Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Globalization is unstoppable.

What do abstract terms like liberty, world democracy and global progress mean when men are starving, children at 10 are fighting, the clean water is scarce, and crime is frightening us all?

They certainly do not mean much to the common people like you and me,who still possess a sense of human compassion for the problems of the poor and the starving. But those abstract terms definetely do sound good when they come out of the mouth of the strong political leaders, who are trying to convince everybody that globalization necessarily is a positive thing, when one of its major failures is that it has widened the gap between the rich and the poor. But you explained those things better than me:)

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde

by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 05:50:09 PM EST
liberty, world democracy and global progress

two little words may help to clarify the question:  for whom?

for the rentier, technocrat and trustifarian class that owns/manages the transnat businesses, occupies the revolving doors between boardrooms and parliaments/congresses/military, and always flies first class, the world looks pretty darned good as it's shaping up right now.

it's worth remembering that the first "democracy" (in ancient Greece) was a democracy of land owning adult males.  women, slaves, indentured servants, furriners, and all others simply didn't count.  and for many of the elite, this is still the correct and natural model of democracy.  they use democratic (or at least Robert's Rules) procedures in their elite non-elected governing bodies like the WTO, at Davos, in GATT talks etc.  popular democracy, that's a whole other thing.

they have ever-increasing liberty to drive down the cost of labour, move capital across national borders in the blink of an eye, incorporate here and bank there, dodge taxes and all "restrictions and impositions" on their absolute freedom to seek profit.

and this increase in liberty, plus the enormous improvement in the quality of goods and services accessible to the elite, is what they call "progress".  if someone's swimming in polluted waters or drinking same, if someone's twitching and dying in a rusty trailer on the edge of factory ag land from overexposure to cholinase inhibitors, it sure ain't them or their kids.  that's just an "external" cost, and a trivial one at that -- "the price of progress" doncha know.

so, for those who get to define the dominant public discourse, those who get interviewed ad nauseam on tame corporate media, those who get to tell us what reality isband what's good for us, globalisation is all good.  it's democratic (for them) and it increases liberty (for them) and creates progress -- for them.  which is why they refer contemptuously to welfare states or democratic socialism as backwards, moribund, inefficient, etc. -- these models also create liberty, democracy and progress but for the wrong people :-)

to Bush's base, l'Eétat c'est nous

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 07:04:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
damn.....just damn....

you are incredible.....brilliant synopsis

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 08:37:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I meant posing the questions about these abstract terms like liberty and democracy that go along  with the praise of Globalization. At least for me it is obvious that only few people benefit from the process and they are the richest men. Even in the developed countries the majority is dependent on mortgages, credit card debt, high medical cost,etc.
Like Mill has observed 150 years ago the population leaves in poverty due to the capitalist machine.
And it seems we have not eradicated these problems
since he mentioned them. That questions the 150 years of our precios progress...

I'm not ugly,but my beauty is a total creation.Hegel
by Chris on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 04:26:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
btw that should be cholinesterase inhibitor.  I remember the symptom mnemonic (SLUD) better than the toxic agent.  iirc it is in the notorious organophosphate family.  it is interesting that while CDC officially categorises these as "non-persistent," Cornell's taxonomy of industrial/ag toxins notes tersely that "Organophosphates tend to be persistent and to bioconcentrate in environmental systems."

Read-it-and-Weep-Department -- this gives some idea of what organophosphate exposure can do to a mammal.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu Mar 2nd, 2006 at 06:30:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series