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Re: <nettime> Europe as a side-show (IHT)
Carl Guderian on Sun, 19 Jun 2005 15:59:13 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Europe as a side-show (IHT)

Yeah, well, the day after the big French "non" and there was foam coming off Page 2
(the opinion page for Bush cheerleaders Cohen, Vinocur & Bumiller). Yuck. Unless
the BJP get back in, I doubt those guys will sing India's praises for long. From
what I gather, the Congress government are putting more government money into
social and physical infrastructure than their predecessors did. So maybe the EU
should emulate India after all (and so should the US). 

--- patrice {AT} xs4all.nl wrote:

> Lest you didn't know already...
> Globalist: In U.S., a withering view of Europe as a
> sideshow:
> "Has Europe become a sideshow? Perhaps this town of
> haunting but also
> melancholy beauty is not a bad place to pose that
> question, for it offers
> at every corner some reminder of the way that great
> power and wealth may
> pass, leaving nothing but their golden shell."
> Roger Cohen is portrayed in the Intnl Herald Trib as
> 'The Globalist"

At least in Venice (to which Europe is compared in the abovementioned article) you
won't get physically or virtually cavity-searched if you want to go there. But the
dead republic doesn't lend itself to convenient comparisons. In its prime Venice
was a plutocracy, whose ruling class ferociously defended its power from the lower
classes. You could make a good living there, but God help you if you got mixed up
in politics. 

And if the near-absolute power of the Doges wasn't enough, La Serenissima had a
judicial back-channel whereby, on the strength of a secret denunciation, some poor
bastard would be haled before the Council of Ten (actuallly about 19) to answer
hard questions before disappearing into a cell. Unlike Cohen, I won't make the
obvious comparison. For one thing, the Venetian authorities (usually) checked the
credibility of denunciations before making arrests.

> But fortunately, we have the 'new Europeans', who
> work themselves to
> freedom as unsalaried entrepreneurs...
>  In the East, many EU work rules don't apply:
> (...)
> "Murawska and Roslan are among an estimated half
> million people in Poland
> who work in an office and have a boss but who are,
> technically,
> independent contractors. They are not eligible for
> vacations, sick days,
> overtime or maternity leave."

Thus making Eastern Europe a pit stop on the way to China. Convert a factory in
Krakow, hire the locals for a few bucks a day, than fire the lot of them when the
new factory in Xichang is ready. Leave the locals with a few old paystubs to
remember the boss by and maybe a burning sensation besides.  It's the economic
equivalent of sex tourism. 


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