- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Worshipping your creator, Doc?

Posted by: Farinata ( L'inferno ) on December 03, 1999 at 15:56:25:

In Reply to: My adoring fans... posted by Dr. Cruel on December 03, 1999 at 11:09:16:

: : :The WTO is an entity that fosters free trade between nations, lowering tariff barriers and otherwise making the conduct of business a far more simple affair.

: : By trying to eliminate things which raise labour costs; tariffs that ensure the big foreign countries can't flood the local market with mass-produced imports and deprive the local producers of a living. Environmental standards which raise production costs. Health laws that protect the workforce. And so forth.

: DC: In regards to "environmental standards", this legislation supports a large left-wing bureaucracy, and does little of any true merit towards improving the environment. The hack science that supports quasi-issues such as "the Ice Age/Global Warming" scam is a perfect case in point.

Cite your qualifications to make the statement that global warming isn't happening. I can show you experimental evidence, I can show you my degree certificate, I can show you computer simulations. If you like, I can even have words with a friend and get DAT tapes full of experimental data from the SAR on ERS-1 to look at.

: Simply put, these tariffs support wealthy populist bureaucrats, and those who cash in on this meal ticket are screaming bloody murder. Meanwhile, NAFTA begins to improve conditions in Mexico. And so on.

: : Doc, do you remember what happened when the British Empire tried to bolster up a multinational company by abolishing import tariffs on their product (tea) at the expense of the local traders? The locals dumped the tea into Boston Harbour. Your country probably wouldn't exist in its current form without it.

: : Are you now going to condemn the Boston Tea Party as damage to property carried out in the name of protectionists?

: DC: Gee. In my ignorance, I was of the opinion that the Boston Tea Party was caused by a tax on tea, ostentatiously necessary to support various social programs being conducted on the colonistís behalf by the Crown (the garrisons in place to protect the settlers on the frontier from Indian attacks, for one). There also seemed to be a small complaint about restrictive export tariffs imposed by Great Britain in regards to non-British buyers of colonial goods being an issue. Mr. Franklin, a press agent at the time, did offer some good advice to his employers in this regard. Unfortunately, it was not heeded - of course.

OK, Doc, - here's what actually happened;

1773 - May 10, the Tea Act takes effect. It maintains a threepenny per pound import tax on tea arriving in the colonies, which had already been in effect for six years. It also gives the near bankrupt British East India Company a virtual tea monopoly by allowing it to sell directly to colonial agents, bypassing any middlemen, thus underselling American merchants. The East India Company had successfully lobbied Parliament for such a measure. In September, Parliament authorizes the company to ship half a million pounds of tea to a group of chosen tea agents.

In October, colonists hold a mass meeting in Philadelphia in opposition to the tea tax and the monopoly of the East India Company. A committee then forces British tea agents to resign their positions. In November, a town meeting is held in Boston endorsing the actions taken by Philadelphia colonists. Bostonians then try, but fail, to get their British tea agents to resign. A few weeks later, three ships bearing tea sail into Boston harbor.

November 29/30, two mass meetings occur in Boston over what to do about the tea aboard the three ships now docked in Boston harbor. Colonists decide to send the tea on the ship, Dartmouth, back to England without paying any import duties. The Royal Governor of Massachusetts, Hutchinson, is opposed to this and orders harbor officials not to let the ship sail out of the harbor unless the tea taxes have been paid.

December 16 - About 8000 Bostonians gather to hear Sam Adams tell them Royal Governor Hutchinson has repeated his command not to allow the ships out of the harbor until the tea taxes are paid. That night, the Boston Tea Party occurs as colonial activists disguise themselves as
Mohawk Indians then board the ships and dump all 342 containers of tea into the harbor.

1774 - In March, an angry English Parliament passes the first of a series of Coercive Acts (called Intolerable Acts by Americans) in response to the rebellion in Massachusetts. The Boston Port Bill effectively shuts down all commercial shipping in Boston harbor until Massachusetts pays the taxes owed on the tea dumped in the harbor and also reimburses the East India Company for the loss of the tea.

That's the history, Doc. I'm surprised you didn't know it already.

The East India Company (a multinational) lobbied the ruling body of an unaccountable international body (the British Empire) to remove middlemen and regulations to increase the profits of that company; which was failing due to economic mismanagement and greed by its owners. The British Empire assented, despite the fact that this would impoverish the local traders in Boston by reducing their profit margins to nothing. Then the local representatives told the Bostonians that they had to accept it; "they should on that day (17/12/73) force it on shore, under the cover of their cannon's mouth.", as related by an eyewitness.

: : "When I get food to the poor, I am called a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, I am called a Communist".

: DC: Again, my ignorance. It was my impression that people who blow up businesses, shoot up the populance, and collect revolutionary taxes in the name of the proletarian utopia to come "Communists".

Nah. That's the CIA's speciality; as can be seen by their activity in Central and South America in recent years; as Nikhil will tell you.

: : And if you're talking "terrorism", examine the activities of oil companies worldwide; which are more than happy to use helicopter gunships against unarmed peaceful protestors (as Chevron did in Nigeria) or death squads against opponents (as BP do in Colombia).

: In regards to Greenpeace, it was my impression that they were in the habit of ramming ships. Have I made a mistake in this regard?

Yes. You have.

What you're talking about is the Sea Shepherd, skippered by Paul Watson; who left Greenpeace in 1977 "because he felt the original goals of the organization were being compromised". Like I said, Greenpeace International are about as radical and revolutionary as the Audubon Society.

Read up on things before you try pronouncing on them next time...

: DC: What Iíve heard is that many corporate entities are in the habit of hiring their own private mercenaries. The old South African based EO is a prime example of one such mercenary "temp" agency. Now, considering an environment where the very ownership of industrial plant built by these corporations is under question (and, frequently, under fire), just how would you expect the various companies to react?

So using a squad of fully armed soldiers and 2 assault helicopters against 300 peaceful protestors is perfectly justified; as is shooting 2 of them dead and wounding a further 30? That's what Chevron did in Nigeria.

And sending assassination squads out to eliminate people involved in peaceful democratic protest is perfectly justified? - that's what BP did in Colombia.

: After the revolution, of course, it is a simple matter to terrify the civilians into meek submission. This is, in my apparently poor judgement, the "modus operandi" of such movements thus far. Do I err?

Yes. You err. At least you're consistent there.

: DC: I was under the impression that this particular planet is called "Earth" by the residents. I might be wrong; Iíve heard tell that it is, in fact, a lady called Gaia. She reputedly is not fond of businesses, or of people. Which would seem to naturally follow, I suppose. She is also said to be "ill", although I have as of yet not deduced whether her malady is of a physical or mental nature.

Quit the faffing around; it's a lump of rock and water and vegetation with occasional animals. The animals require oxygen to survive; as well as nutrients and fresh water to consume; all of which are under threat from industrial pollution. If business contaminates enough of the resources, then animals will start dying from it; and that includes us as much as any other animals. It's really very very simple.

: : Gandhiji was not fond of the British; but he was not fond of the Nazis either; and the vast majority of the Free India movement supported the British in the Second World War. The group of independence fighters (the INA) who allied with the Japanese were led by Subhas Chandra Bose; a Bengali; and half of the INA division at Kohima were killed along with 70,000 Japanese by the British 4th and 7th Indian Divisions. Try improving your Indian history a bit.

: DC: The Indians supported the British because they liked them. You are correct in stating that a large number of Indians supported the British in their war against the Axis. This seems strange behavior for a people supposedly under the oppressive dominance of a conqueror, but what do I know.

They didn't "like" them as such; but they felt that they were better than some of the alternatives. I suggest you read about the history of the Indian Empire and the exploitation the English-supported landlords subjected the peasants to. Are you denying that the 1919 massacre took place; or that there were no salt protests? no strikes in India?

The Congress Party knew that England could not hold a rebellious India, but felt that there was more to be gained from a vaguely amicable split than from throwing the English out with violence; thanks to the pacifist political views of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; who led the Congress' thinking at a formative point.

: : "For me, even if I stand alone, there is no participation in the war even if the Government should surrender the whole control to the Congress." (M.K. Gandhi, 1938)

: DC: My opinion on the matter is that Mr. Ghandhiís tactics were simply that. He could not hope to win a war against the British, nor even hope to defeat those Indians who felt a loyalty to the Crown.

Look, he was a committed pacifist; of course he wasn't going to support the war effort. However, as commented, he could have harmed the war effort simply by speaking out against the British; if the followers of the Congress had found common cause with Chandra Bose's INA, they could have thrown the British out. Gandhi deliberately kept silent; he could not be in favour of war; but he refrained from criticising it.

: This sort of divisiveness and ethnic hatred was well known to Mr. Ghandhi, whose main concern dealt with other issues, and who had apparently little interest in whatever violence might be unleashed by his activism (insulated, of course, by his personal commitment to non-violence).

Really? You think the man who went on a hunger-strike to stop Calcutta erupting in religious riot in 1947; and again in Delhi in 1948 wasn't actually concerned about ethnic and religious violence?

He actually used his name and his reputation to try and stop ethnic and religious violence; this is why he was killed by someone of his own religion.

: : - If Gandhi had wanted the British out of India, he would have been able to achieve it by keeping quiet; in fact, he repeatedly spoke out in defence of the English; he was very fond of England and was moved to tears at the possible destruction of the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey when informed of war by Lord Linlithgow.

: DC: Again, I base my own opinion on his commentary. My understanding of Ghandhiís personal opinions, of course, are no way meant to be a commentary on those of the Indians - except for a specific member of that set, of course.

Which, to me, paraphrases as; "I have no reliable sources or evidence, but I'm not going to say so in so many words".

:Point is, drug sales are extremely lucrative ... However, this obvious market dynamic is merely incidental, given the opportunity to link the support of free trade and the WTO with crack addicts, and EU tariffs and subsidies (again, what would be named, were the U.S. government to conduct this policy, "corporate welfare") with the fight against drugs.

Horseshit. There are two crops the West Indies can grow; bananas and dope; and the WTO has removed the financial incentive to grow bananas. Stop trying to fudge the issue.

: Just how stupid do you think I am, anyway?

Not so much stupid as blind. You can at least string a sentence together; if you could lose the horribly pretentious and self-important tone you might be a decent debater; but your text reminds me of Duane Gish; the mad creationist; who spouts complete crap with total conviction because he has persuaded himself that the Bible *must* be totally right on all counts.

: P.S. By the way - Iím against monopolies. If Chiquita is involved in one, they should be prosecuted under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which is after all what the legislation is for. The long period of cheap and ready access I have managed to maintain in regards to bananas would seem to indicate this to be otherwise, of course.

Well, check the figures; Chiquita controls the world banana market. They also contributed large amounts of money to Clinton's election fund in 1996; in return for which he acts in their interest at the WTO.


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