The Ascendant Left?


Are leftist regimes on the rise where you live? Are you witnessing a backlash against globalization? If so, is it justified and what should be done about it?

Posted by Amar C. Bakshi on March 14, 2007 10:39 AM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (75)

Jacob Jozevz: How to ABRORB MEXICO :

Which Religious "Preacher Man" said, "...Assassinate Chavez..." [Similar]?

Go Souyh Young Man Go South.

Gringo's, We need to ABSORB MEXICO. Think about it: Guatamala our new border(s), and Add 5 or 6 more states to our Flag, and NO PESO and....
Eeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaa, Jo AMERICANO's.

NOTE: Please quiz the one who a illegally and Legal mexican with this question. SEE SENIORs e SENEORITAs. Cooooooo Chiiii Pooooo CHeeeee moma moma mea, Uno Does Tress Quarto Sinko sae. Imagine the possibility's.

Tom Wonacott :

Berry

Good editorial in the New York Times on Chavez.

Tom Wonacott :

Berry

In many cases, "What goes around comes around".

Thanks for the information. I am slowly learning about ANOTHER part of the world that I know too little about.

Tom

berry, ecuador :

TOM:

Thank you for your interest in my country. Let me answer your questions:

***

Does Correa envision himself ruler for life?

Absolutely. Correa is one of those characters loaded with feelings of social resentment, ambition and predestination. As a child from a poor family, Correa always said he would become Ecuador's president someday. In high school he used to be the leader of his class; when he lost an election, he preferred to drop out of that school and began attending another, instead of staying there as a loser. He got a PhD at the University of Illinois, where he always tried to be known as the leader of Latin-American students. He failed to get a job in the United States, so he had to return to Ecuador, dragging a deep resentment against the United States, its political and economic system. Correa has been fired from every job he has had, including: finance officer for an education project with international funding, professor of a private university, and Finance Minister.

You may wonder how does he ever manage to get those jobs in the first place? Well, it is mostly a matter of his very fast tongue. And, in recent years, the support of his extremist friends such as Hugo Chavez.


***

Does the Ecuadoran military support Correa?

They have to. Correa appointed a civil woman with zero military knowledge as Minister of Defense. She died in a helicopter accident a few days after taking office. Correa abruptly accused the military commanders of "not taking enough care of her", although the investigation revealed that the Minister's imprudence had been a fundamental factor in the accident. Then, Correa appointed a second civil woman with zero military knowledge as Minister of Defense. Thus, military commanders are now as obedient as little kittens.

Similar things happened in the National Police. Correa appointed a renowned human rights activist as Interior Minister, who is the direct boss of the National Police. Then, Correa appointed and fired several Police commanders in a row, until he found someone who would be completely obedient.

This procedure has been extremely useful for the administration. When the opossition parties in Congress did anything that Correa disliked, he just used the Police as a political tool. Prosecutors appointed by Congress were harassed all over the country by mobs of Correa's supporters... and the Police did nothing, forcing prosecutors to obey Correa. The Electoral Court was assaulted by mobs of Correa's supporters... and the Police did nothing, forcing the Electoral Court to obey Correa. Then the Electoral Court decided to fire Congress members who opposed Correa's referendum; congressmen and congresswomen from the opposition were chasen, ambushed, and assaulted around the country by mobs of Correa's supporters... and the Police did nothing. Moreover, the administration sent huge numbers of Police troops to prevent congressmen and congresswomen from entering the Congress building. Gunmen shot against opposition congressmen at a local hotel, leaving several people wounded... and the Police quickly dismissed the attack as something carried out by common criminals.

Police allowed substitute congressmen into Congress after they agreed to vote in favor of Correa's proposals. Now, Ecuador's Congress has an obedient pro-Correa majority.

Tom Wonacott :

Berry

Well, my guess on the questions you pose, is that the Democratic Congress would vote for the referendum (just kidding).

There are some really interesting political shananigans going on in Ecuador. Does Correa envision himself ruler for life? Does the Ecuadoran military support Correa? I find it interesting when much of the world is swinging toward capitalism, South and Central America (some countries anyway) are swinging to the left toward more socialistic states and antiglobalism. There is a major ideological war being waged in Central and South America.

It is also very interesting that when Chavez is all over US news countering Bush's presence in South America, Ecuador can hardly get a paragraph in the main US newspapers even as Correa turns the political system upside down and is a huge supporter of Chavez.


berry, ecuador :

MikeB:

Let me talk a little bit more about Ecuador's political crisis. Referenda are truly democratic mechanisms. No discussion about that.

Now, lets assume you have the following scenario: Howard Dean wins the next presidential election. Immediately, he asks the Federal Elections Commission to call a national referendum so that American citizens answer one simple question:

"Do you approve that a Constitutional Assembly meets three months from now, with absolute power to transform the political and institutional framework of the United States of America, in accordance with the attached bylaws?"

The attached bylaws proposed by the President for the Constitutional Assembly read like this:

"- The Constitutional Assembly will have absolute power to rewrite the Constitution as well as any laws that it may consider appropriate."

"- The Constitutional Assembly will have absolute power to appoint government officials across the land, remove elected officials from office, and do whatever it may consider appropriate."

"- The number of delegates to the Constitutional Assembly will not match anything written in the Constitution nor in any electoral laws."

"- Foreigners, illegal immigrants and immates will be allowed to vote."

"- Seats in the Constitutional Assembly will be allocated by an unknown formula to be developed by the Electoral Commission."

"- The Electoral Commission, with funds provided by this Administration, will allocate media spots for each candidate. All private-party propaganda is prohibited. Candidates who make any propaganda on their own will be disqualified."

Facing this scenario, what do you think the U.S. Congress would do? Don't you think Congress would try to stop this "democratic" referendum from ever happening?

Tom Wonacott :

MikeB

That is quite a nice offer on your part. I hitchhiked to Oregon in 1977 and lived in Bend and Eugene for about eight years. Oregon is my second favorite state.

Most years, my family meets friends from Portland, Eugene and Salem in Central Oregon to camp, drink and enjoy some good times. We stayed at East Lake near Bend last year. This year is up in the air because of a busy summer, but if we do take a trip to Oregon, that might be a good time to meet.

Again, thanks for the offer.

Tom

Tom Wonacott :

Daniel

One of the results of globalization has been to bring the world's great variety of cultures into greater contact. This has promoted a resistance to change which can be seen around the world.

Maoist rebels in India are fighting the industrialization of rural India. Islamic fundamentalism is, in part, a reaction to globalization. Cultural beliefs, customs and traditions are being forced to change (and change quickly).

Because the world is changing and developing at a very fast pace, environmental activism will become a more visible issue in the future. It could become quite violent, in my opinion. Mining is a good example of the clash between environment, jobs and development. Although mining brings much needed jobs to local economies, and raw materials to the world's markets, many communities view the potential damage to the eco system as the more important issue. Currently mining, especially gold mining, is surging throughout the developing world causing conflict within local communities.

One of the bigger problems associated with globalization is the incredible pace of change and development. We discuss how computer technology is changing at a rapid pace (who can keep up with it?), but look at where the world was just thirty years ago. Globalization has literally lifted millions out of poverty and illiteracy, but has also created a clash of cultures and a natural resistance to cultural change. This will continue to be a problem for the foreseeable future.

Tom Wonacott :

Salamon

There is disagreement over the legality of the Invasion of Iraq (and I would assume, Afghanistan). Below is a very detailed report to Blair by the Attorney General of the UK discussing the legality of the invasion. The UK is subject to the International Court, but the US is not. The court will eventually decide the legality of the invasion.

British Attorney General's Advice to Blair
on Legality of Iraq War

March 7, 2003

Tom Wonacott :

Salamon

Regarding the article from the Asian Times written by Anthony Arnove. This writer at least has some credibility, and in fact, is a good article, in my opinion. Just some thoughts on what he says:

His point is well made when considering intervention in a civil war such as the Sudan. The occupation can quickly get out of control like Iraq, but there is no comparison between the situation in Iraq and the situation in the Sudan.

We've discussed the reasons to death, but we didn't invade Iraq for humanitarian reasons, or as a "peace keeping force". Our invasion was strictly for military reasons. Intervening in Sudan would be for peace keeping reasons i.e., as a peace keeping force, much like the African Union has attempted.

Anthony Arnove conveniently left out that al Beshir is also responsible for over two million deaths in the last part of the twentieth century in a genocidal war with South Sudan. How many Sudanese were displaced by that conflict? He left out half of the story of the Sudan and considering that Northern Sudan has the same leader, he left out a very important part of the story - especially since the idea of his story is to compare the Iraqi death totals with Darfur and make the case the Iraq is every bit as bad or worse, which it is not when ALL is considered.


"...In those same years, according to the best estimate available, the British medical journal The Lancet's door-to-door study of Iraqi deaths, about 655,000 Iraqis had died in war, occupation, and civil strife between March 2003 and June 2006. (The study offers a low-end possible figure on deaths of 392,000 and a high-end figure of 943,000.)..."

Of course, when it's convenient to your argument then use the highest published estimated death total. While quoting the UN in other parts of his article, he conveniently ignores the UN count (34,000 in 2006, or about 100 per day, as opposed to 355,000 in 2006 from the study he uses, or about 1000 per day). This is not to say that the high figure is not correct, only that he accepts it without reservation. In his article, he accuses some of the reverse, that is, accepting the lower death total.

"...Richard Perle, one of the neo-conservative architects of the invasion of Iraq, now says he "underestimated the depravity" of the Iraqis. Senator Hillary Clinton, Democratic challenger in the 2008 presidential election, recently asked, "How much are we willing to sacrifice" for the Iraqis? As if the Iraqis asked the US to invade their country and make their world a living hell and are now letting Americans down..."

There is no question that the Kurds and the Shia welcomed the overthrow of Saddam. They had lived under a brutal dictatorship for over twenty years. Sanctions after the Gulf War (because Saddam wouldn't comply with UN resolution 687) resulted in 1,500,000 deaths which included 500,000 children, A disproportionate amount of the suffering due to sanctions was burdened by the Iraqi Shia, the lower class citizens in Saddam's society.

That Saddam initiated two wars and gassed his own countrymen (and the Iranians) which resulted in the deaths of an additional 1,500,000-2,000,000 people is also a part of the story that Mr. Arnove also left out. The pre-invasion story is just as important as the post invasion occupation. That sum total is 3,000,000-3,500,000 dead Iraqis, Iranians and Kuwaitis which is, in part, the reason that many Iraqis did, in fact, welcome the US invasion. All those deaths are the fault of Saddam - pure and simple. In addition Iraqi Kurdistan has done quite well since the invasion took place, and they are in the process of building Northern Iraq.

The occupation of Iraq has been a huge US failure. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died as a result, but the civilians have suffered primarily from brutal civilian targeting death squads, both Shia and Sunni. Leaving early could cause a much wider conflict and humanitarian crisis.

Salamon :

TOM:

Through GOOGLE I found another source of the Article on USA and War Crimes, The Washington Times -- should be valid, for it is rught wing paper.

http://www.washtimes.com/world/20070318-121749-6686r.htm

Salamon: :

TOM:

Sorry I can not help you with the sourse of that article. Please address your Q to the Denver research group [e.mail address on POST GLOBAL's BAROMETER PAGE] for they selected the story.

It is certain that Mr. Rumsfeld the ex Secretary of Defence should not travel to Germany, and possibly the whole EU - he is charged as per the Guardian.

I do not know about the USA's foreign activities with respect to those opposing the USA government's policies, but according to various laws of the USA anybody for any reason can be a ruled as an enemy combatant - in or out of USA, according to various articles in WP or NYT - the two USA papers I read daily on the net.

Aside from the above, I read the revelant international covennats, so do not need Uk/USA/Russia press to make me decide on what is a war crime, and what actions by politicians are prima facia WAR CRIMES. All of these international laws are available on the net.

Aside from the above, I do not hold it against you that you are doing your best to defend the honour of your government and or nation -- that is rational. I do disagree with some of your views, as it is well known to you.

Salamon :

Mike B: Re Referenda by citizens

The matter of voter input through referenda is the central point of the Swiss Constitution, where the Federal government is very limited in authority, the Cantons run most things [ both levels rule ???often through Referenda]. This is the reason that Switzerland is not in EU, and many other things so dear to professional politicians.

Here in Canada in Various Provinces there were attempts to get major decisions by referenda, but the politicos always oppose the move so do their mouth pieces/'symboites, the MEDIA]. The closest we came to this level of democracy is that in most cases the leader of the major parties is selected by "party members" where mebership is counted as buying same for $5. Thus, the Alberta Premier was voted in not by Registered Progressive Conservative Party members [the RULING PARTY], but by people - of whatever political spectrum- who purchased membership, thus the right to vote.

Daniel:

Globalization to the extent that it depends on CHEAP TRANSPORT [ sea, air, rail and road] will change with the measures necessary to combat global warming / and or/ limitation on available fossil fuels..

In this regard that Australia exports Iron ore, coking coal to china, so that China can refine the ore, is a waste of TRANSPORT RESOURCES, were the resources restricted [carbon trade/shortage of fuel/etc] the low wages ADVANTAGE of China compared to Australia will disapper, and the newest technology of that time will be installed in situ to refine the ore, and create steel. [thus, no costs of transport for slag, ashes, contaminants, etc]. It is probable that such contraction of globalization will lower the relative living standards of the "advanced nations" and slow the growth of living standards of the poorer nations. You will also see less of air-express distribution of fruit from Chile, South Africa, etc - to a certain loss in our lifestyles for North America. While you may live to the end of your life on beef centred diet [if you follow the USA norm], your children will lose this affliction for raising beef is extremely energy/water dependent, far more so than fowl of any sort, pigs or fish from fish farms.

Please note, that the restriction in fossil fuel availability is not necessarily commensurate with production levels, but is also constrained by the requisite of the chemical/pharmacological/agricultural industries for feed stock [e.g. plastics, fertilizer etc].

THE ABOVE ISSUE IS NOT A LEFT RIGHT QUESTION, rather it is the question regarding the survivalibility of home sapiens sapiens.

Hope tha bove will give you food for thought.

Tom Wonacott :

To Salamon

The article that you reference is written by Sorcha Faal who, as far as I can tell, has zero credibility. One of her statements from a previous article is listed below and is a total joke:

"...Russia Urges International Red Cross To Classify US Republican Party As ‘Nazism’

Kremlin sources are reporting today that Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov has filed an ‘urgent request’ with the International Committee of the Red Cross, in Geneva, Switzerland, to classify the Political Party of the American War Leaders, called the Republicans, as a National Socialistic Movement that cannot be distinguished from the National Socialist German Workers Party of last century, and which is commonly referred to as Nazis..."

I certainly can see where you get your political thoughts from. Now, to be sure, there are a lot of people who believe that statement, and some post on this site (for example, yourself), but if the main stream US media quoted every crackpot's opinion there wouldn't be any room for "real" news or opinion.

Sorsha ends with the following statement after all of her articles:

"...[Ed. Note: The United States government actively seeks to find, and silence, any and all opinions about the United States except those coming from authorized government and/or affiliated sources, of which we are not one. No interviews are granted and very little personal information is given about our contributors to protect their safety.]..."

Somebody needs to inform Frank Rich, Bob Herbert, and the NY Times editorial staff that they are in imminent danger.

I have no idea whether this writer (of mass disinformation-WMDs) is Russian or American. Maybe you can help me out.


MikeB :

Tom Wonacott - I just read an article on the BBC with regards to Berry's post. What is going on in Ecuadore appears to be the President, Rafael Correa, has proposed a new law permitting referendums by ordinary voters, and the entrenched politican's have not only opposed this, but attempted to remove Mr. Correa. The referendum process would allow for direct voting by the voters, rather than going through the established political power brokers. Now, I don't know about you, but think referendums are about as democratic as you can get. We use them here to do everything from rolling back tax increases impossed by our idiot County Commissioners to enacting legislation that our "representatives" never seem to get around to. So, far from being a "leftist", if the BBC is to be believed, Mr. Correa is about as mainstream "American" as you can get. God help me, but this liberal finds himself thinking more and like you every day. This forum is providing a way for us to discuss issues in a civilized manner and to find common ground. Did Fareed and David plan this? I think BobL and you and I really need to get together this summer and go trout fishing on the McKenzie River. I'll invited David and Fareed, too! In October the steelhead are running and I can almsot guarrantee you all fish. And, if you bird hunt, or just want to loose 10 pounds in a hurry, we can hunt for partridge. I've got a big home and my wife is just about the most understanding person in the world, so you can stay with us. We could take photo's and post them; sort of humanizing this group a bit.

daniel :

I would like to see a greater discussion in the future about globalization as it affects all notions of right and left wing thinking. It seems in general everyone agrees that communism is not the way to go-that it will not take anytime soon if at all worldwide. But we have this process of globalization which hollows out all centralizing tendencies within nations--even if these tendencies are benign ones of certain cultural mores, etc. In other words the world seems in transition to some type of worldwide government which is suspicious of all left and right wing trends, but this future government--which must be some type of centralization as all nations have been centralized in some manner throughout history--is very unclear at the moment. Or is the future to be no centralization at all but not leftwing or anarchic or--

I suppose I have difficulty envisioning the validity of all right and left wing trends in the future as nations and civilizations run up against one another, but for the life of me I have difficulty understanding what exactly will exist and therefore I find it difficult to believe paradoxically--and horrifyingly--right and left wing trends will be discredited.--In fact I believe we will see dangerous swings to the right and left as the world grapples with globalization and tries to fuse this process into a coherant development somewhat analogous the birth of an entire new country.

Thoughts please,

Thanks, Dan

Salamon :

ORL:

Thanks for your support:

those interested in War Crimes and USA /Iraq should peruse the POSTGLOBAL ARICLE posted today:

Bush and Blair could face War Crimes charges says Internatiooanl court at:

http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/feedback/19-03-2007/88415-bush_blair-0

ORL :

Salamon is right and I totally support what he writes on international law and Iraq.

It follows from what Salamon says that the US should be held accountable, by and before the international community of nations, for the total reconstruction costs of Iraq, within a reasonable time frame, as should have been the case with Vietnam.

The problems facing the US in Iraq and the US's responsibilities in the matter, are not such that they can just be hanged... so they thus simply disappear. US loss of moral credibility will haunt the country for decades to come. No amount of blaming everybody but the true culprits in the case will ever change anything to that, as will be proven abundantly by what will be found in history books, in due course.

Salamon :

TOM W:


ACCORDING TO INTERNATIOANLA LAW [I KNOW you do not like the concept, esp in relation to Israel] the USA as an invading state is responsible for peace order and good government while in control of the invaded state. Whereas, as well known, the invasion was illegal under international law, and in as much there is no peace order or good government in IRAQ [there never was since the invasion], the responsilbility for the carnage is the responsibility of the USA.

Moreover if the Nurnberg legal precepts were to be applied to the USA [which they should be] then there would be great changes within the USA Political and Military elites, with substantial costs to the taxpayers of the USA for reparation paymewnts. Would expect that the amount would exceed the GDP of the USA in 2006.


To Mike B and Tom W:

With respect to MR. Soros, I never agreed with all his measures. He is the incarnate robber baron, somewhat similar to the Carnagie family, inasmuch as he spends lavishly on "good projects" Universities/NGO-s [in Eastern Europe] instead of Libraries. Nor do I agree with his assessment of Israel, though I know that he is of the Jewish Faith, and was a refugee from Nazi Hungary.

While he in theory follows Dr. Popper's political views, Mr. Soros is too enamoured with the great game of money making and being a MOVER AND SHAKER.

I agree with you with respect to Mr. Obama, he should keep his principles, and give up on serving the oil companies by maintaining troops in Iraq. He should also distance himself from AIPAC and any other K-street group. If he looses on Principles - so much worse for the USA. If he wins by catering to lobby groups, the USA has no chance of renewal.

Tom Wonacott :

Mike

"...what a bunch of spineless, self serving, sheep..."

There is no argument to counter the truth.

This probably sounds a little strange to you (actually, more to myself) but I have been looking seriously at Obama as a candidate because he is such an outsider to Washington's political establishment (business as usual).

Obama's "freshness" as a candidate will, however, be lost if he starts trying to please everyone (i.e., all special interest). Better to lose on "your" principals, than to win making promises you know you can't keep, or really don't support (which means he probably will lose).

In today's political environment, especially at the national level, a candidate's success is measured in the dollars you receive from those very same special interest (a special interest, more or less, is a common political objective supported by a large group of individuals with money). It is still amazing that Obama has emerged as such an unknown candidate, and has received endorsements from so many interest groups. He is a candidate for the "fed up" and there are a lot of unhappy people out there.

MikeB :

Tom Wonacott - Wonderful! I knew George Soros when he ran aound the country buying up companies, laying off the employees and selling off the assets. I fugured he had had a change if heart. Evidently not. Also, remeber Ross Perot, that daring of the independents who warned us repeatedly about just how dangerous outsourcing is, that it would wreck our economy in the end....well, guess who has setup an Indian subsidiary and outsources jobs? And Hillary takes money from the exact same corporate goons that funded Bush - "globalizers", "free traitors" all! Obama, just tonight stated that the U.S. will need to leave troops in Iraq beyond 2009. And it goes on and on. I don't think "they" get it. Unfortunately, the loosers and bedwetters tha compose the great Amercian public haven't got the slightest idea of what is going on and could care less in any event. They are so used to being served mush by the Post and New York Times and bald faced lies and right wing propaganda by Fox and lunatics that use fear and emotion and Hollywood to win campaigns, we are lost. PETA, Rush Limbaught, Fox, DNC, GOP, Hillary, Obama, Romney, McCain, various gun control nuts, MADD, NOW, NARAL, NRA. What a sick joke we have become as a people; what a bunch of spineless, self serving, sheep.

Tom Wonacott :

Salamon

"...“…Billionaire liberal George Soros has harangued the Bush administration for its supposed amorality in Iraq. But he's bought into it -- literally. Capitalist profit seems always to trump his loud leftist ideology. That might explain why Mr. Soros' management company just purchased nearly 2 million stock shares of Halliburton, the contractor formerly run by hobgoblin to the left Dick Cheney and now demonized by liberals as a war profiteer. ..”..."

There are no bounds to left wing hypocrisy.


Tom Wonacott :

Salamon

"...to your question, I only brought up the point that vietnamese were not muslims, to indicate that to the warmongering section of USA, be they Bush, Kennedy, or the Zionist neo-cons, the value of foreigners' life is silch.."

How absolutely wrong you are Salamon. Who targets and kills THOUSANDS of innocent civilians in Iraq (hint: it is not the US military)? Who bombs mosques to kill innocent Islamic worshipers? Who uses chlorine laced bombs to terrorize and kill as many innocent civilians as possible? Who straps bombs to themselves and walks to a local market picks out women, children and old people in Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries around the world and kills as many innocents as possible? Who targets a school in Chechya and kills 200 KIDS? Who kills a cripple and throws him overboard? Who kills hundreds of thousands of innocents in Darfur? Who kills and bombs innocents in Thailand? Who bombs weddings in Jordan? Who bombs nightclubs in Indonesia? Who bombs and kills innocent Kenyans?

Yes, all of that (and much, much more) is accomplished by Islamic radicals. They are the 20th and 21st century brutal killers of the innocent. Tell me again who thinks foreigners lives aren't worth "silch".

I never asked any question about Darfur, and I do not apologize for the overthrow of the brutal dictator Saddam, and, if I ever do, it certainly would not be to you or Canada, but it would be to the civilians of Iraq, who have born the brunt of the very poor planning of the war.

In addition, the US military has done an admirable job under very difficult conditions (BobL, I guess I'm at the wall again...).

Tom Wonacott :

berry, ecuador :

Sounds like another left wing government/left wing dictator in South America has decided it knows what is best for the people. The whole situation seems bizarre since President Rafael Correa was ELECTED only a short time ago.

A couple of interesting quotes from Wikipedia:

"...According to The Washington Post, Correa's adviser at the University of Illinois, Werner Baer, supports his former student. "He appreciates the market to a certain point, but he knows that the market left alone concentrates wealth," he said. "He is not going to do anything foolish... because he is a fairly open-minded person."[2]...

...When Correa resigned, polls showed he had the highest credibility of any official in the administration, with 57% of Ecuadorians saying they trusted him.[4]...

How many dictators have been educated in the US (probably by left wing professors)? I hope that he sees the errors in his thinking, and returns Equador to a system of DEMOCRATIC elections (that aren't staged). If you truly believe that your system of government is best, then you should not fear elections.

How does the military feel about these events? That is incredibly bad news. Keep us informed, as this really hasn't made much of a splash in the US press.

MikeB :

CURIOUS - They do because they are idiots. Given any week night, the great unwashed Amercican public is glued to their tubes watching such stimulating fare as Amercian Idol. You wouldn't believe the number of people who get their news from FOX or, almost as bad, ideological twits who write for newspapers like the Washington Post. Newspapers publish press releases from known liars like the Bush White House claiming all sorts of nonsense - "Surge Is Working In Iraq" or action committees claiming the illegals only take jobs that American's don't want, various pronouncements about "Gay Rights", "Fundimentalists", Catholic priest pedophiles, etc. It's all a load of cr*ap and everyone knows it, but no one does anything about it. Special interest group of fanatics round up people/voters and stuff them into single issue boxes. People like me just RAGE at people who are so self absorbed that they don't even notice that their country is being robbed, their future traded and sold, and their sons and daughters are being sacrificed so that some already wealthy muck dwelling monster can make even more money. In the end, I expect Dubai to be rather overcrowded with our wealthy and "leaders" as they flee punishment and a very angry mob. But, by then it will be too late....

CURIOUS :

MIKEB: "And, in case you missed it, the lead news articles this morning are that there are an estimated 200,000 contractors in Iraq. The main contractor is Halliburton or one of that cesspool of corporate greeds subsidiaries. These were the same cockroaches who were put int charge of Walter Reed and, IN TWO YEARS, laid of half of the medical staff and didn't spend one of dime on renovation or even upkeep. This is the same company that served SPOILED food to our troops in Iraq... etc."

Only one question: how in the world can the American population put up with that?

delljody :

One person's Left is another person's populism.

Looking at the events in Latin/Central America--and maybe the Islamist parties in the Middle East, too--the old Left vs. Right chestnut isn't very useful. These parties are anti-globalization/anti-US; but they aren't exactly socialist economies, or motivated by the old Left dogma. The seem to be fuelled more by inexact populist urges than by the old Left dogma.

Remember, too, that here in the US, the Democrats are basically the conservative party--out of Iraq, looking for a new message, save what remains of the New Deal, etc. The Republicans are now the liberals--pre-emptive war, big spending, government activism over moral issues. Big switcheroo! And one that many people don't acknowledge in our public discussions.

The real question isn't "Are leftist regimes on the rise?" The real question is "What are the 'Left' and 'Right' where you live? How do you define your own views?"

berry, ecuador :

DICTATORSHIP INSTALLED IN ECUADOR

On March 7, 2007, Democracy ceased to exist in Ecuador. Fifty seven members of the 100-person Ecuadorian Congress, representing the four opposition parties, were removed from office by a decree issued by the Supreme Electoral Court dominated by President Rafael Correa.

The Supreme Electoral Court, a body of seven political appointees, acussed those 57 members of Congress of "interfering" against a referendum called by President Correa regarding the installation of a Constitucional Assembly.

The Electoral Court has no authority to remove elected officials from office. Thus, this action was completely illegal. Moreover, the Electoral Court did not even make an attempt at giving some appeareance of due process: no accusation was filed, no hearings were conducted, no defense was allowed. Four members of the Supreme Electoral Court simply met and issued a decree removing those 57 members of the opposition from their seats in Congress.

The next day, Police prevented those members of Congress from meeting in the Congress building. From that day on, congressmen and congresswomen have been systematically attacked by mobs of President Correa's supporters, wherever they go. They have been ambushed, hit with sticks and stones, their cars destroyed, always in front of permissive Police officials who have orders "not to interfere with the people's will". On thursday March 15, gunmen shot at the congressmen and congresswomen when they met at a Quito hotel. Police officials quickly dismissed that attack as "a robbery attempt carried out by common criminals".

The press is being silenced in Ecuador. The Ecuadorian Association of Newspaper Editors asked political leaders for moderation and democratic behavior. Mr Correa called editors "a maffia" and threatened with legal action against newspapers.

Mr. Correa, a close friend of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, has promised a radical departure from "old politics". At his inauguration, he did not promise to respect the Constitution. Instead, he offered to carry out the "mandate" of those who voted for him, which he seems to interpret as a blank check to govern without regard for the rule of law.

Bernardo Montalvo
Quito, Ecuador

MikeB :

My comments in this post appear to be at odds with the subject, but they are not. That bafoon, that murderous clown, that failure as a President we got stuck with as President is now *demanding* a clean war spending bill. Ms. Rice had the gaul to go on various talk shows and claim that "the surge" was working. This in spite of the fact that suicide bombings are not just up, they are at an all time high so far this month! Now, as the parent of one son in Iraq right this minute with another one on the (he was just activated) I feel I have a right to speak and write about this. These children, MY children, are being sacrificed in a vain attempt by "the Bush team", to prevent this nausiating moroin from going down as our nations greatest failure and to cut off the gravy train of federal money flowing to companies like Halliburton. So, since I have no other way of speaking to the Congress, I'm doing it here. Cut this insane fool off. Wrap any spending bill in so much red tape that Bush and his whack job team choaks on it. Better yet, remove his ability to spend one dime on any military adventure. He is so incompetent and such a lying piece of trash that no one with any brains would trust him with the security of this country anyways. If he veto's it, so what? Bring the entire federal government to a screeching hault! If need be, a couple of million seniors missing their Social Security checks and their children hitting the pavement might just bring this madman's regime down. If not, keep it up until we have rits in the street. I really don't much care. We have slid so far away from our moral base that I don't recognize this country any longer. May, just maybe, if the people in this country were missing one of thie ridulous "entitlement" checks, they would get up off the couch, turn off Idol or whatever nonsense is popular right now, and get angry enough to get rid of the corporate and politcial swine that have so misled this country.

And, in case you missed it, the lead news articles this morning are that there are an estimated 200,000 contractors in Iraq. The main contractor is Halliburton or one of that cesspool of corporate greeds subsidiaries. These were the same cockroaches who were put int charge of Walter Reed and, IN TWO YEARS, laid of half of the medical staff and didn't spend one of dime on renovation or even upkeep. This is the same company that served SPOILED food to our troops in Iraq. This is the very same company that moved their CEO and corporate headquarters to Dubai. And this is the same company that has been paying off a sitting Vice President to the tune of TWO MILLION dollars a year while he has wrought to much evil and pain on America. These are the gods of globalization, just as the heads of the East India Company were the gods of slavery in the early 1800's. People then were told that the society wouldn't function without slaves, businesses would go bankrupt and prices soar without human chattle. But it was ended becasue it was a disgrace and none of the predicted catastrophies occurred. Globalization is no different in any way from slavery in it's evil and in it's hamr to human beings. End this menace, end the reign of the cheerleaders for it, cut the Bush's and the corporate swine who lead this evil movement off, end the wholesale profiteering in Iraq by multinational corporations, blood money made off the very guts of our precious children. Congress, you had better be listening!

Old Atlantic :

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1980

Native Revolt: A European Declaration of Independence Fjordman Brussels Journal. We need that here.

Salamon :

Tom W:

To your question of Darfur, a far better answer than I could give:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IC20Ak01.html

Salamon :

TOM W:

to your question, I only brought up the point that vietnamese were not muslims, to indicate that to the warmongering section of USA, be they Bush, Kennedy, or the Zionist neo-cons, the value of foreigners' life is silch, when such foreigners do not kiss the respective presidential A**; they just equate an with another word with EVIL [Shia, Sunni, Cong, Korean slant eye, Panaman drug runner, Grenadan commie pig, etc]. Once this NEW EQUATION IS ESTABLISHED, then the human right transgressions do not count, and the ELITE of the USA can properly address other human right abuses, for their hands are clean. LOL.

BOBL VA

You might have reason to regret that the USA has such an ignorance of worldly affairs that a few war mongers can turn an otherwise very decent nation with mostly decent leadership into the most efficient murdering machine of the late XX-early XXI- century; however, personally you are not responsible, neither is Tom W [whose views on Israel I appose], nor most of the bloggers on WP.

It is unfortuante that the idea of democratic government decision can taint the whole nation in a collective quilt [basicly a USA Jurists' notion at Nurnberg], while the converse is also true, that a magnaminity of a democratic governemt reflects on the great morality of the citizen [e.g.; Marshall Plan].

Tom Wonacott :

Salamon

"...This USA designed and executed carnage is the greatest since the Vietnam War, anotyher fine example of USA concern for human rights -- The VIETNAMESE WERE NOT EVEN MUSLIMS!!!..."

I am interested in exactly what you mean by the last part of that statement.

BobL-VA :

Tom,

Yes, I agree Islamic Nations are varied. Some are more stable then others. With stability comes a certain amount of moderation. However, all of them in one form or another sponsor violence. Whether it's donating money or having it's citizens recruited for violent uses. Hence, all Islamic countries have a significant enough right wing element to continue their preceived struggles. This has been going on for over 30 years and is likely to continue. That's why I used the term inevitable conflict. "The insurgency is in it's last throes," Dick Cheney, was a ridiculously stupid statement based on history. It assumes we have the ability to eradicate a significant religous and politcal minority position in the Islamic world.

I have stated previously in this forum fighting a war on terror makes about as much sense as Caligula declaring war on King Neptune. It is very difficult to engage in any meaningful conflict against shadows. This is not to say Islamic extremists, fundamentalists, terrorists or whatever you want to call them shouldn't be brought to justice for violent against. They should be. However, they should be treated as the criminals they are. Nations should be held accountable for the coordinated acts by these fundamentalists.

Afghanistan is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. The Taliban aided and abetted OBL. They were well aware of who and what he was and supported him anyway. Our response should have been to 1. tell all non-citizens of Afghanistan to leave the country immediately. 2. Give the Taliban 72 hours to turn over OBL and whatever members of his organization that were in Afghanistan at the time. 3. Apologize to the United States and sign an agreement allowing UN inspectors unlimited access to Afghanistan to monitor for any future groups that would cause any western nation harm.

In lieu of any of these conditions not being met we should have declared war against them and started an air and missile campsign designed to force the people of Afghanistan to comply. If this meant leveling Kabul so be it. If this meant operating orders along the lines of everything and everyone in the country is considered an enemy combatant and is fair game for military strikes to force the Afghans into compliance then we should have done it. (see I'm not against force when there is a clear reason and it forces capitulation)

I am however against boots on the ground as I believe it only fosters more resentment against the west. The west certainly understands and has a long history of violent behaviour as does the Islamic world. It certainly is a legacy we both have in common. Islamic States need to know we will not tolerate State sanctioned violence against the United States. The costs for any such State sanctioned violence will be to horrific to allow.

DAB :

yOU CAN SEE THE TREND AROUND THE WORLD EVEN IN THE U.S. PEOPLE ARE ATTRACTED TO POPULISTS (IE. BARRACK OBAMA). tHEY ARE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE LIKE TR OR AJACKSON TO STAND UP FOR THEM. REDISTRIBUTE THE WEALTH MORE FAIRLY. NOBODY FEELS LIKE GLOBILIZATION IS WORKING FOR THEM UNLESS THEY ARE IN THE TOP 10% TAX BRACKET.

Shashank Shekhar (Doha) :

I come from a state in India which faces one of the worst forms of leftist violence. Jharkhand a state in Eastern India has been facing a problem of naxalites. Naxals have killed many in the past -- including police personnels. As a journalist, I have also witnessed the immediate aftermath of a landline blast which had the naxals behind it.
I believe, the solution to a 'left oriented' extremist violence has to be two dimensional.
You neeed a strong administrative set up to tackle the problem with force and then you need ample social activities in the region that makes people involved with left ideologised organisations to develop self confidence.
The problem --it's a problem only if the left oriented organisation concerned has been using violent means-- cannot be tackled simply with force because you are basically tackling ideologies.

Tom Wonacott :

BobL

That anonymous post is obviously from me.

Anonymous :

BobL


Your question to me was what policies should we put in place to face the challenge of Islamic resistance to globalization? I would be interested in your answer. For example, if, as you say, conflicts are "inevitable", why are they inevitable? What do you think we can do to prevent them?


Expanding on what I said earlier, Islamic societies are as varied as Western societies, and certainly people within their countries have a variety of beliefs regarding democracies, tyranny and western culture as well as the role of Islam in government and law.


Should the US continue to support relatively moderate regimes (albeit dictatorships) like Egypt and Pakistan with foreign aid and other means (military support, for example), or should we just let Islamic countries determine their own future without any interference or intervention? In other words, does western civilization need to try to prevent radical Islam from expanding its role/rule in the Muslim world? And, as you asked me (and my answers were feeble), how?

PS Sorry to see VCU lose. They came back to eliminate Duke in the first round, and that was a great win.

BobL-VA :

Tom,

If history teaches us anything it is real fundamental change normally occurs within a society and not by external pressure. There are some notable exceptions like Germany in WWII. However, it was such a short historical period we will never know whether the German people themselves would have overthrown Facism if given the time.

Whether the Islamic Nations like it or not the technology that is accelerating globalization isn't going away. Their populations will be exposed to more and more western concepts and ideas as well as goods and services as time goes on. Some of this change the Islamic countries will see as positive and some of it they will see as very negative. China, which has been a closed society, is experiencing the same issues today. However, China isn't going around blowing up buildings in the US.

What is facing our nation over the next 50 to 100 years is how we're going to respond to these changes and the inevitable conflicts that will arise. Since I hold human life sacred as well as sovreignty I would argue deadly force against other nations should only be used as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted and failed. (no, I don't believe we exhausted our options with Iraq and I don't care if the UN voted for 9,000 resolutions)

Salamon,

As an American I detest using force to impose our will over ill thought out foreign policy. Yes, we are guilty of very bad judgment and even though I argued against the use of force and to this day don't agree with what we've done I'm still an American. I'm guilty by association. Please accept my apology. Not all Americans believe it is right or just to kill, torture and illegally imprison other human beings.

Salamon :

TOM W:

your analysis in last two letters is quite reasonable. but for a small error:

You talk of human right violations, and that the USA should step in if serious enough. Perhaps 10 years after the Iraqi fiasco is over, the USA might [though may not] be again in position to discuss, morality, human rights etc. Til then hold yioour peace with other countries.

Since the First Gulf War, THE USA CONTRIBUTION TO HUMAN RIGHTS with sanctions, constant bombings, no fly zones, depleted Uranium ammunition, phosphorus boms etc with in excess of 1000 000 needlessly dead, 2 and 1/2 million displaced, This USA designed and executed carnage is the greatest since the Vietnam War, anotyher fine example of USA concern for human rights -- The VIETNAMESE WERE NOT EVEN MUSLIMS!!!

Tom Wonacott :

BobL

The greatest resistance to change comes from cultures with strong religious beliefs and traditions, so its is not surprising that there is a backlash from Islam (and for that matter Christianity).

Relatively minor incidents have led to massive demonstrations, rioting and murder. Those include the Pope incident, the false story of the Koran being flushed down the toilet and a play that depicted Allah in a blasphemous way. Obviously, there is a perceived lack of respect toward Islam within Islamic countries and within immigrants to western countries.

In addition Muslim societies have been criticized for women's rights, human rights (etc.), Sharia law, spreading fundamentalist hate literature, theocratic leadership and a lack of democratic governments.


I am short on answers (and US policies), though. One possible solution is to leave Islamic countries alone (as Bin Laden wants) except (maybe) in instances of gross human violations such as in Sudan. Maybe, we shouldn't push for equal rights in societies that don't want them. The idea of democratizing the Middle East may be ill conceived from a cultural point of view(?) (that is hard for a right winger to say 10 times really fast).

Some of the biggest disagreements occur, however, within Islamic societies themselves as moderates clash with radicals over policies (Iran, Saudi Arabia etc.). There are many moderate, secular, Islamic countries such as Indonesia, Turkey and Pakistan.

Whatever policy the US and other western nations formulate, we have to hope that the moderates within Islamic societies eventually prevail.

BobL-VA :

Tom Wonacott,

As the flaming liberal I am I happen to think there is a great deal of substance in your last post.

I've never thought Israel alone was responsible for the El Qaeda attacks against America. I've never thought our foreign policy in other areas was entirely responsible either.

Our entire culture clashes with the religous and cultural "traditional" sensibilities of the Muslim world. Our foreign policy has clashed. Our business practices have clashed and our way of life has clashed. Even if we didn't support Israel there would still be a large percentage of the Muslim world that would resent us for our spreading our brand of "immorality."

Invasions and occupations reinforce and add to the deep resentments that already exist. It's not bad enough we're trying to pollute their cultures from outside, but now we're trying to do it from within as they see it.

Assuming we're in agreement over this assessment it brings us right back to the globalization issue. Since the world is getting smaller the Muslim world is going to be increasingly exposed to social and cultural issues, ideas and practices they find repulsive. (How many Muslim men like sitting down and negotiating with Condi Rice?)

It very easily could be future clashes are inevitable and will be ongoing for some period of time. If this is going to be the case we need to develop a policy to effectively deal with what will go on short of demonization and significant military intervention. Your thoughts.

Raleigh, North Carolina :
Tom Wonacott :

PG

Globalization has not only increased trade between developing countries and Western civilization, but has also promoted a clash of civilizations because the world is becoming "smaller and smaller" due to globalization.

Dinesh D'Souza is certainly not in the mainstream of thought, but his ideas are worthy because its an attempt to explain the Muslim reaction to the imposition of Western values (mostly American) on the world's population:


"...Contrary to the common liberal view, I don't believe that the 9/11 attacks were payback for U.S. foreign policy. Bin Laden isn't upset because there are U.S. troops in Mecca, as liberals are fond of saying. (There are no U.S. troops in Mecca.) He isn't upset because Washington is allied with despotic regimes in the region. Israel aside, what other regimes are there in the Middle East? It isn't all about Israel. (Why hasn't al-Qaeda launched a single attack against Israel?) The thrust of the radical Muslim critique of America is that Islam is under attack from the global forces of atheism and immorality -- and that the United States is leading that attack.
Contrary to President Bush's view, they don't hate us for our freedom, either. Rather, they hate us for how we use our freedom. When Planned Parenthood International opens clinics in non-Western countries and dispenses contraceptives to unmarried girls, many see it as an assault on prevailing religious and traditional values. When human rights groups use their interpretation of international law to pressure non-Western countries to overturn laws against abortion or to liberalize laws regarding homosexuality, the traditional sensibilities of many of the world's people are violated..."

Shiloh brings up an interesting point from an earlier post:

"...By right wing I mean....rise of far rigt wing religious fundamentalism in at least two major groups: Christian and Islamic..."

Clearly, the rise of the Christian right as a voting block in the US is a response (on a smaller and much less deadly scale) against what it sees as a break down of our society on moral issues.

From D'Souza's point of view, the elimination of burkas or head scarves is exactly the wrong policy to integrate Muslims into European society (and I agree). Likewise, people in the US should not expect immigrants from Mexico to become "Americanized" overnight. Many immigrants incorporate their new culture quite easily, and many resist changing their customs and beliefs.

As many people of the world are lifted out of poverty, starvation and illiteracy as a result of a globalized economy and industrialization in the developing world, one of the main problems is the resistance to cultural change.

berry, ecuador :

What is left and what is right? It depends on where you stand.

In Quito, Ecuador, I pay $75 per month to a private company for a permanent 128 kbps internet connection. Just a couple of years ago I had dial-up access; I used to pay $40 to the ISP company, and $100+ per month in telephone bills to a goverment-owned company.

The broadband internet company is making lots of money. The government-owned telephone company is bankkrupt. Ecuador's government gives this company some 70 million per year just to keep it in operation.

Now, what is left and what is right?

LEFT: Those who support the goverment-owned company. They are usually the employees, executives and suppliers of the company, and some politicians. Their message goes like this: "This XXXX company embodies Ecuador's sovereignity, it belongs to our nation. Those private companies are unfair competitors who exploit consumers, steal our jobs. Moreover, they belong to foreigners -which is not necessarily true- and take their profits out of this country. We must, as a nation, stop this".

RIGHT: Those who support the private company, usually its owners, executives and employees. And, obviously, consumers. Although there are loud complaints about pricing schemes and service quality, at least this company -and many others- are giving consumers what the government-owned company never did: products and services consumers want.

In Ecuador, as in many other parts of Latin America, the left is on the rise. No doubt about it. The "neoliberal" trend of the 80s (privatization, deregulation, decentralization, fiscal restraint) has been reversed. Governments are now taking steps to gain greater control on such diverse sectors as oil, mining, telecoms, electricity, roads, banks, supermarkets, ports, airports, agriculture, fisheries. Old populist practices are back, such as imposing "political" prices (prices below cost) for food, electricity and road tolls.


BobL-VA :

MikeB,

Ah, the illegal cheating argument. It's kind of gone on since Adam and Eve. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to justify it, only trying to put it in historical perspective.

Public information on individuals is fair game for anyone who wants to spend the time collecting it. They have the right to sell any such data bases collected this way any way they desire.

Private and confidential informatio is another story. No has the right to sell this information and/or disseminate it without the persons consent. It's a crime. It's illegal and should be prosecuted. Look up the Privacy Act.

Now, does it astonish me private and confidential lists of medical records, credit information, social security numbers and even banking records are being stolen and sold to the highest bidder? Unfortunately, no it doesn't. I'd be astounded if this didn't happen human nature being what it is. A small percentage of individuals will always break the law for personal gains. It has been that way since the beginning of time.

You are absolutely right to worry about the Orwellian nature of such activity today. 25 years ago this mass data mining wasn't even possible. Today almost anyone can do it. The computer I'm typing on has more power then the entire Pentagon had in 1980.

Now under Bush/Cheney and the Homeland Security nonesense we're even at greater risk. The mandate is to have all of the computers to be able to talk to one another. From law enforcement to Motor Vehicles to Medical Records, etc. etc. etc. We're in the process of setting up a system where everyone needs papers and everything about as person can be pulled up on computers within seconds. Will this system, which has been hastily put together, lead to horrific abuses? It already has if you've been following the FBI personal information case. Will it get worse? Yes. The systems are being put in place that will make it ripe for abuse.

I'm sure you've come to understand I'm a fairly liberal person. I liked the relative freedoms we enjoyed in this country throughout most of my life time (56 years old). Today these freedoms are shrinking rapidly and the rhetoric to support these shrinking freedoms (non interference from government) make me sick.

This whole process has been accelerated because a group of wingnuts really believes Islamic Fundamentalists will continue to blow up buildings and people in the US. Hmmmm, the last time they did it 2 Muslim countries have fallen and are now being occupied by US forces and a million or more Muslims will be dead because of it. Do the math. For every 5,400 dead Americans (troops included) 1 million dead Muslims. They run out of people long before we do.

I'm glad I'm 56 and considering retiring in a couple of years. I'll move to Mrytle Beach and play golf and do a little fishing. Hopefully, Social Security won't go broke before 2030. As for the data mining/illegal usage issue I'll just shake my head in disgust when the government has to issue new id numbers to every citizen because you'll be able to buy people's names, social security numbers, addresses, tax records over the internet.

Old Atlantic :

If we stop all immigration and stop know-how transfer, what is left of globalization can be somewhat positive.

Currently globalization means that those in a position to sell the future of the rest for their personal profit are the ones to make the decision. This is Wall Street M and A, universities, Congress, etc.

They scoop up profits for themselves by selling out the future of the rest. To do this, they use society's stability and convert it to their personal benefit. This is what elites have done always, and why governments, monarchies, empires, civilizations, or even just corporations fall. What has been built up is sold by those in power, thus converting the work of generations or others to their benefit.

The worst parts of globalization always relate back to those in power using their position to sell out the human infrastucture of society for their short term profit. This is true of Roman globalization as much as that of today.

Anju Chandel, New Delhi, India. :

A very disturbing phenomenon is developing in India. The 'Left' parties - one of the major allies of the coalition government at the center - themselves do not know where they stand on the issue of globalization. On the one hand they do not let go any opportunity to thrash the government on issues of increasing FDIs in various sectors, and at the same time they are propagating a very inhuman kind of globalization policy in one of the 3 states governed by them.

In West Bengal, the Left government is hell bent on protecting interests of the foreign players and for that they are shamelessly engaging into cheating, robbing and even killing poor and innocent citizens and gifting away their entire valuable possessions - their priceless land - to the foreign investors.

If someone is still ignorant about the Left's contradictions and conflicts in India, then please log on to the websites of leading newspapers and news channels like - timesofindia.com, hindustantimes.com, ibnlive.com, ndtv.com - and see for yourself the terror being perpetrated by the Left on fellow citizens in the name of economic development through globalization.

Yousuf Hashmi :

In Pakistan apparantly you will not find any leftist forces on rise or even visible on horizon.
Even Pakistan Peoples Party of Bhutto which was once the champion of socialism and workers rights is changed its agenda completely and now adminstered by the right wing forces

There is one indicator which can predict the rise of leftist forces, and that is the difference between rich and poor.

The differe of rich and poor in south east asia is definately rising. One of my freind
from Denmark once told me that in Europe they are maintaing a ratio of 1:30 between maximum and minimus earnings.

In our region these studies still far away, and if the trend of short term benefits continue then we can definately see the gap will be increasing fast and spontaneous reactions may emerge. This is of course just a hypothetical analysis.

This is a fact that inspite lot of fears and suspicions south asia is benefiting from the globalizations. So you will find no immidiate threat of backlash.

But the wise and far sited governments should start thinking long term measures to reduce the poverty line.

To narrow the gap between rich and poor and providing social relief to deprived people in my opinion is the solution to stop leftist forces to organize and emerge.

MikeB :

BobL-VA - I received an intersted telephone today from a newspaper reporter in regards to this. You see, Amercian corporations are offshoring their databases to India because they are beyond he reah of U.S. law. Those databases contain information that is combed from newspaper, court records, and a variety of other sources. Much of it is supposedly sealed under U.S. law and other pieces of information have termination dates - things like under 18 (and, in some states, under 20) driving records, health records for your entire family, marriage records, etc. Much of this information is illegal to even collect, muc less us, under U.S. law. However, it IS kept in those Indian databases, and, with one telephone call or a fax, a U.S. company can gain access to all of it. Ever wonder why your credit rating goes down if you have a "medical condition" or your child or spouse has a "medical condition"? Been turned down for a job? It might just be becasue you wrote a letter to the editor on a subject the potential employer didn't like or you expressed an opinion that is construed as anti-business. Sometimes those databases contain inaccurate or just plain wrong information, they might even contain invented information placed there by someone or some employer who doesn't like you, and your ability to ever challenge it is non-existant. It is entirely up to the whim of whoever owns that database. Your instant global communications is a two edged sword, with a lot of danger attached. I maintain still, and hope to convince you, that globalization is dangerous and we either gain the ability to regulate it and oversee it completely, or we "opt out" and end it.

holyworrier :

"regimes"..? Piss off.

BobL-VA :

Globalization is in it's infancy. Technological advances in communications and transportation ombined with better education around the globe have made it a force to be reckoned with. In the anals of history unprecedened amounts of goods, services and people are moving internationally on a daily basis. This trend is only showing growth. In essence the world is becoming smaller and smaller each day.

Does globalization benefit everyone? Of course not. There will be winners and losers. Is globalization fair? Of course not. Fair has nothing to do with it. Economics are the driving force to globalization today.


Technology has spurred globalization and anyone who thinks technology will stop adancing and globalization will hold steady or weaken will certainly be one of the losers in globalization. Love it or hate it as you have every right to do, but make no mistake the world is going to become a lot smaller in the future. This chat is proof we can communicate at will today around the globe and often do. That was virtually impossible to do 10 short years ago.

Wayne Ryerson :

Globalization is a disaster for the world and the environment, the only ones benefiting are the corporations, some corrupt leaders and a few wealthy individuals. The poor are getting poorer and are working in deplorable conditions of slave labor. I think people are slowly waking up from their TV stupor in the US but it will be a long while before we can get the left really moving in this country. We no longer have a 2 party system here or a democracy, we have rich conservatives called democrats and rich ultra conservatives called republicans. I will not vote for any of the people running in our elections as they have all sold out, when people start having some backbone and integrity I will vote again. Peace

MikeB :

Accept my apologies for this lengthy post. I am doing so in response to the abysmal lack of knowledge by some of our conservative brethren with regards to business and corporate models and history. This is merely an attempt to educate them in as abbreviated a manner as possible.

A corporation is a quasi-legal citizen of various states. Corporations are not mentioned in the Constitution and modern version have no legal standing under federal law. The corporations that were chartered by the federal government existed for the public interest and had an established “sunshine” provision of 40 years or until the death of the original grantor of the charter. The same applied to state chartered corporations and were closely monitored by government. A corporation, moreover, could not exceed the bounds set by the original charter. Investors in corporations were also granted and equal say in the governance of the corporation. Corporations were, thus, avoided by the monopolies established by John D. Rockefeller, the Standard Oil Trust, and Andrew Carnegie limited partnership model used for his steel companies. Due to the excesses and noncompetitive nature of these monopolies the Sherman Anti-trust Act was passed into law and used to break up these monopolies. Rockefellers answer was to literally shop various states, offering money in return for rewriting the corporate law; the so-called “enabling” laws. The most permissive of these was in Delaware, where even today more than half of all U.S. corporations are registered.

Even under the Delaware charter, however, the board and corporate officers remain responsible for the actions of the corporation. The charter, creating the quasi-citizen, makes them the legal guardians of this new citizen, and they are legally and financially responsible for it and, as a consequence, for the actions of each other when acting under the corporation. And, until recently, mergers with other corporations, leveraged buyouts, and many other business practices, taken for granted now, would have been illegal because it exceeded the original state granted charter.

In the 1980’s, foreign governments began offering corporate charters based on the American model. They did so as a revenue source. This developed into a bidding war, with these governments offering fewer and fewer restrictions on charters and corporate activities. Following the Republican takeover of Congress, as series of laws was passed, in reaction to this, removing board members and corporate executive from being held responsible for actions of the corporation. It is this legal cover that permitted, for example, Enron’s board members receiving stock options and other compensation, but dodging any responsibility for the actions of the corporate officers they were supposed to be overseeing. However, the investor suits resulting from that and other fiasco’s led to corporations re-chartering the corporation, that quasi-legal citizen, to foreign countries – the “multinational” corporation. It has also spawned efforts by some politician’s and states to restrict liability suits, and especially class action lawsuits, against corporate entities, in a desperate attempt to hold onto some of the tax revenues traditionally paid by corporations.

Another modern trend has been for dual charters, one in the U.S. (usually Delaware) for a small U.S. subsidiary and the other, the main corporate entity, in a foreign country with little or no corporate oversight. This has permitted corporation to offshore goods and services, producing them out-of-country, but bring them back to the U.S. duty free by the mere fiction of transferring ownership of the raw materials and finished good between the U.S. corporation and the foreign corporation.

Multinational corporations, by virtue of their size and assets, have had a significant impact on governments and policy. Small governments provide blanket immunity from prosecution for corporate and personal actions of any sort, dropping restrictions of environmental law, tax avoidance, and various forms of blackmail. For example, when governments have attempted to force multinational pharmaceutical corporation to license drugs or to make them less expensive, they have threatened, and actually delivered on that threat in several instances, to withdraw from the market. Similarly, technology giants like a major manufacturer of computer operating systems have been able to prevent disclosure of software internals by variously withholding software and hiding behind a series of legal straw men.

Another recent, and typical example is the testing services done to gage state compliance with the No Child Left Behind law. The original company was a small American software firm. This past summer, however, it was purchased and taken over by a corporation based in India and one of the chief advocates of outsourcing. Now, many states have laws preventing the use of public funds for outsourced jobs. The answer, from the corporation has been to withhold test results and a series of other actions in a blatant form of blackmail to get the states to change their laws.

Multinational corporations are actively engaged in a whole series of anticompetitive and illegal activities ranging from laws banning unionization, trade with interdicted governments (like Burma and North Korea), interference in electoral processes (as with illegally proving campaign support for candidates in countries like the U.K., Swede, Spain, Germany), paying bribes and providing other funds to dictators, relaxed environmental laws, etc. In the past four years, multinational corporations have begun to act like independent governments, replete with treaties and ambassadors.

“Globalization” is solely an invention of these multinational corporations and is nothing more than a transparent attempt to impose their corporate model on whole populations, pitting the citizens of one country with those of another for jobs and human rights. Thus, I would maintain, globalization is not inevitable. It is merely the latest in a series of forms of government and is so obviously self destructive that it is entirely predictable that they cannot last. The only question is, how much damage are they going to inflict on the world before they are consigned to the ash heap of history.


Ali, Tehran :

Bravo YNOT. Well said.

USA is proving to be on its way to be another Middle Eastern country like Iraq or Egypt or Syria....decline of personal liberties, Big Brother, family rule of presidency, us-and-them in simplified politics, intolerance of other political thought, ..... I can go on and on.

MikeB :

I don't know where the notion that globalization is inevitable comes from but suspect that it is merely part of the campaign by the free traitors. I mean, those people made the notion that prices are lower asa result of globalization when manifestly they are not. Too, they have spread the lie that illegal immigrants only take jobs that no American wants (or no Britain or German, if you happen to live n those countries and the illegal is from African or the Middle East). The disgraceful truth is, globalization benefits no one but corporations and corporate officers and investors - the already wealthy. Corporation, in their present guise, are a recent development, since the 1980's, and they are only able to exist in this country because we have not enforced the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. I am pretty convinced that most of you will not listen to me but I tell you that the global economy and the business model supporting it and Western civilization are incompatable. In the near term, we face rising inflation as Amercian companies that outsourced manufacuring sell their goods and services into the U.S. for ever greater profits. Rising unemployment and under-employment will follow as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow. Our future is one of chaoes and poverty followed by demigods that will promise quick fixes that will lead us to increasing government controls, more ill conceived military adventures, war, and economic and social collapse. The blame for this falls squarely on people like Roy and Bill Gates and George Bush, ignorant, unpatriotic, and amoral clodhoppers, with no thought for anything beyond tomorrows dividend check.

captainjohann, BANGALORE, INDIA :

Globalisation is a word coined by the capitalists to cover their Greed for exploting cheap labour from Asia and cheap raw materials from Africa/Middle east while the west exports Greenbacks and Arms.
America must export its technology which built SEARS TOWER/ empire state building etc nearly 30 years back so that land starved Asian regions can have these type of skyscrapers.USA believes in exporting arms only instead of exporting road building technology which stays for years, internet technology,cheap communication technology,Rail/air transport technology ,clean drinking water technology along with KFC,COKE,PEPSI,MACDONALDS etc.Its mind works in subduing nations by force for their OIL as in iraq/Iran/venezula. It doesnot SHARE its knowledge with south americans but it wants to subdue a small nation like CUBA by sanctions instead of TRADING WITH IT .why only Brazil for ethanol/ why not Cuba?
The Jehadies hate Americans because it is written in their holy book to hate christians,jews and idol worshippers.But why French,germans,many asians countries also hate americans?The Chinese are the most benefiited nation from trade with americans. do they hate or like americans? Here lies the answer.

BobL-VA :

MikeB,

Globalization is a fact of life today. The days of "colonizing" other nations for the express purpose of overtly exploiting their populations and raw materials have all but come to an end.

Nationalism is also still a fact of life today. Pride in one's country whether logical or not is still a very significant motivating force around the world today.

These two forces are often at odds with one another. What's good for globalization may or may not be good for a particular country. Your analogies of bringing in cheaper skilled workers into this country (brain drain) is an example. Multinational corporations are looking for a competitive edge and profits. National corporations are looking at the same issue. In most cases they will do what's in the best interest of their bottom line with little regard to individuals. That is business and it is also a fact of life.

The United States has put itself in a very uncomfortable situation over these issues. On one hand we're running around the world preaching democracy, capitalism and free trade and then on the other hand complaining when these concepts don't turn out in our short term national interest.

Personally, I think globalization will only expand as technology improves. It's obviously heading in that direction. Hence, if one believes this is the case wouldn't it behove us or any other country) to plan accordingly? I'm not sure right or left leaning regimes will really have much of an impact in the long run as I believe market forces will prevail.

Tom Wonacott :

To PG

Economic globalization has been responsible for lifting millions of people out of poverty worldwide. There is much opposition to globalization especially from western countries that have seen jobs outsourced to other countries primarily over the last 40 years. Cheaper labor gives developing countries an unfair advantage especially in the manufacturing sector.

Overall, the world has benefited greatly from increased trade between developing countries and the West, however, an interesting affect of globalization is cultural.

An interesting article in the New York Times this morning highlights an attack by Maoist rebels in India against police. The Maoist are fighting Industrialization which they say exploits and displaces poor, rural Indian people at "the hands of the rich...". In Europe, immigration, but not integration, of Muslims has led to increasing unrest and the election of more right leaning governments in some countries. In the US, there is a growing backlash against immigration of Hispanic people from Mexico and Central America. Many people feel that immigrants are not really integrating into American society.

Cultural globalization appears to be lagging behind economic globalization as people try to retain some semblance of their heritage in a world that is changing at the speed of light.

Zoltan :

"Are leftist regimes on the rise where you live?"

This is always funny: "left" and "right" mean different things in different parts of the world. For example, where would you class the Chinese government ? Or the Iranian ? Or Hillary Clinton ? Or François Bayrou ?


"Are you witnessing a backlash against globalization?"

That's for sure. And more is to come. Fortunately, as Salamon said, globalisation is due to low transport costs and that will automatically end with rising oil prices, coming with the depletion of fossil hydrocarbons.


"If so, is it justified and what should be done about it?"

I see 2 main problems with globalisation, and they can be addressed by a single measure.

1) pollution: making a T-shirt in a country 10000 km away when it can be made locally is a waste of energy.

2) competition between people in stead of cooperation: when people in some countries work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, there is no way to compare that to what we wish in our countries. That leads to massive rural emigration, huge differences in wealth between those that are able to cope with that world and those that can't/don't want, and ultimately to resent, frustration and fear.

The way to cope with it is to juggle financial globalisation: money made in one country should not be easy - or free - to move around. As simple as that. It would limit outsourcing of jobs, financial speculation, offshore paradises... And what's more, it would harm dictators and terrorists!!!



hvrds :

State terrorism from supposed leftists or rightists is still facism.

Why make a distinction when the probelm is facism.

The propensity of states to protect itself for the benefit of the top of the human food chain. Corporations and the so called collective bureaucracies are command economies with no democracy.

The experiment in liberal democracy is at risk simply because we have turned ideas of free trade into a fundamentalist religion for corporate beings to fashion and utilize to defend their monopolies.

Adam Smith and Thomas Jefferson would be turning in their graves at the abject distortion of their theories turned into an orthodoxy by the owners of capital.

In that sense Milton Freidman was right. The consciouness of the free markets will always correct things with serious consequences for those who do not listen to the warning signs.

Joel E. :

Anonymous :
The comments here would be funny if they weren't written in all seriousness. We've had "globalization" from the day one man sold a good to another across a river; meaning its been around for thousands of years and will never stop.
====================================

Very true, and those were the days, weren't they.

Today we have globalism that involves slave labor in China. Today we have globalism with countries that have very sophisticated double plays on the international economic front that enables domestic programs as well as international programs. Today we have countries that have lower wage rates while dealing with a job in a atmosphere that is so totally polluted it kills people before they become 45. Today we have countries that will deliberately reduce end pricing below the cost of production to hammer an industry in another country with an intent to capture a manufacturing market. On, and on.
=========================
We don't have a fluid working economic system the front office can jiggle pretty much as they please. We don't even have an economic system that can be jiggled by the President, or a board of economic advisors.
-----------------
We need, and don't have, a way that an overseers group can see X country making a product and 'dumping' it in our country, and then adjust for it.

We need, and don't have, a way to see non-competitive economic devices being applied against the United States, and way to deal with those unfair competitive moves.

We need, and don't have, any way at all to make sure OSHA regulations are complied with in companies supplying goods to this country.

We need, and don't have, a way for a board to look at our internal processes and say this is an unfair economic move and that overseeing should be at the Union Level, and the Corperate level.
==============================

All of this and more!! And until it is moved into place, we cannot sucessfully compete in a 'global' market without seriously damaging the owners of this country: the American People.

Salamon, Canada :

THE QUESTION: "Are leftist regimes on the rise where you live? Are you witnessing a backlash against globalization? If so, is it justified and what should be done about it?"

The Question poses two problems, problems which are not necessarily connected:
1., Globalization pro or anti?
2., Is it left or right Government?

GLOBALIZATION is an economic process aided and abeted by the INTERNET and CHEAP TRANPORTATION [on a global scale, allowing production savings to be realized notwithstanding costs of transport]. The Internet permits and assists in instanteneous transmission of design, finance and human resource contact [be it the enterpreneur, the capitalist, the bank, the hedge fund, or other actor]. As such when the aim is maximizing profits and or minimizing costs [the two often interrelated, but not necesserily so].

GLOBALIZATION is an ecvolutionary event brought about by technology and economic advantage in costs, availability of labour etc.

Based on the above there is as much chance of defeating globalization as there is defeating evolution [what form of evolution will be finally accepted, Darwinian or other, is totally beside the point].

Globalization brings about social and economic changes, some of which is desirable [e.g.: rise in median income of Chinese] some of it problematic [e.g. lowering the marginal value of some highly paid workers, professionals, etc].

Rational reaction to the problem encountered by globalization looks for a political easing of the socio-economic side-effects, Europe/Japan by and large follows a social democratic philosophy, while the USA and UK follow the laize faire, capitalist mode. The examples above clearly indicate that the way to look for solutions is not based on old fashioned LEFT-RIGHT "war": for the USA federal government is in theory RIGHT WING, while the UK government is "supposedly" LEFT WING.
The accomodation to the problems encountered by globalization take the view of "capitalist" China looking to change into a "HARMONIOUS SOCIETY" under an essentially Communist Form of Government [though with measures of democratization].

In the USA [and Canada to a limited extent] the accomodation follows the right wing almost Fascist government which still clings to the notion [contrary to evidence] that the rising tide of "pampered millioners/billioners" and predatory economic outlook/policy will have the effect of RAISING THE MASSES. Due to the fact that the USA outsourced most of its decadent manufacturing to China/Asia, etc, it depends on the "service Industry" for its future well-being [and on armament/war footing]. Unfortunately service industries can in many cases be also out sourced, so the country is left with WALMARTS'employees on low wages and illigal immigrants as servants of various kinds. The rest of the working stiffs [except SOME IN the finance industry] are left with stagnating wages and lower services at higher costs [MEDICAL CARE, GOOD EDUCATION, etc].

Can the lowering standard of living encountered by the masses be halped? yes on a socio-democratic philosophy, with the acceptance that the GDP per Capita might no grow fast, but all will have at least a comfortable living, with security for healthy and education. Can China bring obout the "harmonious society" with less disparity in incomes? Possibly, though the problem is very great due to the large population base.

There is solution for the USA, by transforming itself from an armament/ predatory finace based industrial complex to a leader of technology in the attempt to stop the elephant on Earth, Global warming. As the USA is the largest consumer of energy on a per capita basis, it has the greatest pressure for adjustment. When energy/GDP is analyzed, the USA is way behind Europe or Japan, so lot of work is required, and this effort can not be outsourced, for it involves physical changes within the territory of the USA: solve the poatble water problem, energy creation, tranportation renewal, etc.

in conclusion it can be stated, globalization is with us, easing of the problems as it affects masses takes political will, and it does not matter if the politician is left wing or right wing, it is important that the government give all the dignity to live a fullfilled and economically reasonable life -- while working on the problem of GLOBAL WARMING.

Shiloh, Otter Creek, USA :

To the contrary, my perception has been the rise of the right wing and a paltry answering in a few leftist governments, notably in South and Central America where labor oriented populism has gained footholds in a few countries. Other regions, notably China, have moved toward an economic centrism, but not a social liberalism.

By right wing I mean the global rise of corporatism, the application of the objectivism of Ayn Rand by her student, Alan Greenspan, the emergence of the "14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism," q.v., as counterpoint to the socio- economic philosophy of Adam Smith and the rise of far rigt wing religious fundamentalism in at least two major groups: Christian and Islamic.

The socio-economic pendulum is erratic, rather than metronomic.

daniel :

Are leftist regimes on the rise where you live? Are you witnessing a backlash against globalization? If so, is it justified and what should be done about it?

I live in the United States and the power of the left is such that I no longer have faith even in the concept of education. The most educated people in the United States are supposedly leftwing and more intelligent than the average, but for the life of me when I study leftwing concepts I am struck by how much they depend on mere conversation, groupthink, etc. and not education at all (a process of critical reasoning and development of personality).

In general the leftwing has this theory that economics is everything and that wealth must be spread to everyone and that there are no differences to races, sexes, etc. In fact the left believes economic equality is the answer to evil as well. Religion has little place in leftwing thinking but for all science and the theory of evolution everything just spreads out in an amorphous everyone is identical philosophy.

The leftwing in America has always made as little sense to me as the rightwing philosophy of religious nonsense coupled with of all things the most grasping business philosophy. I really have no heart at the moment to analyze left and right wing nonsense. All I will say is I no longer believe in education and that even explaining things to the most intelligent adults is a difficult process. When really was the last time you ever heard of anyone really learning anything, changing his mind about anything, etc.?

I just no longer believe in education--and I no longer believe in morality as well, that there is a truly human morality as distinguished from animal life in the way that human intelligence is distinguished from animal intelligence.

Supposing you could snap your fingers and just have a man of superior morality before your eyes, what would he be like? In what way would he be distinguished from the friendly characteristics of a dog or the gentleness of a rabbit or the long face of a horse? Would he even be alive? In Christianity we are told to avoid sinning, and for the life of me I have always thought the perfect Christian would quite logically commit suicide because suicide cannot possibly be as bad a sin as constantly committing all the others. In other words in what direction is morality supposing we really could improve morality in humans?

The vast majority of directions in our conceptions of morality have really nothing to do with human intelligence...We speak of retarded people being better than most people and even animals being better than men...

It seems useless to improve man morally because he really has no conception of a truly human morality yet...Not even a moral sense let alone capable of being educated...

In short the whole conversation of leftwing rightwing nonsense means nothing to me because I find man not even moral or intelligent.

But I will say one thing though: We do have an idea of intelligence. This distinguishes us from animals and we can even test human intelligence. I strongly recommend we forget about improving man morally--or rather we take the indirect route to such by making sure there are no I.Q.s below 120. I suggest this because there is no other clear road to morality. The best we can do now is improve human intelligence and let morality take care of itself out of an increase in human intelligence. Right now there is no human morality as distinct from animal...How can there be when more than a few will say dog is man's best friend and therefore a paragon of friendship?

Now why have I gone off the subject of leftism? Once again, and as I already said, I have no heart to go into all the leftwing absurdities now. The second reason is I just wanted to think. The above thoughts on morality were part of my thinking last night. And I share them to show what it means to think, that I am not tied to political parties and religion...

In general I deny the leftwing because I believe in genetics. The leftwing would have us believe in environmental factors to the point of absurdity--to the point of a clear contradiction with biology. According to the left anyone who is not leftwing is a greedy, evil being who does not see all people are equal and that it makes little difference if WMD spreads or the environment continues to be destroyed because if only we can provide for everyone all evil will depart the world and justice will be served...

But I have no heart to go into it further. Maybe tomorrow. I will say though that the world far from having overcome leftwing trends has been ruined by these trends. Certainly the U.S. and Europe achieved a Pyrrhic victory over the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union collapsed, but to be an intelligent person one must be one of those leftwing maniacs.

I foresee a continued leftwing drift worldwide. In fact we have the most intelligent people believing places like the middle east will just bypass all the nationalistic nonsense which convulsed Europe and that the world will just become some sort of happy United Nations. The world will become United in some sort of Worldwide government without constant and disheartening processes of centralization such as occured in the histories of nations previously?

Just rambling now...Too much to analyze...How can one get at the totality of leftwing nonsense in a few paragraphs and especially when one knows everyone must know the errors of the left?

But man is not a moral being let alone a reasoning being--or perhaps I should say vice-versa, because how can he get at morality without an improvement in reasoning? Or are we already moral? In fact are the most moral of us actually quite stupid and we should move in the direction of reducing intelligence and being as gentle as rabbits or friendly as dogs or pleasant as horses or cute pandas or--

A pointless conversation. One never really changes anyones mind.

Anonymous :

The comments here would be funny if they weren't written in all seriousness. We've had "globalization" from the day one man sold a good to another across a river; meaning its been around for thousands of years and will never stop.

Dont even get me started on the "American Imperialism" comments.

Get a grip people. Its not all about heroes and villains. You are acting just like Bush when you see everything as black and white choices. I cant wait until he's gone and we can start having a real dialog again instead of this cartoonish radical left v. radical right nonsense.

Solange :

We're actually devolving BACK to feudalism: a few global Lords, a well-paid Samurai/Knight class (abeit toting M-16s); and an army of peasants to keep the machine rolling and feed elite lifestyles.

Don Arellano :

Whatever the difference is, is that same crap different people.

yknot :


Continual use of 19th Century verbiage in post global discussions is getting somewhat wearysome.

In the US an emerging and expansive "family" lineage in politics is increasing. a few names that come to mind include Bush, Clinton, Pryor [arkansas] and others. What difference is there between whats occuring here and for example in
Egypt [Moubarak] and say in Russia wherre the norm now is that Russian politics is back to what it was under the USSR.

The moving of Halliburton's corporate headquarters to Dubai; the refusal of the US Govt to allow a Dubai coporation to operate the ports of New York are indicative of what? Leftist regimes against globalization? Or others.

Coloring everything as black or white "leftist" or "rightists" may have worked with the neocons duping 300 million Americans into Iraq and Afghanistan but this dodo bird dont work no more.
The same can be said about the propaganda put out by the likes of AIPAC and other lobbies.

Globalization can only work if EVERYONE ON THE PLANET believes that he/she are sharing in the benefits of. If not you can call it leftist, communist, socialist, or any other cute tag it dont mean a thing.

Solange :

America has not yet eased into a full 'globalization' backlash, because the Middle Class is still cushioned, to some extent, against its economic eventualities (the wealthy corporate few controlling the tenuously-employed many).

As to the facile association of anti-globalization with "leftist regimes," recall that the last time a significant percentage of a Western Middle Class was in the position Americans are approaching was in Germany, circa 1928. The 'backlash' that resulted, that time, was of a decidedly right-wing nature.

Expect the same, here, magnified a thousand times; if Americans see their quality of life deteriorate to the extent the Germans did. Irresponsible media outlets and corporate-controlled entertainment sources are already hard at work vilifying any trace of "secular progressive" 'leftist' trends...ensuring that a globalized America remains a safely reactionary one.

Andrew Zimmerman :

The idea that the right is pro-"globalization" and the left is anti-"globalization" depends on a tendentious definition of globalization. '

The right is only global if you consider the domination of American military and big business to be "global" -- sounds more like imperialist to me.

If you consider international human rights, international democracy, international environmental protection, international workers self-control to be global -- and it certainly sounds like it to me -- then then only pro-global side is the left.

(And if anybody thinks that the democratic party is the left, think again -- it's a very narrowly US-American definition of the left.)

So I return the question: Is American imperialism on the rise where you live? Are you witnessing a backlash against human rights, democracy, environmental control, decent jobs, and health care? If so, is it justified and what should be done about it?

MikeB :

BobL-VA - I'd LOVE to agree with you, but the Democratic Party, at least the announced candidates for the Presidency, are all lining up at the globalization trough. Clinton is taking millions from the very same people who were/are behind Bush's globalization schemes, not one of them has addressed H1B visa's (likely the most serious threat our country faces), the fact that our nations public schools our admitting foreign students in place of American students in science and engineering programs (the reason is pretty simple: money - they receive three to four times the tuition and fees, over and above their state money) and the Democratic Party seems to be on board that runaway train to legalize millions of illegal immigrants and bankrupt our own workers. I'm waiting for someone with an ounce of decency, with one ounce of sanity and thoughtfulness, to stand up and say "Hey, wait a minute, we need to take a look at the consequences of these actions". I'm not holding my breath.

BobL-VA :

Depends who you ask. I'm sure Bush is feeling the rise of leftist regimes in the United States. Only the rest of us just call it a Democratic Congress.

Seriously, I agree to some extent with MikeB. The left is being left behind by the conservative movements around the world. I would consider it a breath of fresh air to see more left leaning regimes to balance out the hard core right wingers in Iran and the United States. (That ought to get a reaction)

rabbit :

Completely agree with mikeb

MikeB :

This whole question is rather wrong headed, it is the right that is behind globalization and the right is ascendant in S.E. Asia, Asia (China is, after all is said and done, an extremely conservative government, as is India) the U.S., Mexico, and elsewhere where globalization is on the march. The right uses globalization to increase wealth flow to the wealthy oligarchies that run the governments in all of these countries. The "left", actually workers and ordinary men and women who actually care about their future, the future of their countries, and having some kind of future for their children, are opposed to globalization as a gigantic Ponzi Scheme, a plot right out of an Ann Rand novel, designed to pit them against workers in other countries and leave the swine that causes their misery in control.

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