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[rohrpost] Naomi Klein / Kamikaze Kapitalismus
Krystian Woznicki on Thu, 8 Nov 2001 19:57:33 +0100 (CET)


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[rohrpost] Naomi Klein / Kamikaze Kapitalismus


Hallo,

ist zwar auf Englisch, aber auch nicht so dermassen
lang - Naomi "No Logo" Klein ueber Kamikaze Kapitalismus
angesichts des bevorstehenden WTO-Treffens in Doha.

Gruss,

Krystian

- http://www.berlinergazette.de
- http://www.tonspion.de/tv_digital07.php3


The Globe And Mail (Canada)

Doha's Kamikaze Capitalists and the god of growth
By NAOMI KLEIN

Wednesday, November 7, 2001  Page A21


What do you call someone who believes so firmly in the
promise of salvation through a set of rigid rules that
he is willing to risk his own life to spread those
rules?

A religious fanatic? A holy warrior? How about a U.S.
trade negotiator?

On Friday, the World Trade Organization begins its
meeting in Doha, Qatar. According to U.S. security
briefings, there is reason to believe that al-Qaeda,
which has plenty of fans in the Persian Gulf state,
has managed to get some of its operatives into the
country, including an explosives specialist. Some
terrorists may even have infiltrated the Qatari
military.

Given these threats, you might think that the United
States and the WTO would have cancelled the meeting.
But not these true believers.

Instead, U.S. delegates have been kitted out with gas
masks, two-way radios and drugs to combat
bioterrorism. (Canadian delegates have been issued the
drugs as well.) As negotiators wrangle over
agricultural subsidies, softwood lumber and
pharmaceutical patents, helicopters will be waiting to
whisk U.S. delegates onto aircraft carriers parked in
the Persian Gulf, ready for a Batman-style getaway.

It's safe to say that Doha isn't your average trade
negotiation; it's something new. Call it Kamikaze
Capitalism.

Last week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick
praised his delegation for being willing to
"sacrifice" in the face of such "undoubted risks." Why
are they doing it? Probably for the same reason people
have always put their lives on the line for a cause:
They believe in a set of rules that promises
transcendence.

In this case, the god is economic growth, and it
promises to save us from global recession. New markets
to access, new sectors to privatize, new regulations
to slash -- these will get those arrows in the corner
of our television screens pointing heavenward once
again.

Of course growth cannot be created at a meeting, but
Doha can accomplish something else, something more
religious than economic. It can send "a sign" to the
market, a sign that growth is on the way, that
expansion is just around the corner. And an ambitious
new round of WTO negotiations is the sign they are
praying for.

For rich countries like ours, the desire for this sign
is desperate. It is more pressing than any possible
problems with current WTO rules, problems mostly
raised by poor countries, fed up with a system that
has pushed them to drop their trade barriers while
rich countries kept theirs up.

So it's no surprise that poor countries are this
round's strongest opponents. Before they agree to
drastically expand the WTO's reach, many are asking
rich countries to make good on their promises from the
last round.

There are major disputes swirling around agricultural
subsidies and dumping, about tariffs on garments, and
the patenting of life forms. The most contentious
issue is drug patents. India, Brazil, Thailand and a
coalition of African countries want clear language
stating that patents can be overridden to protect
public health. The U.S. and Canada are not just
resisting -- they are resisting even as their own
delegates head for Qatar popping discount Cipros,
muscled out of Bayer using exactly the kind of
pressure tactics they are calling unfair trade
practices.

These concerns are not reflected in the draft
ministerial declaration. Which is why Nigeria just
blasted the WTO for being "one-sided" and
"disregarding the concerns of the developing and least
developed countries." India's WTO ambassador said last
week that the draft "gives the uncomfortable
impression that there is no serious attempt to bring
issues of importance to developing countries into the
mainstream."

These protests have made little impression in Geneva.
Growth is the only god at these negotiations and any
measures that could slow profits even slightly -- of
drug companies, of water companies, of oil companies
-- are being treated by believers as if they are on
the side of the infidels and evildoers.

What we are witnessing is trade being "bundled"
(Microsoft-style) inside the with-us-or-against logic
of the war on terrorism. Last week, Mr. Zoellick
explained that "by promoting the WTO's agenda . . .
these 142 nations can counter the revulsive
destructionism of terrorism." Open markets, he said,
are "an antidote" to the terrorists' "violent
rejectionism." (Fittingly, these are non-arguments
glued together with made-up words.)

He further called on WTO member states to set aside
their petty concerns about mass poverty and AIDS and
join the economic front of America's war. "We hope the
representatives who meet in Doha will perceive the
larger stakes," he said.

Trade negotiations are all about power and
opportunity, and for the Doha's Kamikaze Capitalists,
terrorism is just another opportunity to leverage.

Perhaps their motto can be: What doesn't kill us will
make us stronger. Much stronger.


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