Monday, May 30, 2011

Charity, Democracy and the Church of Capitalism

The top headline of the most important newspaper in the world, The New York Times, on May 27th, 2011 was titled: "Aid Pledge by Group of 8 Seeks to Bolster Arab Democracy".  Authored by Liz Alderman, the article tells us a great deal about the deep indoctrination and newspeak where words which previously had philosophical, political, and moral definitions which meant something are redefined into meaningless marketing double-talk.  How?  Let's take a look at the purported goal of the announcement: "democracy".

Wikipedia claims democracy as "Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives" and then goes on at length to describe other factors and considerations, notably the idea that "equality and freedom have both been identified as important characteristics of democracy since ancient times".  Equality was the goal that Adam Smith was pursuing with his plan for markets, which he predicted would result if people could operate with perfect liberty.  Given the perfection to act without obstacle in any way they might conceive, people would rationally choose outcomes resulting in such perfect liberty. 

The "G8" are said to represent rich countries, but really only represent some controlling elites within them.  These controlling elites are what Adam Smith called "the principal architects of policy".  Smith rightly noted that these planners make certain they gain profit, regardless of "how grievous the effect on others".  In the article, we learn that "the threat of economic stagnation could undermine democracy."  Since economic factors like profit often come at expenses that aren't of economic interest, (war, fear, suffering, death, pollution, etc.) I tend to be a bit skeptical.  When spectacularly rich collectivist organizations with histories of slavery, conquest, racism, and the like claim to want to "help" the poor, it suggests the same kind of help might be offered as England's conquest of India, Germany's invasion of Poland, or the U.S. puppet regimes installed by men like Smedley Darlington Butler.  All kinds of red flags go up - for me anyway.

Not so in this article, as the claims to noble ideals and charitable aspirations of these neo-imperialists are announced without a hint of skepticism.  After international groups like the G8 have violently destroyed secular movements of people trying to obtain a meaningful say in their societies, (for decades) now we are warned "that the democracy movement in the Arab world could be 'hijacked' by Islamic radicals if the West did not help stabilize the economies". 

What kind of democracy would these rich elites like?  Ordinarily we might suspect the kind where foreign corporations can come in and maintain control over the population, but it would be impolitic to use such coarse language.  More politically correct would be to assert not that democracy is based on the ancient principles of self-determination and equality, but rather to claim: "Democracy...could be rooted only in economic reforms".  This was clarified as: "open markets, equal opportunities and jobs to lower staggeringly high unemployment rates, especially among restless youths".  Thus, attacking defenseless production of local markets with rich industrial products (which are often subsidized in rich countries) and turning "restless youths into sweatshop wage slaves is democracy.

Ms. Alderman reports this as completely normal, perhaps even a welcome humanitarian gesture.  The author's belief in the importance of profit for foreign investors is demonstrated by her dismissive reference to "Old leftist political parties" who are demanding the new government act "to help the poor, even at the price of discouraging foreign investors."  Clearly, anyone who thinks government should protect its citizens from harm do to poverty rather than insure profits for foreign corporations is misguided at best, but potentially dangerously insane.  Clearly, the author and contributors David Kirkpatrick and Mark Landler know little of their own countries' economic development, or perhaps they think things proven to work in the past are worth considering in light of European Bank claims its "expertise" should trump the uninformed, misguided ideas of the overwhelming majority of the population.  Democracy, we learn from this article, means following the historically predatory plans of the International Monetary Fund and the European Bank, not those old Greek ideas of equality and freedom. 

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Aspen Music Festival: Music with a View Concert

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