A Conversation for The s11 Protests

Defeatist attitude

Post 1

The Oppressed Pipe of Great Magnitude(Home of 'The Adventures of Wesley Pipes')

Your attitude to the protesting was a little defeatest. Despite the WTO suggesting that they will only increase democracy, their policies are simply there to make large companies richer and keep poor countries under control so they can be easily exploited. I know you touched upon these subjects but your remark to finish the piece suggested that you are not particularly bothered by these developments. Maybe I can persuade you otherwise.

Just to use one example there is a WTO policy which states that poorer countries must use the lowest bidder for educational supplies, regardless of where the producer is based. There is a company named JazzE books who produce school exercise books and give them to schools for free. The twist is that the books are covered in advertising from companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Because these books are free the Governments of poorer countries will be obligated, under the WTO policy, to use these books. This forced advertising is not the only problem, however. These books (and other supplies) will be imported from foreign countries, meaning that the poorer countries will lose valuable industries from which they could otherwise grow. The only alternative for the Government is to allow large corporations to use and exploit their country even further, in return for payment. The people of these countries will have no alternative than to work in the sweatshops under atrocious conditions and terrible pay. When asked to comment on this a WTO spokesman remarked that these countries "should be happy with whatever they get."

The WTO shows a blatant and unapologetic lack of compassion for human life and should be halted immediately.

With regards to the media coverage of such protests I was disgusted with how much even the BBC, a public service company, were showing only the violence during the Prague demonstrations. Later I watched a documentary about the protests, which showed that only a very small section of the protesters were violent and this only went on for about ten minutes during a demonstration that lasted several hours.

It was a good article though, that I enjoyed reading.

Defeatist attitude

Post 2

R K1024-T

I'll put it this way - This entry was created by myself at a time where my ideologies and politics hadn't been totally defined. I'm still not there, and thus I don't tend to take a very proactive view about many topics at all. I tend to look at as many sides of the argument as I can, and then find cracks in the side's views. I'm damn good at that (usually, anyway), but I'm not so good in putting down my own views.

In this debate (like so many debates that tend to be highly polarised), I've noticed that neither side is completely right, just as they aren't completely wrong. Yes, many corporations are scum of the earth. But, at least at this point in time, they happen to hold the entire first world together. They provide employment to countless individuals, who in turn use the money gained to boost the economy in myriad other ways. Put simply, without the corporations, you'd not be comfortable enough to be able to turn your attention to matters like this.

And yes, there are ways of reigning in company control, although they are all rather difficult to do. One is if every country in the world chooses to put their worker's rights ahead of the corporations. It can be done, and the seeds of such a plan are being sown right now.

A second is for a total boycott of companies involved. This is even more difficult than the first. The fact is many corporations, evil as they are, provide products and services that are highly attractive. Supermarkets are one such thing. In Australia at least, the vast majority of shoppers choose to do all their shopping at supermarkets, because it's far cheaper than anywhere else. Likewise, Nike shoes are still being sold despite the widespread information on Nike's evils. If everyone in the world decided not to buy Nike products, do you know how long it'd take for the corporation to sink? I'd give it three weeks, tops. Corporations are accountable - to us, like any other commercial venture - but we as a whole choose not to exercise our control. Hell, that's why some companies use rumours and supersti

All of this is why I'm rather pessimistic about the ongoing struggle against globalisation. Yes, it can be brought down. That's easy enough, but everyone must get involved. In the last 100 years, that's happenned exactly once, during the Russian revolution. Out of all the ills and woes of society that it seems the public is up in arms about, rarely has enough public interest been generated to cause change.

And that, my friend, is what I have to say about that.

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