Well said, John A. (Mike Skinner is equivalent to a murderer).Equivalent to a murderer? Equivalent to a M-U-R-D-E-R-E-R?
I hope a least one person on this forum found the claim as absurd as I did.
Or recognized the predominantly pro-Iraq war Objectivist stance, a war which has now been responsible for over 38,000 civilian causalities. http://www.iraqbodycount.net/
Or recognized arms corporations selling weapons to countries and militias with extremely poor human rights records.
Or people buying food that contains water from other countries and is destroying the ecosytem of the other countries.
Or recognized Coca-cola using 3 litres of water to make 1 litre of Coke when 1000's of people die daily from lack of access to drinking water. And Coca-cola draining water from aquifers in areas in India, and drain the local water cycle, to the point that people are struggling to have enough water to farm, and drink.
Or recognized an Oil company that continues to finance a government that aids in widespread human rights abuse.
Or recognized internet companies that provide the information of dissidents to fascist regimes, knowing it will probably result in their detention, and torture, or even death.
Or acknowledge water companies in the developing nations that are content to let the poor people who can't afford the high prices die.
Or what about Dick Cheney being part of a US administration that funded. armed and trained the Muhajideen in the 1980’s to fight the soviet.
Or what about US attempts to block international humanitarian aid to the citizens of Palestine in need of medicine and food.
Do you consider them the equivalent of murders too? Or just a person, (and movement) that is against those kinds of actions. www.indymedia.org
A point that seems to be missed by most advocates and pro-globalization activists is the following;
The fact that the 'equal' playing field championed by capitalist principles doesn't exist in reality. For example in the UK, (and - according to the business news/NGOs/WTO NGO spokesperson I spoke to today - most industrialized countries are too) the transport industry, utilities industry, technology industry, agriculture and pharmaceutical industries receive heavy subsidies, grants and loans from the government to start up, stay afloat, and stay affordable. As I'm sure you know this heavily diminishes the 'equal' playing field of capitalist principles, and has aided in the gaps between rich and poor societies throughout the world.
When true privatization (meaning no subsidies, grants, loans from governments) is implemented for water in places like Bolivia (and many other countries) the consumer costs for connection are as high as 7-10 times higher than the average monthly wage. The poor die because they cannot afford it. That kind of behaviour happens time and time again in developing countries which have been told to (truly) privatize their water supplies. That is what prompted the coca wamba poor uprising against the multinational corporation in charge of water.
This eschewed world-market that currently exists (called by myself and others globalization) is responsible for making UK farmed goods so cheap that it is cheaper for African 9and other countries) local sellers to import the goods than to buy it from local farmers.
The reality is that the EU, China, and US are economic powerhouse and don’t want to give up their prominent position in the world market and don’t want to give up their position. They continue to provide financial support for their industries despite promoting the values of free-trade, and being a part of the WTO free-trade agreements. For a developing nation to bring their dispute to the WTO they have to go up against the might of the 300+ lawyers on behalf of the US, it‘s ‘pull’ in the World Bank.
I know what your about to write; your against that, and that is why people should champion free-market principles. The reality is the economic success of the US and the UK etc, are proudly displayed and defended by you guys and other pro-free marketers as showing the advantages of free-trade, when it clearly isn’t free-trade.
If pro-capitalists were consistent, they would have to launch massive campaigns against government finance of industries. Which would mean you would have to align yourselves with the make trade fair campaign by Oxfam, and other anti-globalization NGO‘s. You would also have to denounce the effects of the government assisted economies- which would mean denouncing industrialized countries economic success. You would also have to denounce corporations that have benefited from government assistance which - I’m sure you’d agree - would be a large section of corporations. I’ve read articles on it of course - but not campaigns with the same depth and passion of attacking environmentalism, and the left. I read articles denouncing restrictions of free-trade in the form of labour laws, environment laws, etc, vastly outnumbering articles denouncing restrictions on free-trade in the forms of loans, subsidies and grants.
It is a straight-forward fact that the most ‘successful’ economies of the modern world (US, EU, China), are not examples of Capitalism, but successful state-coordinated economies, I haven’t seen this acknowledged by Pro-free marketers, much. Instead I mainly read the praises of the big business and state collusion, that are our current big 3 economies.
This is interesting - a footnote from understanding power by Chomsky (I‘m going to get flamed for that I know);
'For the British study, see Winfried Ruigrock and Rob Van Tulder, The Logic of International Restructuring, New York: Routledge, 1995, especially ch. 9. An excerpt (pp. 217, 221-222):
We assess that at least twenty corporations in the 1993 Fortune 100 would not have survived at all as independent companies, if they had not been saved by their respective governments. . . . Virtually all of the world's largest core firms have experienced a decisive influence from government policies and/or trade barriers on their strategy and competitive position. . . .
Government intervention has been the rule rather than the exception over the past two centuries. This intervention has taken the shape of all kinds of trade and industrial policies, and of a weak enforcement of competition or anti-trust regulations . . . . Government intervention has played a key role in the development and diffusion of many product and process innovations -- particularly in aerospace, electronics, modern agriculture, materials technologies, energy and transportation technology. . . . [G]overnment policies, in particular defence programmes, have been an overwhelming force in shaping the strategies and competitiveness of the world's largest firms.
See also, Michael Borrus [Co-Director of the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy], "Investing on the Frontier: How the U.S. Can Reclaim High-Tech Leadership," American Prospect, Fall 1992, pp. 79-87 at pp. 79-80 (citing a 1988 Department of Commerce study showing that "five of the top six fastest growing U.S. industries from 1972 to 1988 were sponsored or sustained, directly or indirectly, by federal investment," the only exception being lithograph services. "The winners [in earlier years] -- computers, biotechnology, jet engines, and airframes'.
The fact is - I’m sure you’ll agree - is that the state-coordinate economies (called the corporatocracy by John Perkins) of the EU, UK and China, give them an unfair advantage in the global market, that is one of the central tenets of the anti-globalization movement. It is a system where it is extremely difficult for developing nations to ‘work’ their way out of poverty, it is designed to keep the hierarchy the way it is.
The 'right' like to say that competition is healthy and good - that may or may not be the case - but the world economy doesn’t reflect that. Also what businessman/corporation wants their competitors to actually challenge them? Maybe that is why with all the US and EU talk of free-trade is sham with government financing rampant.
Here is an author’s summary of the problems of globalization;
You plunder the earth, rape her of her resources, exploit her people, and systematically disenfranchise those who disagree with you for doing all of this, calling them ‘radicals‘.
You do all this for your own selfish purposes, because you’ve developed a lifestyle that you cannot maintain any other way.
You must cut down millions of acres of trees each year or you won’t be able to have your Sunday paper. You must destroy miles of protective ozone which covers your planet, or you cannot have hairspray. You must pollute your rivers and streams beyond repair or you cannot have your industries to give you bigger, better and more. And you must exploit the least among you - the least advantage, the least educated, the least aware - or you cannot live at the top of the human scale in unheard-of (and unnecessary) luxury. Finally, you must deny that you are doing this, or you cannot live with yourself.
You cannot find it in your heart to ‘live simply so that others may live’. That bumper sticker wisdom is too simple for you. It is too much to ask. Too much to give. After all, you’ve worked so hard for what you’ve got! You ain’t giving up none of it! And if the rest of the human race - to say nothing of your own children’s children - have to suffer for it, tough bananas, right? You did what you had to do to survive, to ‘make it’ - they can do the same! After all, it is every man for himself is it not?
- Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God book 2. (I don't think he did).
Actually I’ll try to articulate (my view of) the anti-globalization movement in a few sentences (a summary remember), because you guys are unclear;
Globalization is the for profit corporation that by law have to put the profit of their shareholders above any other concern. Working conditions, benevolence, and treatment of the ecosystem is only considered a worthwhile investment if public perception is seen to support those things. If it is not there corporations have exploited, mistreated and aided killing to gain more profit. Examples are Nestle, Coca-Cola, Shell, Pfizer, Google, and many more.
Globalization is marketing which uses psychologists, obfuscation, and lies, to sell products to adults and children. It attempts to manipulate us via cultural, psychological, educational and developmental vulnerabilities. (Read No Logo by Naomi Klein). Body Shop was marketed to anti-globalization/conscientious shoppers then evidence started to come out (before the L’oreal takeover) that it was a marketing ploy and had no substance. When near identical products flood the market, marketing is used to gain more profit than your competitor.
Globalization is the consumerism and commerce that has become a central tenet that western society is shaped around, at the expense of awakening man‘s deeper sense of self and existence. The UK education system is basically a conveyor belt to employment. Remember fight club? A major movie that was based on exploring that trend.
Globalization is the unfair policies of the WTO, that create the unequal trade playing field and justifies policies that promote corporations before human and ecosystem welfare.
Globalization is the state co-ordinated economies of the developed countries.
I thought I’d also add that the large ‘corporate social responsibility’ movement has largely been thanks to anti-globalization activists against corporate harm. If it wasn’t for a movement against sweatshops, corporations would have continued to allow people to work in factories where they are beaten; forced to have pregnancy test; no health and safety, child labour, etc.
Campaigns and issues raised by anti-globalization movements like, socialists/radical left (worker mistreatment), anarchists/left (military-industrial complex/arms trade), environmentalists/eco-anarchists (environmental harm).
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.How is a white, rich, anti-globalization protester racist? In case you were wondering I’m a black, working class man, living in the inner city.
Why not protest the evils of totalitarianism? The evils of communism, socialism, of Islamo-facism?
I do protest all those things. You wouldn’t know that because I’m arguing about Globalization with you, and I’ve no need to bring up the atrocities you just mentioned because I know you denounce them. I'm sure you know that Britain and the US governments/arms corporations helped/help Islamo-facism?
Why is Saudi Arabia not part of the Bush Administration axis of evil?
You can escape corporatism. Go to CubaI cannot escape globalization, how would I get to Cuba? The only way I could escape - with no hint of mockery - is if I strip naked, float into out space and die, because quite simply our society (UK) is sustained, and ‘powered’ by Globalization.
That is a fair point - and important - but we all make mistakes, and some people make huge mistakes… Crack - I believe - is 85% addictive from the first hit.
As if someone who is a crack addict bears no responsibility to their choice to become addicted to crack?
I don’t know emotionally how you were before you found your philosophy, or where you grew up, but - as I’m sure your aware - there are some pretty messed up people out there, and many grew up in appalling circumstances.
Maybe they were beaten, raped, and severely neglected as a child, (If you’ve ever read research on rapists and serial killers, some of their lives have been so appalling it made me sick to read them). Maybe they grew up in a culture, and circumstance where it was ‘told’ to them; ‘take this and all your problems will go away’ (like marketing in general), maybe they take it and become addicted.
I’ve personally known someone for a few years who was ‘normal’ and got hooked on crack, it changes your psyche a lot. I also worked as a security guard (recently redundant) and engaged with crack addicts on a daily basis.
I know what you’ll probably write; that’s why we need to spread correct values now, to prevent things like that from happening. What about the people suffering now? Do we cast them aside because it is their own fault?
A crack/heroin addict unfortunately may be one of the 1000’s of US soldiers coming back from Iraq with psychological problems in the future. They may take it to block out the psychological effects of being in a soldier, like the drug abuse in Vietnam by the soldiers. They may be deep reasons why that person is on drugs, be thankful you haven't been through such a traumatic event that you go to sleep everynight and have nightmares, and throughout the day you have flashbacks. Maybe they don't have the support system around them, and fear the stigma of having mental health problems, maybe they slide slowly into self-prescribing drugs. We all need help, maybe they don't recieve any, and don't know how to receive any?
I suppose I'm trying to appeal to your compassion, however I know objectivism doesn't place to much emphasis on compassion. But people can have alot of pain in their life (I was almost hospitalized with depression), it can be very difficult to deal with, I hope in your personal life you try to gently and persistantly encourage them to seek help, and not denounce them as 'weak' or because their condition is 'self-inflicted' therefore 'we shouldn't waste to much time on them'. Just before you assert I'm not advocating helping other at the expense of your own happiness, the Buddhist (I'm not a buddhist) prayer 'may all beings be happy' includes youself.
On sweatshops. I don’t believe it is moral to go to a country that is where the people are starving, or to a country where there are no labour laws or aren’t enforced (China), simply so you can exploit their situation by offering them long hours and poor pay.
The possible social effects of the exploitation of the workers can lead to serious problems humanity. The breakdown of the family unit (which people in sweatshops report to NGO’s) from the long hours they have to work (16 hrs 6-7 days a week), has serious effects on society I‘m sure you‘ll agree. If you say they are free to demand better conditions, well employers in the area fire the ’troublemakers’ and blacklist them, also how much energy for organization do you think the workers have The corporations of course don’t hire these people for any benevolent reasons, it is simply to maximise profit - which I know you guys have no objection to - it is thanks to NGO’s and the outrage compassionate public, that the phenomenon has got attention and action by some companies to better conditions.
Can anyone provide me with a justification of corporate personhood consistent with Objectivist theory of rights?
I apologize for the late reply, personal difficulties.