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Post 80

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 12:33amSanction this postReply
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[trying, really I am]

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One of the the principles for outrage behind the anti-globalisation is that, they aren't legislated to act benevolently to third world workers, and voluntarily choose not to, read the reports of sweatshop conditions.

Corporations seem by many to benefit industrialized countries, at the expense of poorer countries workers.
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What do you think the 'sweatshop employees' have to say about the sweatshop, Mike? It seems to me that there are 2 possible answers that they would be able to give ...

1) They are distraught at the idea of having to work for such a substandard wage (they feel 'forced' into such terrible conditions). They want these companies out of their country -- so that they can go back to subsistence farming, or semi-starvation. Back to a time when one in every two newborns died before the age of five (as was true of all pre-industrial nations).

2) They thank God in Heaven for being given the opportunity to make a better lives for themselves and their families (in an otherwise unproductive country -- one doomed to episodic starvation, suffering, and dusk-til'-dawn, back-breaking toil).

Which is it, Mike? If we ask these 'employees' (ie. the 'slave' labor) -- what would they answer? Are there chains on the ankles of these otherwise-unwilling workers? Or are they trading up in value -- from what their previously-dismal lives afforded?


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I also find it incredible that people defend low conditions in sweatshops, somehow you guys celebrate the fact that they are better off being overworked and underpaid than not
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Instead of asking YOU whether they are overworked and underpaid -- wouldn't it be better to ask THEM (isn't THEIR life experience important here -- or just YOUR life experience?). What would they say, Mike?


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They also have many dealings with governments who have appalling human rights records, and do nothing almost nothing (apart from boosting the economy) to help the people but instead benefit from the system that allows the exploitation of their citizens. Google China censorship recent example.
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This is a pretty good point, actually. One that has been defended here. Dictatorships ought not be traded with. Trading with unjust dictators perpetuates human poverty and suffering on this planet. Each individual stands to benefit from the emancipation of the productive power of peoples across the globe (reason is always a win-win situation -- no matter how you slice it). Everyone benefits from everyone else's productive power. Anytime anyone's productive power is stifled (by dictatorship, or Social Democratic Welfare Statism) -- everyone suffers.

Ed 




Post 81

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 2:24pmSanction this postReply
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First of all can I say that my political views are still forming, and I thank you for the information provided about consumer power. I will consider them, thank you again.

Dear Kurt,
I'm surprised you replied to me, and I will limit myself regarding linking sites.

Dear Ed,

I find your anger refreshing, I perceive empathy in it. Something I see in some Oist article (esp. ARI), callous unconcern for others hardships.

Just a few things...

The sweatshop issue is very interesting. That is an argument I have read, and heard, by people of the right and center. However I will also add I have read right and center condemnations of corporate sweatshop trade. What do the people in the sweatshop think?...

Well some are very thankful, I recall watching yesterday a lady was doing back-breaking, long hours to collect material to be used in production, she was paid a low wage but was better off and thankful. I acknowledge that.

However, various NGO's national labor committee, amnesty international etc, are approached by people who ask them to expose the conditions they work under and pay. There is also a film I think made by the National Labor Committee showing the reactions of sweatshop workers who are appalled and shocked at what the goods they worked for sell for in america, they had no idea! It was never told to them!

Charles Kernighan of the National labor institute, was approached by some young lady's (13) who worked for poor wages, are abused, and long hours, to publisize the conditions. The meeting was broken up by hired thugs, before the meeting was broken up, a young lady Wendy Diaz put her wage slip and the manufacturers logo, he saw Kathy Lee Gifford's Walmart Chain. They flew Wendy Diaz over to the US and the Walmart sweatshop scandal was born. According to Charles even after a publicized apology and written vow to improve conditions, things went back to the way were, it still continues to this day.

There are NGO's in the third world countries set up by workers and ex-workers to publisize their plight. American and international NGO's are approached by them and lone workers to highlight the conditions they work under. Also people who do publicly speak out against the conditions they work under and/or try to form unions, are black listed and fired.

Some videos are shown on the NLC website, and videos are available from them. Various reports are available from various NGO's.

++++++++++

Regarding indigenous peoples retarded/savage culture. I've met people who have met them and by their accounts of the ones they've met (I know their are savage ones, but their are savage modern cultures, and people within that culture) they are peaceful, happy people.

Some native american tribes were quite sophisticated by many accounts, but there were also some tribes that were savages, like modern societies.

+++++++++++++

In regards to not believing in human nature, I don't think that implies that.

I mean that maybe people in other countries don't need or aren't ready for industrialized nations values, with it comes problems such as crime and slums. By the Dalai Lama's accounts of the tibetan peoples culture before industrialized values begin to spread was peaceful and of course had problems. But with the introduction of western society values, problems such as drugs, etc came into play.

Also they values of Shell have been contested by the Ogoni people(MOSOP), (Ken Saro Wiwa) their complaints were not listened to, and the corporations operations have been imposed on them. Many people, maybe you, will say the industrialization is good for them, they vehemently disagree. Oil spills, pollution and public land infringement have been results. Some people simply don't want industrialized nations values, landscape, corporate activities, etc, but they have it imposed on them. Recent protests against Tesco buliding sites by countryside residents are a good example.

The solution of this by some free market advocates (I'm not saying you), is to buy the land so they can't build on it. The reply to that is easy they collectively cannot compete with the funds of a corporation. A person has one set of funds, a corporation (which in UK law is legally a person however) has the funds of shareholders, and profit. I doubt any of the Ogoni people collectively can raise the find to outbuy the land, and to raise the funds they would have to industrialize, something they don't want either.
The idea presented by the people I've read seems to be that unless you have funds to buy the land that you have lived on all your life, you cannot own it, and it is legal and moral for a corporation to buy it, and use it. 

I'm also confused at the idea of auctioning public land for private ownership is the way to end evironmental abuse, it stands to reason the persons (corporations included) who have the most funds, and will likely outbid other persons, are corporations. Seeing as the people I've read also believe in the corporate personhood charter (meaning they don't believe in a return to partnerships), and they don't believe in government regulation, it will lead to public land ownership given to corporations.




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Post 82

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 3:16pmSanction this postReply
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Dear Mike,

 

I will have much to say about your recent post. In the meantime, I’d be interested in your response to these examples of either Pre-Industrial or Non-Westernized dynamics …

 

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http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Wbesant.htm

 

(4) In her booklet, The Law of Population, Annie Besant looked at why the growth in population size was slow in pre-industrial societies.

War, infanticide, hardship, famine, disease, murder of the aged, all these are among the positive checks which keep down the increase of population among savage tribes. War carries off the young men, full of vigour, the warriors in their prime of life, the strongest, the most robust, the most fiery - those in fact, who, from their physical strength and energy would be most likely to add largely to the number of the tribe. Infanticide, most prevalent where means of existence are most restricted, is largely practised among barbarous nations, the custom being due, to a large extent, to the difficulty of providing food for a large family.

Men, women, and children, who would be doomed to death in the savage state, have their lives prolonged by civilization; the sickly, whom the hardships of the savage struggle for existence would kill off, are carefully tended in hospitals, and saved by medical skill; the parents, whose thread of life would be cut short, are cherished on into prolonged old age; the feeble, who would be left to starve, are tenderly shielded from hardship, and life's road is made the smoother for the lame; the average life is lengthened, and more and more thought is brought to bear on the causes of preventable disease; better drainage, better homes, better food, better clothing, all these, among the more comfortable classes, remove many of the natural checks to population.

 

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Let her die. Indian J Matern Child Health. 1990 Oct-Dec;1(4):127-8.

 

Many Indian families would rather give birth to male children than to female children, especially if the child is the first born.

 

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Drought, epidemic disease, and the fall of classic period cultures in Mesoamerica (AD 750-950). Hemorrhagic fevers as a cause of massive population loss. Med Hypotheses. 2005;65(2):405-9.

 

The Mayan civilization in southeastern Mexico and the Yucatan peninsula reached an impressive degree of development at the same time. This time of prosperity came to an end during the Terminal Classic Period (AD 750-950) a time of massive population loss throughout Mesoamerica. A second episode of massive depopulation in the same area was experienced during the sixteenth century when, in less than one century, between 80% and 90% of the entire indigenous population was lost.

 

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Timeline of Relevant Events
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c. 1800 BC: Hammurabi, king of Babylon, develops first influential Code of Laws (Code of Hammurabi)

Notable (unconstitutional) example:
285. If a serf declared to his master -- "Thou art not my master," his master shall confirm him (to be) his serf and shall cut off his ear.


================
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c. 88 BC: Mithridates VI Eupator, ruler of the kingdom of Pontus along the Black Sea, took advantage of unrest in Rome to conquer Roman territories in Asia Minor and modern-day Syria. Deciding that the only way to control his newly won territories was to kill all Romans living in them, he orchestrated the massacre of some 100,000 men, women, and children.


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1175-1218: Genghis Khan suppressed a rebellion in Herat, Afghanistan, by killing a reported 1.6 million people.


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1209-1229: Albigensian Crusade: A crusader who asked how he should separate the heretics from the faithful Catholics was told, "Kill them all; the Lord will know well who are His."

They butchered everyone--even women, babies, and priests--and killed 7000 in one church alone. Altogether at least 20,000 people died in the massacre at Beziers.


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1252: Inquisition under Pope Gregory IX begins use of torture


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1459-1462: Vlad II Dracula, prince of Wallachia (in modern Romania): Dracula is estimated to have impaled, tortured, and killed between 50,000-100,000 victims before being deposed and imprisoned in 1462.


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1478: During the first 18 years of the Spanish Inquisition, an estimated 8800 people died by burning and some 90,000 were tortured and imprisoned.


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1514: Hungarian Peasants Revolt: As was their habit, the lords soon resorted to force while trying to keep the peasants on the farm, capturing, beating, and threatening to harm the families of those who attempted to leave.

More than 70,000 peasants and nobles were killed in the bloody revolt and its aftermath.


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1520: Human Sacrifice Among the Aztecs: According to chronicles, when Aztec King Ahuitzotl dedicated a new temple in the capital of Tenochtitlan, he blessed the event by offering the sacrifice of an incredible 80,000 people to the gods.


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1536-1541: John Calvin leads reformation at Geneva and sets up a government based on Calvinist creed (the church is supreme over the state)


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1553: Protestants persecuted under Queen Mary (300 burned alive)


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1570: Massacre at Novgorod: Then, on January 9, Ivan (the Terrible) ordered the killing of the general population to begin. Each day the army was ordered to round up 1000 citizens, who were then brutally tortured and killed in front of Ivan and his young son. Parents watched their children being bludgeoned to death, while elsewhere women were slowly burned to death over fires.

These and other atrocities lasted for 5 weeks, during which time an estimated 60,000 people were put to death.


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Ed




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Post 83

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 3:20pmSanction this postReply
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And (from Amnesty Intl) ...

The Chechen Republic
"Russian Federation security forces continued to act with virtual impunity in the conflict in the Chechen Republic, amid ongoing reports of their involvement in torture and 'disappearances'."

or Azerbaijan
" ... in Azerbaijan where a campaign by the state-sponsored media against several prominent human rights defenders culminated in violent attacks on their offices and raised fears for their safety and that of their families."

or China and Vietnam
"...many prisoners of conscience remained in jail for the peaceful expression of their political beliefs. In China and Viet Nam in particular, there were crack-downs on people using the Internet to download or circulate information on human rights and democracy."

or Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Indonesia
"Weak and corrupt criminal justice systems in countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia and Indonesia continued to impact negatively on human rights. Torture, "disappearances" and extrajudicial executions continued to be widespread across the region."

or Thailand
"The Thai government appeared to condone killings of drug suspects as one method of fighting drug trafficking and use in the country. According to official statements, 2,245 people suspected of trafficking or using drugs were killed during a three-month campaign starting in February."

or Pakistan
"In Pakistan, children continued to be sentenced to death,"

or Jordan
"In Jordan, proposals to amend Article 340 of the Penal Code (which relates to family killings) to make it more favourable to women were rejected by the Lower House of Parliament. The more frequently used Article 98, which allows for a reduced sentence for perpetrators whose crime was committed in a "fit of rage", remained on the statute books."

or the many "wonderful" governments of Africa
"Governments of countries such as Cameroon, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Togo and Zimbabwe used malicious prosecution, arbitrary arrest and excessive force against demonstrators as tools of political repression. In some cases newspapers and radio stations were arbitrarily closed down."

"Violence against women continued to be widely seen as socially acceptable,"

" ... there continued to be different standards of evidence for sexual "offences" such as zina (involving consensual sexual relations above the age of consent), and culpable homicide was used as a charge in cases of abortion and miscarriage in some states in Nigeria. As a result, women, especially those from deprived economic backgrounds and with little formal education, were more likely than men to be convicted and sentenced to death or other cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments for some crimes."

"They were raped and suffered other forms of sexual violence by perpetrators from different parties to the conflicts in Burundi, CAR, Côte d'Ivoire, the DRC, Liberia, Sudan, Uganda and elsewhere."

"Female genital mutilation continued to be widely practised in different forms in many countries,"

Sincerely,
Ed




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Post 84

Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 5:49pmSanction this postReply
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Ed, have you ever walked into a room or forum where there is someone who is doing the preponderance of the talking, commenting it seems on every sentence or paragraph every other person utters in every corner of the room, and voices an opinion on every single topic minute by minute so that even though there are quite a few other people there, he is "sucking all the oxygen from the room", as the saying goes. Because he doesn't pick his moments and thinks that every single thought or emotional state he has is instantaneously worth expanding upon at unedited and unrestrained length? How would you react to such an experience?



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Post 85

Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 6:28pmSanction this postReply
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Phil,

That was a nice way to put it. And thanks for the tip. I think it says as much about you as it does me, though. The question was rhetorical, was it not? But an answer is needed to show your half of this inter-personal reaction. So here it is ...

==========
he is "sucking all the oxygen from the room", as the saying goes. Because he doesn't pick his moments and thinks that every single thought or emotional state he has is instantaneously worth expanding upon at unedited and unrestrained length? How would you react to such an experience?
==========

I'd engage 'him' directly regarding the expected value of each these contributions of his; rather than -- with a broad brush -- make such a sweeping generalization. A generalization that, from its very vagueness, is immune to any direct refutation. 

In other words, I'd put my neck on the line and tackle his points directly and transparently -- in order to find out where the 'oxygen' is REALLY going. Is it getting sucked up, or stirred up? And by whom?

Ed


 




Post 86

Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 9:12pmSanction this postReply
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> I'd engage 'him' directly regarding the expected value of each these contributions of his

Well, this hypothetical person we're talking about, that would be even more time-consuming and distracting given the quantity of the verbiage one would have to wade through..since the time and energy were the original point.... of course, this is all very hypothetical since no such person exists.... :-)



Post 87

Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 11:13pmSanction this postReply
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Actually Phil, there was a guy here who had fit this bill at least twice as well as I do (if you can believe that). Atlas points to the first one who guesses his 'famous' name.

Ed




Post 88

Friday, March 17, 2006 - 11:02amSanction this postReply
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Ed, your recent posts are wonderful examples of what Phil has often called for in his ongoing campaign against rationalism: concretization. And they make the point of pre-industrial and non-western corruption, sadism and maliciousness with stunning realism. Your posts often provide a wealth of detail and evidence that is much appreciated. Keep up the good work!

- Bill



Post 89

Friday, March 17, 2006 - 11:14amSanction this postReply
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Yes, Bill, but concretization means one example (or a small handful) not ten thousand. :-)


(Edited by Philip Coates
on 3/17, 11:20am)




Post 90

Friday, March 17, 2006 - 11:18amSanction this postReply
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> there was a guy here who had fit this bill at least twice as well as I do [Ed]

Absolutely! much worse! He went off and started his own Oist website about six months or a year ago, something with 'thinking' in the title...but I can't remember his name.



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Post 91

Friday, March 17, 2006 - 11:32amSanction this postReply
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Thanks Bill. Recognition (especially from you) is valuable to me.

Phil,

Yes, sometimes I'm guilty of snowballing intellectual opponents with counter-evidence (when just a couple clear examples would have sufficed to make my point). I freely admit that it is a time issue. I make a judgment as to the expected value of the amount of time I spend, the probability of various outcomes, and the importance of said outcomes. I'll -- from now on -- integrate this wise point you've made: The probability that folks will have the patience to sift through large volumes of data -- just to get to the gems.

My new formula for posting -- explicitly stated -- is ...

==========
-Amount of my time required (to maximize quality and minimize quantity)
-Probability of successful persuasion
-Importance of successful persuasion

-Probability of audience loss -- due to an Information Overload effect
==========

Now Phil, I'm (altruistically  ;-)) counting on you to call me to task -- using these 4 pillars of proper posting. Would you agree to do that? I'm not asking for you to follow me around and hen-peck every imperfection you catch me on -- but just to judge me according to an explicit standard at least, and a fair and objective one at best.

Ed

(Edited by Ed Thompson on 3/17, 11:33am)




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Post 92

Friday, March 17, 2006 - 12:30pmSanction this postReply
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Ah! I remember his name now..Nathan Hawking!

..Sorry Ed, the four points caused an information overload, so I may not be able to react properly. :-)



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Post 93

Friday, March 17, 2006 - 1:37pmSanction this postReply
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I considered Nathan Hawking one of the most thought-provoking posters on SOLOHQ.

His website is http://www.wethethinking.com/, but is down for renovations. He also is planning a website at http://www.wethedead.com/.

It is not known how long either website will operate. Hawking has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. See http://wheelerdesignworks.netfirms.com/Objectivism/nfphpbb/viewtopic.php?t=342 for more info.




Post 94

Friday, March 17, 2006 - 2:04pmSanction this postReply
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Phil,

You got it.

Ed
[told ta' there was something 'famous' about his name]




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Post 95

Friday, March 17, 2006 - 2:45pmSanction this postReply
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Phil wrote,
Yes, Bill, but concretization means one example (or a small handful) not ten thousand. :-)
I think that's true if all you're trying to do is illustrate the concept. But if you're trying to provide evidence to buttress your contention, as I think Ed was, then the wealth of evidence that he provided serves that purpose much better than simply one or two examples, because with only one or two examples, you don't get a sense of just how sweeping and widespread the problem is. Rummel's book Death By Government comes to mind here. What makes the book so impressive is the extent of the documentation he provides to support his contention of just how utterly evil government, and especially an all-powerful government, can be. If he just provided one or two examples, the book wouldn't have nearly the impact that it does. The same is true of Ed's posts.

- Bill



Post 96

Friday, March 17, 2006 - 11:32pmSanction this postReply
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I agree that there are contexts where a point is so complex or poorly understood that you need dozens of examples to buttress it. But those cases are rare. And if a book needs to be written, one should go off the list and write the book (or find one already written) and simply refer people to it. Don't abuse the shorter format of a discussion list by trying to shoehorn article or chapter length or book length material into it.

99% of the time the better approach in a discussion list like this is to essentialize, hone it down to your central argument, and give suggestive illustration or support (and point people to where they can find more, if it is truly needed).

We're not publishing scientific papers or journals here.



Post 97

Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 4:11pmSanction this postReply
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Phil:

     O-t-other-h, I've run into too many responses that're no more than "Well, fer God's sakes, how much do I have to spell out to you? If you want a really solid answer, please read what all worthwhile experts agree on in All The Answers by I. Gno Itall. Now: enough with the questions, if-you-please." --- Can we say that that's an advertised discussion-ender? Better to merely not bother to respond, to my way of thinking.

LLAP
J:D




Post 98

Monday, March 20, 2006 - 7:04amSanction this postReply
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Dear Ed,

I do not refute, and I do not condone the savage pre-industrial cultures you present. I however do believe, and have met, as have friends met people who don't live in heavily/western industrialized culture, and they were surprisingly happy and friendly people. In most inner cities people walk down the street and engage in conversation with stoic/hostile demeanor's, I encounter this crap everyday (before I get accused, I don't hate industrialization).

I don't have the historical examples like you do to back up my point, and my view is based on personal experience, and the experiences of people I trust. I guess my argument doesn't hold up to scrutiny. However there are industrialized societies that have committed, and do commit equally deplorable acts.

++++++++++

I was thinking of a response that would be presented to me, regarding my other points, I'll attempt to pre-empt one.
Some people may suggest that in a free-market, the best solution is a charity group to encounter the lack of funds needed to buy the land that is being taken by Shell. Well I don't think that is going to work to save the culture, and environment, treasured by the Ogoni people, because of what George Bush admitted; Americans (I add industrialized countries) are addicted to oil. In order to sustain our lifestyle, our level of transport, and products that are made from oil, we need more. I don't think most people are going to accept such a drop in production of the things they want, and unfortunately the Ogoni, and people in their situation, suffer because of our demands. 




+++++++++++++++++


 





Post 99

Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 11:46pmSanction this postReply
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Suppose I treasured land on which there was oil, and didn't want it developed because I desired to preserve the environment. Would I have a right to prevent the oil from being mined, if mining it provided jobs for people, energy to heat their homes and businesses, and fuel to help transport goods and services to those who needed them and, in some cases, whose very lives depended on them? Would I have a right to keep people poor and without minimal sustenance, because I "treasured" the land and wanted to prevent the environment from being used to improve people's lives and well-being? What if preventing the productive use of land were part of my cultural heritage? Would that make a difference? Would I then have a right to stop this kind development?

Just curious.

- Bill



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