lost to poverty and famine. India is still paying their bill for their socialist experiment. North Korea, one of the poorest countries in the world is on the brink of collapse thanks to their refusal to embrace global trade and their Marxist inclinations.

The dicators of the third world are arming themselves to teeth. If any blame for this is to be attributed to the industralised world it's mainly for selling weapons to those warlords. Ironically the antiglobalisation movement is supported by some of the third world's bloodiest regimes. They make sure that the West won't "invade" forcing them to adopt democratic policies and market economy.

There is one more reason for poverty. That's all the international aid programmes which are run by indivuduals with their own agendas and pet projects. Two examples will follow to back this statement:

1. Following the advice of 'experts' there was a a nationalised tomato processing plant raised in Ethiopia which was supposed to make produce sold in Europe. The nationalised land for growing said tomatoes was exploited and what used to be a fertile piece of terrain quickly turned into a wasteland. Most farmers are aware that growing the same produce on a piece of land year by year is bad for the soil. Meanwhile Europe refused to buy those canned tomatoes as they already had an oversupply of their own. The gigantic tomato disaster was one of the main factors in the huge famine that swept the nation during the next big draught.

2. Egypt received aid in the form of grain products from the US and Canada. This pretty much killed off local farming in the Nile Delta as local producers could not compete with produce that was given away for free.

Antiglobalisation is dangerous not only because it results in sporadic eruptions of street violence but mostly because it deliberately ignores the core reasons for poverty in the third world. The poor of this planet need to encourage free trade rather than fight it in order to get out of their adimttedly desperate situation.

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The Myth of antiglobalisation | 51 comments (46 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
Other Arguments for Anti-Globalization (4.07 / 14) (#1)
by jonnyq on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 11:37:39 PM EST

I am intrigued by what you have, but I would like to see at least some coverage regarding the affects that "free trade" would have on the sovereignty of the nation and the ability of a people to decide for themselves issues of right versus wrong. For instance, in California, the gas additive Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE) was outlawed after it was discovered to contaminate groundwater. A Canadian company which added this substance to their gasoline sued California through the WTO and the state is now either forced to allow them to sell their carcinogenic gas or to pay huge fees to the Canadian company for violating "free trade" (see here).

Some famous dead politician once said "All politics is local", and I tend to agree with him. So where are we when a corporation can overturn the will of the people in pursuit of ever more profit?

Doesn't matter (2.50 / 6) (#5)
by sigwinch on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 12:38:29 AM EST

For instance, in California, the gas additive ... MTBE was outlawed after it was discovered to contaminate groundwater. A Canadian company which added this substance to their gasoline sued California through the WTO and the state is now either forced to allow them to sell their carcinogenic gas or to pay huge fees to the Canadian company for violating "free trade".
So what's the problem? It means that a California company can go to the Canadian city where the MTBE company is headquartered and sell gasoline containing tetraethyl lead. I'd recommend a blend with the maximum amount of tetraethyl lead that will still combust. Poison their city, destroy all their catalytic converters, and the locals will burn MTBE company to the ground.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

MTBE (3.00 / 1) (#22)
by weirdling on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 02:15:43 PM EST

In the US, we don't even use that stuff anymore. It was something that got passed by greenies for some reason or other that proved to be hideously toxic in groundwater, so had to be repealed.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
MTBE Info (4.00 / 2) (#23)
by sigwinch on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 02:41:25 PM EST

It was something that got passed by greenies for some reason or other that proved to be hideously toxic in groundwater, so had to be repealed.
The intent was that it would cause gasoline to combust better and make less smog. As far as MTBE in the groundwater goes, the reasoning was that gasoline is toxic in groundwater, hardly anybody is being poisoned by gasoline in groundwater, therefore there isn't much leakage into groundwater. As fate would have it, gasoline in groundwater isn't nearly as bad as had been supposed since it isn't soluble in water, meaning there were vastly more leaky storage tanks than had been supposed. MTBE *is* relatively soluble in water, and the rest is history. It might have been possible to figure this out ahead of time, but it's rather subtle and I can't entirely fault the environmentalists.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

mtbe != less smog (3.00 / 1) (#29)
by Sikpup on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 07:06:20 PM EST

I'll give another reason to kill mtbe. In 91 and 93, my 77 car would pass smog and get 18 mpg. In 95, my 77 would barely pass the smog check, and deliver 14 mpg. In 97, after the amount of the additive was increased further, the car won't pass at all, and now gets 8 mpg. The carbs have been rebuilt, the heads done, new valves, etc. It is not a case of a worn out engine or being out of tune. It is bad gas. If I tank up in Nevada, the milage comes back. My 87 has dropped from 27 to 22 mpg during the same time span. So how does reducing fuel economy and increasing emissions reduce total smog?

[ Parent ]
MTBE Mandate (3.00 / 1) (#30)
by SEWilco on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 08:05:04 PM EST

" It was something that got passed by greenies for some reason or other that proved to be hideously toxic in groundwater, so had to be repealed."
You make it sound as if it's something that just happened without anyone being able to control it. The U.S. government ordered some antipollution additives be used in gasoline. The "experts" who created these rules thought MTBE was safe -- obviously not enough testing was done, as the experts didn't know enough about how MTBE really would behave. Well, maybe MTBE is "safe" if it doesn't cause biological problems -- it definitely has leaked out of artificial containers more than expected.

Some states chose to use ethanol instead of MTBE. Let's hope that's OK -- at least there are a lot more creatures which use that than MTBE (at least up here in the cool biosphere).

[ Parent ]

Local politics (3.20 / 5) (#6)
by ubu on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 01:08:17 AM EST

How about politics local to the individual? It has been found that caffeine poisons my bowels and gives me filthy runny poopers. Do you think I should try to get an anti-caffeine law passed? Would that be "the will of the people"? I think so. Viva la revolution!

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Errrm.. (3.80 / 5) (#12)
by ajduk on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 05:52:46 AM EST

If caffiene was routinely added to tap water, then the presence of people intolerant to caffiene would mean that a law should be passed to stop the practice, even if it caused a loss of profits to the caffiene manifactures.

Thats the correct analogy; yours was, lets face it, just plain daft.

[ Parent ]
reply (2.00 / 1) (#26)
by ubu on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 03:10:51 PM EST

Tragedy of the Commons. It is, indeed, unfortunate that we have a public water supply. My analogy is not daft; I did, after all, say that my idea of politics was local to the individual, no? Hence, the "will of the people" in passing a law would only apply to a law which applies only to myself. Wouldn't it be great if we all followed our own advice instead of sticking it to other people?

Ubu



[ Parent ]
It works both ways (4.20 / 5) (#7)
by Corbin on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 01:37:48 AM EST

Interesting. An almost identical situation has happened in reverse, except with the gasoline additive MMT.

See here and here. A good quote:

MMT was banned in Canada until this summer when the Chrétien government, reacting to a threat by MMT manufacturer Ethyl Corporation of America to sue the Canadian government under NAFTA, repealed the ban and paid Ethyl $20 million.

The disturbing trend is corporations are gaining power over and above governments. But corporations are not democratically elected.

I support the concept of globalization, and believe it's inevitable with the Internet. But we, as a global society, need to address the erosion of individual rights and government sovereignty.



[ Parent ]

You've made me need a trip to the library. (3.50 / 8) (#2)
by Hechz on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 11:48:28 PM EST

I am an ardent antiglobilisation activist. If I had the time and funds I would have been in Genoa; this stated I have to admit you arguments have made me pause. I'd like some O/L resources and statistical information to backup your beliefs, other that that a very well thought out post. thanks.

i'm against government-supported monopolies (4.26 / 19) (#8)
by sayke on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 01:57:27 AM EST

and that's what i think the WTO, the FTAA, and friends are all about. i've said it before, and i'll say it again: they are not about free markets; not about competition at all - they are about increasing the scope in which current multinational monpolies and duopolies (which, for the most part, would not exist without constant government help) can manufacture and sell things. that is not the free-market way.

when i protested in seattle, i did not protest against genetic engineering; hell, i think it's a good thing, in the same way that the discovery of fire, and the discovery of written language, were good things. i did not protest against a presumed loss of cultural diversity, because i think cultures, as they mix, combine, and interbreed, end up being vastly more diverse, tolerant, and locally varied then under traditional locally-monolithic cultures. and i sure as hell didn't protest capitalism; i don't think capitalism is an optional feature of a society - i think capitalistic supply-and-demand laws are to societies as boyle's law is to gasses.

however, i also think that nations [1] exist in part to establish basic ground rules for markets, so that the ground rule sets can compete with each other in the international marketplace. and here's where it gets a bit complex; it takes on shades of internomic war =)

because i see nations as important ground-rule-makers, i strongly dislike how the WTO/FTAA/etc is trying to coerce (through threat of sanction and military force) nations to accept certain WTO/FTAA/etc mandated ground rules; ground rules that greatly benefit the multinational corporations behind the WTO/FTAA/etc in the short term, and royally fuck over the multinational's early-industrial host nations in the longer term.

and "fuck over" is an apt term for this: the multinationals seek to impregnate and flee. they want to avoid, at any cost, any kind of long-term investment in the third world. the last thing they want to do is invest in infrastructure... and wnat do third world countries need in order to become second and first world countries? that's right: investment in infrastructure.

see, what i protested in seattle was government-assisted monopolisation, and the loss of competition that inevetably follows from it. i protested coporate welfare and subsidies. i protested the US's trade policy with respect to china. i protested the embargos of cuba and iraq, and i protested the war on some drugs...

but i also protested the leverage the WTO (and later the FTAA) would give to multinational corporations - leverage that would give the multinationals free reign to avoid long-term investment in the well-being of early-industrial countries, and so retard their development into post-industiral societies.

[1] by "nations", i don't mean nation-states per se - i mean any geographic entity, cooperative, autonomous zone, or anything else that sets ground rules for markets... even if an area has, as market ground rules, nothing more then a body of contract law, i classify it as a "nation" for purposes of this discussion.

[guh. as long as people are going to adopt canned positions without replying to my canned responses, i'll keep whippin out the canned responses]

[ps: would you have moderated this comment higher had i not included the above little note? ;) ]


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */

You are wrong (4.05 / 18) (#9)
by Armin on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 01:57:52 AM EST

While your arguments that free trade and democracy benefit developing nations are good, they do not address any of the core issues behind those that oppose "globalization." You seem to think that the "antiglobalization" people are against free trade and democracy. You could not be more wrong. The core arguments against globalization are that it undermines free trade and democracy, the very things you support. Also, there are some points you make which are incorrect.

Citizens elect their own representatives in free elections only to see others go out on the streets later to protest their own representatives... If they become successful they are posed destroy foundations of democracy and free speech.
People protest when their elected leaders do not act according to the peoples wishes. Just because they are elected by the majority does not mean that the majority supports the leaders actions. You suggest that the "silent majority" are victims of the protestors loud voices because government leaders will act rashly to appease the demonstrators. This assumption is wrong. First, the "silent majority" (you imply that the pro-globalization folks are the majority) are not silent at all. They have a voice in the form of well-funded lobbyists and corporate public relations companies. Secondly, politicians regularly vote for these corporate interests and rarely succomb to the wishes of protestors. Protests are an important form of expression in democracy. The perfect example is the US's civil rights movement. In a time where minorities and women were treated as second class citizens, people took to the streets to fight injustice. Often these protests ended in violence and death. In the beginning, most people, the "silent majority" argued these protests will "destroy foundations of democracy and free speech." Ultimately, the majority favored the views of the demonstrators and free speech and democracy became stronger.

The real supporters of globalization are mega-corporations as they are the greatest benefactors of such a policy. Sometimes corporations are unfairly demonized. However, a corporation's primary interest is to make profits. They are not concerned with democracy, "free trade", or human rights. If these things were important we would not be buying from China. Or Coca-Cola would not be killing union leaders in Columbia. Or Nike would not use sweat shop labor. "Free trade" is never free trade. When politicians say "free trade" they mean trade that will benefit them. These corporations want places where they can get cheap labor, little environmental restrictions, and a compliant government.

Also, corporate interests often contradict those of the people. For example, most people support strong environmental policies, yet politicians refuse to implement any serious legistlation. As long as leaders continue to ignore the concerns of their voters, protests will continue to occur.

Your economic theories are correct, but you bought into the corporate PR propaganda. They use words which you seem to believe in, but to them the words mean something different.

"Democracy" means government compliant to Western corporate interests.

"Free trade" means trade that benefits Western corporate interests.

Always economic arguments... (4.50 / 2) (#25)
by jeep on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 02:58:31 PM EST

Thank you for the though-provoking article. However not only do I agree with what Armin is saying above - transnational corporations are major players now - but I want to add to it.

The article and most of the establishment discuss these issues in only economic terms. One of the unnoticed revolutions has been how politics has become discussed in purely economic terms. No more doctrine, no more social agendas. It's about figures, what economists say is the best thing to do. This smacks of a lack of ambition - economic figures are easy to measure, deep socio-cultural changes aren't.

Finally many protestors object, and so do I, to this concept of looking at x percent of the poor only contributing x percent GDP and so on. Why do people need to be reduced in this way? We are all simple human beings - our economic value shouldn't affect our human value and thus the need to alleviate anybody's human suffering and not just our own.



--
The FREE e-democracy Project
Promoting Free Software in Government

[ Parent ]
Economics does ignore human interest (5.00 / 2) (#31)
by Armin on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 10:36:14 PM EST

You are so right. Economics can only measure monetary impact. Many countries always been agrarian or even hunter-gathers. How are they to cope with the major change of industrialization. It can be argued that much of the Western would has yet to develop the cultural strength to handle the consequences post-industrial or even industrial economies. Cheap goods and new jobs for people is not always best for a community. For example, take the effect Wal-Mart has had on small cities and towns in the U.S. Economies which had been based on mom and pop stores have been drastically altered by the mega department stores. Wal-Mart can sell items cheaper than a small store can. So, naturally people go there to shop. Usually, Wal-Mart has a negative impact on the number of jobs. Not to mention, small rural stores have much more charm than the florescent lit department stores. Such qualities are not measureable, but have a strong influence on the psyche of the people.

[ Parent ]
Your Summarization of Colonial History... (4.55 / 20) (#11)
by ti dave on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 05:42:42 AM EST

Is suspect.

"Actually with the exception of a couple (UK, France) most rich countries of this world (USA, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Finland) have never had colonies."

Amusing that you list the U.K. and France as "exceptions", when they held the largest numbers of Colonies.

BTW, the U.S. has held Colonies, while naming them "Territories".
i.e. The Phillipines and Puerto Rico (from Spain)
Guam and Samoa (acquired from Germany)
Hawaii (acquired from the U.K.)
U.S. Virgin Islands (from Denmark)
the list goes on...

"Some had them for a very brief period (Germany)."

I'm not sure what you consider a "brief period", but if you're referring to Namibia (South-West Africa) I wouldn't call that a "brief period".

"The only country that was (and still is) reliant on importing raw materials is Japan but Japan never had colonies."

Manchuria (Manchukuo)
Korea
Singapore
Taiwan
Vietnam
Again, the list can go on...

"Belgium was considered an economic miracle in the 19th century but only until they acquired Congo."

Right. Let's see now, What is Antwerp famous for?
That's right, the Diamond Trade!
Where do you suppose the Belgians established the roots of that trade?
That's right, the Belgian Congo!

I'm sorry MSBob, but the burden is now upon you, to prove to me why I should believe anything else you've written here.
It just seemed that you didn't research this well enough.

Cheers,

ti dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

Correct so far (3.85 / 7) (#13)
by nobbystyles on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 05:55:18 AM EST

And the Netherland's time as a great power, basically the 17th Century, was intimately connected to having colonies in the Spice Islands (Indonesia) and thus having a monopoly on spices.

[ Parent ]
A small correction (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by scheme on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 02:18:24 AM EST

Hawaii (acquired from the U.K.)

Actually, I believe Hawaii was an independent nation until the overthrow of the monarchy in the late 1890s by us interests with the support of marines. The Hawaiian monarchy had until then been playing England and the US against each other


"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." --Albert Einstein


[ Parent ]
I should have clarified my note. (3.00 / 1) (#36)
by ti dave on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 05:17:56 AM EST

From:

http://library.uhh.hawaii.edu/wwwvlhawaii/index.shtml

"Polynesians settled the Hawaiian Islands between 300-600CE. The first documented European visitor was British Captain James Cook, on 18 January 1778 at Kealakekua Bay, on the Island of Hawai'i. Between 1790 and 1810, the islands were united politically under Kamehameha I, whose five successors ruled the kingdom from his death in 1819 until 1872: Liholiho-Kamehameha II, 1819-1824; Kauikeaouli-Kamehameha III, 1825-1854; Alexander Liholiho-Kamehameha IV, 1854-1863; Lot Kamehameha-Kamehameha V, 1863-1872, and William C. Lunalilo, 1873-1874. Following the Kamehameha dynasty were the following rulers: David Kaläkaua, 1874-1891, and Lili'uokalani, 1891-1893. On 17 January 1893, Lili'uokalani was forced to abdicate her position as Queen, and the government of the once sovereign nation of Hawai'i was seized by Caucasian business leaders, who formed a provisional government and urged the US government to annex Hawai'i. President Grover Cleveland refused when he discovered that the illegal overthrow had been imposed by US military power and lacked popular support. The provisional government formed the Republic of Hawai'i, with Sanford Dole as president. In 1897, President Cleveland was replaced by Republican William McKinley, who favored annexation, and in 1898, Congress passed a resolution to annex Hawai'i as a territory. Hawai'i was granted statehood on 20 August 1959."

Please note that between Cook's arrival and the coup deposing Lili'uokalani, the Royal Navy, and U.K. civilian steamers used coaling stations that were installed there by the British.

Also note that the "Caucasian business leaders" were both American and British.

Lili'uokalani's support to the Crown was so respected, that she was invited to Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.

To be fair, I wouldn't say that the British were the most exploitative of the western powers in the Islands.

My reply to MSBob was written purely off the top of my head, I didn't have to crack a book to spot the flaws.

Cheers,

ti dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Some factual corrections (4.66 / 18) (#14)
by the trinidad kid on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 06:36:21 AM EST

Firstly - some factual corrections:

* America took 4 colonies from Spain in 1898 - the Philippines, Puerto Rico and added to them Guam and Hawaii. Cuba (whose freedom was the ostensible purpose of the war) became a protectorate with a US right of intervention enshrined in the constitution. For a fuller chronology of US military interventions in Central America under the Monroe Doctrine see here.
* Japan colonised Korea in 1910 and most of East Asia between 1940 and 1944/1945. Given that this last bout of colonisation was driven by a desire to get access to raw materials it makes this comment of yours somewhat strange:
"The only country that was (and still is) reliant on importing raw materials is Japan but Japan never had colonies."

Secondly - maybe it is time to look at the situation from the perspective of the colonised - in particular as the colonial period extended until the very recent past (although Scottish I was born in the British Colony Of Trinidad And Tobago in 1963). You state:
"Belgium was considered an economic miracle in the 19th century but only until they acquired Congo."
Before discussing Belgium and the Congo I must first plead from an exemption from Godwin's Law.

The Congo was a personal fief of King Leopold II (who was also King of Belgium) between 1885 and 1908. Estimates of the number of people slaughtered go up to 15 million. An introduction to the copious documentation on atrocities in the Congo can be found here. For those of you who doubt that it compares with Nazism photographic evidence can be found here (Warning - horrific images can be linked to from this page).

Congo was then taken in hand as a Belgian colony until 1960 - here is a chronology of post-independence history and here is the CIA's world factbook entry on the Congo.

One of the key facts to know about Congolese independence is that out of the total population of 20 or 30 million only 13 had a University degree or equivalent - this huge country was less educated than my family (my mum and dad, me and my 3 brothers). In light of that your bold statement:
"What antiglobalisation folks refuse to hear is that poverty in the third world is caused by politics of governments of those countries and has little to do with politicians of G7 or EU."
looks slightly flawed. In what way did the former colonial powers equip countries like the Congo for the modern world? Of the 13 Congolese graduates, a number didn't survive the immediate post-independence period (eg Patrice Lumumba) but it is hard to see how Congo could have recovered from colonialism in a single generation (someone who graduated in 1960 would not yet have reached retirement) by some sort of autarkic bootstrapping. The west's involvement in post-colonial Congo has certainly not been orientated towards that goal.

Notes:
* The Guardian to which the last link points (Eisenhower ordered murder of Lumumba) is a widely respected, centre-left, national daily newspaper in the UK.
* I personally don't believe that the survival of a particular individual (Patrice Lumumba) would, on its own have transformed the history of the Congo since 1960.

The USA didn't have colonies? (3.83 / 6) (#16)
by streetlawyer on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 07:27:36 AM EST

As far as I can tell, the entirety land mass of the USA, apart from a few independent nations ("reservations") is a colony. Those few nations within the USA which are not entirely descended from colonists are not rich at all.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
Where to begin? (4.60 / 15) (#18)
by scorchio on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 08:22:17 AM EST

With the collapse of the Soviet Union the last big empire based on a doctrine fell on its knees and created what one could call a doctrine void

Does free market capitalism count as a doctrine? Democracy as an ideology? Corporate welfare and rights as imperialistic?

Actually with the exception of a couple (UK, France) most rich countries of this world (USA, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Finland) have never had colonies. Some had them for a very brief period (Germany). The biggest colonial powers (Spain, Portugal) can't be considered economic empires by any stretch of imagination.

Germany -- South-west Africa and Poland. USA -- Philippines (and client regimes all over South America) Sweden -- Norway and Finland The Portugese lost their empire in the Spice Islands to the Dutch. Until then, they were very much an economic power.

Holland saw their economy thrive only once they got rid of their colonial influence.

Nonsense. The Dutch economy became so inflated as a result of the vast wealth of Indonesia that they paid large amounts of gold for tulips.

Generally as Paul Bairoch notes the more colonies the weaker the economy. The exploitation of natural resources is a myth too. Most goods imported from colonial territories were luxury goods such as gold, diamonds, silk and spices.

Then, sorry to say, Mr Bairoch is a fool. The UK, with the largest empire in the world, was a very rich country. France is not poor. QED.

The only country that was (and still is) reliant on importing raw materials is Japan but Japan never had colonies.

Korea, Manchuria?

The myth of antiglobalisation explores the colonialism concept to prove that those former oppresive powers have now taken the form of megacorporations who continue the exploitation of the third world.

But many of those former oppressive powers were megacorporations. The Dutch VOC ran Indonesia, the British East India Company ran, well..., India.

HongKong, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore were as poor as North Korea, Bangladesh and Pakistan not that long ago. It's only thanks to their embrace of the free trade that they experienced levels of growth that were once thought impossible to attain in such a short time span.

Hong Kong and Singapore were British imperial outposts and entrepots, seized after the colonial (and economic, in the literal sense of free trade) Opium War.

-1 for impressive ignorance.

Free market capitalism (none / 0) (#21)
by weirdling on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 02:11:22 PM EST

Capitalism is not doctrine. It is what happens when you don't do anything or force anything. Socialism is doctrine; it requires that normal behavior be modified. Capitalism is just the study of what happens.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
historically incorrect (4.33 / 3) (#35)
by streetlawyer on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 04:13:20 AM EST

In order to set in place the preconditions for capitalism, pre-existing village and feudal societies had to be broken up and turned into privately owned estates. The enclosures movement is extremely well-documented historically.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Or, to go back farther (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by weirdling on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 01:50:46 PM EST

Hammurabi code, well predating feudal systems, and one of the first things to come out of tribal systems, and certainly the earliest known code, protects property rights. Granted, the king has absolute ownership of anything, but if someone steals something from someone else, there is a penalty. It is in the Bible, in the Judaical legal system, which was a functional anarchy. It shows up in every ancient writing there is. Capitalism, as a term, is new, but as a philosophy is as old as time immemorial, predating even currency.

The idea of free trade and those who own substantial amounts of an area is something that happened parrallel to feudalism, anyway. For instance, the Germans during the Dark Ages had a thriving economic empire under the Mungers (merchants), who *owned* kings. They financed things the kings wanted in return for a share of the kingship. Over time, these Mungers came to be in control of a sizable chunk of Germany.

In feudal societies, fiefs were vassals to their lords, but the bourgeouis were not. A freeman could engage in any kind of trade he saw fit, and generally did. Feudal lords often traded with other feudal lords. Often, one feudal lord would loan money to another with interest.

As a matter of fact, moneylending is ancient. The idea of investing capital in a farm by way of lending money with an expected return is as old as money itself. That is capitalism.

Then, there's Og, the caveman, trading his very fine wood club for some coveted sabre-tooth tiger teeth, showing free trade in a purely anarchistic society. It is not much of a stretch to see Og giving his son a new club (Og makes clubs), enabling his son to go out and acquire food, some of which Og expects in return for his gift of the club, hence showing Og investing capital (the club) in his son for a portion of the return.

No, socialism is a relatively recent idea. It has happened largely since the industrial revolution. And, btw, don't confuse tribalism with socialism as many new-age nitwits seem to do. Tribalism had stringent requirements that, if violated, resulted in banishment, and often had 'don't work, can't eat' laws, as well. It wasn't a nice life, which is why tribes often give up that life for a more modern one.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Comments on Mosaic Law (5.00 / 1) (#44)
by ubu on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 03:55:28 PM EST

It is in the Bible, in the Judaical legal system, which was a functional anarchy.

Mosaic Law is an interesting study. Of course there is no earthly State in the Law, but there are certain interesting provisos. For instance, landowners were not to prohibit travellers from crossing their land, nor even to prevent them from eating their fill as they passed through. Travellers were not, however, permitted to stay overnight or to take anything from the property with them when they left.

The Year of Jubilee was an interesting concept, as well, granting that all debts were to be forgotten on the 7th year, regardless of outstanding balance. As far as I know, the Jews never actually observed the practice, however the Law not only prescribes it, but Jews are also commanded not to refrain from lending money on the eve of the Jubilee -- even though they knew the debt would soon be null and void.

I Samuel 8 reveals that Yahweh was considered the Head of State, such as it was, and that the establishment of an earthly State was considered a rejection of Him and of His Law.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
that sounds interesting (none / 0) (#45)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 10:01:05 AM EST

being a sincere and nostalgic fan of traditional feudalism, i'm interested in learning about its downfall....

however, i'm feeling particularly lazy this morning; off the top of your head, do you have any good reference works for that?



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
For the record... (none / 0) (#51)
by a clockwork llama on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 11:57:23 PM EST

Hong Kong and Singapore were British imperial outposts and entrepots, seized after the colonial (and economic, in the literal sense of free trade) Opium War.

Singapore was founded as a British colony, and was never part of China. A cursory glance at a map of the region would make this obvious: Singapore is a distance from China. In 1819, an enterprising chap in the employ of the British East India Company, name of Raffles, paid a small sum to the indigenous Malays for the right to build a settlement on the island. (There was some mucking in the local politics involved, but that's another story.)



[ Parent ]
Destroy free speach? (2.00 / 1) (#19)
by bil on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 11:06:02 AM EST

. If they become successful they are posed destroy foundations of democracy and free speech.

Want to back up this statement at all? I have never heard a single anti-globalisation protester ever attack free speach (they may disagree loudly but thats not the same) and generally they are protesting the lack of democracy in institutions such as the G8 which make world changing decisions with little or no input from anybody other then the governments of the G8 countries.

If you are going to make serious allagations such as this a little evidencce might be nice.

bil


bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...

Fighting lack of democracy with lack of democracy. (3.33 / 3) (#24)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 02:52:42 PM EST

The G8 leaders have a mandate of their respective electorates, organizations like the WTO, World Bank, EU and many others have the legitimacy of being established and supported by legitimate goverments, mostly democratically elected. The "antiglobalization" protesters have no mandate, and are looking to impose their views (many to which I personaly agree) in the rest of the world without a proper democratic process of scrutiny, they are the self appointed know it all, what we say is good for you. I wish to see probe that poor people endorsed them to defend their interests.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]
that's fantastic doublethink (5.00 / 4) (#34)
by streetlawyer on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 04:11:27 AM EST

So, let me get this straight:

The G8 leaders, none of whom won a majority of the popular vote except Koizumi, have a mandate from the people.

The WTO, established ten years ago, has a mandate because previous governments, no longer in power, signed a treaty binding on their successors.

But the people themselves, in the streets, don't have a mandate to exercise their democratic right to protest?

Pretty strange view of democracy there.

mostly democratically elected. The "antiglobalization" protesters have no mandate, and are looking to impose their views (many to which I personaly agree) in the rest of the world without a proper democratic process of scrutiny

Prove or retract this ludicrous accusation. The protestors are protesting. Unless you have evidence otherwise, they are not attempting to act in any way other than by lobbying democratically elected governments. That's democracy. And they're not meeeting behind closed doors.

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

Democracy 101 (3.00 / 1) (#43)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 01:08:07 PM EST

1.- The leaders of the G8 countries have a mandate because they were legaly elected in countries with free elections. If they had gotten 1 vote each while 99.9999999% of the population stayed away of the polls and did nothing to change a bad democratic system, they still would have a legal mandate and be legitimate representatives of their countries. If the system in those countries allows for minority goverments that is the choice and decission of the people of each country.

2.-All democratically elected goverments have the power to sign treaties and form and promote international organizations in their country's name. That is the right and the duty of an elected goverment: to better promote its interests in an civilized international environment. If people don't like this then they can elect isolationist politicians that will withdraw support for international organizations.

3.- We have 2 kinds of people in the street: the ones that protest peacefuly and the ones that are violent. From both kinds I constantly hear that they are defending the interests of the poor people in 3rd world countries. People in 3rd world countries are not endorsing this professional protesters as far as I know, in many of these countries there are now a days democratically elected goverments that are quite happy to negotiate in internaional forums like the WTO. So again: where is the mandate of the protesters? If they want to protest peacefuly, fine, but if they are going to continue to portray themselves as representatives or spokespeople of others, it is good time they show their credentials or stop claiming what is clearly untrue.

In a democratic society the way to change things is working hard in the democratic process: start a party or organization, educate people, etc. A protest so small like the ones we have seen is the weapon of whom clearly has not enough support for its ideas and who has decided its ideas are so damn good that there should be implemented no matter what.

So I retract nothing, people in these minute groups should incorporate themselves to the democratic process and stop making claims of a representativity that they obviously lack.

Regarding violent protesters I think they should be arrested as soon as they cast the first stone and sentenced as soon as legaly possible.

I also would like to see incompetent police forces questioned in their tactics that are obviously failing miserably to allow peaceful demonstrators to demonstrate and to stop violent people.



Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]
How do you have a mandate? (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by bil on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 07:02:11 AM EST

The "antiglobalization" protesters have no mandate

So how do you get a mandate then?

Obviously having the massed support of millions of individuals worldwide isn't enough so what do they need? Perhaps if they set up an unelected beauracracy to issue rules would that count?

Or maybe if they got about a third of the population of a relativly small country to vote for them as "better then the other lot" that would be enough to give them a mandate to rule on issues that have huge effects on countries that they've never even been to let alone consulted?

How about if they just said "give in to our demands or we'll go home and refuse to trade with you anymore"?

How about saying "we're right, you're wrong, do what we say or we'll bomb the f**k out of you"?

What gives the WTO, G8 etc a mandate yet denies it to a popular movement that disagrees with them?

bil


bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

Evidence (none / 0) (#28)
by golek on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 04:57:06 PM EST

Want to back up this statement at all? I have never heard a single anti-globalisation protester ever attack free speach (sic.)... If you are going to make serious allagations such as this a little evidencce might be nice.

Yes MSBob, please give bil some real world examples of how regimes based on anti-capitalist ideologies, such as those espowsed by the Genoa protesters, tend to enforce strict limits on personal freedoms, especially speech. I'm sure growing up under such a regime in Czechoslovakia gives you a unique insight that these western suburbanites are oblivious to.

bil, revolutionaries, of any stripe, don't make their case to the general public by announcing that they may have to sacrifice personal freedom for the sake of the cause. That comes later.

[ Parent ]

you cock (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by streetlawyer on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 03:51:43 AM EST

Yes MSBob, please give bil some real world examples of how regimes based on anti-capitalist ideologies, such as those espowsed by the Genoa protesters,

Let's have your evidence for *your* claim that the Genoa protestors want to institute state socialism.

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

Yeah go on! (none / 0) (#37)
by bil on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 06:24:06 AM EST

Yes MSBob, please give bil some real world examples of how regimes based on anti-capitalist ideologies, such as those espowsed by the Genoa protesters, tend to enforce strict limits on personal freedoms, especially speech. I'm sure growing up under such a regime in Czechoslovakia gives you a unique insight that these western suburbanites are oblivious to.

Yeah, go on, name me at least one regime that has been based on anarchist principles! You name the place and I'll move there :)

Or are you perhaps assuming
capitalism==democracy
anything else==stalinist dictatorship

bil


bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

Not exactly... (none / 0) (#39)
by golek on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 11:12:46 AM EST

...are you perhaps assuming
capitalism==democracy
anything else==stalinist dictatorship

Capitalism is not equal to democracy. Capitalism, as you call it, is simply the state of affairs that exists when human beings are free to do what they are naturally driven to do: "selfishly" provide for themselves and their families. Regimes based on democratic principles have historically provided the most fertile ground for free market economies to flourish.

My limited understanding of Anarchism is that its proponents envision a system where the people own the means of production in common for the good of all, making traditional government institutions unnecessary. The question is, how does a society move from a free market system to such a Utopian ideal? What can be done about people who aren't interested in and/or oppose the changes? IMHO, people naturally act in their own self-interest. How do you get these people to overcome human nature without some degree of force?

Stalinism was simply one method employed as a means toward reaching another such a Utopian ideal, albeit not one based "strictly" on Anarchist principles.

[ Parent ]

Anarchy? (none / 0) (#41)
by samth on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 03:02:51 PM EST

Capitalism is not equal to democracy.

Really? Who knew?

Capitalism, as you call it, is simply the state of affairs that exists when human beings are free to do what they are naturally driven to do: "selfishly" provide for themselves and their families.

What is the evidence that this is "natural", and not the product of a society that encourages both competition and materialism?

Regimes based on democratic principles have historically provided the most fertile ground for free market economies to flourish.

First, China, Chile, and many other examples show that capitalism can work under dictatorship as well. Furthermore, the idea that massive state repression is bad for the economy is sort of obvious, no matter the economic system.

Stalinism was simply one method employed as a means toward reaching another such a Utopian ideal, albeit not one based "strictly" on Anarchist principles.

Stalinism and anarchy bear no relationship to each other at all, except that neither is capitalist.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

Couple of minor flaws... (none / 0) (#46)
by bil on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 06:58:12 AM EST

Capitalism, as you call it, is simply the state of affairs that exists when human beings are free to do what they are naturally driven to do: "selfishly" provide for themselves and their families.

*LAUGH* by this logic both Stalin, Hitler and any other dictatoryou care to name were capitalists because they provided for themselves very well thankyou very much.

Regimes based on democratic principles have historically provided the most fertile ground for free market economies to flourish.

Britain at the height of the Empire was by far the most economically succesfull country around, ruling half the world, and only allowing property owning British born men to vote, we introduced universal sufferege and said goodbye to world power status, a fair trade if you ask me but not really evidence of the "democracy good for economic success" theory.

Stalinism was simply one method employed as a means toward reaching another such a Utopian ideal, albeit not one based "strictly" on Anarchist principles.

Probably worth pointing out at this point of the two serious anarchist experiments, Catalonia during the Spanish civil war and Makhno's group in the southern Ukraine during the Russian civil war, both were crushed by the Communists (Catalonia by the Communist government Stalin backed republican government, and the Makhnovista by Trotskys Red Army). Capitalist "democratic" governments in the west had FAR better relations with Stalin the the anarchists ever had.

bil


bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

Wow! (none / 0) (#47)
by golek on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 12:17:59 PM EST

...by this logic both Stalin, Hitler and any other dictatoryou care to name were capitalists because they provided for themselves very well thankyou very much.

That's quite a stretch! Dictators, as a matter of course, must restrict the freedom of their subjects in order to entrench themselves in power. They are not interested in encouraging free markets and a healthy private sector economy, because wealth IS power and a wealthy, and therefore powerful, private sector represents a threat to the supremacy of the dictatorship. My point, which I thought was clear enough, was that "Capitalism", in it's truest sense, is a system in which the State gets out of the way and allows individuals to interact in the free market without government interference. Dictatorships are not exactly known for their passivity.

Britain at the height of the Empire was by far the most economically succesfull country around... not really evidence of the "democracy good for economic success" theory.

I agree with your suggestion that nineteenth century Britain was not a democracy, but neither did it have a true Free Market economic system. Their parliamentary system of government was by no means a true democracy, but it, and those of other 19th European colonial powers such as France and Holland, were more democratic in nature than their competitors.

I would pose a few questions to you:

Do you think that Britain is more democratic today than it was 150 years ago?
Is the British economy today more or less adherent to free market priciples than the 19th century British economy?
Finally, is the 21st century British economy more or less healthy than the 19th century economy?

Probably worth pointing out at this point of the two serious anarchist experiments... both were crushed by the Communists

Leftist movements throughout history have always been at each others throats over slight differences in ideology, while a "Captialist's" interest in promoting a stable environment for the economy to flourish trumps ideology every time.

[ Parent ]

EEK! (none / 0) (#48)
by bil on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 06:52:21 AM EST

Leftist movements throughout history have always been at each others throats over slight differences in ideology, while a "Captialist's" interest in promoting a stable environment for the economy to flourish trumps ideology every time.

*GAG* SLIGHT differences of ideology??? Stalinism and capitalism have far more in comman then Stalinism and anarchism, at least they both agree on the need for government. Oh and Capitalism is an ideology just as much as any other political theory, it just that living in a capitalist society can make it look "natural".

That's quite a stretch!

You described Capitalism as the system that allows people to selfishly provide for themselves and their families. My point was just that as definitions of Capitalism go thats pretty bad, in fact its truly terrible because it allows all sorts of dictators to count as capitalists.

Dictators, as a matter of course, must restrict the freedom of their subjects in order to entrench themselves in power. They are not interested in encouraging free markets and a healthy private sector economy, because wealth IS power and a wealthy, and therefore powerful, private sector represents a threat to the supremacy of the dictatorship.

Wealth is not the only form of power, and wealth corporations do not proove a threat to dictators. Corporations only care about making money for their shareholders (this is enshrined in US law I belive) so as long as the dictator helps them to do this then they are happy. In fact revolutions against dictators can be positivly bad for corporations as they have a tendancy to go round nationalisng things. Dictators also like corporations because a) they give good kick backs, and b) they are run by a handfull of people and therefore are very easy to control (other forms of power usefull for this involve, fear, knowledge and a division of AK-47 weilding National Guard)

I would pose a few questions to you: Do you think that Britain is more democratic today than it was 150 years ago?

More, universal sufferage being the major change. The parlimentry system is still in place relativly unchanged so I would still have trouble calling it a democracy, but I guess thats my anarchist tendancies coming through :) Is the British economy today more or less adherent to free market priciples than the 19th century British economy?

Less, there is now a large public sector in the UK (the National Health Service being the largest part) Finally, is the 21st century British economy more or less healthy than the 19th century economy? Hard to say, depends on you're definitions, but I would say less, after all in the 19th Century Britain was the worlds leading industrialisd country and greatest world power (hard to be without a very strong economy) and now we're neither of these things, although we still do ok economically. I have to say that I think this was a worthwhile trade, I'd rather live in a fully democratic, economically average country then a superpower dictatorship.

bil


bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

Utopian ideologies (none / 0) (#49)
by golek on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 10:47:30 AM EST

Stalinism and capitalism have far more in comman then Stalinism and anarchism, at least they both agree on the need for government. Oh and Capitalism is an ideology just as much as any other political theory, it just that living in a capitalist society can make it look "natural".

I see you are careful to use "Stalinism" as your prefered example of a "leftist" movement. Stalinism was simply a mechanism for working toward the greater goal of Communism. Communism, like Anarchy, was, and is a Utopian ideal where the State becomes irrelavent and unnecessary as everyone is working toward the common good. However, the problem faced by those who would achieve Communism is how to get there from a Capitalist system. That is where the State comes in. It is necessary to get people to overcome their natural tendency to look out for their own self interest. Some will readily do this, but others may not come so quietly. It is simply a temporary means to an end. My point is that Anarchism has more in common with Communism than you would care to admit.

You described Capitalism as the system that allows people to selfishly provide for themselves and their families.

If you reject the basic premise that human beings, just as any other animal, naturally act in their own self interest, we will never get anywhere.

[ Parent ]

Differences in ideologies (none / 0) (#50)
by bil on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 11:42:46 AM EST

If you reject the basic premise that human beings, just as any other animal, naturally act in their own self interest, we will never get anywhere.

Good job I havn't then :)

Anarchism has more in common with Communism than you would care to admit.

Depends. Communism does not reject government completly seeing at as a necesary evil that will allow society to move towards a "utopian" (never liked that world smacks of an impossible dream)ideal. Anarchism rejects government completly in an attempt to move towards a "utopian " ideal of freedom for all. Capitalism also sees government as a necesary evil as society moves towards a utopian world of free markets and profit for all.

Of course all political ideologies have certain similarities, they are after all trying to take the same starting point and move towards some ideal future, but to regard communism and anarchism as having "slight differences in ideology" is about as sensible as regarding capitalism and communism, (or capitalism and anarchism for that matter) as having "slight differences in ideology". They are very different things, despite some similarites.

bil


bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

Japanese colonies? (4.25 / 4) (#20)
by wiredog on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 12:47:59 PM EST

Japan colonised Korea. Today one of the quickest ways to get the shit kicked out of you is to call a Korean "Jap". You'd be safer calling an african-american "nigger".

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
Korea and Japan (4.00 / 1) (#27)
by KWillets on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 04:55:24 PM EST

The only country that was (and still is) reliant on importing raw materials is Japan but Japan never had colonies.
Actually, to add to wiredog's comment, this statement is wrong on two counts. First, Japan colonized Korea, Manchuria, the Phillipines, and a number of other countries in WWII and previously. Korea has actually been invaded twice by Japan, the first time in the 1400's (giving rise to Japan's "native ceramics" which are still made by Korean "aliens"). There is also some evidence that Japan is in fact a colony of Koreans who displaced the Ainu.

Second, Korea is also dependent on imported raw materials and energy. The Korean steel industry and dependent manufacturing (autos, ships, etc.) are all based on imported ore and fuel.

[ Parent ]

Oh, for God's sake... (none / 0) (#42)
by inti on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 09:41:15 PM EST

The consequences of switching from tribal feudal systems to military based socialist experiments were naturally catastrophic.

What the hell could "tribal feudal systems" possibly mean? Isn't that kind of an oxymoron?

Anyway, the core rationale of the antiglobalization movement has little to do with poverty, really, and everything to do with sovereignty. That, at least, is my understanding.


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