Robbins, Mark on 14 Sep 2000 16:57:53 -0000

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RE: <nettime> draft article on WTO

I think this discussion is a wonderful microcosm for the
anti-globalisation movements as a whole.  The discussion starts from
something simple: i.e. slave labor in China.  Before anyone has a chance
to say anything substanative it balloons into an issue that is bigger than
anyone could possibly hold on to.  Not to say that these discussions
aren't terribly necessary, but its very hard to form any sort of tangible
movement with a chimera as a foundation.  As David Teh said, the Vietnam
war served very conviently as a way of forcing everyone to stop these
tangential disccuions and focus on the one true threat in a way which
could affect it.  The easiest way to hurt the war effort was to expose it
for the lie that it was. Protests, sit ins, teach ins, and the like served
very well to this effect. In today's world this is little more than
narcisism, with everyone trying to claim moral superiority (i.e. the least
connection with and most ferverant hatred of corporations) rather than
attacking the idea of the human corporation itself, which is what really
has everyone up in arms.  A corporations goal is profit, which is a fine
one, but profit is not the only motivation of most human beings.  As
corporations control more and more of the systems which are not inherantly
profit motivated (health care, government, child care...)  those systems
become unresponsive to the people, while the very rich get much richer.  
When we view corporations with the same free will that human beings have,
we make it harder on ourselves to tell corporations what they can and
cannot do.  We must first strip corporations of their humanity and free
will, and then tell those corporations what markets they are allowed to
operate in, and which ones they are not to touch.  This is the kind of
consensus that needs to be reached, just as the consensus arrose that the
vietnam war was immoral. Until this consensus (or one like it) arrives, we
are all just chasing our tails.

M. Robbins

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of scotartt
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2000 6:06 PM
To: nettime-l
Subject: Re: <nettime> draft article on WTO

> corporations will simply never behave like humans, in
> the interests of humankind, or on the basis of human
> values.  from their very inception, they are created
> with the specific goal of defying/manipulating these
> values for profit.


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