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Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 12:54pmSanction this postReply
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Hi, just a quick book recommendation; Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins.

I thought I'd come and recommend this to you guys, if you are looking into why their is a growing dislike for the US. It articulates the Anti-Globalization movement (I assure you it's not the simplistic reasons proclaimed by the ARI), if any objectivists wonder why their is such a growing anger against the US this book, along with No Logo by Naomi Klien articulates it.  

I urge everyone to go buy it www.johnperkins.org
Only half way through, but the author presents a new way of looking at news, and research information in every page. Here are a few gems;

'My job, she said, was 'to encourage world leaders to become part of a vast network that promote's US commercial interests. In the end, those leaders become ensnared in a web of debt that ensures their loyalty. We can draw on them whenever we desire - to satisfy  our, political, economic, or military needs. In turn, they bolster political positions by bringing industrial parks, power plants, and airports to their people. The owners of US engineering/construction companies become fabulously wealthy.'
'Executives at our most respected companies hire people at near-slave wages to toil under inhuman conditions in Asian sweatshops. Oil companies wantonly pump toxins into rain-forest rivers, consciously killing people, animals, plants, and commiting genocide among ancient cultures. The pharmaceutical industry denies life-saving medicines to millions of HIV-infected Africans. 12 million families in our on US worry about their next meal. The energy industry creates Enron. The accounting industry creates and Anderson. The income ratio of the one-fifth of the world's population in the wealthiest countries to the one-fifth in the poorest went from 30 to 1 in 1960, to 74 to 1 in 1995. The US spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq, while the UN estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitation services, and basic education to every person on the planet.
And we wonder why terrorists attack us?'

'[Robert] Mcnamara was a frequent visitor to our discussion groups - inabsentia, of course. We all knew about his metoric rise to fame, from manager of planning and financial analysis at Ford Motor Company in 1949 to Ford's president in 1960, the first company head selected from outside the Ford family. Shortly after that, Kennedy appointed him secretary of defense...
Most of my friends focused on the fact that he symbolized what was popularly known as the military-industrial complex. He had held position the top position in a major corporation, in a government cabinet, and now at the the most powerful bank in the world. Such an apparent breach in the separation of powers horrified many of them.'

'For instance, George Shultz was secretary of the treasury and chairman of the council on economic policy under Nixon, served as Bechtel president, and then became secretary of state under Reagen. Casper Weinberger was a Bechtel vice president and general council, and later the secretary of defence under Reagan. Richard Helms was Johnson's CIA director and then became ambassodor to Iran under Nixon. Richard Cheney served as secretary of defence under George H W Bush, as Halliburton president, and as US vice president to George W Bush. Even a president of the US, George H W Bush, began as founder of Zapata Petroleum Corp, served as US ambassador to the UN under presidents Nixon and Ford, and Ford's CIA director.'




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Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 1:29pmSanction this postReply
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This doesn't sound like an articulation at all.

- Jason



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Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 6:18pmSanction this postReply
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I agree with Jason.  A few quotes sans context does not an argument make.  Why don't you state a few underlying points from the book, and then show how they are either consistent or inconsistent with Objectivist politics and ethics?



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Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 9:01pmSanction this postReply
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I recently refered to the book to support an anti-globalist argument I made, even though I didn't read it but just web-hunted it.

The author may well be a flamming lefts Chomskyite that wants to see capital and heavy industry nationalized. But that wouldn't change the fact American financiers go abroad indebting corrupt, greedy traitors with debt like drug-peddlers.

An objectivists cardinal virtue is productivity. Remember what Rand said about the immorality of the predator that preys on stupidity, weakness and corruption - they make that their standard of value.

It can hardly be denied rampant corruption demonstrates opportunistic, utilitarian lust for power and control, rather than productivity, is a major driving force in industry and government.

There is a price to be paid for loan-sharking and predatory lending - government regulation and mob-action.

Scott



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Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 9:18pmSanction this postReply
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Jason and Pete make great (not merely 'good') points. State your fricken case, man. Here's some of the problematics ...

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The pharmaceutical industry denies life-saving medicines to millions of HIV-infected Africans.
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Any mention about how the Africans themselves are in denial about how HIV is spread (ie. dictators refusing aid for AIDS)??


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12 million families in our on US worry about their next meal.
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One percent of (120 million) families, huh? Any mention of whether this is up or down from the past numbers??


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The energy industry creates Enron.
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Did "industry" create the billion dollars in corporate welfare that Enron received (before its demise) -- or was it "statism" (government interference in industry -- something not entitled in our Constitution) that created that??


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The income ratio of the one-fifth of the world's population in the wealthiest countries to the one-fifth in the poorest went from 30 to 1 in 1960, to 74 to 1 in 1995.
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Get real! ...


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The issue of distribution, which in many ways every chapter in "Human Welfare" touches upon, is none the less filled with inspiring facts:

We often believe life in the developing world is deteriorating and that the proportion of poor people is increasing, but the evidence clearly shows the opposite. In fact the UN writes in its 1997 report on poverty and inequality: "Few people realize the great advances already made. In the past 50 years poverty has fallen more than in the pervious 500. And it has been reduced in some respects in almost all countries."(Page 71)
Lomborg also tackles the much-debated question of income inequality.

In 1800 the distribution of income in the UK was probably more skewed than it is today. Back then the poorest 20 percent were at most making 300 present-day pounds a year, compared to the 20 percent richest's £1,650. Today the poor make about £5,500 and the rich £30,000. Now the ratio of rich to poor has declined slightly, and economists would say that inequality has been diminished.

However, using the Worldwatch argument, inequality has increased more than 18-fold from £1,350 to £24,500. Does this make sense? Would we really believe that the poor are 18 times worse off today? Or to put it differently, even if the distribution in the UK today was the extremely level £14,000 for the poor and £16,000 for the rich, would we still seriously claim that inequality had increased (from £1,350 to £2,000)?
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http://sophistpundit.blogspot.com/2005/11/human-welfare-and-all-we-have-to-be.html


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The US spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq, while the UN estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitation services, and basic education to every person on the planet.
================

Why? Why should we help those who refuse to help themselves (by refusing to demand property rights and transparent rule of law)? What if 99% of the Earth's population were to refuse to implement property rights and transparent rule of law? Would the 1% that "get it right" be 'obliged' to carry the other 99% on their productive (because they think straight) shoulders?

Ed




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Monday, April 17, 2006 - 12:45pmSanction this postReply
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This is pure altruist drivel, which Skinner has been trolling along in here (and badly, at that - he doesn't even have his own arguments) for some time now, trying to find a bite. 

Skinner - we don't support altruism!  The morality in this quote is EVIL, and the economics are WRONG.  It is as simple as that.  This person sounds like Toohey.

No sense in even starting an argument, it is wrong top-to-bottom, from facts to figures to logic to philosophy.




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Sunday, April 23, 2006 - 11:53amSanction this postReply
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Dear everyone,

I apologize for seeming like a drop and run poster - aka a troll - I however get headaches from the computer screen( I know, I know, buy a filter), and I’m a member of far too many forums. I also don't like to spend everyday at a computer screen, I'd rather be sat in a bath with a good book.

I’ve been shot down by everyone, I’ll try to respond, this is going to be a diatribe because I’m going to take a break from the net for a week or so.

If you are reading this I’ve no doubt what I’ll be writing will make you angry, please try and stick with it however, but even if you only come away with the realization that anti - US sentiment, and anti-globalisation sentiment is far deeper than captured and promoted by Oist organizations, and choose not to explore them at a deeper level, you will have gained some understanding at least.

First let me explain why I posted the book recommendations; I think will give you guys a more realistic insight into the anti-globalization movement. I find it difficult to articulate ideas, as you guys have probably noticed from my posts, but I’m getting better.

The authors articulate the injustice, pain and suffering I and others see, far, far, far, better than I ever could in a forum. Also I believe that one’s conclusions are based on a vast and subtle underlying understood factors. Authors - obviously - realize this and present implicit, and explicit relevant information towards a conclusion, in my hast in posting I usually miss out - only to remember a few days later - vital parts to my argument. I present those books because they - I believe - articulate a great deal of anti-globalisation sentiment.

I will also add that to me philosophy change or questioning is a very solitary, and intrapersonal thing, I changed from being an Objectivist to being a believer in the perennial philosophy, and I‘m currently in political ideological limbo. My views changed - as I believe most people’s do, to any philosophy - by endeavouring into others viewpoints, and also experimentation into mediation, chi kung and internal martial arts.

For a long period I read many books, had internal dialogue (laying in my bath tub), attempted to reconcile personal experiences with my professed philosophy, and finally changed. On the subject of spirituality, internal martial arts, chi kung etc, I have discovered that it’s truth cannot be displayed and scrutinized interpersonally ie. Formal logic, it can only be discovered by experimentation. To paraphrase Ken Wilber; the true mystics leave nothing up to faith, they present means through which you can assess validity for yourself. The idea of Nathaniel Branden (who has enjoyed and sings the praises of mystic influenced Rolfing) that one has to spend years to assess the validity, I find bizarre. If you don’t have positive results or ’strange’ experiences within six months, then I would say look elsewhere.

The onus of proof principle is in opposition to that kind of experimentation if it is tied in with the primacy of the intellectual evaluation ie. Formal logic. The limitations of formal logic is a complex subject of course but just a few pointers, in spiritual literature - and most eastern philosophy - and deepening of consciousness is required to understand the subtle nature of the idea’s presented. To give an example; before you have ever fallen in love and had your heart broken, most love songs seem like corny drivel, when you have experienced love and break ups, you gain an insight into the emotion behind the words. Similar to if you’ve ever been on illegal drugs, you sometimes gain an insight behind people’s demeanour you wouldn’t normally get at your normal level of consciousness.

I wanted to engage with you guys because I’ve read, many articles by Oists, and they seem to believe that opposition to the current consumerist society, and current government of the US, aka the military-industrial complex (commonly referred to by activists as capitalism, I agree it is not) is simply based on bad epistemology/philosophy. I completely disagree, it is primarily based on witnessing, and experiencing pain, and suffering inflicted needlessly on people, by institutions acting in ways that imply they care more for profit, and direct personal gain (in the traditional sense ie, Peter Keating would be called by non-academics philosophers - ie. Average people - as Selfish) than the welfare of their fellow man.
It is also driven by the callous unconcern, whitewashing, and malicious labelling of anyone who tries to point out problems in the system

Anti-Globalisation activists see pollution destroying the environment (regardless if you believe in global warming or not; oil spills, destruction of rainforests, destruction of plants and animals life, air pollution, water pollution are a reality), cultures (the ogoni, and indigenous rainforest tribes), and health (the residents of inner city Tokyo wear face masks for a reason). They see Oil companies supporting tyrannical governments - in the middle east and Africa - for no good reason. We could increase recycling and reuse our materials, we could use and develop bio-diesel (not the kind made from trees), and alternative fuel sources that don’t require exploitation or pollution.

All the aforementioned being endemic in the Oil industry and then they also see former top Oil company/engineering company executives in the highest levels of US government; Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and Bush. When this is brought to the attention of pro-free marketers, or conservatives, they label pro-environmentalists as wanting people to live like cavemen, or in the words of Oists as anti-life/evil. We don’t need to live like cavemen to be environmentally friendly; http://www.myhero.com/myhero/hero.asp?hero=r_anderson

On the subject of global warming you can participate in the largest climate change experiment ever here (it only takes a download); http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/hottopics/climatechange/

Activists see mass exploitation in the form of Sweatshop labour. They see people working hard, 6 to 7 days a week, for 12 to 16 hours a day, from (on average, younger workers have been reported) mid-teens to 25, working in appalling conditions, to make the products we use, and consume. Conditions include; beatings, regimented bathroom breaks, blacklisting if workers try to organize unions, or complaining about treatment, women fired for getting pregnant, regular forced pregnancy tests, overworking, underpaying and more. Contracts are in place with the WTO that if the regulations of the country change ie. If worker safety conditions are enforced (fire safety), and workers rights (standard working hours, child labour laws, maternity rights etc) they are entitled to sue the country for reimbursements. Seeing as most of the countries are already poor, it is a huge economic incentive to keep things as they way they are.

‘We went through a garbage dump in the Dominican republic. We always do this kind of stuff, we dig around. One day we found a big pile of Nike’s internal pricing documents. Nike assigns a time frame to each operation, they don’t talk about minutes, they break the time frame into ten thousandths of a second!
You get to the bottom of all twenty-two operations, to give the workers six point six minutes to make the shirt. It’s seventy cents an hour in the Dominican republic, that’s six point six minutes equals eight cents.
These are Nike’s documents! That means the wages come to three-tenths, of one percent of the retail price. This is the reality, it’s the science of exploitation.’
- Charles Kernighan, of National Labour Committee. The Corporation DVD


Activists see pharmaceutical companies selling fake HIV/AIDS medicines, or outpricing much needed medicine for the poor suffers of the illness, and only making it available to the poor after mass public outcry.

Activists see marketing invading their every way of life, interpersonal relationships, communities and institutions. Commerce values invade every part of our lives, not only are advertisements in the school curriculum, and canteens, education really is centred on educating you to be a worker. Man’s emotional, environmental, social, and creative needs are not taught to youth. Emotional problems are endemic, children are exposed and live through all kinds of abusive and emotionally damaging family structures and social circumstances, little assistance - direct or indirect - is offered, and many grow up to be the monsters of the future. We are taught simply to get qualifications to get us employed. They see psychological tactics that prey on peoples insecurities, fears and vulnerabilities. They see them trying to sell us futile lifestyles, based on consuming as much of their product or service as we possibly can. They see undercover marketing (recent BBC expose on buskers being paid to sing certain songs) invading every available avenue for social interaction, and culture, and they see the economic incentives to do that. Commerce/consumerism is now the centre’s of our culture, and everything is being designed around it.

Activists see all the above atrocities being carried out (and more), and when pointed out to the pro-free marketers they are told, that they should ‘vote’ with their dollars, and not ask for government regulation, because that would be a violation of freedom. Despite the problem that people with more shares, and more disposable income have more say in that kind of ‘voting’ system. Activists see that even if that was an effective way of curbing and directing corporate behaviour, it would only influence after atrocities had happened. In the case of the current non-government monitored Aids medicines to Africa people die because they trust in the product, and if the idea of dollar ‘voting’ is used it still does nothing to bring back the unfortunately ignorant dead. It does nothing to bring back the countless schools and children’s minds that have been indoctrinated with consumerist values by psychologist employed by marketers to sell their products to them (for those who say parents sole responsibility, think of every aspect of life advertising infiltrates). It does nothing to bring back the dead who have been killed by tyrannical governments eager to keep an unpopular corporation in their country. It does nothing to clean up oil spills, environmental damage, deforestation, etc. To summarise it doesn’t do what good regulation can influence companies to do, which is not to commit those appalling acts in the first place.

Activist see the ignorance of the invisible hand , here are some summaries (summaries remember) from interview excerpts from disc 2 the corporation DVD ;

'The idea that the invisible hand of the market reflecting the enlightened self interest of many, many people, is an honest broker, and can effectively allocate, and can efficiently allocate resources in the market place, is flawed if the invisible hand is blind. Now what blinds the invisible hand, so that it cannot see the consequences of it’s own actions? It is the externalities. It is the fact that the prices, are not honest prices. There’s a price of cigarettes, established by the market, in it‘s wisdom. [Does it] reflect it’s cost? Well of course not, nowhere near considering the societal cost. There’s a price of barrel of Oil, established by the market in it’s wisdom. [Does it] reflect it’s cost? Well of course not. The military power in the middle east is a $100 a barrel if it’s a penny, and you throw in the occasional golf war. So you know that the price of a barrel of oil, nowhere near reflects it’s cost. And if the invisible hand is guided by dishonest prices, it cannot reach honest conclusions. So how do you get the prices right? There is a role undoubtedly to for the government to play, and internalizing the externalities to get the prices right. And we come to the idea of tax shifts as the available mechanism, that an enlightened government could exercise, it could exercise it’s power of taxation and redress the dishonesty in the market place.’

‘Today we tax labour. Something we’d really like to encourage, job creation, but we tax it. And we let off scott free, the exploitation of nature. How much sense does it make? How much sense it does make to shift taxes. To penalize the things we don’t want, and relieve the taxes on the things we do want, and get the incentives right, to get rid of the perverse subsidies, that exist.’ - CEO Ray Anderson, the corporation DVD

‘when I see the corporations, I see organisations that have lost their moral compass, who don’t care, and who can only be reached through massive social pressure.’ - Charles Kernighan, the corporation DVD

I also add that pro-free markets and conservatives, sometimes acknowledge the atrocities that are occurring but are in no way inclined to launch a mass campaign on those issues. Instead a large and passionate campaigns are launched for corporate tax cuts. Maybe there is a fear that speaking out against atrocities committed by corporations would be a traitorous act towards one’s ideology. I personally don’t see how being pro-free market, and speaking out against the acts outlined above - even if you don’t believe in regulation - are mutually exclusive.

Here is somthing that deeply scared me;
‘What the public doesn’t know is now there’s a great race by genomic companies, and bio-tech companies, and life science companies, to find the treasure in the map. The treasure are the individual genes that make up the blueprint of the human race. Every time they capture a gene and isolate it, these bio-tech companies claim it as intellectual property. The breast cancer gene, the cystic fibrosis gene, it goes on, and on, and on.
If this goes unchallenged in the world community, within less than 10 years, a handful of global companies will own, directly or through license, the actual genes that make up the evolution of our species. And they’re now beginning to patent the genomes of every other creature on this planet.
In the age of biology the politics is gonna sort out between those who believe; life first has intrinsic value, and we therefore we should choose technologies and commercial venues, that honour the intrinsic value.
Then we’re gonna have people who believe; look life is simply a utility. It’s commercial fare. And they will line up with the idea to let the marketplace be the ultimate arbiter of all of the age of biology.’
- Jeremy Rifkin of Foundation of economic trends. The Corporation DVD

I’m also puzzled - like the people at lewrockwell.com - at the assertion that Islamist militants are anti-reason, anti-man and therefore attack the ‘home’ of liberty, the US. In the words of a writer of the lewrockwell.com website ; the idea that they sat around and read the bill of rights, were outraged, and decided to do 9/11 is ludicrous. Perceived imperialism - economically, culturally and militarily - by the US, probably has a lot more to do with it. I’m also puzzled with the view that the US government at war equals the US Public at war, and that a criticism of US foreign policy is a criticism of the US public.
I recall recently watching a BBC news show where they were interviewing a member of the US group Iraq veterans against war, he said that one day he stopped a vehicle who looked suspicious, he and his colleagues pointed guns at the driver and shouted at him to get out of the car. He said the driver looked frightened and obviously didn’t understand English, and so the interviewee dragged him out of the car by the window. He then proceeded to beat the person, curse at him, and point his gun at the man. He then out the corner of his eye saw the man’s child sitting in the back seat staring at him with pure hatred. He then realized that violence begets violence, and that child will probably grow hating the US and attracted to organizations that are anti-US.

Speaking to my friend who has come back from a tour of Afghanistan - you have every right to question this, I will not display his personal information however - that, that kind of behaviour is commonplace, in fact he participated in it, I was disgusted. He told me I had no idea the pressure they were under, the fear, the anger, the anticipation of violence that builds up and erupts. He also told me that the recent beatings of the Iraq citizens by British soldiers - he believed - was justified they were throwing rocks and grenades (not live) at them, he told me they were lucky they weren’t US soldiers. He then proceeded to explain that the US army has a policy that a shoot to kill can be lawfully enforced if even a threat to property is only present, the British army can only kill if there is a threat to life. He also said that the US will shoot people who shoot at them, drop their weapon, and run away unarmed, but the British will not because they know that onlookers may only see people who are unarmed running away, shouting help and are gunned down, not a favourable public perception to have.

In order to kill or even beat someone up (I can testify), you have to dehumanize, it would be difficult for any sane person to want to end another persons life, if they contemplate how they were the same - in potential, and biology/spirit - as them, they probably would have an extremely difficult time pulling the trigger. I see such dehumanization by the advocates of the current US foreign policy, they label the Muslims of the middle east as all pro-Al Qaeda, backward, hateful individuals. Investigative journalism, award winning web-blogs, and the testimony of my friend says otherwise, there are human rights groups based in the middle-east, there are many people who are against human-rights abuse perpetrated by the Theocratic governments, there are prisoners of conscience throughout the middle east. To those who say that only the supporters of the government wouldn’t welcome war, what about the new born babies, the children, the infirmed, the elderly, the mentally ill, the pacifists This kind of dehumanization aids in the disregard and white washing of - for example - the coalition ’suspected’ terrorist detention procedures, and the Israeli armies treatment of families in the west bank and Gaza strip.

When muslims in the middle-east see Israeli soldiers killing unarmed, and innocent children and people (I also condemn the suicide bombings too, I’m going somewhere with this), and the US government and media not condemning their actions, they probably get angry (a British journalist was shot and killed unlawfully, another British campaigner has been killed by a bulldozer ).
When they see muslims locked up without due process, and tortured (Abu Gharib photo’s), they probably get angry.
When they see the vices of US culture, eg excessive consumerism, hedonism, pornography etc, being established and promoted in their country, they probably get angry.
When they see US businesses and people establishing themselves in their country and forming a fenced off guarded, luxurious enclaves, they probably get angry.
When the president says God told him to do it, they probably get angry. Groups whose principle for social change is violence, then succeed in probably directed some people’s anger into violence, by outlining the above.
My point is simply having a faith-based way of life doesn’t mean they will become terrorists.

In regards to the attitudes and actions against the Arabs in the middle east, and the actions of corporations, the Oist argument is the worst by far. Everything has to be related to directly benefiting oneself economically, and the campaigns advocating charity - when there is no direct economic benefit - is anti-life/evil is appalling to say the least. I really question the psychological health of a person who can look at the atrocities - people being killed because they are on others property or land, children dying when medicine is available, labelling civilian casualties of war as collateral damage, the destruction of the biosphere, plants and animals when alternative safer energy sources is available, people working in sweatshops - without any sense of compassion or charity. Oists stress that private charity would exist to take care of people who are in need, I would be curious the results of a poll among Oists to find out how many of them donate to international aid agencies.

Just a few last pet peeves against Oism, regarding language. I’m pretty sure that before you guys changed your philosophy you didn’t understand, nor use the terms; selfishness, ego, altruism and self sacrifice to mean what Oism takes it to mean. I agree fascist organizations have used and do use it in that way but the majority of people do not, it isn’t written in stone that a word means the same thing to everyone. I use selfishness, to mean callous, malevolent, actions that only directly benefit one’s emotions or life. I use ego to mean an overestimation of one’s importance or worth. I use self-sacrifice to mean simply to give up one’s egotistical or dangerous desires for the benefit of self (going on a diet would be an example) and/or others (giving up smoking would be an example), or simply to give up something you like for some other value - greater or lesser value (eg. Giving up sleep to look after child or giving up autonomy to the Nazis Party). I use Altruism to mean any non-egotistical interpersonal benevolent act. Those were just summaries off the top of my head, but in my day to day life most people use those term in similar context. I see continuously when Oists review people calling for altruistic actions, etc, people being flamed as though they are advocating the exact word for word definition written by Ayn Rand, that to me is a break from reality. I believe that Ayn Rand purposely did that to get people interested in her philosophy; ‘you advocate a philosophy of selfishness, why???!!!’.

Also a little something regarding the use of the term evil, David Kelley has touched on this but most Oists seemed to have ignored him. The term, and moral evaluation of evil is used to class vegetarians, people against the Iraq war, and ecologists alongside the Nazis Party, Stalin and Chairman Mao. I have heard Oists honestly classing Mother Teresa as Evil, and presumably in the same league as Ted Bundy.

To be perfectly honest with you, I’ve read some articles evaluating speeches and texts by Anti-Globalisation, anti- military, industrial complex, ecology, and the religious activists, that seem to lack any honest evaluation of their intended meaning.
Even if you do not look into the references I provide I only hope you at least contemplate what I have wrote.

Here is are interesting quotes regarding corporations and classical liberalism;

‘The courts accorded corporations the rights of persons. That’s a very sharp attack on classical liberalism, in which rights are inherent in people, people of flesh and blood, not corporate entities, like states or something like that. This grew out of a kind of neo-Hegelian concepts of the rights of organic entities over individuals, actually it had 3 major outgrowths in the 20th century
one is fascism, another’s bolshevism and another’s corporatism.’

‘When these systems did begin to take shape a century ago, they were very sharply condemned by conservatives… Conservative men - Classical liberal. They were condemned as kind of reversion to feudalism, or even as a form of communism. Which was not unreasonable, if by communism you mean bolshevism, yeah, they‘re rather similar in conception. And the same by their advocates, like say progressives like Woodrow Wilson, who was a big proponent of corporatisation. Nevertheless pointed out correctly; that this the end of freedom, it’s the end of private enterprise. It’s the end of freedom, it’s a new America, in which people will not be working for themselves but will be servants of corporate entities.’ - Noam Chomsky, the corporation DVD.
 

This post really is a summary, greater and clearer understanding can be found by pursuing the references below.


#############################################

For anyone interested in pursuing alternative viewpoints, or simply wanting to do as Sun Tzu advises and; understand the enemy. I will make a few recommendations. Why? because the summaries of alternative viewpoints I read on Oist sites are poor, to say the least.

Book;

Confessions of an economic hitman by John Perkings
- Brilliantly describes, via personal experience, what various NGO’s have been saying about the world bank, and the US government military/industrial complex for years. For those who believe John Perkins, and Michael Moore claims of using the military for business ends is too far out there, read up on the story of one of the most decorated generals in US military history General Smedley Butler http://englishatheist.org/warisaracket.shtml

No logo by Naomi Klein
- her analysis on marketing is astounding, ditto her analysis of the mis-treatment (sometimes fatal) of anti-corporate activists, and sweatshop workers.

The corporation; the pathological pursuit of profit and power by Joel Bakan
- shows a brief history of incorporation, outlines various cases of corporate mal-practice, and lack of human regard shown by various corporate activites.

DVD

Why we fight
by Eugene Jaracki - http://www.sonyclassics.com/whywefight/ I haven’t watched this yet but there have been many good reviews, and is exclusively about the military-industrial complex.

The corporation; the pathological pursuit of profit and power
by Mark Ackbar and Jennifer Abbot - I urge you to buy the 2 disc edition. After the feature, watch it with the commentary by Joel Bakan, and watch the second disc packed with views from everyone - from Milton Friedman to Noam Chomsky. Every part of disc 1 and 2 is filled with gems.
The above I believe collectively viewed, viewing just one will leave out sentiments explained further in another, and will give you the core arguments and reasons behind anti-globalisation sentiment.

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For anyone wishing to understand or pursue the transcendental, I recommend.
Schools;
 
http://www.zenergyarts.com/classes.htm#fee - for people in the US, he will refund you your money if you don’t feel chi.
 
www.wongkk.com - this grandmaster and head of worldwide school, will answer any queries if you respectfully email him. I recommend you take the plunge, and take a course with him. He charges high and for a reason (refund if not happy with course). Email him and ask why, or search the archives of his answers.
The two links I posted above I recommend for people wanting to pursue experimentation, I don’t train with that school any more because I found a different school, but I had the most amazing experience with that grandmaster. Here is a site of cured sickness by the grandmaster; http://www.endofendo.com/english/ ,I met an 80 year old man who was paralysed, and was running around on the course.

Also pursue Reiki. Get attuned to level one and do the practice for the 21 days of self heal, and do it for a bit longer afterwards (maybe a month or 2). Try to learn from someone respected, and also look around for success stories (good attunements are dependant on a good master) , frauds are widespread in the spiritual world.

Book;

The inner path of the warrior by A.E.
- available from http://www.ukbaguainstitute.co.uk/books_store.htm it has practical exercises that you can do alone, if you can’t be bothered to find teacher. I advise you to find a teacher, you can do the exercises wrong, and really mess up your psyche (trust me).
 
########################

Anyway, I’m off for a bit, take care, and always smile from your heart.
Oh yeah and free the west Memphis 3 www.wm3.org




Post 7

Sunday, April 23, 2006 - 7:39pmSanction this postReply
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Sigh.




Post 8

Sunday, April 23, 2006 - 8:04pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks for pointing out that it was smart not to give into my masochistic tendancies to watch "the Corporation"...

I usually save that impulse for films like "Backyard Dawgs" and "Santa with Muscles."

---Landon




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Post 9

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 - 3:14amSanction this postReply
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Mike, I made an attempt to read the entirety of your second post but it's incoherence made it difficult to finish. This is a forum, it might help if you made your points a little shorter and more coherent. Or I guess I should say it would help if you just made a point. So I'm going to respond to some of what the author you quoted in your initial post said:

'My job, she said, was 'to encourage world leaders to become part of a vast network that promote's US commercial interests. In the end, those leaders become ensnared in a web of debt that ensures their loyalty. We can draw on them whenever we desire - to satisfy  our, political, economic, or military needs. In turn, they bolster political positions by bringing industrial parks, power plants, and airports to their people.
Like Jason said this is not at all articulation. In fact it doesn't even support the facts. The United States faces massive trade defecits. US commercial interests owe far more to foreign interests than foreign interests owe America. Also the by-product of this alleged conspiracy theory "power plants, and airports to their people" is somehow construed to be bad? Infrastructure, to help otherwise impoverished people gain some wealth is somehow considered evil? Easy to say when those protesting globalization don't go hungry everyday or have to deal with a child crying out of hunger.

 The owners of US engineering/construction companies become fabulously wealthy.'
'Executives at our most respected companies hire people at near-slave wages to toil under inhuman conditions in Asian sweatshops.
1) Slavery is forced labor, not low wage labor. 2) People working at low wages are only working low wages when compared to what they did before. Life without these jobs, as bad as they seem to us Americans who take wealth for granted, their life was far worse without these jobs, where they toiled away 16 hours a day of back breaking work at a farm while suffering from near starvation. Anti-globalists seek to deny this step up in a standard of living for the third world while they sip their lattes in between protests.

Oil companies wantonly pump toxins into rain-forest rivers, consciously killing people, animals, plants, and commiting genocide among ancient cultures.
1) Oil companies do not do business anywhere near rain forests. 2) You cannot commit 'genocide' on a culture. 'Genocide' is killing people. 3) I'd like to know who, what, where, and why oil companies would be 'killing' people. They must be pretty good at hiding the bodies because this is news to me.

The pharmaceutical industry denies life-saving medicines to millions of HIV-infected Africans.
1) You cannot deny that which you do not owe 2) That is simply a lie. Pharmaceutical companies donate millions of dollars to third world countries, the US government doles out billions, out of pressure from left wing organizations. You can't complain we aren't giving money when we are.

12 million families in our on US worry about their next meal.
And how would that be a globalization issue?

The energy industry creates Enron. The accounting industry creates and Anderson.
1) An industry does not create a company. Individuals do. 2) Enron went bankrupt and the executives either are facing, currently under, or have faced prosecution and some are currently serving prison time including accountants from Arthur Anderson. Enron and Arthur Anderson executives were punished for their fraud. The example doesn't work or help the cause of anti-globalization.

The income ratio of the one-fifth of the world's population in the wealthiest countries to the one-fifth in the poorest went from 30 to 1 in 1960, to 74 to 1 in 1995.
One-fifth of the world's poorest saw an increase in wealth in a similar time period. Also ratios in this context do not accurately portray increases in the standard of living for one group. The top one-fifth could have seen very large increases in wealth, where as poorest one-fifth could've seen moderate increases in wealth. This would increase the ratio but it's statistically misleading to interpret that as a decrease in a standard of living for the poorest one-fifth. Another words this is statistical fraud. Of course I'm assuming this statistic provided is even true in the first place, considering this next statistical it's likely to be false anyways;

The US spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq, while the UN estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitation services, and basic education to every person on the planet.
This is absolutely ridiculous. There are over 6 billion people on this planet. Are you telling me it only costs 7 dollars per person  per year to provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitation services, and basic education for everyone? It wouldn't even pay for a week's worth of food let alone that kind of massive infrastructure. Who believes this crap?

And we wonder why terrorists attack us?'
This is someone so out of touch with reality, that would morally justify the heinous barbaric act of 9/11and other terrorist attacks is beyond naive. It is repulsive and disgusting. Terrorists attacking us does not morally justify any real or imagined grievances they may have. (Imagined being the more accurate term). I don't think Islamic terrorists on 9/11 gave one shit about Nike sneaker factories in Asia or Enron accounting fraud. Nor did they give a shit about the rain forest. This is as Penn and Teller would say utter "Bullshit". Their greivances were 1) US support for Israel 2) US military presence in Saudi Arabia 3) Then UN sanctions against Iraq. Which is to say 1) US supporting the only Middle Eastern liberal Democracy 2) US military presence on the invitation of the Saudi government to defend against Saddam Hussein  3) UN, not US, UN sanctions against Iraq.  Not one of those stated grievances had anything remotely to do with any of the above examples the author stated.

This is nothing but conspiracy theorists run amok. Same crap we've heard before, like the supposed "staged moon landing" or the CIA conspiring to kill JFK. Some people just need to get a life and get a real job.




Post 10

Sunday, April 30, 2006 - 7:30amSanction this postReply
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Dear everyone,

I apologize if you had difficulty reading my post.

Landon Erp showed the reason why I wrote the post which was, to combat a blatant unwillingness to examine alternative viewpoints in a way that isn't summarized by Oist sites (or summarized by me), the party line seems to be universally accepted as an accurate representation.

Something that I find simultaneously amusing, and baffling is that when I present some people with the no chi no fee school,
people are unwilling to take 12 weeks out of their lives to first hand experience and examine, professed mystical beliefs. Also the right, and you guys, seem to be unwilling to spend a few hours reading books and watching documentaries, of alternative viewpoints.

Did I think anyone would consider what I wrote? I thought maybe one person would at least want to further examine the reason for anti-globalisation, and anti-US sentiment that isn't presented through the lens of Oist organisations. Maybe an understanding will lead to an attempt to address the issues, instead of ignoring them, like I have been ignored.

Also could anyone provide a Oist philosophical justification for corporate personhood? My understanding of Oist theory of rights, leaves no place for the tenets of incorporation.

Also an issue that seems endemic throughout the Oist world, is white-washing. Capitalists launch mass campaigns for corporate tax cuts, but little against subsidies. Mass campaigns against minimum wage, but little against central banking (and is diminishment of purchasing power via it's policies). Mass campaigns against labor laws, but none against sweatshop conditions. Does anyone see a problem in that?  

Also in regards to foreign policy;

Condemnation of public beheading, but ignoring over 80 people killed unlawfully and immorally killed in Abu Gharib.

Condemnation of hostage taking, yet ignoring the kidnapping, indefinite detainment, and torture at Guantanamo Bay, and other detention facilities. 

Condemnation against Palestine, but omitting any criticism for Israeli troops when they kill innocent men, women and children (foreign peaceful protestors too).

Support for the attack on Iraq because they (allegedly) posed a threat, but silence when worldwide exposure of that lie is exposed (by CIA and MI5 documents and officials).

Condemnation for the existence of Al-qaeda, and omitting that the beginning of that organizations existence was aided by the US (assistance to the mujahideen). Maybe you should be condemning the military-industrial complex too?

Support for the attack on Iraq, and omitting the fact that Al-qaeda were responsible for 9/11, and no connection between them and Saddam has been found. And now Tehran is the new enemy!

Condemnation of 9/11 because it killed innocent civilians, yet ignoring that the US governments support to dictatorships and militia in South America (the CIA's history in south America speaks for itself), and the middle east.

Maybe you guys should join the call for more arms control, www.controlarms.org so that the militias cannot maintain their control so easily, and tell your government to stop arming countries? The machete use in Africa, and knife crime is used to refute arms control claims. My response to that is it localizes the violence dramatically. It is very rare that you hear of someone dying from a 'stray' knife attack? Also what do you think you have more chance of defending yourself against; someone getting up close and personal with you with a knife, or someone standing 15 feet away with a beretta or an AK? They're both dangerous, but one has been proven that with training you can successfully defend yourself against that attack.  

There seems to be a general attitude by the right and you guys, that anything the US and Israel does that is immoral is inconsequential and omitted, and anything that anyone non-US does that is immoral is held up to public scrutiny, and condemnation.  

Despite the mockery and belittling nature of these articles, I believe they raise some important issues with regards to Oist attitude to foreign policy,. If you wish to see how - I believe - many people view the Oist movement in regards to military action and use of force, please read on;
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/raimondo1.html (I agree that non-US and muslims in the middle east are regarded as sub-human, and innocent civillians deaths don't come into evaluating the effects of US foreign policy)
http://blog.lewrockwell.com/lewrw/archives/007600.html BTW ¬ means anti. 

I get condemned for posting others views but I couldn't resist, and seeing as everyone find's my attempts at articulation poor (I should have been more attention in english) here is a brilliant articulation of the anti-war stance;
http://www.commondreams.org/views01/1109-01.htm

John,

the book goes further into the issues. The articulation is shown in the books, and products I presented, not quote summaries
(mine or the authors). Also the author acknowledges that global economics have changed. I agree China, and the EU have now become a superpower, he was showing the nature of how they expand. There are things in the book that I'm looking into with a hairy eyeball - like his experience of Torrijos - but it still has useful information.

The quote about genocide says; Committing genocide among ancient cultures.

About the UN food figure, yeah I'm concerned about that quote he unfortunately didn't give a time scale for how long that would last, I've emailled the UN for updated figures. Also I'll just point out that the dollar has different values in other parts of the world, Charles Kernighan was talking with workers and they were asking for their wages to be doubled so they could afford to maintain a dignified life, the wages asked for - in US dollars - in some cases as low as 66 cents, the highest I believe was around $2.50. 

If you've never heard about Oil companies aiding human rights abuse, that simply shows the unfortunate state of our media (see Outfoxed by Robert Greewald). Please research the Ogoni people (true shell left, they came right back after Ken was killed), and look at various human rights organizations like Amnesty international that have been systematically trying to bring to public and media attention Oil companies aid in human rights abuse. Here are articles to start you off; http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAFR440222005 http://rainforests.mongabay.com/0806.htm

About sweatshops. They are working low wages in regards to what they do, the hours they work, and how much the goods retail for. Your view - I believe - is a rationalization for exploitation, the argument goes that we made their lives slightly better, and so don't worry about it. Their conditions are appalling, the multinationals go to third world countries, where regulations don't exist or aren't enforced, where workers have to . For an analysis of the conditions faced by workers in sweatshops here is a good start by the well respect Charles Kernighan (brought the Kathy Lee Gifford sweatshop scandal) led organization; www.nlcnet.org

About the HIV issue, the donations came after mass public/NGO pressure was directed towards the companies because of their record of outpricing the medicine to the poor. Charitable actions is only justifiable under current incorporation charter if you can justify that it will bring shareholders money, you have to have media attention directed towards whatever your doing so you can justify it as good publicity for the brand. 

Has anyone been following the Bolivian water corporate takeover? There were peaceful protests against the government and Bechtel in 2000, that escalated to violence and deaths, it is now beginning to happening again. It happened because the water was outpriced to the poor inhabitants, the company seemed unmoved that people were getting ill and dying through lack of access to clean water.  




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Post 11

Sunday, April 30, 2006 - 9:03amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Mike:

Your point seems to be that Objectivists are unaware of the issues of globalization. Au contraire. We are incessantly assaulted and inundated with the altruist position. Furthermore, many of your concerns were answered above but you write as if they were never presented, e.g. sweatshops. Would you prefer that the multinationals had never entered the country at all and left the "exploited" workers in their original poverty? The only moral question is, "Are they better off with the choice to work under the new conditions or starve to death?" Why should multinationals be portrayed as evil by giving poverty-stricken people choices that would otherwise be unavailable?

If I were someone who was vilified for behaving as the multinationals are I would just pick up my bags and go home. Does a parallel with Galt's Gulch ring a bell here?

Sam




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Post 12

Sunday, April 30, 2006 - 9:16amSanction this postReply
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"The machete use in Africa, and knife crime is used to refute arms control claims. My response to that is it localizes the violence dramatically."

Translation: The largest genocide in thirty years was carried out largely by machete, but you won't let that interfere with your preexisting agenda against guns.

"It is very rare that you hear of someone dying from a 'stray' knife attack? Also what do you think you have more chance of defending yourself against; someone getting up close and personal with you with a knife, or someone standing 15 feet away with a beretta or an AK?"

Regardless whether my attacker has a machete or a firearm, I have a much better chance of defending myself using a Beretta or AK than a knife - and I have 0 reason to believe that government restrictions on weapons would disarm the attacker instead of myself.



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Post 13

Sunday, April 30, 2006 - 11:10amSanction this postReply
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Not to mention Mike, you are using a COMPUTER and posting a comment on the INTERNET, both a product of GLOBALISATION. You seem to have no issue with using the fruits of globalisation while you attack it.

What resources do you think were used to make that computer? What fuel did that truck use that transported that computer to the store you bought it from? And what fuel did you use to transport that computer to your home? And what fuel is used to power your home to keep the computer on?

An excerpt from the amnesty article you posted:

"1.1 Rights still under attack by the state
"The notion that the oil-bearing areas provide the revenue of the country, and yet be denied a proper share of that revenue…is unjust, immoral, unnatural and ungodly. Why should the people on oil-bearing land be tortured?""

Excuse me, but no one has a "right" to a share of the revenue that they did not take part in producing. The United States is the third largest oil producer in the world and is estimated to have the largest untapped oil reserves in the world, do citizens of the United States have a "right" to a share of that oil production? Are we entitled to receive a check each month from the oil companies giving us a share of their revenue? Even though our fat asses did nothing to drill for that oil, find that oil, or buy the land that oil is sitting under, or take on the risk of operating a business, or turn that oil into something that can be used?

And if you should be mad at anyone for American oil companies drilling for oil in awful countries like Nigeria, then you should be mad at environmentalists for stopping any further oil drilling in the United States for the past 30 years. http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA324.html

Thanks to Environmentalists, we are buying a portion of our oil from disgusting countries like Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, etc when we could just be buying all of our oil from oil production within our own country. And thanks to environmentalists we haven't been able to build any new nuclear power plants in the last 30 years, despite it being the cleanest, and less taxing for the environment type of energy that can be used. Instead we're still mining for coal, still, in 2006!!

The situation in Nigeria first is a good reason to spread the ideals of Capitalism around the world since Nigeria is not a Capitalist country but an Islamo-Facist country. Second, the worst transgression by Chevron and Shell seems to be their quote "ambiguous and belated interventions". Yes those damn oil companies, why didn't they use their tanks and jets to overthrow the Nigerian government so that they could operate in a free capitalist society and not worry about Nigerian citizens being tortured and killed by their awful government? Those pigs!








(Edited by John Armaos
on 4/30, 12:06pm)




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Post 14

Sunday, April 30, 2006 - 1:17pmSanction this postReply
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As a member of the "Old Europe" I will give my two-cents to the reasons why those Europeans hate the US, because they are socialdemocrats. There are not conservatives and socialist, there are only right-wing socialists and left-wing socialists in Old Europe and they hate the US, because it is still a freer market and more successful than they are/have.

However there are also people,like me, who don't like the US for several reasons:

- Medicare
- Public Schools
- Foreign Aid
- UN
- Foreign Adventures devoid of the reason of Self-defense
- tariffs
- conservatives who beat democrats on extending the state
- THE DRUG WAR

I would never argue that Europe is any better, but honestly, I don't like the leaders of my country any better (I never elected them or voted for any of them).

So, I think there is the huge base of leftists who don't like the US, because it is too "capitalist" and then there is the small base of liberals who don't like the US, because it forgoes freedom.



Post 15

Sunday, April 30, 2006 - 1:23pmSanction this postReply
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Max I hate those things about America too that you listed. But Europe has all of those things and much more wouldn't you agree?



Post 16

Sunday, April 30, 2006 - 2:17pmSanction this postReply
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Well, it depends. There is still Swiss (which is just a few kilometers from where I live and my parents have Swiss passports), which is pretty free still. Then we have Italy, which is also free, but out of personal decision. They have the laws, but noone follows those laws, because as a good citizen you don't follow unjust laws :D

Then we have Estonia, Estland and other new members of Europe, which are quite less regulated than any European country.

However, if you refer to Germany and France, then I certainly agree with you. Those countries are poster-childs for a new socialist rising. There is actually no sense of freedom instilled in the majority living here and this is a sad thing, because Germany has the potential to be a great nation (many creative brains here, but they are regulated to stupidity).
It has been created out of dozens of small countries unified in the Holy Roman Empire, which is similar in structure (although not in spirit) to the US outlay before the revolution. Well, Germany turned out to be the exact opposite to the US.



Post 17

Friday, May 12, 2006 - 4:54amSanction this postReply
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The only moral question is, "Are they better off with the choice to work under the new conditions or starve to death?" Why should multinationals be portrayed as evil by giving poverty-stricken people choices that would otherwise be unavailable?
That isn't the only moral question according to Objectivism; Honesty, Justice and Benevolence are also considerations. The wages and treatment the workers receive is far from honest, their wages and treatment is far from just, and their wages and treatment is far from benevolent.

Why is it not morally questionable to go to a place where people are desperate, and get them to work in appalling conditions, and for appalling wages because the other alternative is starvation?

By that method of analysis it isn't questionable for me to offer a crack-addicted women going through withdraw, a few bucks to pleasure me sexually.  Or it isn't questionable for me to sell past sell by date food to the starving, when I can provide good food to them.

It is a good thing to offer them means of providing themselves with life's needs. The way it was implemented wasn't anything benevolent as that objective applied properly, it was nothing more than exploiting desperation.

Regardless whether my attacker has a machete or a firearm, I have a much better chance of defending myself using a Beretta or AK than a knife - and I have 0 reason to believe that government restrictions on weapons would disarm the attacker instead of myself.




Are you arguing that a machete is less dangerous than a gun?

When I wrote localized I meant in terms of accuracy, it is extremely difficult to hit an innocent bystander by a stray swing. It happens quite often with small arms.

If the US - and the world for that matter applied the same zero-tolerance and religious zeal to curtailing arms trade to illegitimate people, a lot less deaths would occur.

Instead the US and UK military-industrial complex have an extremely bad track record of shipping and selling arms to fascist governments, and guerillas.
http://www.sonyclassics.com/whywefight/ - that movie has former CIA and pentagon operatives echoing the sentiments of John Perkins, and anarchists of both the right and left regarding the military-industrial complex and American foreign policy. 

What resources do you think were used to make that computer? What fuel did that truck use that transported that computer to the store you bought it from? And what fuel did you use to transport that computer to your home? And what fuel is used to power your home to keep the computer on?


There are of course many implications to those questions, I''ll try to address a few. First of all to echo Joel Bakan; that in part gives credence to the anti-globalization argument that corporatism is so widespread you that can't escape it. Also the problems produced by globalization are so serious that public attention needs to be drawn to them, and if the choice is between not helping change and shouting at people outside your house, or using the product of globalization to end injustice.. I choose hypocrisy.  

The situation in Nigeria first is a good reason to spread the ideals of Capitalism around the world since Nigeria is not a Capitalist country but an Islamo-Facist country. Second, the worst transgression by Chevron and Shell seems to be their quote "ambiguous and belated interventions". Yes those damn oil companies, why didn't they use their tanks and jets to overthrow the Nigerian government so that they could operate in a free capitalist society and not worry about Nigerian citizens being tortured and killed by their awful government? Those pigs!





First of all why the sarcasm? Second; what was meant by Amnesty's verdict is the following; also excerpts from the article;


'Oil companies are seen to benefit from the repression of protests by local communities or the razing of communities accused of harbouring criminals. The companies’ security arrangements, whether involving government forces or private individuals, have a human rights impact for which they are not held to account. Companies have admitted that some of their activities have contributed to the violence.'

'However, under standards drawn from domestic and even international human rights law and international criminal law a company’s actions or failures to take action may risk complicity with human rights violations, for example, if they are close to, have knowledge of, aid and abet, or benefit from a violation.'

'Amnesty International has found that there was a litany of failures to uphold the Voluntary Principles in Chevron Nigeria’s response to the Ugborodo protest.

  • Failure to record and report. Companies should record and report any credible allegations of human rights abuses by public security in their areas of operation to appropriate host government authorities. Where appropriate, companies should urge investigation and that action be taken to prevent any recurrence. Chevron Nigeria officials said they had not reported the incident to relevant authorities, or called for investigation into the incident.
  • Failure to provide medical treatment. "Where force is used, medical aid should be provided to injured persons, including to offenders." It appears from the incident of 4 February that Chevron Nigeria did not do this. After initially stating that the company had provided no first aid, Chevron Nigeria later said that 12 individuals were treated for injuries.(31) Video footage shows some victims displaying injuries and signs of pain, and hobbling with bandages. Some victims still had open wounds when they reached Warri General Hospital. Officials from companies participating in the Voluntary Principles have agreed that this provision also extends to providing physical or financial assistance to move injured people, including offenders, to the nearest hospital or clinic where they may be treated by competent professionals. Neither the Joint Task Force nor Chevron Nigeria provided such assistance.
  • Failure to provide adequate training to security forces. The Voluntary Principles expect the company to provide training to its staff and to security forces guarding its premises. While Chevron Nigeria appears to have instituted formal training for its staff and subcontractors, such training is voluntary for the Joint Task Force, however Chevron Nigeria was not able to provide records of training carried out and how many members of the JTF had been trained.
  • Failure to adequately scrutinize the record of security forces. Under the section on Deployment and Conduct, the Voluntary Principles call upon companies to use their influence to ensure that: "(a) individuals credibly implicated in human rights abuses should not provide security services for companies; (b) force should be used only when strictly necessary and to an extent proportional to the threat; and (c) the rights of individuals should not be violated while exercising the right to exercise freedom of…peaceful assembly." Many reports, by credible human rights groups and civil society organizations, have shown a consistent pattern of abuses by the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta.'

'The government pays the salaries and operational expenses of the Joint Task Force, but Chevron Nigeria routinely provides allowances and meals to the troops stationed on their premises, in line with practices in the oil industry. Company officials did not provide specific data, but said that allowances can double the soldiers’ daily wage. Chevron Nigeria also provides transport to its remote locations for security personnel. In view of the closeness of the relationship with the security forces, Chevron Nigeria has the responsibility under the Voluntary Principles to ensure that actions of the security forces operating on its premises are consistent with the protection and promotion of human rights. It has failed to live up to that responsibility and may be exposed to the risk of being complicit.'

'Shell ignored Ogoni concerns, saying that it was up to the government to solve the problems of economic neglect. For nearly two thirds of Nigeria’s 45 years since independence from colonial rule in 1960, military governments held power. Mismanagement and corruption; embezzlement of oil revenues; the suppression of activists and communities who sought a cleaner environment, an end to abuses and a fairer distribution of resources – all were particular features of military government. Oil companies were widely seen as complicit in these abuses and even to have fuelled conflict. In 1993 Nigeria was plunged into a political and human rights crisis when the government of General Sani Abacha aborted a seven-year "transition to civilian rule". The winner of the 1993 elections, Moshood Abiola, was imprisoned along with hundreds of politicians, human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists in the years following. Critics and opponents were tortured, killed, detained for months or years in life-threatening conditions, died in prison or "disappeared".

MOSOP leaders had been detained without charge or trial on several occasions since 1993, including Ken Saro-Wiwa for periods in 1993 and 1994. In May 1994, four leading members of the Ogoni community were killed, reportedly by MOSOP supporters. MOSOP leaders, including Ken Saro-Wiwa, were detained, assaulted, and publicly accused by the authorities of responsibility for the murders, an accusation they denied. A military task force detained hundreds of MOSOP supporters and raided Ogoni towns and villages in the weeks following – killing, raping and looting. Thousands fled their homes. Most detainees were severely beaten or tortured. Ken Saro-Wiwa and other detainees were held for at least eight months before being charged.

In February and March 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa and 14 other accused were brought to trial on murder charges. They had been held in harsh conditions, incommunicado, for long periods in chains and denied medical treatment. Several were alleged to have been tortured while in military detention. Their trial, without right of appeal, was before a special tribunal appointed by General Abacha, whose judgments had no standing until they had been confirmed or disallowed by the government. They were denied the right to prepare a proper defence and to have full and confidential access to their lawyers, who faced assaults and threats from the military, and who withdrew from the trials in June and July 1995 in protest over the bias of the tribunal in favour of the prosecution. On 30 and 31 October 2005, nine of the accused were convicted and sentenced to death; six others were acquitted. On 10 November 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa and the eight others convicted – Baribor Bera, Saturday Doobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbokoo, Barinem Kiobel, John Kpuinen, Paul Levura and Felix Nuate – were hanged.'





There are more things in there but it shows that Shell managements hands aren't clean. I fail to see how you could have missed that, why do people of the right and objectivists not acknowledge, or whitewash corporate wrong doing?

The thing about the Oil companies is that they don't even 'shrug' and stop economically financing the government that persists in such abuse. They left before Ken and the other activists were killed, came right back.

Oh yeah almost forgot, regarding the John Perkins quote of $40 billion needed to provide those things to everone on the planet. It was a figure regarding how much is needed to provide those things to everyone without them at this moment in time, not all 7 billion people on this planet.

(Edited by Mr Mike Skinner on 5/12, 5:01am)

(Edited by Mr Mike Skinner on 5/12, 5:04am)




Post 18

Friday, May 12, 2006 - 9:05amSanction this postReply
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You should read about the positives of globalism and how it is helping people and ultimately will be the salvation.  Also, how these states of anarchy can be reduced and brought back into the fold.  Read:  http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/

and read his first book, The Pentagon's New Map.




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Post 19

Friday, May 12, 2006 - 12:02pmSanction this postReply
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Mike wrote

The only moral question is, "Are they better off with the choice to work under the new conditions or starve to death?" Why should multinationals be portrayed as evil by giving poverty-stricken people choices that would otherwise be unavailable?
That isn't the only moral question according to Objectivism; Honesty, Justice and Benevolence are also considerations. The wages and treatment the workers receive is far from honest, their wages and treatment is far from just, and their wages and treatment is far from benevolent.

Why is it not morally questionable to go to a place where people are desperate, and get them to work in appalling conditions, and for appalling wages because the other alternative is starvation?

By that method of analysis it isn't questionable for me to offer a crack-addicted women going through withdraw, a few bucks to pleasure me sexually.  Or it isn't questionable for me to sell past sell by date food to the starving, when I can provide good food to them.

It is a good thing to offer them means of providing themselves with life's needs. The way it was implemented wasn't anything benevolent as that objective applied properly, it was nothing more than exploiting desperation.

And what exactly is just wages? A just wage is where an employer and an employee both agree to a wage. It would be malevolent to not offer starving people something that can up their standard of living. You seek to deny third world people even the opportunity to have a better life. You wish to destroy globalization but globalization is what is helping third world people get themselves out of poverty. Poverty is not created, it is the natural state of man. Wealth is not finite, it is produced. Typically the wages they receive from multi-national corporations are astoundingly high compared to what wealth they were able to generate before. You're painting an erroneous picture. You compare wages in a third world factory to a crack addict? As if someone who is a crack addict bears no responsibility to their choice to become addicted to crack? And your last analogy, giving someone food past it's expiration? Do you realize the food aid given to third world countries is rigorously tested for safety and is responsible for keeping alive millions of people?

What resources do you think were used to make that computer? What fuel did that truck use that transported that computer to the store you bought it from? And what fuel did you use to transport that computer to your home? And what fuel is used to power your home to keep the computer on?


There are of course many implications to those questions, I''ll try to address a few. First of all to echo Joel Bakan; that in part gives credence to the anti-globalization argument that corporatism is so widespread you that can't escape it. Also the problems produced by globalization are so serious that public attention needs to be drawn to them, and if the choice is between not helping change and shouting at people outside your house, or using the product of globalization to end injustice.. I choose hypocrisy. 

Well you said it. You are a hypocrite. You can escape corporatism. Go to Cuba. There is no globalisation going on there. Or how about Vietnam? Or you can go live in a cave. I choose to live in comfort, and not condemn the very thing that makes my life, and the lives of billions, a life that is not an eternal hell whole. If you profess to care about the third world, you would champion the spread of Capitalism, of individual rights. You would condemn the worst thing about the third world, the shitty totalitarian governments that keep their citizens impoverished. Instead you condemn the only hope they could ever have to keep them from starvation, you condemn Capitalism, the only thing that has been responsible for raising the standard of living for anyone and everyone, and you do this from the comfort of your climate controlled home sipping on a latte.

The situation in Nigeria first is a good reason to spread the ideals of Capitalism around the world since Nigeria is not a Capitalist country but an Islamo-Facist country. Second, the worst transgression by Chevron and Shell seems to be their quote "ambiguous and belated interventions". Yes those damn oil companies, why didn't they use their tanks and jets to overthrow the Nigerian government so that they could operate in a free capitalist society and not worry about Nigerian citizens being tortured and killed by their awful government? Those pigs!





First of all why the sarcasm?

Because what you advocate is evil. You are a hypocrite and anti-globalisation activists seek to keep the third world impoverished. The worst crime Chevron did was not report a crime (and what good would it have done anyway? There is no international police authority to arrest Nigerian officials). Your worst crime is to keep people impoverished, anti-globalists have blood on their hands. Anti-globalists have advocated genetically modified food not be shipped to Africa, resulting in what may be the deaths of millions in Zambia. Anti-globalists advocate the continued ban on DDT, which has resulted in tens of millions of deaths unnecessarily from malaria in Africa. Anti-globalists have not provided one job, to anyone in Africa. Anti-globalists are not responsible for feeding not one child. This isn't a joke, starvation is not funny. If there's anything that we can do to help these people, it is to promote Capitalism.

Anti-globalisation is a disgusting, vile, and evil idealogy. Anti-globalists either unwittingly or pursposefuly are encouraging poverty. And who do you most likely see protesting in anti-globalisation rallies? Rich white college kids. If that is not racist, I don't know what is. Why not protest the evils of totalitarianism? The evils of communism, socialism, of Islamo-facism? The very idealogies that are responsible for the immense pain and misery we see in the third world?




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